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USSSA Pride leaves NPF

Jul 16, 2013
3,122
83
Pennsylvania
When the NPF was on TV (I believe it was CBS Sports), we always tried to watch several games per season. But the move to Flo pretty much ensured that we would not be watching anymore. DD has been a casual soccer fan for years, but the women's world cup grabbed her attention this year. Now she watches NWSL games on TV or streaming when she can. It's Friday night and she is currently watching Houston vs. Utah. If watching NPF games was just as easy, I can guarantee that my family would be watching them.
 
Jun 6, 2016
909
43
Chicago
It smells a lot to me like NPF is about to implode.
This may not actually be a bad thing if it gives people who have a clue an opportunity to start up a pro league of their own. I really don't think anybody could do worse than the NPF.

Maybe a new league would actually include the word "softball" in the name of the league since, you know, they're playing softball.
 

TMD

Feb 18, 2016
356
28
NPF knows they are in trouble. Even before this move by the Pride, NPF had already announced a significant format/schedule change for 2020 (NPF Schedule Change 2020) that replaces the usual head-to-head schedule format with a series of multi-team mini-tournaments. Not sure if that move was just to get them through what will surely be a weird Olympic year.
 
Nov 18, 2015
673
43
Just read that letter as well. While he's retiring from the USSSA Board, he's still going to be the GM for the Pride - so I assume the team will still exist and be playing....somewhere?
 
May 24, 2013
10,265
113
So Cal
Just read that letter as well. While he's retiring from the USSSA Board, he's still going to be the GM for the Pride - so I assume the team will still exist and be playing....somewhere?
They have said that the team will still be playing. What that looks like hasn't been made clear, from what I've seen.
 
Feb 26, 2018
282
28
I think what they need to do is what lacrosse has done this year. There are no home teams. The teams basically travel around every weekend and play in a different city for 3 or 4 months or however long the season is. Lacrosse even got itself a tv deal with NBC and that is a super niche sport. Just a thought...
 
May 24, 2013
10,265
113
So Cal
...NPF had already announced a significant format/schedule change for 2020 (NPF Schedule Change 2020) that replaces the usual head-to-head schedule format with a series of multi-team mini-tournaments.
So it's back to travel ball? Honestly, I don't hate the idea of mini-tournaments that move to different areas of the county throughout the season. Getting it on TV is critical.
 
Jun 6, 2016
909
43
Chicago
I think what they need to do is what lacrosse has done this year. There are no home teams. The teams basically travel around every weekend and play in a different city for 3 or 4 months or however long the season is. Lacrosse even got itself a tv deal with NBC and that is a super niche sport. Just a thought...
I won't dismiss this thought out of hand, but I don't know if it's a good idea.

What anybody starting a pro softball league needs to determine is whether it's possible to build a local following the way other major pro sports teams do (not on that level, of course). Or, heck, even on the level of successful minor league teams. Do fans want to root for their team? Do they want to root for individual players? Do they not really want to "root" for anybody and just enjoy the experience/entertainment of the sport? The only thing I'm fairly certain of is the NPF isn't doing the market research to figure out how to run their league.

They also should really try to figure out why the popularity of college softball doesn't translate to the pro game. Is it just the ESPN exposure? If so, that's actually a good thing. It means you just need TV to be viable. And I don't really see a reason why ESPN wouldn't get on board if there was a product/league worth getting on board with.
 

4 girl's dad

Finding my way
Apr 5, 2013
1,851
48
In the stands...
I won't dismiss this thought out of hand, but I don't know if it's a good idea.

What anybody starting a pro softball league needs to determine is whether it's possible to build a local following the way other major pro sports teams do (not on that level, of course). Or, heck, even on the level of successful minor league teams. Do fans want to root for their team? Do they want to root for individual players? Do they not really want to "root" for anybody and just enjoy the experience/entertainment of the sport? The only thing I'm fairly certain of is the NPF isn't doing the market research to figure out how to run their league.

They also should really try to figure out why the popularity of college softball doesn't translate to the pro game. Is it just the ESPN exposure? If so, that's actually a good thing. It means you just need TV to be viable. And I don't really see a reason why ESPN wouldn't get on board if there was a product/league worth getting on board with.

ESPN will get on board, for the right payment. NPF management didnt want to pay it.

I agree TV would help. FS1 or NBC/CBSsports, anything on regular cable would be a good start. I refuse to pay for FLOsoftball. Softball parents pay a lot already for their own kids stuff. Then to ask them to pay for that too? Jmho
 

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