SLO PITCH REPORT
by Ron Ottogalli, November 2011
Another slo-pitch season has come and gone. A season marked by a number of games cancelled due to rain, and the playing of a number of games in very hot and humid conditions. However, in spite of the weather, the players did not let these conditions interfere with their competitive spirit and their eagerness to play this wonderful game called SLO-PITCH.
The league this year consisted of 17 teams: five in the Red Division, six in both the Blue and Green Divisions. Teams in the Red and Blue Divisions were selected by a formal draft. This was a new method of making up teams and based on the competitive nature of the leagues, it may be a system to follow in future years. The Green division followed the usual format of assigning players to teams based on their skill levels. This system also seemed to work well for the Green Division. The Red Division had only five teams and this resulted in teams having byes. At times, due to weather conditions and games being cancelled, the bye team did not play for a week, sometimes even more than a week. This is not an ideal situation and hopefully more players sign up for the Red Division in the upcoming season.
Once again Sport Fest Windsor sponsored an in-house slo-pitch tournament for the teams. Players look forward to this tournament and it is a nice break from regular season play. The winners were:
Red Division-Leisures, coached by Geoff McKay; Blue Division-Ancients, coached by Jerry Pillon; Green Division-Primitives coached by Mike Vorkapich. Players from the winning teams received jackets courtesy of Sport Fest Windsor. Jackets were also given to the umpires who volunteered their time to officiate the games.
The playoffs once again followed a round robin format. The games were very competitive and exciting and the actual teams to go to the finals were not decided until very late in the round robin round. As a matter of fact there was a chance of a five way tie for second in the Blue Division. If the Seniors (undefeated at the time) would have defeated the Norsemen, the Seniors would have been in first place and the other five teams would have been tied for second. However, the Seniors lost thus negating the five way tie for second. In the Red Divison final, the Vikings coached by Mike Dimaio and Bob Wilhelm defeated the Cavemen coached by Brian Mcdonald. The final score was 6-2. In the Blue Division final, the Seniors coached by Gary Morris defeated the Norsemen coached by Dave Morneau. The score was 8-0. In the Green division final the Retirees coached by Harry Corless defeated the Legends coached by Tom O’Malley . The final score was 12-5. The players from the winning teams were presented jackets at the year end banquet. Remember, the fact that we can still play ball at our age, we are all winners.
As usual two banquets were held at the Serbian Club. The appreciation banquet was held in June and the year end banquet was held in October. Both banquets were well attended and everyone seemed to have a good time at both of the events. However, at both of these banquets, there were a number of people who said that they were coming but did not show up. This seems to be an on going problem that must be corrected. Meals must be paid for the people who indicated that they would attend the events but do not. This is a very unfortunate situation and WECSSO can’t afford to keep paying for meals for the no-shows. In light of this situation, the slo-pitch executive has adopted a new policy in regards to our banquets. Beginning next season those who indicate that they will be attending a banquet will be asked for a deposit up front. If the person attends, the deposit will be returned. If not, the deposit is lost. Don Balkwill will look after the implementation of this new policy.
I get asked many times throughout the season -who makes the decisions when it comes to the operation of our slo-pitch league? My answer is that we have a slo-pitch executive that meets several times during the year to discuss the operation of the league. Decisions are made by this executive-not by a single person. The issues are discussed and voted upon-majority rules. If you have any suggestions to improve our league, you should contact a member of this executive and these ideas would be discussed by the executive as to their merits. If you would like to see rule changes, this is the body that you should contact. The executive is always looking for ways to improve our league and are more than willing to listen to the views of its’ members. The executive consists of: Jack Westlake, Bob Parent, Don Balkwill, Neil McKnight, Ron Gibb, Bill Scheureman, Don Trott, Dave Brockbank, Bernie Decaire, Chris Brennan, and Ron Ottogalli. If you have any questions, concerns or ideas, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the slo-pitch executive. This committee met on November 2nd and discussed a number of issues affecting our league and passed the following: 1. Bases would continue to be at 70 feet. 2. We will continue our affiliation with NSA. 3. The Blue and Red Divisions will have a double round robin setup for the playoffs. 4. On the application form there is question in regards to extending the season until the end of September. The vote of the players will determine whether we extend the season or keep the status quo. 5. We will be at Ciociaro next season. This executive will meet several more times during the winter months to plan for the upcoming summer season of slo-pitch. If you have any suggestions for this policy making body, now is the time to voice your concerns.
We were associated with NSA Canada once again this year. NSA has proven to be a valuable partner to us in the operation of our league. We pay NSA $90 per team for insurance coverage but receive back $60 per team in credits. These credits are used to purchase baseball related merchandise from NSA. Also, NSA in conjunction with Labatt brewery has a unique fundraising option that allows us to earn additional merchandise credits. For every 12 bottles of Labatt’s products purchased, WECSSO receives a $2 credit towards NSA merchandise. This past summer the players handed in a number of receipts to WECSSO. This will enable us to purchase $5774.00 worth of merchandise from NSA. The jackets that were given to the winning teams at the banquet were purchased from the credits earned through this program. We are grateful to the many players who saved their receipts and gave them to us to be redeemed for valuable merchandise. Please remember to get a receipt every time you purchase a Labatt product. Also remember the receipt can only show Labatt’s products.
Unfortunately Sport Fest Windsor will not be renewing their lease with Ciociaro club to maintain the diamonds. Sport Fest Windsor made a financial proposal to Ciociaro to operate the complex for another three years. The proposal was rejected by Ciociaro Club. Sport Fest Windsor was extremely disappointed but they knew that financially it would be impossible to continue to operate this complex under the terms demanded by Ciociaro Club. This is very unfortunate since Sport Fest Windsor and its’ grounds crew did a tremendous job of improving and maintaining the diamonds for the past three years. Improvements made to this complex over the past few years were outstanding. Players who had not played on the diamonds for a number of years could not believe the changes made by Sport Fest Windsor to the complex. They also saw how well these diamonds were maintained and groomed for the games. In their last year of operation, over 100 teams were playing slo-pitch at this complex. To attract this number of teams speaks volumes for the improvements made to this complex by Sport Fest Windsor. On a happier note, Sport Fest Windsorwill continue to be a strong supporter of WECSSO and will help this organization in anyway it can.
The volunteer umpires, under the tutelage of Bill Scheurman, deserve our thanks for officiating our games throughout the season. At times, for umpires, it seems like a thankless job-half like your call-half dislike your decision-that is tough to handle. You may not always agree with their calls but you must give them credit for helping out the league in this very important area. I have always said that to understand how difficult it is at times to umpire is to actually umpire a game. This is the only way to experience the “trials and tribulations” of being an umpire. Bill is always looking for umpires. If you are interested in umpiring, please indicate on the registration form. Training is provided at the beginning of the season under the guidance of Don Balkwill.
A registration form is included in this newsletter. If you wish to play in the 2012 season, this form must be returned to Bob Parent along with payment by March 29th 2012. The cost to play slo-pitch is $50.00 Please fill out the form completely. A number of questions requiring a yes or no answer are included on the registration form. Please indicate your answer to each question.
Remember this is YOUR league. YOUR opinions are important. Do not hesitate to make YOUR concerns known to the slo-pitch executive. YOUR views will be discussed by the executive as to their merit. In the end all decisions that are made by the executive is for the betterment of YOUR league.
W.E.C.S.S.O. Slo-Pitch Registration Form
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