President’s Report to the September Delegates’ Meeting

May I kick off with a plug for the Rammer Jammer Zooka Carnival Day next Sunday at North Ryde. My friends Kerri Tsui and Matt O’Neill are the organisers and speaking to them on Sunday they can fit just a few more teams into the program. It’s a fun day with lots of machine pitch games to help the kids get the season underway. Some teams can play well and some are awful but results are not the most important thing. Lots of baseball is offered and I’ve never seen a club come away disappointed with their day. AND – they usually have a jumping castle near the BBQ just to make sure the players go home exhausted. It’s a great opportunity to play a quarter of a season’s worth of games in a single day.

We had some problems with round one last weekend because after months of drought it rained. Chipping Norton got such a heavy dump that Milperra Rd was closed due to flooding on Friday night. Giants, Dolphins, Cronulla, St Pats, Bonnet Bay and East Hills got their fields playable and there were games played on the grass diamonds at some other fields. It was very gratifying that day one of the season was partially successful. Thanks to the players who toughed it out in temperatures of 13 degrees (felt like 7) to get the ball rolling.

Our draw secretary Nick Palmer is a man of significant talent to calmly process the information and team rosters that were changing daily leading up to round 1. Many lesser fellows would have tossed all their toys out of the cot and gone off in a sulk at the hurdles he had to surmount.

Scoring seminars ranging from basics to complex will be announced soon. Our Scoring guru, Jeanette Irwin, has a wedding next month – her first as a parent and it is taking some organising but she tell me she is about to organise this summer’s seminars. Club secretaries will be informed as soon as dates are determined. Many clubs have their own in-house scoring gurus who will assist rank beginners.

There is a Community Level Umpiring Course being held at Kelso field in the East Hills clubhouse tonight. There will be another at the Cronulla clubhouse, Sylvania Waters, next Monday night. This is the replacement for the course formerly known as Level O. Same principles though and takes about 3 hours. All potential umpires and all spectators liable to whinge about the umpires are recommended to attend. Register online with the NSW Baseball Umpires Association. Go to the BNSW website, click on the “Get Involved” heading and find the umpiring link. From there it is easy. All the umpiring seminars happening are listed. Costs $25 and most clubs will reimburse that amount once you umpire for them. Entry for the Sylvania course close this Thursday!

Be nice to umpires. It is an expectation and these days it is very politically incorrect to give them grief. No one wants to be politically incorrect in today’s Twittersphere. You get crucified by the perpetually outraged. Seriously though, coaches and officials must conduct themselves in a manner that is an example to the children how they should treat match officials and in a manner that doesn’t bring their club into disrepute. We will follow up reports of inappropriate or unacceptable behaviour.

Experienced players know that they shouldn’t “show up the umpire” or they are liable to be ejected. I was working with a very experienced colleague recently who had a hitter on a two balls, two strikes count. The pitch was delivered, the hitter didn’t swing, shrugged and started for the dugout acknowledging that he’d taken strike three. Unfortunately my colleague called “ball” so the hitter had to about face and return to the box. The pitcher was having a minor hissy fit on the mound. My mate said after the match that he may have missed that call but he can hardly toss a hitter for showing him up when he in fact may have been at fault. Very embarrassing.

School news: This year Port Hacking High and Kirrawee High were the two most successful local schools in the CHS Boys KO both advancing from the Sydney East Region. Port beat Kirrawee in the regional final to achieve bragging rights but the top two from the region progress to the inter region stage (last 16 in the state). Kirrawee got knocked out by Westfield Sports HS in a tough battle and Port Hacking went down to Hills Sports in a quarter final last Thursday. In the Girls KO Menai HS and Woolooware HS went through to the last 16. I haven’t heard who rolled Menai but Hills Sports are in the final on their side of the draw. On the other side Woolooware knocked out Rouse Hill HS 8 – 3 today and will play the final at Blacktown International Sports Park against Hills Sports next Wednesday.

Tee Ball: Keep recruiting! Lind Lewis, the Cronulla Secretary, has told me she’s gotten more interest in the last week than the previous month. As kids come to preseason training they’re telling their friends who would also like to play. Got 12 Tee Ball Minors? Make two teams of 6 and add to them later. They can play with 5 on the field. Clubs can even enter a new team after the school holidays if you get an influx of children. As our competition tables work on a percentage basis teams can compete even if they haven’t played exactly the same number of games. Tee Ball is our life blood for the future and like a pyramid baseball clubs need a broad base.

There is an association in Sydney that still gives points for each game (win 2, draw 1, loss 0) so if they have some fields washed out they have to make up all those games. Nuts!

Results: Round one was very good. Congratulations to 10 of the 13 clubs who had their results in on time. The 3 that missed weren’t far away (after I chased them at 7.30 Saturday night). It is important to let our recorder know if a match has been washed out or forfeited. We have 120 teams so I don’t expect George to start looking through the draw to find out if the missing result was from a field which was closed. Too hard. Let him know. It is great though having a recorder who has no life and usually stays home each Saturday night just so he can do our results promptly (despite his wife Janeen being great company and she makes an excellent cup of tea). Of course if anyone ever wishes to socialise with our Life Member George Angelis try to ensure it isn’t on a Saturday night.

There’s a little room left on this page. May I thank the volunteers who nominated for the grading committee. While we are few in number we are open to approaches if clubs feel they have a concern about a team’s grading. Regrading traditionally occurs, if it can be done, after round 5. Just remember that not everyone can win every week and it is desirable to seek to improve one’s own performance as opposed to dumbing down our opponents to a level where we can compete more ably. An excellent example is where a club is doing well in a Division 2 comp and also has a team participating competitively in Division 1. If that club has put their gun players in their Div 1 team and are still doing well in Div 2 then good on them. The remaining Div 2 teams should be striving to match that standard. Baseball is not an easy sport. It has complicated rules and requires many different skills to succeed. Talent helps but a work ethic and regular training are essential. Children who can play baseball well are usually successful in any bat and ball sport.

Coaching Accreditation Courses: There was a Level 3 recently at Chifley which was well attended. Level One and Level Two courses will be offered shortly. Club secretaries will be advised – stay tuned.

September Club delegates meeting Tuesday night at Sharks Leagues. 7.30 start.