Great Discussion at 2023 Travel Directors Meeting
Travel directors from around the MBL met last week to discuss important topics affecting the MBL and youth baseball. Among the topics discussed were the national shortage of umpires, region and schedule formation for 2023, league game time limits and playoffs.
Perhaps no topic garnered as much agreement from the group than the mantra that coaches and parents must continue to exhibit great sportsmanship and respect for umpires, as baseball administrators across the county work through the shortage of officials. Umpire assignors unanimously cite fan behavior as the biggest reason people don't want to become an official. Travel directors pledged to continue working with coaches, parents and players to make sure our umpires are respected at all times.
Region formation is underway now and schedule formation is slated to begin in late March. The MBL continues to work hard in balancing geography and competitiveness when creating regional alignment.
The discussion on time limits for league games led to travel directors agreeing to engage their coaches about how long games are taking and generally being aware of time of game throughout the 2023 season. More discussion is expected at future meetings. There was general agreement that games lasting 2.5 hours or longer need to be limited or eliminated. Umpire assignors were strongly in favor of taking 15 minutes off of the current MBL league time limits, which would match time limits in most tournaments.
The 2023 MBL Playoffs are slated to begin July 10th. There was agreement on geography playing a bigger role in the creation of playoff tiers and brackets, to avoid playoff games being cancelled because of travel. Championship games are scheduled for July 25-27 at neutral sites.
The annual Winter Travel Directors Meeting is held each February, with TD's from every member community getting the opportunity to voice their opinions and bring up topics surrounding youth baseball. Travel Directors bring discussion topics to the group meeting, many of which originated with feedback from individual coaches and parents in their community. The MBL is committed to this process, giving communities and families a voice in our league.