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Player movement in the NPSA slows down as season approaches

  • Marvin “Tougie” Wood is congratulated after hitting a home-run in this file photo. NPSA President Godfrey Burnside said that movement among players in the league has slowed down since the implementation of a two-year contract between players and their respective teams. FILE

Guardian Sports Reporter

Published: May 07, 2013

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A two-year contract agreement signed by players in the New Providence Softball Association (NPSA) has slowed down the movement between teams tremendously, according to league president Godfrey Burnside, who also noted that the league will be balanced this year.

The 2013 season swings into action on Saturday, at the Bankers Field over at the Baillou Hills Sporting Complex. So far, about six female teams and five male squads have confirmed participation. Burnside put a two-year contract agreement in place after he was elected president of the association last year. The document is designed to safeguard the league’s reputation, also protecting the investments made in the teams by sponsors.

“It looks like most of the teams are going to be strong, they have all added some young blood to their rosters,” said Burnside. “We have the contract of agreement in place so players just can’t walk and move like they want to. The manager of the team must release them or if the manager does not release them, they have the option of writing to the commissioner justifying why they should move from one team to the next. He doesn’t have to honor their requests. It can be rejected based on the justification. It started under my administration in 2012 and it is a two-year agreement. Each administration would have their own way of doing things. We needed to look at the sponsors and the security of funds from sponsors, having the teams maintain the status that they would have gotten the year before. I think it is very effective. You just can’t move from one team to a next team just because you feel like you want to move.”

Only two players have been released so far, this according to Burnside who said a lot of rumors about persons moving are surfacing. The Miller Rams released Martin Burrows Jr. and the Lady Hitters gave Lashante Darville her release. If the team releases the players, there’s no need for them to request the assistance from the commissioner. Burnside was unable to confirm exactly what teams Burrows Jr. and Darville are playing for now, however he noted that the Rams have positioned themselves to be a “spoiler” this season.

“This is going to be a very exciting season especially in the ladies division,” said Burnside. “The men’s division will be very balanced, based on the games this past weekend. We had some pre-season games over the weekend and the surprising thing is the Miller Rams defeated the Buccaneers, who are one of the favorites picked to win the league this year. The Rams won the games on hits. The game was tied but they out-hit the Buccaneers. The Rams came back on Saturday and defeated the Hitmen. That team can be possible contenders.”

The official schedule and list of registered teams will be released on Wednesday. Burnside revealed that the entrance fees for teams did not increase, despite the chargers from the National Sports Authority for using the field.

He said: “We are not raising any fees. We have written a letter to the National Sports Authority (NSA). We have yet to receive a response on our request. We have made a request to them, stating how much we would like to pay, still nothing yet. We hope to conclude that by Wednesday this week. We are going to play softball. Softball starts Saturday night.”

According to the official Facilities Usage Fees for the Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre, released by the NSA, the NPSA might pay about $200 per day for the Bankers League field. That price is also listed for groups that fall under the educational institutions, while charities and fundraisers are expected to pay $1,500 per day. If the field is used by businesses, the price is $5,000 per day.

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