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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Monday, January 29, 2007

Ottawa Citizen Article - Saturday January 27, 2007

Fastball field of teams up to nine
GOFL adds three clubs from Ottawa RA League
Don Campbell, The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Saturday, January 27, 2007

It may be a little late in the game for Quyon fastball legends such as Joey Fraser, Jim Foran and, of course, Mike Keone, but the Quyon Flyers will be back on the field this summer at the Quyon ballpark, at the edge of the ferry docks on the Fairgrounds.

The Greater Ottawa Fastball League is continuing its rapid growth in 2007 by adding the Flyers, Ottawa Valley Raiders and Orleans Gators to its six existing franchises, giving Eastern Ontario its largest league in years.

The league, formerly known as the Kemptville Area Men's Fastball League, has grown from four clubs in 2004 (when it became the GOFL) to six in 2005 and now to nine, including mainstays Fitzroy Harbour, Stittsville, Carp, four-time champion Ottawa Team Easton, Ottawa Blitz and Manotick.

"Despite what people may think, the sport of fastball is still popular at the intermediate men's level in Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec, and the calibre of play is exceptional with many former senior men's players playing on teams throughout the league," said Carp I4C head coach and general manager Shawn Williams, who also plays a large role in league issues. "The most exciting aspect of our league expansion is that two of the three teams are stocked primarily with younger players which bodes well for the future of fastball in this area. "

Quyon is made up mostly of players who were on the junior men's team that went to the Canadian Championship last year, and the Orleans team is made up of graduates from the midget boy's team that finished fifth at the Canadians last year.

"As older players retire, it's nice to see that there are some younger players who can step in to fill that void and allow fastball to continue to grow and thrive in our community."

All three new teams are moving over from the Ottawa RA League. The Flyers will be a junior-aged team, with all players under 23 years of age. The club participated in the junior Canadians last year in St-Leonard, Que., placing 10th of 12 teams. The Valley Raiders won the RA League in each of the past four seasons with Gary Cavanagh and Gord Flannery leading the way. Orleans will also field a junior-aged team, with most of the roster having played last year in the midget nationals in Prince Albert, Sask., where the placed fifth.

Of the returning clubs, Team Easton, which has won the title every year since 2003, will be the one to beat. No other club can match captain/infielder Kevin Chevrier, former Team Canada Pan Am games and International Softball Congress (ISC) world team player Randy Peck, and ace pitcher Dan Konkle.

The GOFL sent three representatives to the ISC Tournament of Champions in Kitchener, Ont., to compete with the top 35 intermediate level teams from across North America: Team Easton, Stittsville and Fitzroy Harbour. Team Easton also competed at the Tournament of Champions in Wisconsin in 2005, finishing third in the 35-team competition.

"We'd love to see even more teams down the road from communities like Mississippi Mills in the west or Alfred or Hammond in the east," said Williams. "There's a great history of fastball in those towns. Minnesota Wild draft pick Benoit Pouliot's late father, Marc, was an outstanding pitcher on the old Alfred team. ''There are still some talented but hidden ball players throughout the region."

The 20-game regular season begins May 7 and runs 12 weeks until the playoffs in late August and early September.

© The Ottawa Citizen 2007

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

GOFL to expand to 9 teams for 2007

Based on the GOFL meeting last night, it looks like there will be nine teams in the GOFL for the 2007 season.

The six teams from the 2006 season have all indicated they will be returning, and three teams have confirmed that they wish to join the GOFL this summer.

Teams for 2007 - home night
1) Ottawa Team Easton - Wednesday in Stittsville, Tuesday in Stittsville starting in July.
2) Stittsville 56ers - Wednesday in Stittsville.
3) Manotick Lomor Printers - Wednesday in Manotick.
4) Fitzroy Harbour WC Electric - Tuesday in Fitzroy Harbour.
5) Carp I4C Victory - Thursday in Carp.
6) Ottawa Blitz - diamond time to be determined - looking at potentially Carlington Park in Ottawa.
7) Quyon Flyers - NEW - Tuesday in Quyon.
8) Orleans Gators - NEW - Thursday in Orleans (Pierre Rocque Park).
9) Ottawa Valley Raiders - NEW - diamond time to be determined - looking at the Ottawa RA Centre.

Other items from the meeting:
- The Umpires Association was represented at the meeting and they presented some of the issues for 2007.
- Based on the discussion with the umpires, the GOFL will attempt to, where possible, schedule double headers to make assigning umpires easier.
- The 12 weeks of regular season play will start the week of May 7 and end the week of July 23.
- Teams will play an unbalanced schedule of 20 games, which will include 2 games at a League "Showcase Weekend"
- Quyon offered to host the Showcase Weekend, tentatively schedule for the first weekend in June.
- All nine teams will make the playoffs, with the 8th and 9th place teams competing in a single "play in" game to see which team will face the first place seed.
- Quarter-finals (1st vs. qualifier, 2nd vs. 7th, 3rd vs. 6th, 4th vs. 5th) will be best of three.
- Semi-finals will be best of five; Finals will be best of five.
- The GOFL also decided on entering the ISC II Home League Program and will be informing the ISC that the league is willing to send a team or teams to Eastern Ontario Challenge Cup in August 2007.

Also heard at the meeting:
- The Ottawa RA League will be back for 2007, hopefully with five teams. Word is that the Ottawa Valley Raiders will also be entering a team in the RA League, and that other teams will be joining the league to make it viable despite the loss of Orleans and Quyon.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Carp I4C Victory Add Veteran for 2007 Season - Al Read to Join Carp.

from Shawn Williams

The Carp I4C Victory has added another veteran player to the second year team’s roster for the 2007 season. Al Read will join Carp for this season as a full-time roster player for both the regular season and tournaments. Last year, Read played for Greater Ottawa Fastball League Champions, Ottawa Team Easton as well as playing for Carp in the Ottawa Blitz tournament in late July.

Read brings extensive experience with him as both a player and a coach. He played his minor ball in the Stittsville system and over the past five seasons at the Intermediate level with Team Easton, winning four Greater Ottawa Fastball League (GOFL) championships as well as participating in two ISC II Tournament of Champions finishing third in 2005.

Read has also coached for several years in the Kanata Pirates minor system from 1989-1997 as well as coaching the University of Ottawa Gee Gees Women’s team to a very successful season in 2006.

“We’re very happy to have a player with Al’s experience join our club,” said Victory Head Coach and General Manager, Shawn Williams. “He’s versatile, playing almost any infield position including catching, he can hit and he’s deceptively quick. He also is a keen student of the game which comes with his experience as a coach.” Added Williams, “We were pleased to have Al play for us in the Ottawa Blitz tournament last season and he fit right in. He’s played for a number of years with players on our team including Kevin McGuire and Shawn Houle so he knows our guys.”

Carp I4C Victory plays in the Greater Ottawa Fastball League (GOFL) a premiere Intermediate Men’s League in Eastern Ontario.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Blackburn League tidbits

My sources tell me that:

- The Blackburn Men's Fastball League should hopefully have all 7 teams returning from 2006.
- The Rogues are joining the BMFL for 2007.
- The BMFL has been approached about the possibility of a team from the Orleans Minor Fastball Association joining - one would assume that with the possibility of no RA League to play in the Midget Boys would be looking for a league.
- The proposed Alfred team was invited to join the league, but have failed to confirm if they will indeed play in the BMFL for 2007.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Valley Raiders to attend GOFL meeting

The Ottawa Valley Raiders, champions the last four years of the Ottawa RA League, have indicated that they will be sending a representative to the GOFL league meeting on January 24. No firm committment from Valley to enter - yet - we'll see what happens at the meeting.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

And the hits just keep on coming.....

Some impressive stats for the first six months of fastball blogging.

Total "page views" from June 9 (first day stats kept) until January 3: 36,683

June 2006: 5,110 views, average 232 per day; most popular day Monday June 19, 457 views.

July 2006: 5,980 views, average 192 per day; most popular day Thursday July 20, 357 views.

August 2006: 7,673 views, average 247 per day; most popular day Monday August 14, 472 views.

September 2006: 8,418 views, average 280 per day; most popular day Wednesday September 6, 777 views

October 2006: 4,393 views, average 141 per day; most popular day Thursday October 5, 258 views.

November 2006: 2642 views, average 88 per day; most popular day Wednesday November 1, 178 views.

December 2006: 2,235 views, average 72 per day; most popular day Wednesday December 6, 140 views. (There were 30 views on Christmas Day - some of you guys either must be really hooked on the blog or have it as your home page or something).

GOFL league meeting Jan 24

Returning members and two new expansion teams will be meeting for the GOFL league meeting on January 24th in Stittsville at the Legion.

If there is any other team interested in potentially joining the GOFL for the 2007, let me know at fitzroyfastball[at]yahoo.ca.

Quyon Flyers want in the GOFL

It looks like the Quyon Flyers are going to join the Greater Ottawa Fastball League in 2007, joining the Orleans Gators as expansion cousins and bringing the league total to eight teams. Teams already in the league include Fitzroy Harbour WC Electric, Team Easton, Stittsville 56ers, Manotick Lomor Printers, Carp I4C Victory and the Ottawa Blitz. All are expected to return to the GOFL in 2007.

The Flyers will be leaving the Ottawa RA League (as the Orleans team did). Quyon attended the Junior Canadians last year in St-Leonard, QC where they finished 10th of 12 teams.

The GOFL teams and expansion 'candidates' will meet later this month to formally discuss the 2007 season.

With eight or more teams, an unbalanced 'divisional' schedule for the GOFL may be in the picture for the 2007 season.

It's Official - Rogues to join Blackburn League

According to the Rogues website, it looks like they have joined the Blackburn Men's Fastball League officially as the eighth team. Here is the link: http://roguematt.5u.com/rogues/