Monthly Archive
for: ‘March, 2014’

Design League Format Evolution

So here it is March 10th and I feel SO MUCH more ahead of the game than I have in at least 2 seasons… I started trying to figure things out this season about a month ago now, earlier than normal… truth is, the last two seasons have been such a headache, I felt that I was approaching my limits for what I was willing to endure… but some good back and forth discussion has gone on between our CPD rep and myself and I would say we’re about 80% down the road towards a solution.

For my purposes, I need the Chicago Design League to return to the days when I could know our ENTIRE seasons scheduling and cost now, in March, before things even get underway… and as we are also a social league with an established tradition, it has always remained a priority that we schedule a 15-game regular season every year… so that all teams get to play all others once, at least on paper… and finally, the regular season seeds an all day tournament to decide the league champions… 15 + Tourney… considering the prevalent 7-game + single elimination format espoused by CS&S and Players… we’re blessed to have a CPD Rep who will even work with us on the matter… ’cause when you break it down, our typical season spans (3) season as the Park District sees it; Spring, Summer & Fall…

But to that end, this year yet another wild card was added to the mix… which is the Park District has decreed that Grant Park will NOT be re-opened for use AFTER Lollapalooza… at first blush, this might appear to be a significant turn for the worse… but speculation has been that it’s a move indicating a potential re-working of the diamond locations and configurations at Grant Park… perhaps up to and including the installation of lights… if that ended up happening, our format would absolutely be changing… so view what I’m describing for this season below as sort of an interim step… one way or another though, there is no alternative in my opinion as the song and dance I’ve had to pull off the last couple seasons is no longer something I’m willing to do… if it’s even viable anymore anyway…

So when I speak of our format, I’m describing regular season games starting in May and continuing through August and early September and then our Tournament in mid to late September… after Lollapalooza arrived, we evolved the first time when the month long ‘Lollapalooza Break’ became a yearly fixture between mid-July and mid-August… that went on for a couple seasons before ‘Perry’s Tent’ was introduced to Upper Hutchinson along with its diamond destroying properties… that change has caused us over the last 2 seasons to put together the tail-end of our season in a catch as catch can style… Lincoln Park, Waveland, Lawrence, etc… all at a time in the season when the sun sets earlier and earlier… that process was clearly broken and in need of alternative… so here we are in the present day…

What we’ve come to thus far looks like this… our entire season happens inside the space prior to Lollapalooza… due to the logistics of making this all work, our games would be played on LOWER Hutchinson… roughly for this year that would be game days on May 1, 8, 15, 29.. June 5, 12, 19, 26.. and July 3, 10 & 17… for these (11) dates we’d always have a 6:30 start time, we’d be following another league that was using 5:30 start times and all (8) of our weekly games would play at the same time, which would mean no borrowing of players, at least for this season… and then finally, all the June dates will be double headers… games at 6:30 & 7:30… there’s a little wiggle room here and there for the making up of rain outs, but not a whole lot unfortunately… we’ve yet to figure out the Tournament, but that would be shortly thereafter…

For my tastes, I wish we could go back to the way things were before Lollapalooza arrived, but that’s no longer a possibility… so we go with the flow and see how things go… or we’re out of options… I had preliminary discussions with both Lincoln and Union Parks and basically, they’re simply not going to let me lock anything in here in March… what they’re telling me is the same as I got last year… wait until end of July and we’ll see how our leagues are going, how many rain outs we need to make up, etc… and then we’ll know what we can offer you… and that would be, at least at Lincoln Park, at an exorbitant cost…

All that said, what last season became was highly undesirable anyway in my opinion… at least in the days of the ‘Lollapalooza Break’… we got right back to playing softball after the festival left town and we’d have 4-5 consecutive game days and then the Tourney… that was certainly doable… but last year for instance, we stopped on July 18th… had 2 more (awkward, inconvenient) games as part of a doubleheader at LP on August 29th, a single GP game day two weeks later on September 12th and then the Tournament on September 28th… that’s just not a good situation… everything far too stretched out and disconnected for no real reason…

Details are still being worked out… our Rep is on vacation for the next week so discussions are on hold… but I wanted to put this info out to everyone now that all of you are confirmed in for the season… if this change in format changes the way you feel about participating in the league this season, I wanted you to know now as the collection of diamond dues is about to commence which will be in the $1050-$1150 range most likely, but that is still being negotiated.

Also, and especially to our long-standing and in some cases original Chicago Design League teams… I know we’ve decided most everything over the last 14 years democratically… but in this case I wanted you to know that I didn’t feel I had ‘two’ choices to present… so any comments you may have, questions, concerns.. please post them here in the comments section so they’re part of the permanent record and part of the public Forum… and finally… please, please, please… forward this link to your rosters because with no more borrowing of players and double headers to contend with… it becomes more important that you have rosters that are committed…