PRESIDENTS REPORT - AGM

President’s Report to the CSJBA July Delegates Meeting and Annual General Meeting

The National Championships have now concluded and our 3 teams have represented us with distinction. The Little League team came 3rd in Australia, the Junior League came 9th despite winning 4.5 of their 6 games and to our delight the Senior League team became National Champions defeating the Adelaide Titans 7 – 3 in the final. Consequently they are still training and will be going to South Carolina in August. Congratulations to them. Apart from this small but significant aberration with the SL squad the 2017/18 season is now concluded.

A lot of time and energy went into preparing the three All Star teams and I’m sure I speak for all of the CSJBA members and supporters when I say we are grateful and appreciative of the effort contributed by the team officials.

I’d also like to thank the umpires who represented us at State and several got a guernsey to also attend the National tournaments. If we can’t supply an umpire then our team entry is not accepted. We didn’t just supply umpires but we supplied (unlike some associations) qualified and capable umpires. They were Henry Twaddell (Dolphins), Alex Palmer (Giants), Perrin Catt (ex Bosco), Emma Cummings (ex St George) and Connor Casey (ex Giants).

Whilst I’m thanking the workers it is a President’s role in an annual report to thank his office bearers and I am extremely grateful for the workload accepted by our CSJBA secretary, the delightful Melissa (Mel) Green, our impressively articulate treasurer Jason Chabi and the two VP’s with a genuine passion for the sport, Darren Cummings and Mark Burns. Julie Southwell does a mountain of work as the Rep Co-Ordinator and then we have George Angelis as recorder; Michelle Chabi looking after the website; Nick Palmer doing the thankless and demanding job of Draw secretary; Jeanette Irwin mentoring the scorers and running accreditation clinics; Henry Twaddell acting as delegate to the Umpires’ Association and Head Coach Reps Darren Fullerton.

Season 2017/18 is finally concluded and now we turn our attention to 2018/19. The AGM is next month and it is my understanding that the current Executive will be seeking re-election for another term. Some are sagging a tad but I’ve ordered vitamin injections to help restore their energy reserves. I’m delighted that Nick Palmer has offered to return as draw secretary after his initial introduction to the role last summer. It didn’t kill him although there were some moments……. George will again act as Recorder, continue collecting results and look after the points tables. Julie Southwell has again offered her services as Rep Co-Ordinator; Fullo is back for perhaps one more time (his new job has him under the pump big time at the moment); Jeanette Irwin will conduct her clinics and Michelle Chabi is keen to make the website even more informative and seeks contributions.

Coming up next summer:

Umpire seminar at BISP. Weekend of 13th (Friday night), Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th July. Register online with NSWBUA. This is to achieve the qualifications to umpire interdistrict level in the NSWBUA blue shirt. We always need umpires especially mature aged umpires. Get the best seat in the house to enjoy the matches.

 

We will be offering an IL compliant competition next summer. This is for players League Age 11, 12 and 13. Note. It is now possible to play IL and still be eligible for LL Majors All Star team. So a small club with some LA 12’s and some LA 13’s can play IL and all their players may trial for reps in the relevant age divisions. We will be attempting to form an IL All Star team next summer. The National Tournament was established with little notice this year but we only had 8 players nominate for the team so it was unable to be formed. LA 14’s will not be given a dispensation to play IL as this would make us non-compliant and so ineligible for State and Nationals Championships.

League Age 12 players wishing to remain in LL Minors will need to apply to the Executive for permission to play in the younger divisions. The LL Rulebook 2018, under the heading Regulation VIII, Minor Leagues, states “League Age 12 year olds may only participate under certain circumstances. The local league should establish a policy, approved by the Board of Directors, regarding players who decline to move up to a Major League team.”

With regards team formation clubs are reminded that players may play Senior League and still trial for Junior League All Stars. They may play Big League and still trial for the Senior League All Star team. It was only LL Majors that used to have a rule insisting players must play in the LL Majors competition to be eligible for reps. That rule has been relaxed to include IL in the 2018 rule book.

Winter Development is progressing despite the cold and rain. We have 26 in the LL squad and 17 in the JL squad. Places in the LL program were hotly contested with 39 of 45 who registered turning up to trial. In JL there were 21 registrations and we accepted all 17 who actually turned up. I am extremely grateful to the coaches who have offered to assist and who have been turning up each week.

For LL they are Ben Targett (Bosco), Peter Clout (Cronulla), Jamie Roche (St Pats), Michael Tentomas (Giants), Andrew Tillett (Bosco), Matt Gardner (Giants) and myself. Darren Fullerton has concluded his 2018 LL Head Coach commitments and after a whole week’s break to recover from the arduous campaign (and I mean that deadly seriously) he returned to join this program.

The JL staff are Darren Cummings (Scots), Matt Saunders (Marlins) and Katsu Yamanaka (Dolphins). Some of the Assistant Coaches who prepared teams for nationals may be available after they’ve had a well deserved break. We anticipate summer development squads in each of the age divisions so Winter is an ideal opportunity for club coaches to upgrade their skill and experience levels. As well as becoming involved with winter programs under the tutelage of experienced rep coaches there are still coaching courses being run by BNSW. Level 1 and 2 coaches who may wish to upgrade their qualifications are encouraged to check the BNSW website for information about courses being held over winter. There is a level 2 course coming up at Kelso on Sunday 12th August and a Level 3 at Chifley on Sunday 19th August. Register online. We like our AC’s to be at least Level 2 and Head Coaches must be Level 3. This summer we are seeking to form 2 x LL Minor teams, 2 x LL Major teams, 2 x IL teams, 2 x JL teams and hopefully 2 x SL teams for the October to December State Cup competition. Lots of opportunities for players to get some interdistrict experience before the All Star teams are selected in January.

Could I remind you about the bat rules for this summer. Bat rules seem to change with the seasons and although we struggle to keep abreast of the changes we do “grandfather” our Association rules in acknowledgement that parents and clubs spend significant amounts to buy their bats and it would be inappropriate to ban them until they have had an opportunity to wear them out. The 2¼ inch diameter composite “lively” bats can still be used in club LL for one more season but are banned from reps. USA stamped bats are legal for both club ad rep use. In IL and JL only USA bats, BBCOR bats and Hybrid bats (composite handle with metal barrel) are acceptable at club level. Fully composite 1.15 BPF bats are now illegal in JL and SL. You can’t buy them new anymore from the shops but beware the internet and second hand bats.

While clubs set their fees as they believe appropriate I have been told by the CEO of BNSW that there will be no increase in the BNSW or BA capitation fee even though these amounts have not been officially announced. There is even a prospect of BNSW cutting clubs a deal on capitation for entry level ages.

The JLSC meetings in recent months have made much of the culture in baseball and there is a concern that it needs to be improved. Comments to players that they were “hard done by” are demeaning to umpires and was specifically mentioned several times as being unacceptable. While most mature umpires wouldn’t be overly concerned about it young, inexperienced umpires may well feel offended and certainly their confidence might be affected adversely from this form of criticism. We will be asked to take steps to discourage such conduct this coming season. Coaches are encouraged to suggest players swing the bat on close pitches called strikes or recommend pitchers find the zone when an apparently close pitch isn’t called a strike. While instances of adult coaches and spectators getting in the faces of young club umpires are extremely rare in our association apparently it is occurring in other areas. BNSW have indicated very clearly that they wish all Associations to crack down on instances of unacceptable behaviour. This summer they would like a club official in a high visibility jacket to be available at all times with a role to resolve potentially contentious disputes or inappropriate conduct. BNSW have offered to provide the orange vests. BNSW will also provide clubs with corflute signage promoting fair play and good sportsmanship for display at their grounds. Codes of conduct should also be displayed at all grounds.

In 2018/19 we will have two new member clubs joining us. Bankstown Association has become unworkable and friendship club East Hills and Chipping Norton will become members of the CSJBA family with the all the privileges that provides. They have both had a positive experience participating as guests last summer and are pleased to take up permanency. Now that our footprint is so extraordinarily large it is our intention to form geographic leagues for at least the younger age groups in 2018/19 to cut down on travel times.

The AGM is just around the corner and friends of the CSJBA as well as club delegates are invited to attend. It is tradition that the treasurer will dust off the corporate credit card and shout drinks at the bar afterwards. It would be nice to raise a glass with colleagues from our baseball community.

Hoping to see you at the Cronulla Leagues Club,

Tuesday 10th July, 7.30 pm.

Peter Barrington