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The City Journals

Modified Softball League Provides New Twist to Old Sport

Aug 30, 2016 04:48PM ● By Brian Shaw

The modified softball league champions are a team named Streets from the city's public works department. Photo by South Salt Lake City

As coed softball wraps up another successful season in the city of South Salt Lake, and a team from the public works department captured the regular season crown, some people might think that it was just another regular old softball league going on. 

But that's where you would be mistaken, because three teams take the field at one time, making for some very interesting games. With the aforementioned champions from the city's public works department succeeding against teams featuring current and former Granite Park Jr. High teachers—not to mention several teams from the after-school Promise South Salt Lake and members from a city employee's family — you know there's got to be some interesting match ups. 

And there are, considering the champions call themselves the “Streets,” and play teams like FOB, PAL (for the Police Athletic League), Booya, the Barracudas, and last but not least, On The Move—which is the city's slogan. 

But you haven't heard the best part about this unique league, which plays four-inning games and features a very unique 5-versus-5-versus-5 format. The way it works is fairly self-explanatory. One team bats and can have as many as seven batters per inning; the second team plays in the infield and catches; and the third plays out in the outfield. You'd think that based on that alignment, things might get confusing. But, according to Dustin Permann, South Salt Lake's recreation coordinator, it's quite the opposite. 

“A lot of people get as many as six at-bats,” said Permann. “You can score as many as five runs per inning. Most teams will score at least 10-15 runs per game, and we have a 20-run rule.” 

Permann added that he's had several teams reach that 20-run limit. The only negative in his mind is that if a strong outfield is playing alongside a weak infield, for example, the run rule can be tested in a hurry. 

But, the good thing about the modified format Permann uses is that teams play to nine outs instead of the usual three, allowing teams to switch their infielders to the outfield and vice versa as the inning progresses. 

“If you hate playing in the infield, you can always play in the outfield later in the inning,” explained Permann, who plans to add another six teams next summer, including units from the fire department, and police department just to make things even more interesting than they already are in this exciting and interesting softball league, which wraps up its playoff on August 24. If you'd like to sign yourself or your team up for next season, give Dustin a call at 801-412-3209.