Remember: "You don't stop playing softball because you grow old, you grow old because you stop playing softball."
POPS (Past Our Prime Softball) was formed as a men’s adult softball league in 1998 by Dr. Keith Pastuch, who was a scholarship college baseball player and played at high levels of softball all over the South Shore of LI. As a doctor specializing in athletic injuries, he found himself treating many men in their 40’s, 50’s & 60’s who were getting hurt playing in various softball leagues. He noted that most of the injuries were caused by older players trying to keep up with players much younger. The idea was born, and the league started with a bunch of friends who recently turned 40 years old wanting to continue to play competitive softball - but not against 20-something year olds or against players the same age as their kids. What started as 6 teams playing on weeknights after work rapidly attracted more and more players and soon enough, POPS 40 & Over took off. After running smoothly for a number of years, POPS established a 50 & Over and recently a 60 & over league. All 3 leagues continue to grow and POPS now has about 36 teams with almost 600 players.
POPS is widely recognized as one of the best run, premier men's softball leagues on Long Island.
We play games on some of the finest fields in Nassau County weeknights, under the lights, at Baldwin Park Turf, Wantagh Park Turf, Bay Park Turf, Eisenhower Park and Shell Creek Park, as well as on fields of some high schools including JFK Bellmore HS and our "home field" at Oceanside HS. We use Clincher Gold softballs, high arc pitching of 6-10 feet, and special rules designed to prevent injuries (see POPS Rules on our website). Every game is 7 innings long. In this league everyone hits (continuous batting) and everyone plays the field if they want to. POPS’ one application fee covers everything from the first game until the end of the playoffs, including uniform shirts, umpires, balls and field permits – players just show up and have a good time.
POPS Spring/Summer Ball season has 2- 3 divisions in the 40 & Over league, the 50 & Over league and the 60 & over league . Each league has an American division (for the highest performing teams), a National division (for teams performing just below the highest level), and a Central division (for newer and all other teams). The 40 & Over league games are played Mondays, while the 50 & Over league games are played on Thursdays and 60 & Over plays on Wednesday, so as not to conflict with any leagues play. This allows many in POPS to play in two different leagues. The season begins in the first week of May, with Championships held in mid-late August. USA umpires are provided, and when possible a POPS Director or Field Supervisor is at all games, to resolve any misunderstandings of rules or other issues.
Every team makes the playoffs, which utilize a double elimination format. Standings are kept throughout the season to determine fair divisions in each league for the playoffs.
Once the Spring/Summer league is complete, the POPS Fall Ball season starts. Its a totally different league, with new teams and players joining together to form teams from within the POPS regular season. Fall ball plays from September through October. The 40+ plays Mondays, 50+ plays on Tuesday, 60+ plays on Wednesdays, and a Father & Son league plays on Tuesdays.
All divisions in both the Summer and Fall seasons have their own Champion, and players on the championship teams receive awards (such as jackets or sweatshirts), and each manager receives the coveted “Pastuch Diamond” (a beautiful, engraved crystal trophy).
POPS Softball is a league that allocates any additional monies raised or left over to help others. We do so with helping "families in need" come the holidays. POPS has been able to do some amazing things with the money raised. For example, POPS gave out over $5,000 to families in local communities affected by Superstorm Sandy.
In continuing to ensure POPS is a part of the communities we play ball in, we distibute "scholarships" to kids graduating HS and going to college, to both children of our players, and to the high schools and communities whose fields we play on.
POPS’ philosophy is simple – to provide a safe, friendly, and fun environment to play competitive softball. POPS is about more than just playing softball – it’s also about camaraderie. It has become a "brotherhood". Countless friendships have been made among players from all teams. Whining, trash talking is discouraged, and inappropriate behavior is not tolerated – it has no place in POPS. Our Board of Directors and Field Supervisors under the leadership of Commissioner Keith Pastuch, ensures that the league stays on course.