About half the league (around 30 players) came last night, including two of the four goalies. Teams were split into Demons & Gargoyles vs Aces & Crease Monkeys, with a few from the former joining the latter due to the absence of the bulk of the CM team. The split was fairly even and gave everybody a chance to assess the talent they will be playing with and against this season. The level of adult talent moving to Des Moines is pretty strong, and quite a few of these gentlemen have opted to join the league this summer. Having made the rosters beforehand, I had to guess at their ability levels to make fairly even teams. After last night, I have to say that the 2011 SLL will be significantly more competitive and higher quality than last year.
Following the game was a captains meeting. Unfortunately due to other obligations Harrington and Sundermann were not available for CM, but both will be forwarded the specific information. The items discussed include absences, cancellations, referee commitments, and captains' power. Unlike last year where Zach and I ran everything, we are utilizing captains to help run the league and regulate their respective teams.
At this point, everybody in the league should familiarize themselves with the rules (available here). Our guidelines this year should ensure two referees and two bench officials for every game. The refs will each work half the field and monitor a sideline. Trailing refs will watch for offside players and support the lead official's decisions regarding goals, out of bounds, etc. Referees have been instructed to focus on severe and obvious infractions and to make calls at their discretion, keeping the game flowing as much as possible. Respect them as they are mostly untrained as officials and are volunteering.
- Competitive SLL games begin next week. The Demons face the Crease Monkeys at 5:45. The Aces face the Garoyles at 7:00.
- If your team does not have enough players (minimum of of 5, including goalie) within 15 minutes of the schedule start time, you will be penalized. If at least five players are available at that point, the game will start in the second quarter with the opposing team up by two goals. If there are not five players present, then the opposing team wins be forfeit and a scrimmage may be held for the remaining time.
- We are officially at Valley Southwoods for all games. Based on the reactions last night, this is a major improvement.
- I literally just got off the phone with our supplier (The Total Athlete). Our reversibles are being shipped today from Michigan and should be in my hands Monday. I will be at the field around 5:15 on Wednesday to hand them out.
- The Youth Program begins next Wednesday at 4:00 pm. Zach will be coordinating volunteers. This will also be at Southwoods, immediately preceding our SLL games.