The Chesapeake and Potomac Softball League (CAPS), an LGBT softball league, wrapped up their summer league season last weekend with rain-delayed season games played on Saturday and the End of the Season tournament on Sunday.
The District Dawgs, sponsored by the Blade, had a phenomenal season going 15-0 during the summer to win the DuPont Division and finishing fourth at the season ending tournament.
The CAPS summer league consists of 18 open teams (mostly men) in three divisions and six women’s teams in two divisions. The league follows the sanctions established by the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance.
The District Dawgs were established in 2009 as the D.C. Fury and switched to their current name earlier this year. With not much player turnover, they were able to grow as a team over the years.
“We had some great momentum going at the end of last year,” says Dawgs player Jake Trees. “After the season wrapped up in August, we went on to win the season ending tournament.”
The Dawgs play in the DuPont Division which is a C category division. According to Alliance guidelines, that places the players somewhere between competitive and recreational. All of the players in the CAPS leagues are ranked into categories before they are assigned to a team.
League officials test player abilities such as throwing from third base to first base or being able to hit to each part of the outfield. They are then placed on teams with similarly skilled players.
The District Dawgs had 12 players return from last year and added four new players to the squad that would go on to post an undefeated record in season play. They range from 21 to 50 years old.
As is the case with all the teams in the CAPS summer league, the Dawgs began the preseason with weekend practice sessions to hone their skills. After practice they could often be found at local restaurants or at one of their teammates’ swimming pools.
“Our strength this year came from consistency and the fact that we know each other so well.” Trees says. “Coach Billy Richardson had the tough job of deciding who would play each week and in what position. We all wanted to play all the time.”
Coming up for the District Dawgs is a trip to New York City on Labor Day Weekend where they will compete in the Gotham Softball Classic 2012. Last year they ended up second in the tournament which is contested on the fields in Central Park.
Also coming up is the possibility that the Dawgs may have to move into the B Division next season. The CAPS are considering a new rule that would require any team winning 75 percent of their games to move up to the next division.
While the task of advancing to a more skilled division is daunting, Trees acknowledges that decisions made by the CAPS board are based on the need to grow and maintain the league.
More information is available at eteamz.com/caps/.