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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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Dan Loney joins Midland

Dan Loney of Cornwall has joined the host Midland Explorers for the ISC World Tournament this season.

from Al's Fastball

The Midland Explorers would like to welcome a new member to the team - outfielder Dan Loney. A member of the past '08/'09 ISC World Champions with the Kitchener team, Dan brings years of ISC experience and success. A top-flight defender, leadoff hitter, and teammate, the Explorers will be looking to Dan to spark their offense and anchor the outfield defense.

Monday, February 22, 2010

GOFL Winter Meeting 2010 - minutes

The GOFL annual winter meeting was held last week. Significant points of interest:

- Greely is moving to North Gower and will be known as the "Marlboroughs"
- North Gower will host the Showcase
- The semi-finals series will now be best-of-three in the interest of completing the season earlier
- The league has adopted a 4-game minimum for players to be eligible for the playoffs

See below for the full details.

GOFL meeting, 2010

Greater Ottawa Fastball League organizing meeting February 17, 2010 at I4C Office in Kanata

Adam Brown (WC Electric)
Tony Riches (Manotick)
Trevor Lahey (Manotick)
Steve Edgerton (Manotick)
Cory Morrison (Easton)
Dan Bradley (Stittsville)
John Craig (Stittsville)
Mike Barrett (Stittsville)
Will Mood (Blitz)
Derek Bergeron (Blitz)
Andrew Bruce (Blitz)
Neil Cooke (I4C Victory)
Eric Rosenquist (I4C Victory)
Joe McCleary (Quyon)
Gary Hargrove (Orleans)
Anil Hayne (North Gower)
Tyler Cox (North Gower)
Dave Norris (Umpires)

- Dave Norris is League Umpire in Chief (UIC) as well as Deputy Zone UIC. Harry MacIntyre is Deputy League UIC, Dave Herbst is the Zone UIC, George Findley is the assignor/treasurer.
- Dave is again asking for each team to sign a “letter of understanding” with the terms and conditions for the officials.
- Once again the umpires noted their preference for doubleheaders as much as possible.
- Payment time frames: May 1st (50% of regular season fees), June 15th (50% of regular season fees), July 15th (playoff payment).
- George Findley will schedule umpires and be the contact for rainouts and make up games. Any changes to the schedule to be communicated to George (copied to Dave N) and are the responsibility of the home team.
- Illegal bat rule: Dave asked for clarification - see later in the minutes.
- Tar on the softball - pitchers are not to use pine tar. Umpires will remove / have cleaned softballs that are getting dark - see later in the minutes re: Gorilla Gold.
- Umpire fees same as 2009 since we have a two year deal: $48 per man per game for singles, $45 per man per game for doubleheaders.
- Dave mentioned that there will be occasions where new officials will be “mentored” and given games to work in the GOFL.
- Dave stated that there were very few discipline problems with ejections etc. (only one in 2009) with the GOFL.
- For any concerns over performance of umpires, contact Dave N.

League Meeting:
- All nine teams from the 2009 season confirmed that they are returning, with one change: Greely Eagles are becoming “North Gower Marlboroughs”
- Home diamonds and nights are as follows, generally speaking:
o WC Electric: Fitzroy Harbour on Tuesday
o Manotick: Manotick on Wednesday
o Blitz: Manotick on Wednesday
o Stittsville: Stittsville on Wednesday
o Easton: to be determined, to advise
o I4C Victory: Carp on Thursday
o Quyon: Quyon on Thursday (note change from Tuesday)
o Orleans: Orleans Pierre Rocque Park on Thursday
o North Gower: North Gower on Tuesday
- Adam has volunteer to create the schedule. Teams were asked to forward any special scheduling requests to Adam. North Gower indicated that they want to play on Canada Day, possibly against Easton once again. Gary asked that we be aware of the dates for the Canadian Junior Nationals (first week of August) as Orleans could have several players away.
- Doubleheaders will be scheduled whenever practical. Manotick will continue to host a doubleheader every Wednesday. Other locations (Carp, Fitzroy Harbour) should also be able to host some double dips and Anil indicated that North Gower may be able to host some doubleheaders this year as well.
- Regular season will start the first week of May, with the original schedule running for 12 weeks with rainout make ups and playoffs to follow.
- Teams will play an unbalanced schedule of 20 games, similar to last season, ensuring that opponents played three times in 2009 are played twice in 2010 and vice versa.
- Anil and Tyler indicated that North Gower would like to host the Showcase - weekend TBD. Adam also indicated that he would like to host a series of games in Fitzroy Harbour on a weekend - dates also to be determined.
- Game cancellation: 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.
- Rain shortened games: games will count in the standings for regular season even if only one inning is completed, going back to the last completed inning. For playoffs, 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.
- Each team should ensure their club contacts are updated on 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 slightly changed from last year to get things over with quicker:
o 9th vs. 8th play-in single game
o Quarter-finals: best of three, 1st vs. winner of play-in, 2nd vs. 7th, 3rd vs. 6th, 4th vs. 5th
o Semi-finals: best of three (instead of five), Top remaining seed vs. Lowest remaining seed, 2nd remaining seed vs. 3rd remaining seed
o Finals: best of five, remaining two teams
- Playoff extra innings: if a playoff game is tied, the ‘international rule’ shall being in the 8th inning.
- The cost sharing formula for playoffs will continue. The loser of the play-in game shall pay the costs of that game plus the $100 playoff winner fund fee. The remaining eight teams shall each pay a $250 playoff charge, of which $100 will be contributed to the playoff winner fund. The remaining money will be used to for the costs of the quarter-finals. For the semi-finals and finals, the teams in each series shall split the costs of diamonds and umpires.
- Playoff winner fund: $600 to the winner and $300 to the finalist. The I4C Trophy will be awarded to the playoff champion.
- Tony will order the softballs for the league through Softball Canada. Each team to contact Tony with the number of softballs (in dozens) each team requires. Same model/colour to be used at last year. Tony will also be ordering 4 packages of “Gorilla Gold” for each club to eliminate the need for pitchers to use any other substance. Costs are estimated at $80 per dozen for softballs and about $5 for each Gorilla Gold package.
- “8 man rule”: in order to continue to ensure minimal defaults (we had none in 2009), 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”: 7 after 5 or 6
- “2 out catcher rule”: optional.
- “Discipline”: Same as last year: 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 use the ISF / ISC bat rule. Joe will provide information to all teams as to what bats are “banned” under this regulation. Any bat with the ISF stamp or ASA 2004 stamp would be legal.
- “Playoff eligibility”: It was decided by a consensus that a player to be eligible to participate in the playoffs would need to participate in four regular season games. Teams can file an appeal prior to the playoffs, considering injuries or other factors and requests will be reviewed by the team representatives of the GOFL.
- “Pitching rule”: continue with last year's pitching rule
- Other Softball Canada rules apply.
- 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.
- There is no ISC Eastern Ontario Challenge Cup in 2010. GOFL can participate in the Ontario Challenge Cup in Mitchell (near Stratford) on Sept 17-19. Winner gets a berth to the 2011 Worlds.
- Eric will look into possible insurance coverage for the league that would be paid for on a team-by-team basis.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Blast from the past - how the 56ers got their name

Most softball fans in the area are probably aware that the Stittsville 56ers got their name due to the fact that the won the Ontario Amateur Softball Association Senior Men's provincial title in 1956. But did you know that their nickname at the time was the Stittsville Lumbermen?

As well, at that time it was a best-of-three series that determined which team advanced to the next round and was named champion, not a tournament. This "series ball" method of determining a provincial champion continued at least until the seventies as per the stories that Jim Ryan used to tell us over pints when he reminisced during his stint as an Electric. I also believe that "back in the day" that OASA games were 9 innings as well, not the wimpy 7 innings we now play.

Check out this article from September 24, 1956 about the big win:

Stittsville Lumbermen Provincial Champions
Ottawa Citizen; September 24, 1956

Len Parks grabbed the hero's role as Stittsville brought the first All-Ontario softball title to this district over the weekend.

Parks hit a pair of solo homers in the deciding game of a best-of-three final against Windsor Len Kanes to give his team a slim 2-1 triumph and the title.

Parks circuit clouts climaxed a long comeback by the Lumbermen. They lost first game, 6-2, on their home field Saturday night.

Playing twice yesterday at Hull's Fontaine Park they came through with the big triumps. Yesterday afternoon's tying game went to Stittsville, Eastern Ontario champs, 1-0.

Keith Russell was the hero of the second game. He batted in the only run of the game in the second game and also blanked the losers on six hits.

Windsor hurler Gord Haidy, who worked all three games for the losers, turned in yeoman service. His long blow to center field accounted for the lone Kane run in the final game.

Orléans Softball begins new era

Orléans Softball begins new era
February 18th, 2010
from the Orleans Star

The Orléans Amateur Fastball Association (Orléans Softball) begins a new era with the 2010 softball season.

Newly-elected President Rob Douthwright announced that Orléans Softball has seen some changes its Board of Directors.

“It is with both some sadness and happiness that we have seen a change in leadership. Ken Naylor, who had been President for the past eight years, has decided to step down. We are saddened that Ken is leaving but are very happy for him as he pursues new challenges.”

Mr. Douthwright praised the accomplishments that Ken had achieved in his years as president.

“Ken and his wife Pam, are important, recognized members of the sporting community in Orléans and across the Ottawa region. They are active members of a number of provincial softball associations and have been instrumental in shaping the sport, not only in Orléans, but across Ontario.”

Mr. Douthwright went on to say that many of the programs and initiatives Ken put in place will be continued.

“Ken and Pam Naylor have spent many years building an Association that is broadly based, encourages the fun aspect of softball, develops skills and, at the same time, recognizing the competitive aspect of the game. My task as president is to build upon these pillars”, he said.

Mr. Douthwright went on to say that Mr. Naylor has graciously offered to stay on as an active member of the Board of Directors to facilitate a smooth transition for the Association.

Registration for the 2010 season in the OAFA begins in February. Please visit the OAFA website at www.oafa.org for more details about softball in Orleans.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Registration time Blackburn, Glen Cairn and Trend Arlington leagues

Attn: fastball players. Several leagues have announced registration dates.

Blackburn Men's Fastball League

The Blackburn Men's Fastball League's 2010 registration will take place on March 9 at the Blackburn Arms from 6-10 PM.

Glen Cairn Men's Fastball League

Registration for the 2010 season of the Glen Cairn Men's Fastball League will be held at the Stittsville Broadway Bar & Grill on the following dates:

Thursday March 4th: 8PM - 10PM
Sunday March 7th: 7PM - 9PM

The Stittsville Broadway Bar & Grill is located at 1261 Main St. in Stittsville near the "Your Independent Grocer" store and the Tim Horton's.

The registration fee may be paid in cash or by cheque: cheques should be made payable to "GCMFL" and may NOT be post-dated. Please visit http://www.gcmfl.com/ week for details on electronic registration and credit-card payment options.All men 18 or older as of May 1st are welcome. Returning players must be registered and paid in full by 9PM on March 7th in order to be eligible for player draft protection by their 2009 team. New players are assigned to teams via a draft in early April.

Fees remain the same as 2009:
$100 for new players
$130 for former league members that did not play in 2009
$150 for returning players from 2009

All players may opt to pay for two seasons and get a substantial discount on their fees - the second season only costs $100 extra!

League play runs from May through August, with playoffs in August and September. All teams play one regular season game per week for a total of 14-16 weeks depending on the number of teams. Teams are also guaranteed a minimum of three games at the mid-season tournament in June.

Regular season and playoff games are played at the A.Y. Jackson High School diamond at 150 Abbeyhill Road in Kanata. Game nights are Monday to Wednesday, with 6:30 PM and 8:30 PM game times.

For more information, please contact executive@gcmfl.com or visit http://www.gcmfl.com/.

Trend Arlington Men's Fastball League

Registration for the Trend-Arlington Men’s Fastball League is March 8 at 7pm to 9pm at PJ Quigley’s Bar & Grill, 250 Greenbank Rd. from 7 to 9 p.m.

This is a recreational fast-pitch softball welcoming men looking to have some fun on the diamond.

We play Monday, Wednesday and Thursdays, May to September, 20 games plus playoffs.

Registration fee: $160 until March 8, and $200 after. Player pairing requests are accepted. Visit http://www.tafastball.ca/, e-mail info@tafastball.ca or phone Henry at 613-843-8774 or Wynn at 613-829-1516.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

GOFL Winter Meeting - Confirmed

The Greater Ottawa Fastball League winter meeting is scheduled for Weds February 17 at 7pm to discuss the upcoming 2010 season.

If you are interested in attending, contact fastball[at]fitzroyharbour.com for more information.

Monkton ON tourney cancelled for 2010

From the Listowel Banner

Monkton World Fastball tourney cancelled
by Andy Bader

MONKTON – The executive of the Monkton World Fastball Invitational tournament has announced they have cancelled their 2010 tournament that was slated for this July, although one organizer is trying to keep the event alive.

The tournament, considered one of the sport’s elite in North America, generated approximately $150,000 in improvements to both the ball diamond in Monkton as well as the entire village over its six-year life span.

“It’s sad and unfortunate,” said Brian Baillie, the ball chair and one of the tournament founders. “There’s so many people disappointed, but it’s not for a lack of wanting to do it. We were ready, willing and able. It’s just economics and moreso on the U.S. side of the border,” he continued.

He later stated that there is still time and he’s had a number of teams inquire about how to save the tournament.

Baillie said there were just four teams confirmed for the event this July, one of which was a development team from New Zealand. The game of high-profile fastball is changing, with economics the key factor as well as retirement of well-known players providing an uncertain future.

“Every single team that is coming back to the ISC (International Softball Congress) calibre of ball is scaling back,” Baillie said. “It’s left a lot up in the air.”
Baillie said the executive could offer a lower quality tournament.

“But that’s not what we’re about. Our idea was to have a top notch event or not at all.”

Sandra Machan, chair of the overall tournament committee, said the executive would like to thank all the dedicated volunteers, sponsors, fans, players and the entire Monkton area for their continued support over the past six years.

“It is the commitment of all those involved who have made the tournament such a success in the past,” she said.

Baillie also said the executive hasn’t ruled out starting up again in 2011.

“Next year might give us a clearer picture,” he said.

Senior Men's National Team Pool Announced

The forty man "pool" for the Men's National team has been announced by Softball Canada. Team Canada for the Pan Am championship will come from this group of guys. No local representation, but 14 are from other parts of Ontario. Every province is represented with at least one named member, with the exception of Quebec and New Brunswick. Check out the list here.

Calling fastballers 50+

Dave Birnie, Masters Fastball guru, passes on this call for players aged 50 and over looking to play in the ISC legends tourney. With Big Z and Wellsy it looks like they have a couple of pretty decent chuckers lined up already.

Cobourg FORCE (50+) Masters

The Cobourg FORCE (50+) Masters are gearing up for the 2010 ISC Legends Tournament.
The FORCE are looking for some additional players to join our team for this tournament.
Cobourg's confirmed pitchers for this tournament are Darren Zack and Wayne Wells.
The Cobourg FORCE are one of the first confirmed entries into this 16 team invitational tournament.
Players living in Canada or the USA are eligible to join our team, any interested players can contact Dave Birnie, see below for contact information.

Tournament details

2010 ISC Legends Tournament
16 Teams, 4 game guarantee
Date : Thursday August 19th. - Saturday August 21st.
Location : Midland, Michigan
Age : 50+, players can be 49 as long as they turn 50 ANYTIME in 2010


Dave Birnie
Cobourg FORCE (50+) Masters
905-573-9637 ( evenings are best )

Monday, February 08, 2010

Goodbye Greely, G'day Gower

Men’s Fastball is Coming Back to North Gower

Competitive men’s fastball is coming back to North Gower. The fastball club formerly known as the Greely Eagles will be known as the North Gower Marlboroughs in 2010.

In addition to the move, the club is announcing the new sponsorship of the Marlborough Pub in North Gower. Captain Anil Hayne said the club was excited about moving to North Gower, and that it made sense for a lot of reasons.

“Some of our players live in North Gower, so it’s our hometown and we love it,” said Hayne.

“Plus, we have a great local sponsor backing us.”

Marlborough Pub co-owner Jason Moore said he looking forward to the partnership. He said he was impressed by the club’s sense of community, such as conducting free fastball clinics for children.

“Community involvement is important to our business,” said Moore. “We like the way these guys promote fastball and give back to kids, and we want to support that.”

The North Gower Marlboroughs Men's Fastball Club will compete in the Greater Ottawa Fastball League (GOFL).

The GOFL is a nine-team premier men's fastball league in Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec.

The Marlboroughs’ home games will be played at the Alfred Taylor Recreation Facility on Community Way in North Gower. The schedule is yet to be determined.

For more information about the Marlborough Pub, please visit their website: www.marlboroughpub.com.

For more information about the North Gower Marlboroughs Men's Fastball Club, please contact Anil Hayne at 613-489-1730 or gowerfastball@gmail.com.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Learn about fastball rules at UmpSchool

from Als Fastball

Softball Canada Launches UmpSchool!

Softball Canada and the Officiating Development Committee are very pleased to launch a new tool to help umpires prepare for the 2010 season - Softball Canada UmpSchool! Softball Canada umpires can now take advantage of an effective new tool as they study the rules for the upcoming season, and prepare for 2010 certification examination. Softball Canada has recently partnered with RuleBox Software, a company that develops test preparation tools and online training. The result is a new initiative called Softball Canada UmpSchool, and it can be used to increase your knowledge of officiating and improve your score on the Softball Canada annual examination. When you subscribe to Softball Canada UmpSchool, you can select brief study quizzes that cover specific Softball Canada rules, or elect to take complete 50, 65, 75, 90, or 100-question practice examinations. You'll receive immediate feedback on your answers, as well as rule references so you can check on the correct ruling. This effective new training tool is available to Softball Canada umpires for a subscription fee of only $8 USD. A subscription allows you unlimited access for the entire season! Subscribe now, so you don't forget: http://www.ruleboxsoftware.com/softballcanada.aspx

For more information, please contact: Donna Ozarko Manager - Officials and Publications Softball Canada (613) 523-3386 ext. 3101 dozarko@softball.ca

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

OASA Great Lakes Championship

Looks like the OASA Eliminations have been replaced with this new tournament. Here are the details from Al's Fastball:

OASA Great Lakes Championship
July 30 to August 2, 2010
Waterloo Ontario
Hillside Park

The Ontario Amateur Softball Association announces a new tournament for intermediate men’s teams in Canada and the United States.

The first 16 teams to enter will be placed in four divisions and will play a round robin preliminary round. The top 2 teams in each division will then enter a single elimination playoff round.

There will be $7000 in travel expense money (based on 16 teams). The winner of each game will receive a portion of the travel expense money. The travel expense money is open to all teams in the tournament.

The top ranking team with a roster of Ontario players only will be eligible for a berth in the 2011 ISC tournament and will be declared the Ontario Intermediate A Provincial Champion.

All men’s teams are eligible with the following exceptions:
Teams and players that played in:
2009 Softball Canada Senior Men’s Championship
2009 ISC World Championship
2009 ASA Men’s Major Championship or NAFA Open Championship
For eligibility questions contact Brad Thomson at thomson.brad@gmail.com or George Ryder at gyryder@kwic.com.

Entry fee is $500 payable to the OASA with rosters accompanying the entry fee. The deadline is June 10 and roster changes may be made until one week before the tournament. For entry forms contact OASA Registrar Mary Myers at mjnm@sympatico.ca.

Gary Wren
OASA President

Grafton "Jim Bradford" tournament

Steve Bedard is looking to make the Jim Bradford Tournament in Grafton even bigger and better in 2010. Steve runs a good tourney, so if you are looking for a good event in June, this is a good option.

Grafton -Jim Bradford Classic
20th year of the Classic
June 11-13, 2010
Entry $450
Guaranteed 3 games
Looking for 20 teamstop - 12 go to playoff round.
This an Intermediate, ISC II, and Junior tournament. Sorry - No top Calibre Pitchers from ISC or National Team .

With 20 teams: Possible $ 3000.00 1st Prize, $ 1000.00 2nd, $250.00 for 3rd and 4th

Last years winners were: Cobourg Force -$2500, Ottawa Team Easton -$1000, Waterdown Hammer -$200, New York Bombers - $200

Please e-mail if your team is interested

Steve Bedard