National Pro Fastpitch announced today the completion of the revised Championship Series Manual. Following a controversial conclusion to a rained out 2012 Championship Series, when no champion was named, the League immediately assembled a five person committee to examine the policies and procedures for future NPF Championships.
“It was evident following the outcome of the 2012 Series and the obvious disappointment of our affiliate teams, their players and staff, our many fans, and our owner’s, that we must make a much closer examination of the policies and procedures that govern our season’s most important event,” commented NPF Commissioner, Cheri Kempf. “The committee that was assembled was diverse and completely capable of delivering the improvements the league needed. That is exactly what they did. I am grateful and appreciative for this committee, for their willingness to help the League, and for the time that it took to do this correctly.”
The five person panel was chaired by Cindy Bristow and included Sue Enquist, Rachel Lawson, Kathy Veroni, and Scott Whitlock. With diverse backgrounds in the sport of softball at every level, along with administrative experience, the committee carefully examined every aspect of the policies accompanying the Championship and on November 5, returned a thorough revision with many suggested additions and changes.
Once the committee finished the detailed review, a 36 page Championship Series Manual was submitted to the League with additions and recommendations. During the annual owner’s meetings in December, the manual was reviewed with changes voted on by owner’s. The final document is now completed with notable additions to Series’ policy, including the provision for naming a champion, in the event of a Series that cannot be completed due to unforeseen circumstances including weather.
“I commend the NPF on their commitment to their teams, owners, players and fans by revising their League Championship format as well as their NPF Championship Series Manual,” stated committee Chairperson, Cindy Bristow. “As a committee charged with recommending changes we wanted to be both thorough and objective, ensuring that the ultimate championship involved the utmost in fairness and professionalism. Each committee member was honored to have contributed to the NPF in this manner and proud of the tremendous job the NPF does to help promote the opportunity for women to play softball at the professional level.”
Here are the notable changes of the NPF Championship Series Manual:
• Tighter regulations and stipulations on administrative meetings; team practices; credentials for media, players, and officials; facility management; facility requirements; field maintenance; press conferences; autograph sessions; and merchandising
• The formation of a “Championship Cabinet” that includes NPF Commissioner, Championship Series Director, NPF League Supervisor of Officials, and all available affiliate team owners that are on site. The responsibility of the Championship Cabinet will be to review requests and recommendations from participating league teams regarding the administration of the NPF Championships.
• The creation of a policy and criteria, to award the Cowles Cup, in the event of inclement weather. That policy states a reserve day to play the Championships and also a tiered process for naming a champion if the Series cannot be finished. That policy is as follows:
• If no games have been played in the Final Series best of three - Championship is awarded to the highest seed
• If one game has been played in the Final Series best of three - Championship is awarded to the winner of game 1
• If two games have been played in the Final Series and each team has a loss - Championship is awarded to the team with the best win/loss head to head between the two competing teams during regular season league play. If that record is even, the Championship is awarded to the highest seed.
• Adjustment of rewarding the highest seed throughout the Championship Series with “home” team status. There will be one exception - game 2 of the Final Series.
• Reduction of a 4 day Championship Series to a 3 day event
The Championship Series dates will be confirmed in the near future, along with the Championship structure and television coverage.
About National Pro Fastpitch:
National Pro Fastpitch is headquartered in Nashville, TN. The league, created to give elite female fastpitch players the opportunity to pursue a professional career in their chosen sport, has operated since 1997 under the names of Women’s Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Women’s Pro Softball League (WPSL). NPF is the Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball in the category of women’s fastpitch softball since 2002.