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Snoqualmie Valley Little League

Community Survey and Information




HISTORY

Little League baseball and softball have been a vital part of the greater Snoqualmie Valley community since 1958.

In 1990, based on changing demographics, the decision was made to break apart the original Snoqualmie Valley LL into three separate leagues:  Snoqualmie Valley LL (SVLL), Fall City LL (now known as Falls LL), and Snoqualmie Valley North LL (now known as Valley LL).

For approximately 30 years, all three leagues have operated independently but have joined together, interlocking, during regular seasons to ensure all divisions of play have enough different teams to play in a season.

During the 2019 season, largely due to a growing connection of the common ethos of Falls and SVLL, both leagues unanimously approved the stoppage of interlocking (Baseball) with SVN based on community feedback of challenges with travel and differences of team formation.

For the 2020 season, and continuing today, both Falls and SVLL have been unified in remaining our two-league interlock (Baseball).  Softball programs have for the foreseeable future will be different due to the total number of teams/players and interlock with various D9 leagues depending on the division of play. 

The 2021 season saw both Falls LL and SVLL overall registration numbers return over 90% of our 2020 submissions from the lost COVID season, which was a positive step!

As we have moved through the 2022 season, we have experienced new registrations to our joint baseball and softball community which is tremendous—but there remains a wide variety of unknowns of the future.

 

CHANGING ENVIRONMENT

Little League Baseball and Softball in the greater Snoqualmie Valley area, including Falls Little League and Snoqualmie Valley Little League, are going through a transitional period. When combined with environmental variables, spring youth sports options, growing club/select options, and changing housing growth patterns, the leadership at both leagues are evaluating options to ensure Little League Baseball and Softball have a future in our community.

While both leagues enjoy a tremendous working partnership, interlocking with rules and games from League Age 8 years through 12 (Baseball) and across other D9 Leagues in Softball, there is a wide range of duplicative administration efforts, along with challenges securing league volunteers, coaches.

 

LL WASHINGTON DISTRICT 9

Understanding how SVLL and Falls LL resides in the larger District Little League Operations

Falls and Snoqualmie Valley are two of the fourteen local Little League members that makeup the Little League Washington District 9. The District operations, like the operations of Falls and SVLL, are managed by volunteers. The District Administrators serve as the conduit for organizing not only the District All Star tournaments but validating all District Leagues align to various Little League International rules and regulations. From charter submissions to rules validations and other processes required for league play

 

·        The shared data below showcases the relative size of all D9 Leagues, the number of teams based on a 3-year average  (2018-2021) for both baseball and softball.

·        Data excludes the 2020 season due to COVID.

·        Each League operates a division of play slightly differently.

·        Total quantity of League Age 12 players, plus League Age 11 players overall skill set are key drivers for the total quantity of  Majors teams. 

·        Majors numbers are decreasing: In 2018, D9 Leagues chartered (78) total Majors teams. In 2021, that segment dropped to  (50), a decrease of -36%

·        AAA/Coast numbers are decreasing:  In 2018, D9 Leagues chartered (175) total teams. In 2021, that program segment  dropped to (107), a decrease of -39%.

 

 

WE NEED TO HEAR FROM THE COMMUNITY

The League's leadership teams are looking forward not just to 2023, but 10+ years down the road to ensure there remains a solid youth baseball and softball foundation in our community. One step in this evaluation period is hearing from our community members, both current and past.

Please take a few minutes and submit your responses in our SVLL / FALLS LITTLE LEAGUE COMMUNITY SURVEY by May 27, 2022.

All survey results and feedback will be tabulated and considered as both Boards evaluate how best to continue serving the greater Fall City, Snoqualmie, and North Bend baseball and softball community.

Further communications will be shared in early June to both Leagues. 

SVLL Presidents Message



The topic of a potential merger of leagues is an interesting one that has been floating about the two leagues for some time, even from before when I joined the SVLL board in 2018. I am glad that we have reached the point of gathering community input, as this will enable the boards of the two leagues to make informed decisions about the best long-term interests of the respective leagues.

I think the most important factor to consider in this debate is, what do you want out of your children's little league experience: do you want to build deeper relationships with a smaller group of people? Or gain exposure to a broader group, but interact with those people less frequently?

There are several reasons why a merger makes sense. The city of Snoqualmie is split down the middle. Unfortunately, some neighborhoods are split and the division between elementary schools is mixed. Some league administrative functions, such as scheduling, fundraising, sponsorships, and league interlock, would be simplified and benefit from economy of scale. And of course, the kids from both leagues will all end up in the same high school.

SVLL is thriving. We have grown an astounding 30% this year over last. This fantastic growth has brought with it the growing pains of new challenges with finding coaches, umpires, concessions volunteers, you name it.  In addition to the growth of the league, our community is growing. North Bend's new construction moratorium has been lifted. Large multifamily units are being constructed in North Bend -- River Run apartments, 128 units, and the 212-unit Cedar Rivers Townhome development on SE North Bend Way east of 436th. The number of single-family housing units are projected to rise 20% by 2030 (source : North Bend City Planner).

I'm concerned about the negative impact of the inevitable extra driving that a merge would result in for families. This will affect people most for kids ages 10-12, but it's important to understand that in a merged scenario you might be driving from North Bend to Fall City for practices on a regular basis, not just a few times a year for games.

A merged SVLL / Falls league would be massive. According to 2021 numbers (prior to SVLL's huge growth this year), the combined league would be 27% larger than the next biggest league in D9 (Issaquah) and more than 2.5 times as big as the typical league. This year, SVLL has 640+ kids and 67 teams. A merged league would be in the ballpark of 1100 kids and well above 100 teams. Operating a league of that size would be a humongous undertaking.

The primary challenge facing both leagues, and in particular Falls LL, is a shortage of volunteers. I am opposed to the merger at this time because making one pool of players out of two leagues does not address the underlying problem of not enough volunteers. Instead, we're going to be asking the volunteers that we have to do more.

In my work life, and in other organizations to which I have belonged, I have noticed a distinct pattern -- in a small work group, people are more inclined to pitch in and help. In a large group, people assume that the work will be done by others.  

The last thing I want to is make our situation worse. I fear that by asking board members in a combined league to do more, we'll end up degrading the experience of all kids in both leagues.

I am personally opposed to a merger of the two leagues. For me, the negatives outweigh the positives by a significant margin.

I love Snoqualmie Valley Little League. Regardless of the outcome of this debate, I will remain engaged with the board moving forward to continue to contribute to the community. There are a wide variety of opinions in our league and in our larger community. These opinions are mine; they do not necessarily reflect the consensus of the SVLL board. I encourage you to speak with people you know involved to gather their input to form your own opinions, and share them in the survey linked below. 

Pete Morisseau
President, Snoqualmie Valley Little League
206-226-1037






Contact

Snoqualmie Valley Little League

Snoqualmie Valley Little League, PO Box 351
North Bend, Washington 98045

Email: [email protected]

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