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Feb. 1, 2010
East Region Split Due to GrowthSteve Simmons New England & North Regional Director, Clubs & Leagues
GROWTH OF CLUBS & LEAGUES leads to RESTRUCTURING
SACRAMENTO – Senior Softball USA’s Clubs & Leagues program has shown dramatic growth since it was launched in 2007.
For example, the Northeast region that started out with just one SSWC qualifier has blossomed into a full-fledged series of SSWC qualifiers in New England and New York with the help of SSUSA directors, Tom Marum and Chuck Sharkey. Those states will host at least five SSWC qualifiers in 2010 with the possibility that could include even more.
And in the Mid-South region, the program centers around the Texas Half Century program, which is the brainchild of SSUSA director Keith Parker. It is fashioned after the long running and very successful Florida Half Century organization, also a SSUSA associate. SSUSA has partnered with the Texas Half Century and they have increased the number of qualifiers and SSUSA leagues (eight right now in Texas) in that four-state group.
This rapid growth has necessitated changes within the SSUSA organization, highlighted by the hiring of Elizabeth Zheng as the new director of the Clubs & Leagues program.
She will be based in Sacramento and takes over for Steve Simmons who guided the program in its initial years.
“We really need to bring this position in-house in Sacramento and while Steve Simmons did a terrific job from his home base in Minnesota, it became too much work for one person to do from away from headquarters,” said Terry Hennessy, chief executive officer of Senior Softball USA.
“Fortunately for us, Steve will continue to work for SSUSA as a tournament director in addition to other assignments.”
Zheng’s background is strong in information technology and this is essential for the direction planned with the Clubs & Leagues program, Hennessy added.
Much of the Clubs & Leagues accounting, document creation, promoting and reporting now will be done on line. “There will still be a presence in our paper, Senior Softball News, but most of the clubs and leagues information will now be found primarily in the Regions section of the SSUSA web site,” Hennessy explained.
New and enhanced web pages will be constructed to deliver the Clubs & Leagues message and report clubs and leagues news. Those leagues partnering with the SSUSA will be given top priority and ample web space, but information on any club or league wishing to be displayed on the SSUSA web site also will be honored.
One of the goals of the SSUSA Clubs & Leagues program is to gather as much information as possible about all senior clubs and leagues in the country and provide that information on the web site.
Each of the clubs and leagues directors has been charged with the task of gathering this information within their respective areas and then making it available for all to access on the SSUSA’s web site. As Hennessy likes to refer to it, “SSUSA’s clubs and leagues yellow pages.” Any club and / or league can be proactive in this regard and simply call in their vital information to the SSUSA home office.
The new clubs and leagues web pages are scheduled to be rolled out by the end of February. While there will be decreased exposure in the newspaper, the web page reports offer greater reporting capabilities and timely stories. The web pages are able to be updated daily if current news is available. Clubs and leagues will be able to submit information and have it posted in a timely manner.