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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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Not fastball but...

..for those of you that wonder what good ol' Fitzroy Fastball does in the winter for fun, check out this video from Friday night. It's not that clear, but I'm the guy with my arm in the air and the note pad.


The story here:


Olympic pitcher shares skills with local players

from the West Carleton Review Jan 25/08

Olympic pitcher shares skills with local players
by Terry Boland

On Saturday, Canadian Olympic softball pitcher Robin Mackin helped to lead a clinic titled Giving Back to the Game at Arnprior District High School. Clinic co-ordinator Paul Sauve felt fortunate to have an Olympic athlete of Mackin’s calibre come to Arnprior to pass along her advice to the 22 players who registered for the one-day event.

Mackin, a pre-med student at Fresno State University, appreciated the opportunity to get back to her grassroots and offer something back to the sport.

“I am just trying to implement my knowledge and pass it along to younger players only because when I was younger coaching was always hard to find at all age levels, especially going to the national program,” said Mackin. “The stuff that I picked up and I never knew as a child, I just wish I had the opportunity to pass a little bit on. If I can make a difference in just a couple of girls’ lives, it is enough for me.”

Asked about coming to Arnprior rather than a much larger centre, the Newmarket native said, “That’s the most interesting thing about this, it has been a lot of smaller softball communities that have actually had me come out and I think it is just wonderful because a lot of these girls don’t even think about going to school in the States or being part of a national program. To be able to give them the motivation to even think about it is enough in itself. It is actually an opportunity for me to give back to the game of softball in Ontario.”

The Olympic pitcher is happy to see some growth among older youth playing the game but she is disappointed with the small number of younger children entering the sport. She has high praise for American officials because of the support, money and coaching and that is what Canadian softball players aspire to rather than adding the funding and providing the motivation to develop softball in our own universities.

Mackin will be taking time off after January to train with the Olympic team as she prepares for the Olympic Games in Beijing this summer. In the only exhibition games, Mackin’s national team will be participating in pre-Olympic contests against Japan and Australia in Kitchener from July 6-8.

“The clinic was a huge success with a waiting list of 10 others hoping to get involved,” said Sauve. “Robin is interested in doing another clinic in the area after the Olympic Games in August. Everyone learned a lot including the coaches.”

Sauve is hoping to hold another clinic in late fall or early winter of 2008- 2009.

The 20-year-old power pitcher is going through university for a career as a pediatrician. She was involved in Canadian softball championships for the past seven years and participated in the 2005 Pan Am Games qualifiers and the 2006 World Championships. Mackin said, “The excitement shown to me here has been a privilege.”

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Upper Valley league to be revived?

Discussion at the GOFL league meeting was that there was a potential for an Upper Valley league to be revived, with teams from Micksburg/Eganville, Shawville, McNab/Fitzroy, and Cobden/Beachburg area potentially entering teams. Let's hope this gets off the ground.

If anyone has any info, send it on to me at fastball[at]fitzroyharbour.com or to my work email if you have it.

GOFL meeting, 2008 - ninth team to join

Greater Ottawa Fastball League organizing meeting January 23, 2007 at I4C Offices in Kanata.

Adam Brown (WC Electric)
Tony Riches (Manotick)
Steve Edgerton (Manotick)
Dave Tubman (Team Easton)
Sam Oliver (Stittsville 56ers)
Dan Bradley (Stittsville 56ers)
John Craig (Stittsville 56ers)
Derrick Bulley (Ottawa Blitz)
Neil Cooke (I4C Victory)
Shawn Williams (I4C Victory)
Eric Rosenquist (I4C Victory)
Matt Greer (Quyon Flyers)
Gary Hargrove (Orleans Gators)
Shannon Borho (Blackburn)
Anil Hayne (Blackburn)
Dave Norris (Umpires)
Harry MacIntyre (Umpires)
Note: Bob Templeton couldn’t attend the meeting, but indicated that he was willing to continue as President and be available to arbitrate any disputes that may arise.

- Dave Norris is once again the League Umpire in Chief, with Harry MacIntyre as his Deputy UIC. Dave Herbst is the Zone UIC, and George Finlay is still the assignor/treasurer.
- There will be a “letter of understanding” to be signed.
- Dave asked for a copy of the league rules once finalized.
- As last year, they indicated that doubleheaders where possible would be preferable and the league agreed to accommodate when diamond time permitted.
- Umpire fees are $48 per man per game for league games, $40 per man per game for showcase.
- George Finlay will schedule umpires, and be the contact for rainouts and make up games. The league will supply the schedule to George and the UIC for scheduling. Any make up games / cancellations will be the responsibility of the home team.
- Post dated cheques are due, payable to the Eastern Ontario Umpires Association as follows: 50% of regular season fees by May 1; 50% of regular season fees by June 10; one playoff game fee prior to start of playoffs. Balance of fees to be paid following playoffs.
- Softball Canada rules in effect with ISC pitching rule.
- Illegal bat rule to follow ISC legal bats list. Teams to "challenge" through the umpire when they feel an illegal bat is being used. Team reps agreed to monitor their teams for illegal bats.
- Dave asked for clarification on two items: Mercy Rule and Discipline for Ejections (see below).

League meeting:
- All eight teams from the 2007 season are returning.
- One new team tentatively joining for 2008: Blackburn Bombers 'franchise'. Shannon to confirm by the end of January. Shannon indicated that the team will be primarly comprised of new players to the league, with a few exceptions. There was no objection to Blackburn joining.
- Home diamonds and nights are as follows:
· West Carleton Electric: Fitzroy Harbour on Tuesday nights
· Manotick: Manotick on Wednesday nights
· Stittsville 56ers: Stittsville on Wednesday nights
· Team Easton: May & June: Stittsville on Wednesday nights; July - Sept: Stittsville on Tuesday nights
· Ottawa Blitz: Manotick on Wednesday nights
· I4C Victory: Carp on Thursday nights
· Quyon Flyers: Quyon on Tuesday nights
· Orleans Gators: Orleans (Pierre Rocque Park) on Thursday nights
· Blackburn: Monday night, but trying to confirm the diamond. Looking at North Gower and Greely. Team name may change depending on sponsorship/location
- Regular season will begin the week of May 5, running for 12 weeks.
- Teams will play an unbalanced schedule of 20 games. 18 games will be played throughout the 12 week regular season. 2 games will be played in a “Showcase Weekend” setting
- Showcase date to be determined, but likely the last weekend in May or first weekend in June. Blackburn to tentatively host the event.
- Adam will work on a draft schedule and circulate. Doubleheaders will be used where possible. Stittsville asked for one game a week wherever possible.
- Game Cancellation: If a team needs to cancel a game due to lack of players, 24 hour notice should be given to the opposing team’s coach/captain. Less than 24 hours will result in a forfeit. 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.
- Game reports can be sent to Adam the next day so the website and blog can be updated. Report should at a minimum include the score, the winning & losing pitchers and any home runs hit.
- Sam will keep the league statistics once again, with some help. He will be advising as to what format the game information should be submitted in. It will be up to each team to keep accurate statistics to make this work.
- It was agreed that league will once again choose year end "all-star teams" as voted on by team representatives.
- Each team is responsible for their own diamond fees, umpire costs, balls, etc.
- Each team will contribute $100 to the playoff fund, with $600 going to the playoff champion and $300 going to the finalist. The I4C Trophy will be awarded to the Playoff Champion. Blitz and Quyon still owe Team Easton and Manotick owes WC Electric from 2007.
- Playoff format:
· 8th place hosts 9th place in single “play-in” game
· Quarter-Finals, best-of-three: 1st vs. Qualifier from above, 2nd vs. 7th, 3rd vs. 6th, 4th vs. 5th
· Semi-Finals, best-of-five: Top remaining seed vs. Lowest remaining seed, 2nd remaining seed vs. 3rd remaining seed
· Finals, best-of-five: Remaining two teams
- Playoff extra innings: If a playoff game is tied, the ‘international rule’ shall begin in the 8th inning.
- Tie Breaking: 1) Points (2 pts for win, 1 for tie) 2) Wins 3) Head to head 4) Run differential in head to head competition 5) Coin flip.
- Tony will organize the order of softballs for the league, through the Softball Canada office. Each team to determine the number of balls (in dozens) they need and email Tony. League will use green balls this season, as this is the standard ball Softball Canada is moving to. White balls from 2007 may be used until exhausted.
- "8 man rule": In order to reduce defaults, teams will be allowed 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 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": Games in regular season are 7 innings long and can end in a tie. There are no time limits. Based on feedback from the umpires, the mercy rule will no longer be optional. Run rule will be 7 run lead after 5 or 6. This also applies in playoffs.
- "2 out catcher rule": Will be optional in the league.
- "Discipline": The league consensus was as follows: first ejection, player at a minimum receives a "yellow card" - next ejection automatically results in one game suspension. However, each ejection will result in an umpire's report, and team rep's report being sent to the Prez for his review and decision.
- There are no restrictions to team rosters (i.e. Senior and Junior players are eligible, etc). Once a player participates in the league for one team, he cannot play for another team in the league that season. Players must play at least one game to be eligible for playoffs. NOTE: Exceptions to this rule will be reviewed by the Prez for consideration.
- The subject of insurance was discussed. The league itself has no insurance, but each team is strongly encouraged to purchase liability insurance through a provider such as the OASA (www.oasa.ca). The cost is very reasonable (around $30) but would protect the team "management" in case of a lawsuit.
- The teams agreed to join the ISC II Home League program and the GOFL will send a representative(s) to the Eastern Ontario Challenge Cup in September 2008 in Fitzroy Harbour. Teams will be offered the invite spot(s) based on regular season standings. Winner gets a berth to the 2009 ToC in Iowa.

Monday, January 21, 2008

GOFL "Winter Meetings" this Wednesday

The Greater Ottawa Fastball League "winter meetings" are scheduled for Wednesday January 23 at 7pm at the I4C office boardroom at 340 March Road.

All 2007 teams will hopefully be returning and represented, with an additional potential "expansion" team for 2008.

Niagara Falls to host OASA Masters

From Dave Birnie

The OASA has confirmed Niagara Falls as the official host for the 2008 OASA Masters "A" & "B" Championship. Check out the Ontario Masters Fastball web site for further details including tournament dates, accommodations etc. http://eteamz.active.com/omf/

Monday, January 14, 2008

Softball Symposium

from Softball Ontario
NORTH YORK, ONTARIO - Softball Ontario is proud to announce the second annual Get In The Game Symposium on Saturday February 23, 2008 at the Sport Alliance Building in North York. The Symposium is hosted by Softball Ontario’s Participation Committee and is a great opportunity for Minor Softball Associations to come together and work towards improving softball in Ontario.

Softball Ontario encourages all Minor Softball Associations to send representatives to discuss your association and learn how to improve softball in your area!

The 2007 Get In The Game Symposium saw nearly one-hundred (100) participants representing approximately forty-five (45) Softball Associations from all over Ontario gather at the Sports Alliance Building to discuss the success of Softball in the province. A recap of the 2007 Symposium is available at www.softballontario.ca.

Event attendees for the 2008 Get In The Game Symposium have the opportunity to have a voice in the development of grassroots softball in the province, while at the same time learning how to better their own association. Travel (mileage) and accommodations will be provided by Softball Ontario for those who qualify. Participants in the Symposium must register with Lisa Crompton at Softball Ontario by February 8, 2008.

The Get In The Game Symposium is a great opportunity for Softball Associations to learn from each other and work together to improve our game throughout the province.

Date: Saturday February 23, 2008
Time: 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM (Registration Begins at 8:00 AM)
Location: Sport Alliance Building
1185 Eglinton Avenue East
North York, ON
M3C 3C6
Cost: FREE

If you would like to register for the Get In The Game Symposium or you have any questions, contact Lisa Crompton via telephone at (416) 426-7150 or via email at lcrompton@softballontario.ca.

Let’s make Softball better together!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Article in the West Carleton EMC newspaper

Posted with permission of Jeff Maguire, West Carleton EMC

Two major ISC fastball qualifiers scheduled for this district in 2008

With so much snow on the ground it is hard to imagine that planning is already well underway for the next men’s fastball season in eastern Ontario.

This region has always been a hotbed for softball/fastball and with that in mind the International Softball Congress (ISC) has scheduled two major qualifying tournaments for west Ottawa and eastern Renfrew County next summer.

Beginning on Friday, June 20, 2008 and continuing through Sunday, June 22 the Eastern Ontario ISC II Qualifier event will be held in McNab/Braeside near Arnprior. The winner of the double knockout tournament will qualify for the 2008 ISC II Tournament of Champions, regardless of the region they represent.

In September, near the end of next year’s campaign, Fitzroy Harbour in the West Carleton area of West Ottawa, will play host to an equally prestigious competition.

The Eastern Ontario Challenge Cup ISC II Qualifier will be held in the village which is the home of Fitzroy Harbour West Carleton Electric of the Greater Ottawa Fastball League (GOFL). The double knockout event is scheduled to run from Friday, Sept. 19 to Sunday, Sept. 22.

The winner of the September event will earn a berth in the 2009 ISC II Tournament of Champions. The competition is open only to entries from leagues in Canada East.

Entry deadline for the McNab/Braeside tournament is Thursday, May 15, 2008 while the Fitzroy Harbour event has a deadline of Friday, Aug. 15.

In addition to the automatic berths in ISC tournament of champions for the winners, those teams which participate in either competition become eligible to receive an invitation to whichever future tournament has an open slot.

Blair Setford, the ISC vice president for Canada East, told the EMC the goal of his organization is “to raise the profile of the men’s game” across Ontario.

“We’ve traditionally had a strong presence in southwestern Ontario,” Setford says. “But we identified eastern Ontario, and in particular the Ottawa area, as a place we want to be.”

Setford says that to that end “with the assistance of local supporters such as Adam Brown (Fitzroy Harbour) and Harold MacMillan (McNab/Braeside) we established annual qualifier tournaments in June and, last summer, added a second one later in the season.

“Having these tournaments in places like Fitzroy Harbour and McNab/Braeside is very important to us,” Setford stresses.

He says the ISC is partnering with local groups, including McNab Minor Softball.

“We’re showing young kids that there is a place for them to play as they get older and hopefully that will keep them playing the game. Because we need to bring in a new generation of players,” the ISC vice-president explains.

Setford is highly complimentary of the level of play currently on display during the season in eastern Ontario.

“The level of competition in the Ottawa area is outstanding,” he observes. “Local teams like Ottawa Team Easton (the perennial GOFL champions) and Micksburg Twins (from Renfrew County) have placed in the final four of the ISC II Tournament of Champions in recent years,” he states.

“Other teams, such as Carp 14C Victory and Fitzroy Harbour West Carleton Electric, have shown they can compete at the higher levels of the game too,” Setford adds.

“With a history of producing players like former Team Canada member Randy Peck and top ISC II players like Corey Costello, Dan Konkle, Kevin Chevrier and Dave Tubman, there is a rich tradition of (men’s) fastball in the area. We want to keep that tradition alive,” Setford underlines.

Adam Brown of Fitzroy Harbour West Carleton Electric, who is the local coordinator of the September qualifier, is excited about next year’s competition.

“We’re looking forward to hosting another tournament in Fitzroy Harbour this coming summer. We are sure the local fans will fill the park as they have in the past to support local fastball,” Brown says.

The ISC has updated the list of qualifying tournaments for the 2008 ISC II Tournament of Champions. For additional information visit the website: www.alsfastball.com

Interested people can also go to the website: fitzroyfastball.blogspot.com

Read the EMC for updated information on next year’s major men’s fastball tournaments in the region as it becomes available.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Blackburn Men's Fastball Registration

from TC:

Steve Bovey has planned registration for Tues., March 4th, 2008 at the Blackburn Arms from 7 - 10 pm and Wed., March 5th, 2008 at Wally's Bistro from 7 - 10 pm.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Tourney rumours

Word on the street is that there may be a new tournament in the Ottawa area for 2008....more details to come as they are available.

Ottawa Blitz 3rd annual tournament

from Scott Dumouchel

The Ottawa Blitz Men's Fastball team will be hosting their 3rd Annual tournament July 25-27, 2008. The tournament will be hosted at Carlington Park in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada with 3 lighted diamonds.

This is an OPEN TOURNAMENT allowing any players or teams to attend without any restrictions. Each team will be guarranteed 3 games depending on the amount of teams and what set-up we use. The cost of entry is $375/team and is due before coming to tournament. We will be accepting the 1st 12 teams that have sent their checks guarranteeing a spot in the tournament. Last year we gave out $1000 to winner and $400 to runner-up but hoping to give out more with sponsors and more teams attending.

There will be a bbq on site as well as cold refreshments and the finals possibly being televised for the first time in 2008.

Last year Napanee Jr Express defeated the Quyon Jr Flyers 3-2 with a tough line-up of teams attending such as Team Kanata Easton, Carp I4C Victory, Scarborough Royals, St. Leonard Express and Gregg Garrity attended with an Ottawa team that lost out in the Quarters. If interested in attending please email me.

Ottawa Blitz Chairperson
Scott Dumouchel