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Old Mon Nov 05, 2001, 12:02pm
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On September 27, 2001, Softball America officially challenged the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) to become national governing body of the sport of softball. Legal papers, including the association's bylaws, board of directors and challenge issues against the ASA, were sent to the United States Olympic Committee, the ASA and the International Softball Federation.
I've seen absolutely nothing about this on any of the boards. Softball America seems to be a creature of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association. Just what we need-chaos.

For the spin from the NFCA's perspective, see the article on their website:

[Edited by Dakota on Nov 5th, 2001 at 12:50 PM]
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Old Mon Nov 05, 2001, 01:04pm
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Well, Dak, this had been a topic on NG. After posting the following, I received a few private e-mails from a gentleman named Roger May from Northern California trying to emphasize the "Softball America" concept and comparing it with USA Basketball, USA Volleyball and USA Baseball. The only difference is that none of those organizations have to deal with the NFCA. Eventually, he got flustered, showed his true colors and discontinued any conversation on this issue. As noted earlier, this is just my opinion and that is all it is worth.


To start, ASA as that is the organization I most associate with, so this is definitely a biased view.

Yes, it is the exact same challenge that was presented a few year ago and my opinion remains the same. Any organization which has the NFCA as their backbone is not good for the sport of softball.

They are, and rightfully so, a self-serving organization which by definition has only their own game and agenda in mind when engaging in a decision-making process. There sole purpose is to develop and advance girl's to play softball through college.

I feel they are as equally arrogant as many believe ASA to be and have little to no interest in serving those who do not agree with their philosophy. A perfect example would be the first satellite rules clinic offered by NFCA in
the name of the NCAA. I believe we were in the Annenberg Center at the Univ. of Penn. They showed a play which they (NFCA) indicated an umpire should rule interference. It was so out-of-line with the rules, many of the umpires
literally laughed. After the clinic, the Penn coach, Carol Kashow, step out of the shadows and told us she heard the laughing. Without hesitation, she continued that "you" (meaning the umpires) will call the games the way the
coaches want or you will not be working any NCAA games, period.

Well, even though that was just one coach's opinion, I have to wonder if that opinion isn't consistant with the NFCA. I have always come away with the feeling that the NFCA considers officials a necessary evil.

In the past two years, the NCAA has taken a higher level of participation in the rulebook and satellite clinics. I also anticipate the NCAA to begin laying down specific procedures for the development, training and assignment of
umpires over the next few years which will slowly, but surely, begin to remove the coach's influence over the officiating of the games.

Another short point is that ASA is an association of ALL levels, classifications and styles of the game of softball in this country, not just fastpitch. Many forget that there is slowpitch, modified and 16" ball, all addressed by ASA.

Of course, there are those who will argue about how "political" it gets when dealing with ASA. I challenge you to show me an organization which doesn't have political problems of one sort or another. There are many different
organizations sanctioning leagues and tournaments, but I doubt that any provide the level of clinics for players, coaches and umpires that ASA does.

There is a place for all the different groups out there which all have their niche in the game of softball, whether it be a fun game, a money maker or organizational preferences.

Should ASA lose their NGB designation? I don't think so. Should they be challenged? Sure, a little rebellion every now and then can (but is not always) good for all. Should the NFCA be accepted as the leader in this cause?

Not in my opinion, but that is all this is,
The bat issue in softball is as much about liability, insurance and litigation as it is about competition, inflated egos and softball.
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