Once upon a time, a few of us played softball every Sunday in a fairly competitve pickup game. The game was made up of mostly a group of friends, men and women, who knew each other, but also included random passersby, some who played just once and some who came back week after week and became a part of the group. This game supported itself for close to 4 years, every Sunday from March until late October some years. At some point though, the game started to dwindle. People moved, had children or even (!) found other things they might like do do instead. (that last part alway amazed me!) Anyway, it was tougher and tougher to get a full sized group together for the Sunday games.
So, some of us tried to join up with various leagues, but were frustrated with all the rules. We had to have so many women, we had to juggle the batting order, we had only an hour to finish a game. There were too many players on a team and not enough playing time. Plus, we were paying a lot of money for the opportunity to have these restricted less-than-fun experiences.
There had to be a better way than paying to play short games with too many rules, untended fields, disinterested umpires, and uncommited teammates. That's when the idea a network of players who want to get together and play, players who are looking for other players, and players who might not know enough other people to form a game on their own.
So, in early February 2001, we started the Network by launching a website and doing some internet outreach.
Hopefully this story will continue.
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