You are correct. A group can only be as strong as the people leading it at the grass root level.
For years PONY Softball had a strong and vibrant program all through out the East Coast from Maine down to North Carolina. Because of poor executive decisions by PONY Baseball/Softball four years ago all that went away. I am trying to get it started back. Because we do have a lot to offer teams and organizations. So as long as people are out there and want to continue conversations I will be here to listen.
Good luck...we were affiliated with PONY in Texas was always run pretty well....qualifying was tough though had to make it through district, region I think before we could get to Zone guess there was just a lot more teams in Texas that played PONY.
In the East we concentrated on travel teams more so than leagues. Teams had tp play in three sanctioned PONY Tournaments to qualify for our national. All through the 90's and up to 2015 we would average 400+ teams in all age groups. Team counts started dropping with the change in registration.