Breaking down the new 25-man roster

Posted on Dec. 19 by CJ Siewert

The State Board last month approved Class C playoff rosters to increase five spots from 20 to 25.

During previous meetings, board members discussed how the addition of five roster spots would help promote town team baseball to younger players. The logic behind this is that new and inexperienced players that may have been cut for playoffs in years past will now be able to remain on the team, thus generating more interest and commitment to the team.

We polled Class C teams on our social media pages and the vast majority approve of the change, mainly due to the fact that younger players will no longer have to be cut.

“Amateur baseball can’t afford to have a rule in place that makes kids want to quit,” said Nate Gorr. “Nothing worse than having so many kids wanting to play for your small town and having to tell a couple of them they aren’t playoff eligible.”

The Montrose-Waverly Stingers agreed, adding that the roster change will help smaller teams in the state.

“We are required to have 20 players for each game including the playoffs,” the Stingers posted from their Facebook page. “We had four guys that were understanding, but still had sore feelings about being left off of the playoff roster. I think this is great especially for ‘smaller market’ teams to keep all of their roster guys around and happy.”

The new roster expansion benefits many teams that deal with tough decisions come playoff time, but many other teams have never had the luxury of deciding on a 20-man roster.

“Three DRS teams used less than 20-man playoff rosters in 2014,” said Mike Sticha. “St. Patrick had 19 and made final 16. Small rosters can win, big rosters can win.”

But as is the case with all good intentions, there may be some backlash from teams trying to take advantage of the situation.

There have been arguments made that with five additional roster spots, neighboring teams may try to lure experienced players from the radius to make a strong playoff push.

Another factor to keep in mind is that state tournament rosters will now have up to 28 players, which includes three draftees. 

Time will tell if the new rule will be used with good intentions or taken advantage of, but I have a feeling this is only making the game better by simply providing an opportunity for younger players to experience town team playoff baseball. 

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