Game P1: A Bridge to Next Season
Team forfeits a postponed game, but lives to play again next year
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Game date: Aug 25, 2010

Score Box
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Weather map illustrating the low pressure system that brought rain to the area. (WBZ)

After losing their regular season finale to Milestones, the Verdasys Softball team will have the rare opportunity of an “instant rematch” as the two teams square off in the semi-final round of the playoffs. Not only is it a 2010 regular season rematch, but it is also a rematch of their 2008 playoff game in which the M’s took home the win following a final inning rally.

But if the teams hope to play today, they will need some co-operation from Mother Nature. For the entire season, Verdasys has been fortunate enough to not have a game postponed due to rain. In fact, the league has had very few postponements this season.

Of course the lack of rain has made the area dry, and it would appear that Mother Nature agrees. Over the weekend, a low pressure system moved into the area and parked itself off the New England coast. The weather system provided the area a welcoming steady, soaking rain. But unfortunately for the team, the rains would not taper off until Wednesday afternoon; far too late for field conditions to improve by game time. As a result, the commissioner called the game.


The way the playoffs were configured, the 1 vs 4 and 5 vs 8 seed games have priority over the 2 vs 3 and 6 vs 7 match-ups, respectively. This afternoon’s postponed game (a 5 vs 8 seed match) would be moved to the following week on Monday. The 6 vs 7 seed game, which was scheduled for the following Monday, would now be rescheduled to the following Wednesday. Thus, the championship game would now occur after the Labor Day holiday. It was obvious that this postponement would inconvenience many teams.

Recognizing that his team had to "forfeit" many of their games this season, Coach Wolan did not want the other teams to be forced to reschedule games, especially if his team would likely be short-handed for their make-up game. (For the record, of the team’s seven games this season, Verdasys Sofball fielded a legal team only three times.)

After talking with some people on the team, and in light of the postponement, Coach felt it would be best to just put this season out of its misery and forfeit the game.

But there was one problem; since the Game 1 and Game 6 were officially logged as “forfeits”, forfeiting the playoff game would be the team’s third of the season. Per league rules, this would mean that the team would be ineligible to play in the league next season.

Coach spoke with the commissioner about his team’s intentions and their reasoning. He stressed that even though it was unlikely that the team would win, they were only interested in playing the playoff game to avoid expulsion next season.

The commissioner stated that it was an “admirable attitude” for Verdasys to take a loss so that the other teams in the league would not have to reschedule playoff games. For that, the commissioner agreed to NOT kick Verdasys Softball out of the league and to let them try again next season.

“It is not at all unusual in this league for a team that finishes last one season to come back and end up in the top two the next year” said the commissioner. “(It works the other way as well!)”

As a result:

  • Verdasys Softball takes a forfeit for their playoff game. Their season is officially over.
  • Verdasys Softball will be allowed to play again in 2011 if they so choose.
  • The forfeit is the third of the season for the team, and the fourth for both Coach Wolan and the Verdasys franchise. It is also the second consecutive playoff game forfeited by the team in club history. (The latter occurred during the 2009 playoffs.)

    “Look on the bright-side” said Coach Wolan. “We forfeited a postponed game, which means we just invented a new way of losing! How many teams can say that?!?”

    Coach Wolan chases after better opportunities for next season. (Wolan)
    Fun Tidbits

    Interestingly enough, this is the second time in which Coach Wolan has successfully steered a team away from league expulsion. The first (and far more dramatic) incident occurred during the 2005 season after some sore former team members nearly got the Avengers kicked out of the league after sweet-talking the league commissioner. Coach Wolan had this reversed by talking with a Town of Dalton selectman. (And you think running a softball team is easy.)

    As mentioned, the forfeit by Verdasys allowed Monday’s Middlebrook Division’s “Consolation Tournament” game to be played as scheduled. As for Monday’s Cusick Division’s “Consolation Tournament” game, the commissioner chose to let it play as scheduled, moving the postponed game to Wednesday instead. Perhaps this whole incident made the commissioner realize that giving one game priority over others because of a rainout was too hard on the teams?


    And so after a season plagued with roster, attendance, and team spirit issues, the team does accomplish something in 2010; they successfully bridged the 2010 season over to 2011 so they can regroup and try again next year.

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    Andy Wolan is a reporter and photographer for Verdasys Softball. This story was not subject to the approval of the league or its clubs.