The Greater Ottawa Fastball League met on February 6 to discuss the upcoming season. Few new things, but a few points of interest:
- Fitzroy Harbour will host the Final Weekend Showdown tournament to determine the playoff champion.
- Pitching regulations will be more strictly enforced.
- The league will introduce the "Tim Craig Utility Player of the Year" award to be determined by team representatives at the conclusion of each season.
Adam Brown (WC Electric)
Steve Edgerton (Barrhaven)
Lindsay Medynski (Barrhaven)
John Craig (Stittsville)
Marcel Mondoux (Blitz)
Eric Rosenquist (I4C Victory)
Cory Morrison (Kars)
Joe McCleary (Quyon)
Steve McCord (Quyon)
Ted Mecalfe (EOUA)
- The seven teams (and their home diamonds) confirming their participation for 2013 are as follows:
o WC Electric: Fitzroy Harbour - Tuesdays, potentially a Friday or two
o Barrhaven Broadway Blues: Manotick on Wednesday
o Ottawa Blitz: Manotick on Wednesday
o Stittsville 56ers: Stittsville on Wednesday
o Kars Aces: North Gower on Tuesdays
o I4C Victory: Carp on Thursday
o Quyon: Quyon on Thursday
- Another team expressed interest previously in entering a team in the GOFL. It was determined that the league would welcome a team and the schedule could be 'creative' to permit them to play in the league. There was a decision to give them until March 15 to make a decision.
- Ted Metcalfe is the umpire in chief for the league.
- Ted reviewed the new rules and forwarded a summary to Adam who distributed to all teams
- Adam has volunteered again to create the schedule. Teams were asked to forward any special scheduling requests to Adam.
- Doubleheaders will be scheduled whenever practical. Manotick will continue to host a doubleheader every Wednesday. Other locations could also be able to host some double dips.
- Regular season will start the second week of May, with the regular season schedule running for 11 weeks. Rainout make ups and playoffs to follow.
- Teams will play a balanced schedule of 18 games (9 home, 9 away), with three games against each team. (Subject to change if additional team does enter)
- Each team will continue submit a line up card at the plate meeting to the umpire & their opponent. Joe contacted Mike Branchaud at Softball Canada about ordering line up cards for the league teams.
- Game cancellation: as per before if a team needs to cancel a game (for any reason other than weather), 24 hours notice should be given to the opposing team’s representative. If a visiting team fails to show up with enough players or cancels too late to notify the umpires, then the visiting team will pay for the officials’ fees. If diamond fees are going to be charged to the home team, the offending team will have to pay for the make up diamond rental fee.
- In case of weather-related cancellations, the umpires and opposing team must be given two hours notice. This is the home team's call.
- Rain shortened games: for games to count in the standings for regular season four (or three and half) innings are completed. Games not "official" will need to be replayed at a later date. For playoffs, same as before, the game will resume at a later date from the point at which the game was delayed.
- Game stories can be sent as soon as possible so the blog can be updated. Report should at a minimum include the score, the winning and losing pitcher and any home runs hit.
- Statistics should be updated by team representatives as soon as possible on GOFL.ca. Jon Ferguson of the Blitz will manage GOFL.ca.
- For the regular season, each team is responsible for their own expenses, including by not limited to diamond fees, umpire costs, balls, etc. (see exceptions below re: playoffs).
- Regular season tie-breaking: 1) points (2 for a win, 1 for a tie) 2) wins 3) head-to-head 4) run differential in head to head 5) coin flip
- Playoff format continues:
o 1st place team to be awarded bye to final weekend showdown. Team may decline the bye, and it would go to the next team down the standings and could be waived down to the next team, etc.
o Play off series: best of five, 2nd vs. 7th, 3rd vs. 6th, 4th vs. 5th. To be completed during August.
o Final Weekend Showdown: four team double knockout tournament, with top seed playing lowest seed in one of the first round games. Two games on Friday September 6, remainder of the tournament on Saturday September 7, Sunday September 9 and/or the following weekend will be the rain date. Fitzroy Harbour will host the FWS.
- Playoff extra innings: if a playoff game is tied, the ‘international rule’ shall being in the 8th inning.
- To be eligible for playoffs, a player must have participated in six league games for his team. In addition, if this player wants to pitch in the playoffs, he must have thrown 18 innings during the regular season. To have this rule waived due to injury or other reasons, the requesting team can ask for a vote of the other team captains to allow playoff participation.
- The cost sharing formula for playoffs will continue. For the playoffs series, if there are an odd number of games (3 or 5), teams shall split umpiring and diamond costs for the final game.
- For the FWS, all teams shall share equally in the umpiring costs; the host team will pay for the diamonds and retain all profits from such things as Pepsi sales; each team will supply one new ball for each FWS game.
- Playoff winner fund: $500 to the FWS winner and $200 to the FWS finalist. The I4C Trophy will be awarded to the playoff champion.
- Edgy will look into ordering softballs through Softball Canada for the league and advise.
- “8 man rule”: in order to continue to ensure minimal defaults, teams will be permitted to start games with 8 players. There will be no “auto-out”. If the ninth player shows up late (or a lucky fan is found), then the team can insert this player in the ninth position in the line-up. However, if a team has only 9 players and one is ejected, the team will then forfeit the game. If a team has 9 players, and there is an injury and the player cannot continue, the team may still play with 8, but then the auto-out will apply.
- “Mercy rule”: will continue as 7 after 5, 5.5, or 6
- “2 out catcher rule”: optional.
- “Discipline”: Same as previous years: first ejection player at a minimum receives a “yellow card” - next ejection automatically results in one game suspension, minimum. Each ejection will result in an umpire’s report and a team’s report. Suspension could be given for any ejection depending on severity. In the past few years this has not been a problem with the GOFL and hopefully that will continue.
- “Bat rule”: The GOFL will continue with the ISF / ISC bat rule. Any bat with the ISF stamp or ASA 2004 or 2008 stamp would be legal. As per Ted, the 2013 stamp is for slow pitch only.
- NEW: “Pitching rule”: It was determined that the league will ask the umpires to be more stringent in enforcing the pitching rule. Pitchers need to ensure front foot stays on the pitching rubber during windup. Pitchers must also stay "in the chute". Each team manager will discuss with their pitching staff so they are not surprised if called by the umpire.
- "Injury substitution" rule: If a team has used all substitutes on the bench, and a player in the lineup cannot continue due to injury, one of the previously substituted players can return to the game in his place, even if he is not "re-entering" as per the rules. This applies in an injury situation only.
- Other Softball Canada rules apply. Note new rules as forwarded by Ted.
- There are no restrictions on team rosters (any player, junior, senior, etc. can play). Once a player participates in the league for one team, he cannot play for another team that season.
- Eric will obtain insurance coverage through the OASA for all interested teams.
- NEW: The GOFL will honour the late Tim Craig with the "Tim Craig Utility Player of the Year" award, to be determined through the league All-Star voting at the end of the season. Joe will look into getting a plaque or trophy made.