We recently had a Level 2 Course conducted under dreadful conditions at a very wet Sylvania Field. The participants worked in the batting cages and on a small hump beside the clubhouse as everywhere else was underwater. Due to a clash with a huge Regional Little Athletics next door there was no parking for hundreds of km. Then they had to put up with the world’s loudest event announcer calling the athletics. That the man survived was only due the extreme tolerance of the course participants who have all been nominated for Sainthood. At the Level 3 back in December Dolphins club had the largest number of participants. At Sylvania they had 7 club members and again represented the largest involvement by any club. Well done the Eastern Suburbs fraternity.
We recently advised clubs that unaccredited coaches should not be taking the diamond as they can be at risk legally if a problem arises. Since then we have had a discussion which could be described as lengthy (or torturous if you were involved) with BNSW and it has been resolved that if a CSJBA coach does the online General Principles component and enrols for the next appropriate coaching accreditation course then they will be indemnified for the remainder of the season. We are not particularly enthusiastic about Level 1 Courses as this is a very, very basic course designed for Aussie Teeball. Level 2 and Level 3 can be accessed directly and we recommend aspiring coaches start with Level 2 and progress to Level 3 after they have gained some experience. Experienced baseball fraternity members are able to go straight to Level 3. It is not necessary to progress numerically up the scale. This topic has caused considerable concern and will be discussed at Tuesday night’s monthly Delegate’s meeting.
Also on the agenda for this month’s meeting will be preliminary proposals for Winter Development for 2016. WD these days is an ongoing development due to a number of factors including the JL and LL teams still playing during some of winter as they have Nationals to attend. Additionally, with the demise of State Cup and Association Cup kicking off in September, it is no longer an essential preparation and selection vehicle for the summer rep teams. AFL going to Sundays has further complicated the program. Jason Chabi has some irons in the fire and may be at liberty to divulge the direction we are considering for winter 2016. It is a work in progress but recent formats are heavily dependent on a few stalwarts who are becoming fatigued after many years involvement. Past practices may not work as successfully as the stalwarts begin to keel over with exhaustion.
Semi-finals are rapidly approaching and clubs are reminded that traditionally the semis for each division are played at the field of the minor premiers. If a club is the minor premier in more than one grade and they have physical restraints (like only one diamond) then unless they request a deviation the standard procedure is that the higher ranked grade is at home and the lower ranked grade plays at the field of the second placed club (if available). Semis are not split. All 12/2’s will be at the same field. All 12/3’s will be at the same field, etc. This arrangement rewards the minor premiers and provides a neutral field for the elimination semi-finals between 3rd and 4th. It also assists with umpire allocations. Thereafter the matches are located at the discretion of the Executive with consideration given to the condition of the fields and their suitability for the grade being played. Note: tied positions at the end of the rounds are decided in a variety of ways as described in the rule book, section 14.2. Take note of 14.2 (d). It means a tie for 4th and last place in the semis will be decided by a mid-week playoff. Almost every year paragraph (d) comes as a surprise to someone.
With January 2016 setting new records for monthly rainfall may I thank the club groundsmen and their helpers who have managed to get the children onto the field and playing as frequently as they have. Round 14 was awful and yet several grounds were able to be opened. I was a Chifley that morning and although the dirt sections of the diamonds were too soft for safe play Peter Neads and Martin Haglund worked like men possessed to cut out 2 junior diamonds on the grass, mark them, then set up benches, back nets and sun shades so the tee ballers and Zooka teams could play. These sorts of people exist in all clubs and are living treasures that enable children to participate in healthy outdoor activity of which baseball/tee ball is one of the best (certainly one of the most demanding in terms of skill and intellect). It was wet again for round 15 but all fields except 2 were open for play. Round 16 will have to be dry just because of the law of averages!