Eastern Ontario Fastball Blog

A blog dedicated to news about the Greater Ottawa Fastball League and other happenings in the world of fastball / fastpitch softball in eastern Ontario and western Quebec, with occasional stories featuring Mrs Fitzroy Fastball, Fitzroy Fastball Junior and the Caveman. If you have info to send on, send me an email at fastball[at]fitzroyharbour.com. Follow @fitzroyfastball on Twitter.

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Thursday, December 28, 2006

OASA tourneys for 2007 (updated)

Looks like the OASA has decided on the following locations for their men's tournaments in 2007:
Men's Eliminations (Senior & Intermediate): August 3-5 in St. Thomas

Men's Provincials: September 1-2 in East Gwillimbury - website: www.headtrends.com/oasa2007

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Friday, December 22, 2006

Some more Umpire info from the Softball Ontario point of view

Umpires Task Force meets with Board of Directors

NORTH YORK, ONTARIO - On Sunday December 17, 2006, Softball Ontario’s Board of Directors met with the Umpires Task Force to discuss their report regarding the Fast Pitch Umpires Program. The Task Force Report included strong recommendations to improve the program as a whole and the Umpires relationship with the Softball community.

The Umpires Task Force recommended the following, which was approved by the Softball Ontario Board of Directors:
· All positions, including the Fast Pitch Provincial Umpire in Chief(FP PUIC), Fast Pitch Umpires Committee (FPUC), and Zone Umpires in Chiefs(ZUIC) will be filled through the application process. The deadline for applications will be extended, and all umpires will be notified as soon as the extended deadline is set.
· The selection of a Provincial Umpires in Chief will continue to follow the current procedure; however, a representative of the Zone Umpire in Chiefs will be added to the selection committee.
· The Fast Pitch Umpires Committee will appoint a Financial Administrator chosen from the membership at large to oversee all financial aspects of the Fast Pitch Umpires Program. The Financial Administrator will sit on the Finance Committee with full voting privileges, and will report to the Fast Pitch Umpire in Chief as well as the Fast Pitch Umpires Committee.
· Canadian Championship Appointments will continue as per current policy; however, these policies are to be reviewed, revised and clarified, if applicable, before the 2007 appointments are forwarded to and approved by Softball Ontario’s Board of Directors as per Softball Canada directives.
· Discipline of Umpire personnel will remain the same until Sport and Law completes its review of Softball Ontario’s Discipline Policies.
· The Fast Pitch Provincial Umpire in Chief, in consultation with the Fast Pitch Umpires Program Financial Administrator, will prepare a draft Letter of Understanding and proposed fee structure to Softball Ontario’s Member Association Treasurers. The letter and fee structure will be discussed and negotiated at the appropriate Finance Committee Meeting.
· The present appointment of the Fast Pitch ProvincialUmpire-in-Chief and Slo-Pitch Provincial Umpire-in-Chief to the Board as ex-officio members with no voting power be changed to ex-officio members with all voting powers and privileges.
· Discipline by Member Associations will be decided upon within two weeks of receipt of an incident report, if possible. Softball Ontario has hired Sport and Law to recommend changes to Softball Ontario and Member Association Discipline Policies.
· The Fast Pitch Umpires Financial Administrator, along with the Fast Pitch Umpire in Chief and the Fast Pitch Umpires Committee, will review the Umpires registration fees for 2007.

All of the above-mentioned recommendations were approved by Softball Ontario’s Board of Directors pending discussion with Sport and Law, who is currently reviewing Softball Ontario’s Risk Management policies and by-laws for ratification at the Softball Ontario Annual General Meeting.

The Task Force did not recommend or support the formation of a separate Umpires’ Association, including the scheduling of an Annual General Meeting, the Development of a Constitution and By-Laws, and the election of Board and Committee Members. The Softball Ontario Board agreed with the Task Force that they do not support a separate Association, but acknowledged that they could not stop anyone from forming their own organization.

The Umpires Task Force was created in mid-October to improve relations between the Fast Pitch Umpires and Softball Ontario. Additional information regarding the Umpires Task Force and the Umpires Program in general can be found online at www.softballontario.ca.

Any questions regarding Softball Ontario’s FastPitch Umpires Program or the Umpires Task Force should be directed to Umpires Program Coordinator Stephanie Sutton at (416) 426-7150 or ssutton@softballontario.ca.


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Special Rules for ISC II 2007

from alsfastball.com

2007 ISC II Rules & Eligibility Changes
The International Softball Congress is announcing special operating rules for the 2007 season for the ISC II division.

For the 2007 season, following the completion of the Canada East regional qualifiers on June 24, teams from outside the Canada East region may sign one (1) pitcher from the Canada East region (defined as Ontario east of Thunder Bay, Quebec and the four Atlantic Canada provinces) provided that they remain in compliance with the ISC II out-of-region (OOR) rules which limit teams to a total of three (3) OOR players, only two (2) of whom can be pitchers. The signing deadline for this special cateogry is July 16, 2007. Fees and completed OOR forms must be mailed to ISC Executive Director Ken Hackmeister with a postmark no later than that date. Filing deadline for regular OOR players is May 1, 2007.

Restrictions on pickups of Canada East region pitchers will remain in place for 2007. Qualified or invited teams that have a pitcher on a restricted list cannot pick up any other pitcher from that list, but can pick up any other eligible pitcher. Qualified and invited teams from within the Canada East region that don’t have a pitcher on the restricted list may pick up one pitcher from the list if they choose to do so.

The restricted list will be released in the first quarter of 2007 following additional consultation with Canada East teams.

Also, ISC II teams are now permitted to sign two pitchers from the international region as OOR players. Previously, they had been limited to one.

At this time, no changes are being made to the ISC II pitcher eligibility list, pending any appeals. The ISC will continue to monitor pitchers’ performance throughout 2007 and reserves the right to reclassify pitchers it deems to be above the caliber of the ISC II division.

The ISC also reminds all ISC II teams that the procedures for filing eligibility appeals are spelled out in the ISC II section of the ISC web site at www.iscfastpitch.com. The ISC II Ineligible Pitchers List can be found in the same section.

For further information, please contact:
Bob McGowan
ISC II Vice President
Canada East Vice President

Jonas Mach to move up to ISC World level

Jonas Mach, who threw at the ISC II level for Thomson, Illinois last year at the ToC in Kitchener, is making the move up to the ISC world level next year and will pitch for Aurora, Illinois at the World Tournament.

Mach, originally from the Czech Republic, pitched a two-hitter against the Fitzroy Harbour WC Electric in Kitchener, winning 3-1.

New Umpire Association formed

from Gary Callaghan

Softball Umpire Recommendations get the Nod

TORONTO, ON – December 19, 2006 – In an emergency meeting of Softball Ontario, the Board of Directors last Sunday approved all the recommendations of its Umpire Task Force. Following extensive consultations with leagues, teams, and umpires, the Task Force identified a number of issues that needed to be resolved prior to the start of the 2007 softball season. As a result of those discussions, and their determination to develop solutions prior to the 2007 season, the following steps will be taken in the new year:

  • The Fast Pitch Provincial Umpire-in-Chief (FP PUIC) will have a seat on the Softball Ontario Board with full voting power
  • A Zone Umpire-in-Chief (ZUIC) will be a member of the three-person committee that would select any future Provincial Umpires-in-Chief
  • A representative of the Softball Ontario umpires will be appointed as the financial administrator for all umpire-related finances
  • The Softball Ontario discipline policy will be reviewed and updated to improve its efficiency and effectiveness
  • The interim executive of the new Ontario Softball Umpires Association will continue with the development of a new association, and work towards taking over the leadership of the Fast Pitch Umpires’ program for the 2008 season
  • Softball Ontario will accept applications from the former Fast Pitch Provincial Umpire-in-Chief and Fast Pitch Umpire Committee members, to be considered for re-appointment into their former leadership roles on the Fast Pitch Umpire Committee

“This is a major stride in a positive direction for all umpires in Ontario,” explained Greg Pipher, former Provincial Umpire-in-Chief for Softball Ontario. “It will allow a smooth transition from 2007 into the 2008 season and it also marks the beginning of the new Ontario Softball Umpires Association (OSUA). The Member Associations, the umpires, and all softball players in the province will be positively impacted by the implementation of the Task Force’s recommendations. This is a great day for softball in Ontario!”

Following the announcement of all the recommendations being accepted, Greg Pipher officially submitted his application for reinstatement as Provincial Umpire-in-Chief. “I want to sincerely thank Bruce Bierman, Pat Sparling, and Stephanie Sutton for their hard work in identifying issues and recommending solutions that are acceptable to all. The Ontario Amateur Softball Association, the Provincial Women’s Softball Association and the Ontario Rural Softball Association are to be commended for their flexibility in accommodating the needs of the fast pitch umpires in this province.” He went on to say, “It’s my goal to get this program prepared for the 2007 season and to make the changes as soon as possible. We need to help with the administration of the Umpires program in Ontario, and get ready for the coming season. In saying that, I am recommending that all immediately past ZUICs and FPUC members apply for their former positions, so that we can get down to business as soon as possible.”

While Pipher is actively seeking re-appointment to the Softball Ontario FPUC, he is also a member of the interim executive for the newly formed Ontario Softball Umpires Association. Pipher explained that he and his other executive members are working towards the implementation of a not-for-profit umpires association that would take over the leadership of the Fast Pitch Umpires Program for Fall 2007.”

The Ontario Softball Umpires’ Association, with the motto “Umpires working for umpires”, is the beginning of new opportunities and benefits for Ontario softball umpires, and a fresh, new approach to the delivery of umpiring services in Ontario.

“The OSUA is being formed in response to one of the many insightful recommendations made by the task force. Fast pitch umpires actively demonstrated their concern about the future of softball umpiring in the province, the future of the relationship between Softball Ontario and its umpires, and the very future of the game itself,” explained Pipher.

“We agree with the task force recommendation for an association of umpires working for umpires,” he said. “The OSUA will work in close partnership with Softball Ontario to service the Member Associations’ officiating needs. Our priority will be on the development and support of umpires, through the delivery of training clinics, enhanced member benefits and services, on-field evaluations and the selection of qualified individuals to officiate at provincial and national events.”

Ontario softball umpires can be proud of their history, and their role in supporting the game of softball in communities across the province over the past 75 years. They have consistently provided some of the most renowned umpires in the nation, particularly for national and international softball tournaments. And now another milestone has been reached in the development of a provincial association that will be devoted entirely to the interests of umpires and the clients they serve.

It will not only strengthen connections and communications among umpires, but it will also provide an opportunity to negotiate additional services and benefits to its members.

“The OSUA will be a single window of access for umpires, leagues, teams and provincial associations that need information, services or support from the softball umpiring community,” Mr. Pipher went on to say. “We realize that with a dedicated organization, we may be able to encourage new umpires to get involved if we look at ways to custom tailor their registration fees to meet their needs. Perhaps those who just want to umpire at a local level will have a different fee than those who take advantage of other services such as our umpire development program, or opportunities to go to provincial or national tournaments.”

The development of the Ontario Softball Umpires Association is now underway and is being led by an interim executive made up of: Greg Pipher, Doug Webster, Jim Herbert, Ed Otterman, Rob Phillips, Joel Balberman, Tim Whitelaw, Chuck Bokor, Kirk Corkery, Terry Burr, and Ian Turnbull.

Membership in the OSUA will be strictly voluntary. All umpires are encouraged to register with Softball Ontario for the coming 2007 season in order to get insurance, and to remain eligible for opportunities that require affiliation with Softball Canada. The current Softball Ontario FPUC will work with other members of the interim executive of the OSUA to ensure a smooth transition from a Softball Ontario run program to the newly formed OSUA organization.

What does all this mean for the Ontario softball umpiring community? It will be business as usual when the girls, boys, men, and women hit the diamonds in late April 2007. All umpires should register with Softball Ontario in early 2007. Stay tuned for more information on the new Ontario Softball Umpires Association. And be ready to go back to work when the white stuff melts and the bats begin to sing.

For more information, please contact:
Greg Pipher
905 837 2211


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

ISC II Tournament of Champions to be shorter in 2007

From Al's Page

ISC announces condensed schedule for 2007 ISC II Tournament of Champions
December 19, 2006

The International Softball Congress is pleased to announce that the 2007 ISC II Tournament of Champions (ToC) is being shortened from a 6.5-day tournament to a 4.5-day tournament and will run from Tuesday August 14 to Saturday August 18, 2007 in Kitchener and Cambridge, ON.

This condensed schedule will help make it more affordable for teams to attend the premier intermediate championship in men’s fastball. The tournament will be contested among 35 teams split into seven pools of five. Each team will play four round robin games with the top three in each pool along with three wild cards advancing to a single elimination playoff bracket.

Games will be played at Budd Park in Kitchener and Kinsmen Park in nearby Cambridge with the semi-finals and championship game scheduled to be played Saturday morning at Peter Hallman Ballyard in Kitchener. Provided that the ToC and the ISC World Tournament are on schedule, we are working to have the ISC II championship game, for the first time, both video and audio streamed for fans across North America.

Qualifying for the ToC will be conducted regionally with berths available as follows:
U.S. East - 10
U.S. Central - 8
U.S. West - 4
Canada East - 6
Canada West - 4
2006 Champions, Finalist and Host Team - 3

Unused berths from any region will be filled by Canada East teams.

As per a motion passed by the ISC Board of Directors at its 2006 meeting, the top two finishing teams in the 2007 ISC II ToC will receive automatic berths into the 2008 ISC World Tournament in Kimberly, WI.

Additional information on the ISC and the 2007 ISC II Tournament of Champions is available on the ISC web site at www.iscfastpitch.com.

For further information, please contact:

Bob McGowan
ISC II Vice President

Blair Setford
ISC II Commissioner

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Links are back

At long last, I figured out how to put the links back up on the blog. Look below the "Archives" for links to local leagues.

Monday, December 11, 2006

ISC II Eastern Ontario Home League tournament

Looks like the ISC will be hosting a "home league" ISC II tournament in eastern Ontario August 24-26, 2007. This tourney will grant a berth to the 2008 ISC II tournament of champions in Wisconsin.

Each area league will be invited to send teams to the tournament, the representation to be determined by each league.

Local leagues have been invited in the past to participate in previous tourneys, but they were always held in southwestern Ontario and local teams declined to participate.

The location is yet to be determined, but apparently Kingston and McNab have indicated interest.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Waterloo Fastball Tournament looking for teams

2007 SportZone Fastpitch Tournament - (formerly the May 24 Blast)
July 20-22, 2007 at Hillside Park, Waterloo, Ontario

Formerly played on the May holiday weekend this first class tournament in 2007 will feature 16 teams, with a 4 game guarantee. The entry fee is $350 and $3 400 in prize money will be awarded.
Tournament is open to men’s intermediate (and junior) teams. There is a team roster maximum of 3 ISC fielding position players allowed with no ISC pitchers allowed. Our park has a licensed refreshment and concession area for fans and players.
Sponsored by WOFA (Waterloo Ontario Fastball Association).

For more information or to register contact: bruce_h_young@teksavvy.com
Phone: 519-884-6960


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Orleans Gators poised to enter GOFL

It looks like a new entry to be known as the Orleans Gators are set to join the Greater Ottawa Fastball League in 2007. The GOFL was a six team league last season.

The Gators, made up of players from the graduating midgets of the 2006 Orleans Rebels program which made it to the Midget Canadians, have made their intentions know to step up the GOFL after playing last year in the Ottawa RA League. They will be led by up and coming pitcher Chad Hargrove, who appeared in some games in 2006 GOFL playoffs and local tournaments with Carp I4C Victory.

The team has indicated their home games will be Thursday nights at 8:30PM at Pierre Rocque Park.

The GOFL teams and expansion 'candidates' will meet in February or March to formally discuss the 2007 season.

A few other teams have shown interest in joining the GOFL, with Quyon Flyers a strong bet to join the league as well. With eight or more teams, an unbalanced 'divisional' schedule may be a possibilty to minimize travel.

With the departure of Orleans and the Rogues, what this means for the future of the Ottawa RA League remains to be seen.

BMFL likely to add teams

The Blackburn Men's Fastball League, which had seven teams in 2006, may be looking at adding a couple more teams for the 2007 campaign.

Word is that the Rogues are 99% sure to join the league. The Rogues played last year in the Ottawa RA League.

As well, a team from the village of Alfred wants to enter. Alfred, just east of the city on the old 17, used to have a good intermediate team back in the early 90s. (I think it was Lalonde Concrete or something like that.)

Both teams are invited to the BMFL January meeting, and are good bets to join the league.

However, there are a couple of teams that could lose a lot of players to retirement. So two new teams might not necessarily equal a nine team league - one existing team might fold.

Blackburn League important dates for 2007

The BMFL has announced the following important dates:

Mon., Mar. 5, 2007 - BMFL Meeting - Stan's Diner (Reps can bring Registration monies)
Tues., Mar. 6, 2007 - BMFL Registration night #1 - Blackburn Arms - 7:00PM - 10:00PM
Wed., Mar. 7, 2007 - BMFL Registration night #2 - Wally's Bistro - 7:00PM - 10:00PM

Cheques can be dated currently or post-dated up to and including April 1, 2007

Mon., Apr. 2, 2007 - BMFL Meeting - Stan's Diner (Last chance for returning players to submit Registration monies or will be placed in Draft)

Evaluation Camp for new players - Sat., Apr. 21, 2007 - Blackburn Arena diamond - 1:00PM - 3:00PM, Raindates - Sun., Apr. 22, 2007 (same location and times), If weekend washed out, Camp will be Sat., Apr. 28, 2007 or Sun., Apr. 29, 2007 (same location and times)

BMFL Draft 2007 - Mon., Apr. 23, 2007 - Wally's Bistro - 7:00PM - 10:00PM (If Evaluation Camp delayed, Draft will be Mon., Apr. 30, 2007, same location and times.

Monday, December 04, 2006

BMFL execs to meet tonight

Blackburn fastball league execs are meeting tonight. On the agenda: discussion of possible eighth team and maybe even a ninth team added to the league.

Carp I4C Victory Announces Pitching Staff for 2007 Season

The Carp I4C Victory is pleased to announce its pitching staff for the 2007 Greater Ottawa Fastball League (GOFL) season and its tournament schedule.

Carp Head Coach and General Manager, Shawn Williams made the announcement today. “We’re pleased that for the 2007 GOFL season, Carp will see the return of both Neil Cooke and Trevor Wood along with the addition of Paul Ceppi. We are also happy to announce that for our 2007 tournament schedule, Chad Hargrove will be part of our pitching rotation for the weekends he is available.” Added Williams, “In Neil and Trevor we have two experienced pitchers from the area that are familiar with local teams. With Paul, we get a veteran thrower who will give us depth for both league and tournament games and in Chad, we have one of the best young arms in Eastern Ontario. He’s a player that just going to get better and better and he brings an excellent bat with him too.”

Carp will once again play in the GOFL and will release its tentative tournament schedule some time in the New Year. The team will once again play out of the Carp Fairgrounds and is currently in negotiations to move its home night from Monday to Thursday.

In its inaugural season, Carp finished 5th in the six team GOFL with a record of five wins, nine losses and one tie.