President’s Report to the October Delegates Meeting
Round 1 has been completed and I was delighted with how few phone calls I received during the day from fields or persons with problems. Things went much better than has been the case in the past. The perfect weather may have been a factor. I visited 4 grounds and remembered to sign in at 3 of them. Covid registration procedures were clearly evident and I was reminded on two occasions just in case I had forgotten to sign in. The matches I saw varied in age and intensity. I saw close fought matches at Yarrawarrah Oval and Sylvania, it was one sided at Heathcote and at Bonnet Bay I witnessed a 10 nil lead become 9 -10 in a single innings. The come from behind charge though was thwarted by time running out. Shouldn’t have let them get out to such a big lead.
So what’s news this summer? We’re down perhaps half a dozen teams on last year’s numbers which is a great relief to me. 111 teams last summer and tentatively 105 this summer. With the Covid concerns, rising unemployment and the late finish to winter sport I was very worried about the ability of clubs to recruit during the final two weeks due to it being a school holiday period. Marlins club has seen amazing growth and has 17 teams this summer. St George has grown to 9 teams from not very many last summer. There is concern that tee ball numbers are down a little because tee ball is a reflection of the health of a club. The Div 1 Machine Pitch though is the healthiest it has ever been. 23 Zooka teams in total.
Our age divisions are 6, 8, 10, 12, 14 and 16. We are not a big enough sport to support single year increments. The 12 years LL is odd because of the nature of the beast. It is an unusual beast!
Kids can play up should they wish – there are a number of tee ballers playing Zooka because they’ve been in tee ball for several years and are ready for a more challenging level. The son of the Comets President is playing in his correct age group for the first time in his top age year this season. To be with his mates he’s played up a year when top age in 8’s, 10’s and 12’s. This summer in the 14’s he is having a change.
However we do not support children playing down unless they have a disability. It is sometimes awkward as our cut off is 31st August while most other sports work on the calendar year. So little Johnny has been playing with his friend Freddy in soccer but because Freddy is a November b’day and Johnny is June they will be separated in baseball. Freddy can play up with Johnny but Johnny won’t be given a dispensation to play down because his friend is in a different age group. Even if Johnny’s parents threaten to walk unless we conform to their wishes we are quite resolute. Johnny will just need to make some additional friends. It is sad if he has difficulty adjusting to new relationships but try playing down for soccer or in school sport - doesn’t happen. Our new secretary Jasmine is very nice, a bit of a soft touch and caves pretty easily so she is experiencing stress having to say no – it would be appreciated if clubs could head these sorts of demands off at the source. We can’t make everyone happy no matter how hard we try.
Clubs with League Age 12 players participating in LL Minors are reminded they must get waivers indicating the parents understand their child is ineligible for the LL All Stars trials and that they are too old for the 10/11 rep program. They can play Minors (with restrictions in the lower grades) but can’t play reps.
We have had some correspondence from a small number of parents on the subject of rule 5.14. It is:
5.14 In the event a pre-season Transfer request of a current DLRP is approved by the Executive, the Player will be ineligible to trial for CSJBA Representative selection for twelve (12) months from the date that the Transfer Request was granted. The sole exception will be a geographic relocation by the Player.
However no club has expressed any concern about the rule or its effect on a player within their organisation. As the Executive is an instrument of the clubs we respond to their concerns rather than those of individual parents who may have a vested interest. It is proper procedure for parents to take their concerns to their club executive and the club will evaluate whether they will support an application on behalf of the parent. Correspondence from Club secretaries is the only way to keep the quantity of correspondence with which our volunteer secretary has to deal to a reasonable level.
Sydney Cup is up and running for 12’s, 14’s and 16’s. That’s LL, JL and SL in baseball speak. It started last Sunday and after a 2 hour drive to Watanobbi Baseball Park we took on the Central Coast Baseball Association. LL won 29 – 0, JL won 30 – 2 and SL won 15 – 3.
Next round is at Kelso vs Macarthur on Sunday 25th October.
Meanwhile BNSW’s proposed Development Competition has fallen over. We have a JL team and two LL teams ready to go. Ryde Association, with whom we have a close relationship, also have development teams in work. Consequently next Sunday 18th our 3 teams will play 3 Ryde teams at Chifley. In fact Ryde have more development teams than us so we will be playing them a couple of times over the next few months.
We play timed games but many of the rules are written for games of an innings duration and time is not a factor. In order to get as much play done as possible keep the teams hurrying their change overs. The umpire should never be the last to be ready for a new inning to commence. The time limit is one minute or 8 pitches – whichever comes first.
Visits to the mound by the coach should take as long as it takes for the umpire to brush the plate clean and walk casually to the mound to thank the coach it is time to return to the dugout. Field umpires at the top level record the visits not the plate umpire (although some do).
Offensive visits (the batting coach wants to talk to the hitter) should be kept to a minimum. Definitely no more than 3 per game. A brief word is OK but if it is taking too long and you feel slowing down your game then tell the coach you are charging him with an offensive visit and he has two/one/none left.
If the batter wanders off after each pitch TELL him to keep one foot in the box between pitches (and when taking signals). The penalty for failing to comply is you call a strike on the batter. The pitcher does not have to deliver a pitch. Exceptions we allow are if he is recovering after a lusty swing, being moved by a potential knock down pitch, a wild pitch or pass ball happens or someone asks for time and the umpire allows it.
A batter who is called to come to the plate and who takes forever for whatever reason can also have a strike called on him.
A pitcher who dithers can be told to get on with it. With no runners on they have 12 seconds from the time they receive the ball to delivering the pitch. The penalty for taking longer than 12 seconds is for the umpire to call ball. Excessive pick off attempts is an old favourite for time wasting. Umpires can inform a pitcher that he considers the number of pick off attempts is excessive and instruct him to pitch to the batter.
Probably the most important tip by far is to keep the changeovers between innings moving quickly.
Friday night Senior League It is pleasing that this summer we have 5 teams playing Div 1 SL (and we almost had 6). Tom Evans field at Bonnet Bay has had new and better lights put in and we can at last play night games at one venue in the Shire. Henry Twaddell and his small band of helpers have assisted us for the last 3 years by opening Chifley on Friday nights so we could benefit the sport by playing there even though they never had a Dolphins Div 1 SL team. Well this year Henry’s efforts and perseverance have been rewarded and his club has fielded their own team. They may not be the strongest but they are here and they are competing. In their first match last Friday they were beaten 6 – 2 by St Pats. The Patties are extremely strong on paper and backing themselves to do a “threepeat” of titles. Giants consider they have the cattle to stop them whilst Cronulla and Marlins aren’t going to lie down either. Unfortunately Phil Austin has been taken off the board as a Friday night venue due to the COVID concerns. Bonnet Bay is available most but not all Friday nights. We share the facility with the Grade club’s Women’s team so some games are being scheduled as twilight games starting at 5.30 and playing as long as the light remains safe. At this time of year that will usually mean a 90 minute game. Not ideal but until we get another lit ground we have little alternative. Vikings club officials Andrew Cooke and Doug Rouse have graciously suggested we may be able to use Chipping Norton on Friday nights if the Vikings Grade club are not playing at home the next day. There has been some resistance to travelling to Chipping Norton through peak hour traffic on a Friday evening but if the twilight concept proves unsatisfactory then the Rd 4 Cronulla v St Pats game on the 30th of October might mean a duel with the traffic.
Enough from me, time to hear from you. Next Delegates’ meeting is Tuesday 13th October (tomorrow) at Kareela Golf club. There was also some resistance to a face to face meeting due to traffic dramas (especially coming from the Eastern Suburbs) and a request for another Zoom meeting but we need to see each other occasionally.