The Philadelphia Zoo softball team plays in the Center City Softball League (CCSL) : a ten-team, two-division, co-ed, slow-pitch league where every team must have at least two female fielders. Teams can field up to 10 players (4 in the outfield) total while 12 can bat. Our games have seven innings, no walks, no stolen bases (or leading off) and no umpires; umps are now regularly used in the playoffs (captains from teams not in the post-season). The batting team fields 1st and 3rd base coaches who call foul lines and outs. We have pitching mats that facilitate called strikes (if the ball lands on the mat placed behind the plate); you can also (naturally) strike out swinging but there are no walks. We play a thirteen-game season in which every team plays the other teams within their division twice and the cross-division teams once. The top three teams in each division advance to a playoff while the 1st place team receives a 1st round bye, awaiting the winner of the 2nd/3rd seed single elimination game. The winners of those single-elimination 2nd round games meet in a best-of-three 'world series'. We play in lovely Fairmount Park in northwest Philadelphia.
The Philadelphia Zoo - this is our team.
The Franklin Institute - well, someone finally beat them (Tap Room) to end their reign, and then they turned into a split squad?! Franklin is no longer Franklin. Sort of. Long story.
Catahoula - these "refugees" (what?) are former members of Franklin who are now their own team, and apparently most (all?) of them never did or currently don't work at Franklin Institute. Apparently it's all the dudes who were hyper-competitive. Great.
Please Touch Museum - new-ish to the league in 2009, made the playoffs in their first year and then went winless in 2011. Not sure what that's about. Hopefully we can still beat 'em!
Philadelphia Art Museum - a slow burner team that joined in 2005, but making the playoffs 3 straight years and threatening for the best record in the regular season. Sometimes we play them tight and sometimes not. Some seriously over-macho dudes. Cute chicks, though.
The last few years have been kind of rough for our beloved Team Zoo, though last year saw a lot of new blood join our ranks and I think we've definitely improved. With our new expanded league and expanded playoffs, if we don't make it this year, we might never. Should be a fun year.