Survey Results are in… The results confirmed what we already believed to be true, MCR is not perfect and we have some work to do. First order of business is to bring the results back to you, our membership.
Let’s start by thanking the 80 persons that took the time to complete a survey. As a result of the anonymous nature of our survey system we have assumed that these 80 responses represent 80 separate players out of the 270 within our league.... This represents 30% of our league membership which is AWESOME!!!
If we don’t ask the questions and people don’t offer feedback, we can’t fix problems we may not know about… So to the person that started their response with “To be honest, I truly hope these surveys are being read and taken into consideration.” à WE ARE!! And it is….
For those who don’t want to read further, we will cut to the chase and tell you how we did. We as a board feel we are conservatively at an 85% level of satisfaction. That’s a B on a grading scale… If you are happy to get a B then we are doing awesome. The board is striving for and A, so we have some work to do, in our eyes and some of your eyes as well.
We won’t lie, we received comments, complaints and accolades that ranged from “Overall I am VERY happy with MCR” to the “Manchester Cal Ripkin (sp) has a long way to go to become what is expected from a Cal Ripkin (sp) league.” As we mentioned, we strive to meet everyone’s expectations and to do this we need to focus on improving so that we can become the league of choice for youth baseball in Manchester.
So let’s dig a little deeper... The survey Focused on three major areas: Coaching/Team Specific Comments, Fundraising and Events, as well as General Feedback.
Coaches and Team Specific Comments: We will not discuss any coach or team specifically, but the survey results will be provided to the division directors and will be taken under advisement when selecting manager/coaches next season. We will also share the comments with the specific coaches, where warranted, so they can improve. It should be noted that the praise and accolades far outweighed any negative comments regarding our managers/coaches.
Fundraising: This is an area we know we can improve and we believe that little fixes can, and will, result in positive change. We do feel as though we need to educate the entire membership on the financial side of the league operations. We are not a cash rich organization. We normally end our fiscal year with just enough money to operate during the winter months and have enough to start the next season. We promise that there are no offshore accounts holding tens of thousands of dollars associated with this league.
By sharing our financials we hope to change feelings such as these:
“Everything was great but it was too expensive. We paid over $70 for a hat and shirt. Plus you expect parents to work for free to sell calendars and concessions. I am not confident that this league is in the best interest of the kids. it was too expensive and we won't be returning solely because of the cost and burden on a parent to volunteer time when I want to spend my free time watching my child play- not selling concessions for your profit.”
Last year we published an article on “IT COST HOW MUCH FOR MY PLAYER TO PLAY BASEBALL???” We ran the numbers on the basic costs of Insurance, Chartering, Uniforms, Umpires, Field Maintenance, etc… and it was a staggering $185-200 per player per year. Our registration fee is $80 and ask that the players raise $40 through calendar sales or a fundraiser buyout…. That means the league needs to fundraise $80 per player to make up the difference. In order to avoid charging close to $200 per player for the season we need to raise over $20,000.00 by “other means” to include fundraising events, concession, 50/50, etc.
**MCR will never turn away a player due to financial situations. We always work with families (discreetly) to make sure we field their child… this is our community commitment**
We also received the comments such as “we pay enough”, “don’t want to do anymore”, “I’m not selling 50/50”, “you do too many fund raisers”, “raise the fees so we don’t have to do concession” -- We read, listed and debated these comments and ultimately hope the explanation above helps everyone to understand that we are actually helping to subsidize the actual cost without putting a financial burden on all the families. That being said in this socioeconomic climate, some people can afford $200-250 to play without fundraising at all, but in actuality most cannot.
We did field a lot of comments about T-Ball Parents selling 50/50, as well as people not liking the 3 innings per game rotation and as to why there are so many people in the concession at once per shift. When the Auxiliary committee meets they will get all of these comments and will address in that group accordingly.
League Events: Many of the comments in this section were centered on opening ceremonies vs closing ceremonies and why there were no closing ceremonies. The Board this season opted to have an opening ceremony to celebrate the 60 years of baseball at the MCR Complex, as well as a good way to celebrate the transition to Cal Ripken. The reason that opening ceremonies occurred after some teams had started their season was due to our T-Ball and Rookie Divisions starting after April school vacation and our Minor and Major Divisions starting prior to April school vacation. In regards to why no closing ceremony? The four divisions did not end the same weekend and it simply did not work out where we could get everyone together to ensure a good turnout.
General Feedback: This is the section where we got the most feedback. Topics ranged from Team Pictures to length of season.
Communication: People thought the communication this year wasn’t as good as past seasons. We agree, as a result look for a monthly calendar with all the events. We will also ensure the important dates are on the website.
Team Pictures: Quality and timing of the shoots were the major complaints. This will be on the agenda for Auxiliary Committee to work on and improve.
Length of Season and Amount of Games and Practices: This topic has a wide range of comments. For the most part 75-80% thought it was fine. Others seem to think the season was too short. We are handing this topic off to the Division Directors to lay out a plan for the season, playoffs, All Stars, Summer Season, Fall Ball and Winter Clinic. Look for additional opportunities to play more baseball coming for next season.
Allstars: There were a few comments on how the All Star teams were composed. One of the concerns was how the players are chosen. Every player is eligible to fill out a letter of intent (which were e-mailed and handed out to each player) to play on a post season team. From there, teams are chosen by the All Star Manager for that age group. Regular Season Managers do not nominate players for the team. The players are vetted from the list of applicants. From there, the All Star Team Manager, division director and president choose the team. We have had years, such as this year, where no one from a team or two put a letter of intent forward to play. One comment specifically indicated that their coach wasn’t allowed to nominate his players, however that isn’t the process we follow.
**Also, specifically to the person that commented regarding our concession stand operations if you could please reach out to an MCR Board Member we would LOVE to utilize your knowledge and expertise to help us improve this area….thank you!**
We would like to conclude by again thanking everyone who participated in this year’s survey for their comments and criticisms. Ultimately, this league belongs to the membership and together we can work hard to ensure that all expectations are being met/exceeded and that we are offering a safe, fun and educational experience for all of our players. If you were unable to participate in the league survey and would like to offer additional areas of improvement or accolades please feel free to reach out to any member of the MCR Board of Directors via our league website: www.manchestercalripken.org.