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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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Moose sponsorship means bigger payouts at Elkland Labour Day tourney

2010 Elkland Softball Association Labor Day Weekend Tournament Update
from Bill Sherman

The Elkland Softball Association gets sponsorship from the Elkland Moose:
The Elkland Moose Lodge # 746 has signed on as a co-sponsor for the 2010 58th annual Durk Sherman classic over Labor Day weekend.
In adding a sponsor, ESA is able to raise the prize money without having an increase in the entrance fee. This is great news for team sponsors and sponsorless teams.
Here is the tentative prize money for the 58th annual Durk Sherman classic held in Elkland Pa , from September 3rd thru September 6th 2010.
Entry fee- 250.00$
Team limit- 24
Format - Double elimination
1st place- 2,500.00$ (plus trophy) - 500.00$ increase from 2009
2nd place- 1,200.00$ (plus trophy) - 200.00$ increase from 2009
3rd place- 600.00$ - 100.00$ increase from 2009
4th place- 400.00$ - 100.00$ increase from 2009
*NEW* 5th place -100.00$
*NEW* 6th place - 100.00$
These pay-outs are currently tentative as the tournament committee will have to approve them.

2010 ISC eastern Ontario qualifier

The site of the 2010 ISC eastern Ontario qualifer has not been officially announced yet, but my sources tell me that there is a good chance of "Avril's hometown" being the host.

Watch for an official announcement in the next couple of weeks.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Vacation tips and another blast from the past

I'm back in town now after treating Mrs Fastball and the kids to a week in the Dominican Republic over Christmas. Great times, nice weather, friendly people. A few pro tips for those of you that may consider such a trip in the future.

1) Catamaran tour: Try not to pick the one day of your vacation with lightning, horizontal rain, and huge waves to go out on a catamaran tour. When I began singing "Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale", some people didn't find it that funny. And the kids were terrified. Moral of the story, check the weather forecast before booking.

2) Ron Blanco: No, that's not the name of some Caribbean entertainer - Ron Blanco is Spanish for "white rum". Do not attempt to polish off a complimentary bottle of the aforementioned Ron Blanco with a friend of yours with the nickname of "Dirty", then go out on the rough ocean on a catamaran (see above) the next day. The results are not pretty and vomiting may occur.

3) Dominican Santa: If the resort brings out a local dressed as Santa on Christmas Day, you might have mixed results with your kids. Your four year-old (the Caveman) will likely be ecstatic with the prospect even if Santa doesn't quite look like the Santa from the Fitzroy Harbour Christmas party and speaks with a heavy Dominican accent ("Congratulation! Merry Chris-ma!"). Your seven year-old (Fitzroy Junior) will likely be a tad more skeptical that this is the 'real Santa' and will have to be persuaded that the real guy couldn't down that far south so he enlisted a helper.

Anyway, now for a blast from the past. Imagine if you will, 1000 people out to watch a fastball game at the Grove. Wouldn't that be awesome? Well, that's what they had for the final of the 1991 ISC tournament in Stittsville. I'd say that's about 900 more than any GOFL game drew this past season.

FASTBALL: Underwood leads Tiremen past Pride
Bob Ferguson. The Ottawa Citizen.
Jul 29, 1991. pg. B.7

When you're the reigning Canadian champion, you're expected to win.

Behind the four-hit pitching of southpaw Brad Underwood, the Owen Sound Tiremen did the expected Sunday at Alexander Grove Park in Stittsville as they beat Carp Valley Pride 5-2 to capture the International Softball Congress Eastern Canadian championship tournament.

The victory assures the Tiremen of a berth in the 1992 ISC world championships in Salt Lake City, Utah. But, despite losing in the final, the Pride also have a chance to advance to the world championships next year -- if they get some help from the Tiremen.

Owen Sound will seek their third straight Canadian crown in Camrose, Alta., the last week in August. Should they be successful they will be automatic ISC World competition entrants, a second ticket to the top as it were. This would mean the Pride, as Eastern Canadian travel League finalists would go to the worlds along with Owen Sound.

Of course, the Tiremen could take another route, too. They could win the ISC Worlds this year (Aug. 9-18) in Sioux City, Iowa, and go to the '92 event as defending champions. It makes Carp Valley's prospects even brighter.

Playing before an estimated 1,000 Sunday afternoon, the Tiremen went on top in the first inning after leadoff hitter Adam Smith reached base on an error and advanced to third on another. Underwood, whom the Pride tried to give an intentional walk, found the fourth pitch within his reach and drilled a shot to deep left and Smith beat the throw home.

After a Tim Patterson home run in the second tied it for the Pride, Darryl Sprung and Bob Richardson unloaded back-to-back homers in the Owen Sound second and the Tiremen led 3-1.

Jeff Seed led off the Carp Valley fourth with a double, took third on a passed ball and scored on Rob Dopson's sacrifice fly, reducing the Owen Sound lead to one.

But that's the best Carp Valley could muster as Underwood mowed them down with ease, posting 11 strikeouts.

Meanwhile, in the Owen Sound fifth, the Tiremen loaded the bases -- this time they were successful walking Underwood intentionally -- with one out. Mike Pederson lofted a long fly to deep right with Chris Jones scoring after the catch. Smith, too, came home when the return throw went to second.

"It took about three innings to get into the rhythm," said Underwood, 32, one of only three Owen Sound natives on the team. "I've been nursing a blister on my left index finger so I handn't pitched before in this tournament, although I was in every game as a designated hitter. My arm wasn't really loose until the fourth. But the boys gave me a cushion to work with."

Next on the agenda for Underwood and company is the Ontario Amateur Softball Championships in Waterloo Aug. 2-5. This will determine the Ontario entry in the nationals at Camrose. Owen Sound, as the defending champions, already are in that competition so should they win there, the runner-up will also travel to Camrose. Napanee Express, Arnprior Merchants and Oshawa, who competed here this weekend, will be in that field.

CANpitch training sessions

Softball Ontario Seeks Local Associations to Host a 6-week CANpitch Training Sessions

NORTH YORK, ONTARIO- Softball Ontario is now accepting applications for potential hosts of the new national pitching program CANpitch. Each individual program is designed for six weeks of training with a local Regional Pitching Instructor trained by Softball Canada’s Master Pitching Instructors. The primary objective of the program is to provide a vehicle to enhance the development of pitching skills and knowledge for both players and coaches across Canada especially at the grassroots level, (where players and coaches have little to no experience in pitching).

Softball Ontario is looking to launch the 6-week training program in twelve (12) communities across Ontario starting as soon as February 2010. As an introductory offer and with the support of the Ministry of Health Promotions Sport Priority Funding, Softball Ontario is pleased to offer a 50% discount on the participant fee to hosts interested in starting the training sessions in February 2010. Each 6-week program will consist of the following two (2) stages:

FUNdamentals- 1 hour, 1 time per week
This stage provides participants with the proper instruction of grip, wrist snap, arm rotation, and stride (should be a priority).
All participants are required to actively participate in the clinic.
Age: Participants must be a minimum of 6 years old.
Cost per 6-week training session: Regular Fee: $50.00 – Discounted Fee: $25.00
Maximum number of Participants per Session hour: Six (6)
This level will meet once per week for one hour with the local Regional Pitching Instructor. Each participant from this level will be expected to practice at least one time per week in addition to their 1-hour training session.

Learning to Train- 1 hour, 2 times per week
This stage has participants focusing on the coordination of the arms and legs, the power line and throwing strikes (should be a priority).
All participants are required to actively participate in the clinic.
Age: Ideally for ages 8-12 years.
Cost per 6-week training session: Regular Fee: $105.00 - Discounted Fee: $52.50
Maximum number of Participants per Session hour: Six (6)
This level will meet twice per week for one hour each with the local Regional Pitching Instructor. Each participant from this level will be expected to practice at least one time per week in addition to the two 1-hour training sessions.

Softball Ontario is looking for each location to host four (4) separate sessions over 6 weeks. Ideally this would mean that during a weekend session the RPI would teach four separate 1-hour time slots for two FUNdamental groups and two Learning to Train groups (or four groups nonetheless). Each host location would be training approximately 24 grassroots level participants per 6-week training session.

Softball Ontario is excited to announce that there is also a facility assistance fund available depending on the need per host to perform a 6-week training session. This is only available prior to March 31st, 2010! Get your application in NOW- do not pass up this great opportunity to increase the number of pitchers in your softball community!

Those interested in hosting a Softball Ontario CANpitch Program 6-week training session should visit the Softball Ontario website at www.softballontario.ca to download the CANpitch Bid Application Form. This Bid Form is to be completed and received no later than two weeks before your first scheduled training session and is subject to the availability of a Regional Pitching Instructor. Successful applicants will be contacted with more details regarding the CANpitch Program shortly after Softball Ontario has received your Bid Application.

For more information on the CANpitch Program, or hosting responsibilities, please contact Carly Laxton by phone at (416) 426-7150 or by email at claxton@softballontario.ca.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Happy Ho Ho and a couple of stories from back in the day

Season's Greetings blog readers, whatever your preference may be: Merry Christmas, Festive Hanukkah, Happy Kwanza or my preference Best Wishes for a Deity-Free Secular Winter Solstice.

Been neglecting you lately, sorry about that. Busy running around to rinks and waiting for Fitzroy Junior's elusive first goal in Novice B hockey. ("Did you see how I almost scored, Dad?")

As well I was busy planning my annual November road trip....to see how that turned out, check out "my other blog" (yeah, I know, it's sad, I have two).

Anyway, here you go, a little blast from the past - think back almost 20 years ago. To the young 'uns reading this - translation: Gators - this was time known as the "early 90s". Tight ball pants, aluminum bats, the odd ball player rockin' a mullet, and yes, the wee village of Carp had its very own ISC World team. Check this out for a few familiar names:

Valley Pride wins first game at worlds;
The Ottawa Citizen
August 12, 1990 pg. B6

Carp Valley Pride got off to a quick start at the International Softball Congress world championships in Victoria Saturday when they defeated Nogalis from Mexico 6-0.

Once again the key to Carp's win was outstanding pitching.

Eric Wilson, who was added to the Carp lineup before the start of the season from New Zealand, went the first five innings for the winners allowing only one hit while striking out 10. He did not walk a batter.

He was replaced for the final two innings by Mike Crawford who was brought in for the tournament from Bracebridge. He is considered one of the top pitchers in Ontario.

In Crawford's two innings he did not allow a hit and mowed down four batters on strikes.
Offensively Carp was led by outfielders Don Cox and Randy Peck. Cox, a .316 hitter for the Pride, had three hits including a two-run double. Peck had a pair hits and he too drove in a pair of runs.

The Pride, who arrived at the tournament ranked ninth will meet Madison, Wisc., considered one of the favorites in the 48-team five-country double elimination tournament, this afternoon .

Valley Pride's Peck all-world
The Ottawa Citizen
Aug 21, 1990 pg E5

The Carp Valley Pride returned from the International Softball Congress world fastball championships in Victoria Monday with a 2-2 record and individual honors awarded to Randy Peck.

Peck was recognized as one of the top 10 softball players in the world when the outfielder [note: I'm pretty sure Randy was recognized as a catcher, but this is what the original article said] was selected to the first-team all-world squad.

Peck was named the tournament's top hitter after compiling a .600 average with six hits in 10 at-bats, an impressive accomplishment considering 58 of 95 games ended in a shutout.

Seattle Sea-First captured the world title, reaching the final of the double-knockout competition undefeated.

Defending champion Sioux City, Iowa, blanked Salt Lake City 4-0 to advance against Seattle and posted a 5-0 victory in their first encounter, scoring the first run of the tournament against Seattle pitcher Jimmy Moore.

Sioux City pitcher Peter Meredith went 57 1/3 innings before allowing his first earned run in the game.

But in the deciding contest, Moore rebounded to register a 4-2 decision in extra innings, the third victory for the tournament's top pitcher.

MVP honors went to Sioux City centre-fielder Bill Boyer, regarded by many as the world's premier fastball player.

Monday, December 07, 2009

COMBAT Sports Fastpitch packages for 2010

from Joe McCleary

COMBAT SPORTS has finalized its "Team Buy Ins" for 2010 to any fastpitch softball teams interested. See below - it’s a minimum of 10 people to get the package. If a couple teams want to combine to hit the minimum, that is allowed too. In the case of an Ottawa sale, the freight would be waived if the order was picked up from our office on Canotek Rd. Contact Joe McCleary for any questions.

All sales will be through a retail outlet. Play it Again Sports has 4 locations in Ottawa to serve you, or we can run it through any Combat retailer of your choice.










ISC format change for 2010

There has been much speculation about how the ISC would operate their tournament in 2010. Today's announcement means significant changes to how the ISC and ISC II will operate. Feel free to leave your comments.

ISC Release on 2010 Format Change
December 7, 2009
For immediate Release

The International Softball Congress is pleased to announce that the 2010 ISC World Tournament will be a 48-team event utilizing a modified EGC format which includes an ISC II Championship bracket.

All 48 teams will compete in the opening rounds of the tournament. The ISC II Championship single elimination bracket will be comprised of the first 24 teams that are eliminated from the ISC World Tournament bracket.

This restructuring has been approved by the ISC Executive Committee, the ISC Board of Directors and the Midland Host Committee.

Classification between ISC and ISC II will be eliminated. All teams will be able to sign pitchers who were previously on the ISC II Ineligible List including PRAWNs and out-of-region players (OOR) subject to existing limitations for PRAWNs and fees for OOR players. Please note that the maximum of two OOR pitchers is still in effect. The ISC will publish a unified set of rankings rather than separate rankings for ISC and ISC II teams.

The primary purpose of these changes is to continue providing our host cities with a sufficient number of teams and economic impact to warrant their hosting efforts and to provide teams with additional opportunities and games. It is also felt the addition of a Legends division will be appreciated by many fans.

A sample unified tournament bracket is now displayed on the ISC Web Site at http://www.iscfastpitch.com/index.php?page=tournaments to show how the tournament will flow and how teams will enter the ISC II bracket. We recommend the PDF format and expand it to 100% for best view. This is a sample only and any game days or times shown on this bracket should be disregarded as the final schedule has yet to be determined. All teams will be guaranteed at least three games (only 4-teams will have 3-games while all others are guaranteed 4-games). Those in the ISC II bracket will be guaranteed a minimum of four games.

Here is some additional information about the 2010 ISC World Tournament:

· An informal poll of ISC II caliber teams drew 20-respones and shows that all respondents would consider entering a unified tournament that includes an ISC II championship bracket.
· To compensate for the reduction of total teams compared with 2009, the ISC will pursue the possibility of a 16-team Legends tournament to be run during the World Tournament. There will also be a 4-team U19 (Midget) tournament. Dates of both the Legends and U19 segments and Legends age-category will be announced later. It is also felt that a Legends division will be appreciated by many fans.
· A full complement of awards will be presented in all four segments; ISC, ISC II, Masters and U19.
· The 2010 ISC World Tournament is scheduled to start Friday August 13 with two games and the championship game on Saturday, August 21. The ISC II Championship game will likely be played on Thursday, August 19.
· The full statistical package that the ISC provides will be kept for all four tournament segments.
· Streaming of both the World Tournament and ISC II segments will continue as in past years. The ISC II Championship game will likely be video streamed.· We will soon send 2010 berth allocations to our five Regional Vice Presidents and International Director for distribution among invitational tournaments in 2010. There will be 48 total berths allocated less berths that were filled in 2009 for 2010. Berths will be designated ISC Berths and we will no longer distinguish between World Tournament and ISC II ToC berths. We currently have 16 teams qualified for 2010 berths from 2009 Qualifiers plus two Midland Host Teams.
· The pre-tournament manager meeting and team registration will be held on Friday, August 13. Opening ceremonies will be held on Saturday evening, August 14.

The ISC apologizes to the Midland Host Committee for implying that it had approved the format in our release last Monday. The Midland Host Committee did not officially approve the format until today. For further information, please contact Ken Hackmeister ISC Executive Director at iscken@comcast.net