I wanted to take a few minutes and devote some time to a brief explanantion of the significant rule changes in store for this summer season. The Board of Directors understands the travel concerns of many of our teams and these changes are in direct response to those concerns.
A. The League will reinstate only two divisions of play in 12, 14, and 18 U (major and minor). We will maintain 3 divisions in the 10 U age group (10 U major, 10 U minor upper and 10 U minor lower - the lower division for first year 10 U players)
B. You will always play in your own division.
C. All teams will now play a 12 game regular season
D. All "major" teams automatically make the post season, championship tournament, which will be a single elimination tournament. This means that all major teams registered in the league will play 13 games.
E. Depending on the number of teams registered in each major divison in each age group, the league will divide the division into 1, 2 or 3 playoff flights (gold, silver, bronze). Your regular season record will determine which playoff flight you enter for the post season tournament. By way of example, if there are 24 teams in the 12 U major division, all 24 teams play their regular season, and based on that record is where you are placed for championship action. Again, in our example, it is possible that the top 8 teams play in the gold bracket, the middle 8 play in the silver bracket and bottome 8 play in the bronze bracket. However, all teams are now informed that the League will use a mathmatical formula to determine the cutoffs, which will only occur after the regular season ends. There is no gurantee that the flights will work out evenly. Also, teams should be informed that you may very well play a team in the playoff tournament that you have not played in the regular season.
F. The League has adopted a summer calendar which outlines when games must be completed and when the championship tournament begins.
This change in playing structure allows the league to refocus our regular season play to a more regional system which reduced the need of travel. At the same time, we didn't want to negatively impact teams in a region that have fielded a really good team among them.
As you can imagine, the rule book is going through some extensive changes as we try to put in print these rules. We will have that posted as soon as we get it right.
I hope that you have a great 2013 season and I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this system as we move through the season.