The Char-Meck (CM) Girls Softball League has been around for over 15 years providing leadership and structure for softball associations in the greater Charlotte/Mecklenburg area.
EARLY YEARS 1990s
Prior to 1998 the CM league was comprised of slow pitch teams from Olde Providence, Park Sharon, South Park and Weddington associations.
In the spring of 1998 fast pitch was tested in the 14u age group and in the fall of 1998 all age groups moved to fast pitch. The North Carolina High School association had moved to fast pitch several years earlier and it was felt moving our league to fast pitch would best prepare our players for future high school play.
Back in this period CM hosted teams in the 8u, 10u, 12u and 15u in the spring and 10u, 13u and 16u in the fall. Most associations did not recruit 8u teams in the fall.
CM hosted 19 teams in the fall of 1998, 36 in the spring of 1999 and 21 in the fall of 1999. For the first time, CM also hosted 8u teams in the fall of 1999, including two from Matthews and a 16u team from Myers Park.
During the summer of 1999 we began to have conversations with additional associations about joining CM. The addition of a few teams from Matthews and Myers Park in the fall was a direct result of these conversations.
CM had always hosted a spring tournament but 1999 was the first year a tournament was offered in the fall. 16u and 13u teams participated.
In the spring of 2000 Pineville (who had been playing in the Dixie League with Myers Park, Steele Creek and Dilworth) joined CM. In the fall of 2000 these other associations joined CM. Dilworth and Myers Park did not traditionally field teams in the fall and did not provide teams until the following spring. CM hosted 38 teams in the spring of 2000 and 31 in the fall.
After the fall season, we held a series of meetings with Matthews and Mint Hill associations about joining CM.
We began our ASA umpire relationship in the fall of 2000, implemented our 8u pitching rules, conducted our first clinics and hosted our first all-star teams during 2000.
In the spring of 2001, we welcomed Matthews, Mint Hill and East Meck softball associations into CM. CAA joined for the fall season only.
We hosted 11 associations, fielded 74 teams in the spring season and 41 in the fall season.
In the spring of 2002 Starclaire joined CA.
We hosted 12 associations, fielded 60 teams in the spring season and 46 in the fall season.
CM added fall clinics to increase the number of players pitching and catching
Must play rule implemented to provide adequate playtime for all players.
In the spring of 2003 CM hosted 66 teams and 54 teams in the fall.
CM added a 6U tee-ball/coach pitch age bracket to encourage softball participation at a younger age. We had five teams in the spring and two in the fall.
CM developed by laws to govern the actions of the CM board of directors.
In the spring of 2004 CM hosted 66 teams and 65 teams for the fall season. East Meck no longer offered softball and was dropped from the league. Fort Mill fielded teams in the fall of 2004 on a test basis but declined to become a full time member in the spring of 2005.
In the fall of 2004 CM passed a rule limiting the number of innings a pitcher can pitch each week. In addition all 8u games will be provided with one umpire per game.
In the spring of 2005 CM hosted 74 teams and 65 teams for the fall season. 139 teams is the highest annual total of teams that have participated in the CM league.
CM developed and implemented our first web site that will offer online scheduling, standings and general information. Visit www.charmecksoftball.org to find out more.
CM lowered the game time limit of younger age brackets to provide more home & school time.
CM adopted a new rule whereby all age brackets must conduct a draft to provide fair competition among teams. This has always been a rule but the 8u age bracket was added.
CM All-star program enjoyed its most successful season to date. 15 teams participated in the 8u, 10u and 12u age brackets. New guidelines provided an environment whereby more players can participate in summer ball.
In the fall of 2010 the Porter Ridge Athletic Association contacted CharMeck President Larry Brown with interest in joining the CM league. The reasons they switched from Union County Softball league wass to give their girls/coaches/teams/parents a more structured and competitive enviornment. PRAA met with the CM Commissioners at their Fall EOS meeting and was unanimously voted in as a probationary member.
In the Spring of 2011 CharMeck unanimously voted in the Porter Ridge Athletic association as a permanent member of Char Meck.
CM raised the age of limit for girls to play in the league from 14U to 15U.
In the Fall season MARA approached the board to consider them for rejoining CharMeck. There was a vote to determine if MARA would be allowed back to the CM league and the vote passed unanimously. Mara had loose ends to tie up with Union County softball and plans to join CM in the Fall of 2012.
In the Spring 2012 the league once again raised the league age from 15U to 16U,
CM hit a record year in teams with 140. This is the highest total in the leagues history.
The Summer Allstar program also saw record number of teams entered. A staggering 23 teams took part in three seperate tournaments.
The Fall season CM President Joe McCauley welcomed MARA as a probationary member of CM.
In the Spring 2013 MARA is voted in unanimously voted in as a permanent member of CM.
Char Meck President Joe McCauley welcomes Waxhaw Athletic Association (WAA) as a probationary member of CM.
Summer Allstars kicks off a four day Allstar Extravaganza that includes skills competitions, events, pool games and seeded double elimination tournament. The new format is introduced by CM President Joe McCauley.
Char-Meck President Joe McCauley introduces the Challenge Softball program in the Spring for girls that want to play more competitive softball. Three challenge tournaments are played in the Spring and in the Fall
Following the Fall 2014 season, President Bill Borda welcomed Indian Trail Athletic Association as a probationairy member of CM.
The league featured 68 teams in the Spring season and 54 teams in the Fall season.
The league holds its second Summer Allstars tournament in June with 20 teams participating across three age groups.