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 29, 2011

Fitzroy Junior - tougher than his dad

Long time, no post. Best of the holiday season to all blog readers, belated Merry Christmas (if that's what you celebrate) and Happy New Year to all. Sorry for the long delay between items, but been busy with things as I am sure you have too.

From a fastball perspective, our friends at Fastpitch West have this news - Owen Sound senior men's fastball is folding for 2012, which sucks. Let's hope that they get it back together for 2013.
In the world of big time hockey, Fitzroy Junior's team is in this Bell Capital Cup tournament. Have you heard about this thing? It's absolutely nuts, 400+ teams from across the world converge in the Ottawa area for some furious Atom and Peewee hockey excitement. In Fitzroy Junior's category alone there are 60 teams! (Makes we weep when I think that we had a 3 team fastball jamboree at Fitzroy Jr's age group this summer.....but anyway, we're working on that.)

Today, Junior's team finished the round robin with a highly unexpected 3-0 record to advance to the playoff round. The good news is that Fitzroy Junior notched two assists in the crucial 4-1 win over Embrun, thanks of course to his Combat Sports Group stick.

The bad news is that at the end of the second period, there was an incident that as a parent it makes you a bit sick to the stomach. Fitzroy Junior is a first year atom player, and as nine-year olds go, he's a bit wee. So he's skating at his blue line, looking back in his zone for the pass and turns WHAMMO right into a much larger opponent. He bounces of the other player like he's hit a brick wall, falls backward and whacks his head - hard - off the ice, his helmet actually bouncing.

I'm looking on, more than somewhat worried. Mrs Fastball hasn't seen it (gabbing with another mom) but sees him on the ice and is worried as well. The Caveman - well, there's music during the breaks in the play, so no worry for him, he's dancing to the tunes.

Now over the last three years or so, Fitzroy Junior and I have had a few chats about how one should play the game of hockey. Some of these discussions have included the topic of being a wuss. For example, for small bumps and bruises, you don't want to be the kid that lies on the ice like you've been shot rolling around. GET UP, and get off the ice. Only stay down if you are REALLY hurt, I told him.

Well obviously he's listened. After whacking his Bauer off the ice surface, the poor little guy tries to get up - and goes Bambi legged, wipes out and back down. But the young lad doesn't give him, gets to his knees, wipes out again, then finally struggles to his skates and gets off the ice just as the trainer is coming out to help him.

Given the severity, he went to the room for the remainder of the game. Turns out (thankfully) he seems to be OK, no headaches or nausea or anything and he should be fine to play in their next game on Saturday morning.

Tears just barely welling in his eyes as I helped him to the dressing room, he was more mad that the other kid didn't get a penalty than anything else. "He meant to do that, Daddy" (actually he didn't).

Gotta say, I would have given him a mulligan on this one - he definitely could have / should have stayed down. But he showed he was the toughest one in the family on that play.....they probably would have just got the Zamboni and scraped me off the ice if it would have happened to me.

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Monday, December 19, 2011

Softball Canada Men's Developmental team announced for the AAU

Softball Canada News Release

2012 Men`s Development Team
Monday, December 19, 2011(Ottawa, ON) Softball Canada is pleased to announce the list of players who have been invited to compete at the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) International Men’s Fast Pitch tournament with the Canadian Men’s Development Team. The event will take place from January 26-29, 2012 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. At last year’s AAU tournament, the Canadian Development Team swept its round-robin games and kept rolling by winning four playoff games before losing 9-5 in the gold medal game against Chicago/New York.

The athletes selected to the 2012 Developmental Team are:
1. Tyson Barkman (Abbotsford, BC)
2. Ryan Boland (St. John’s, NL)
3. Jeff Ellsworth (St. Lawrence, PEI)
4. Blair Ezekiel (Harbour Main, NL)
5. Jason Hill (St. John’s, NL)
6. Adam Hiller (Elmira, ON)
7. Brandon Horn (Waterloo, ON)
8. Mark Johnson (Glencoe, ON)
9. Derek Mayson (North Vancouver, BC)
10. Brennan Pokoyoway (Saskatoon, SK)
11. Mathieu Roy (Saint-Gervais, QC)
12. Jason Sanford (Durham, NS)
13. Don Scott (Stratford, ON)
14. Jeremy Tracy (Waterville, NB)
15. Ben Wideman (Elmira, ON)
16. Brady Woods (Stonewall, MB)

Coaching Staff
Head Coach: Don Bates (Saskatoon, SK)
Assistant Coach: Les Howey (Saskatoon, SK)
Assistant Coach: John Stuart (Vancouver, BC)
Assistant Coach: Glenn Boles (St. Catharines, ON)
Athletic Therapist: Adam Davies (Ottawa, ON)

Jeff Ellsworth and Derek Mayson are veterans of the Men’s National Team program, and helped Canada win a Bronze medal at the 2009 ISF Men’s World Championship in Saskatoon, SK. In addition, Tyson Barkman and Mathieu Roy are former Junior Men’s National Team members, earning a Bronze medal at the 2005 ISF Junior Men’s World Championship in Summerside, PEI. 'This Developmental Team roster features many new faces as we begin our preparations for the 2012 Pan American Qualifier and the ISF World Championship to be held in March, 2013' said Harvey Stevenson, Operations Manager for Softball Canada’s National Teams. 'The AAU Tournament will allow our younger players to experience international softball and how it feels to represent Canada in a highly competitive event.'

AAU Tournament - Canadian Development Team Schedule
January 26: Canada vs. Caguas (Puerto Rico) – 3:00pm EST
January 26: Canada vs. Cutro (USA) – 7:00pm EST
January 27: Canada vs. Los Venezolanos (Venezuela) – 3:00pm EST
January 28: Playoff Round
January 29: Playoff Round


Sunday, December 18, 2011

John Konkle

Some sad news to pass on. Thank you to Robert & John Craig for forwarding this information below, and my condolences to Konks and his family.

It's with heavy heart I pass along this sad news, so close to Christmas, regarding the father of a legend in fastball in this area! As a fastball family, let's join together to support Dan and his familyon the loss of a husband, father and grandfather, and a big supporter of this wonderful game! Rest in peace, my friend!

KONKLE, John Harold

Suddenly, with his wife by his side, Saturday, December 17, 2011, at the age of 65. Dearly loved husband of 42 years to Beverly (Nee Dowdell). Beloved father of Tammy (Jack), Dan and Derek (Eryn). Cherished grandfather of Darren, Jenna, Annika, Camden and Kallum. Dear brother of Bryan Smith (Christine). We will miss him terribly, but his 5 year old granddaughter said "He will never leave us because he is in our hearts forever." Friends may pay respects at the Kelly Funeral Home, 580 Eagleson Road, Kanata, Tuesday from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Funeral Service Wednesday in the Chapel at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers donations to the University ofOttawa Heart Institute or Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation are appreciated.


Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday rumour - Micksburg Twins back for 2012?

Word from up the line is that the Micksburg Twins may be forming once again for a tournament or two in 2012. I had heard this from a few "sources" in the fall and it looks like there may indeed be a good chance of it happening.

It would be great to see the Twins back on the field this upcoming season, representing the Upper Ottawa Valley. A one-two pitching combination of Corey Costello and Joran Graham would obviously make them contenders in any tournament they may enter.

Let's hope this happens this season.

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Changes to Canadian Championships

Some rules have changed for Canadian Championship coordinated by Softball Canada. Here are a few highlights that might interest fastball players. (courtesy Mike Branchaud, Softball Canada)

Canadian Championships Changes from the 2011 Softball Canada AGM
- No import player will be allowed to play in 2 separate Canadian Championships in the same year with 2 different provinces or territories.
- In Canadian Championships with 7, 8 or 9 teams, 6 teams will play in the Championship round with the top 4 having double life and the next 2 with a single life.
- The 2012 Championships will be considered open to all levels of teams whether it is A, B, C, Tier 1, Tier 2, select etc. Teams will be accepted based on Provincial/territorial approval with Softball Canada and each Host setting the limits based on diamonds, volunteer base etc. The format for all Championships will be determined by Softball Canada based on the number of teams attending. There will be intent to register forms available on the Softball Canada website to allow teams to express their interest in attending.
-The Championship game (Gold Medal) will be considered complete after 5 innings of play if the game has to be called due to weather.
- One of the registered coaches must be fully certified Level 2 – softball (theory, technical, practical) or Competition Introduction certified in the NCCP and must be in attendance at all games. The effective date is the 2014 season.

(There were some other changes, most relevant to slo-pitch - and as blog readers know, we don't go there.)


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Softball Ontario seeks Softball Associations to host a Competition-Introduction, Softball On Field Evaluation Clinic

Toronto, ON- Softball Ontario Coaches Committee is seeking four (4) Softball Associations to host a Competition-Introduction, Softball On Field clinic by March 31, 2011. The goal of the On Field Evaluation clinic is provide Softball coaches an opportunity to move from “trained” (attended What to Coach, How to Coach and completed Make Ethical Decision On Line test) status to “certified” status. The Evaluation clinic is subsided by Softball Ontario and the Quest for Gold Program-Coach Enhancement category.

The four (4) Evaluation Clinic Hosts will receive:
- Up to $500 to cover the rental costs of a Classroom and Gymnasium
- The opportunity to Certify twelve (12) Coaches at a local On-Field Evaluation Clinic
- An opportunity to provide your athletes with free skills instruction from guest Coaches
- Get a jump-start on the 2014 Canada Coach requirements for participating in a Canadian Championships
- Earn up to 32 points towards your Association SAFE STAR Rating

What is “Competition-Introduction Softball”?
Competition-Introduction, Softball is the first coaching clinic that is available in National Coaching Certification Stream. In the Competitive stream, Coaches usually have previous coaching experience or are former athletes in the sport. Coaches in this category tend to work with athletes over a long term to improve performance, often in preparation for provincial, national or international competitions. There are four (4) components to Competition-Introduction, Softball which includes:
- What to Coach (16 Hours)
- How to Coach (16 Hours)
- Make Ethical Decisions On Line Evaluation (3 hours)
- On Field Evaluation (2 hours)

The On Field Evaluation component (OFE Clinic) is the final step in becoming “Certified” in Competition-Introduction, Softball. Who can host a Competition-Introduction, Softball On Field Evaluation clinic?Any Softball Associations who is interested in hosting a Competition-Introduction, Softball On Field Evaluation should contact Steph Sutton via email at ssutton@softballontario.ca

What are the requirements of a Softball Association to Host an On Field Evaluation Clinic?
In order to host a successful On Field Evaluation Clinic, it is necessary for a Softball Association to supply the following:
- 9 softball players of the same age group for a morning and afternoon session for two days
- A Double gym with an adjacent classroom- class room you need a TV and DVD player available
First Aid Kit
- Ball (preferably indoor balls)-Softball
- A set of indoor bases
- 9 bats for Players to use

When can Softball Associations host an On Field Evaluation clinic?
Softball Associations hosting an On Field Evaluation two (2) day clinic before March 31, 2012 to receive facility funding assistance.

Why would Softball Association want to host an On Field Evaluation?
If any Softball Association has Coaches who are participating in a Canadian Championships in 2014, the requirement of Coach Education for Coaches involved is to be Competition-Introduction, Softball “Certified”. This opportunity allows softball Coaches to obtain certification in their local association reducing time commitments and travel time as well as providing an opportunity for athletes to receive additional training from a guest coach.

Interested Softball Associations are encouraged to send a letter of interest to the Softball Ontario office indicating that they are able to secure a facility with a classroom and double gym for 2 days; able to supply nine (9) athletes of the same age group and help recruit Coaches to attend the clinic. Once a letter of interested is received, Softball Ontario will follow up with the interested host to work out the details of a Competition-Introduction, Softball On Field Evaluaton Hosting Contract.

Softball Ontario delivers the National Coaching Certification Program and Coach Education on behalf of Softball Canada and the Coaching Association of Canada in the Province of Ontario for the sport of Softball.

If you have any questions regarding the Softball Ontario Coaches Program or the National Coaching Certification Program, please contact Steph Sutton via email at ssutton@softballontario.ca.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Semi-regular collection of miscellany

In fastball related news, the West Carleton Minor Softball Association is going to look into hosting a "CANPitch" program for boys and girls this winter or spring. If anyone knows of young person that would like to get into fastball pitching, please contact me at fastball[at]fitzroyharbour.com and we'll get them on the list.

A few other items to share :

- Some proof attached that Fitzroy Junior does indeed use a Combat hockey stick, as per his sponsorship agreement. Season is going well as Jr is up to four goals in Atom house league action. Recently, he showed that he had his mother's temper. After getting his stick lifted in front of the net and missing a scoring opportunity, he followed the defenceman into the corner and promptly laid him out with a forearm shiver to the helmet (2 minutes for roughing). Definitely gets that from the Mrs Fastball side of the family tree.

- I took the Caveman and Fitzroy Junior to the Senators - Vancouver NHL game on Saturday night. As can be expected, they were looking forward to this for quite some time. So, it was a bit worrisome when during our pre-game meal at McD's, the Caveman puked up his chicken nuggets in a feces-filled toilet in the men's room. (Turns out his chocolate milk had soured and he was too busy chugging it down to notice.) However, tough little nut that he is, he recovered quickly and insisted on attending the game, where he polished off two pieces of pizza and a Sprite. My appetite however, after witnessing that, just returned on Monday.

- Commuting to the City from the far reaches of Fitzroy means that sometimes I take public transit. Occasionally I see interesting things on the bus. Yesterday, it was a midget. A surly, cursing, swearing little person wearing an Elmer Fudd hat. Good times.

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Tuesday, December 06, 2011

U21 Men's Softball back in the Canada Games for 2017

Good news from Softball Canada - Men's U21 Softball is back in the Canada Games for 2017 after being dropped for previous games.

This is subject to appeal at this stage, but things are looking good for our sport to finally return to this important youth event.

Congratulations to Mike Branchaud and the staff at Softball Canada for getting men's fastball the recognition it deserves at this national multi-sport level.

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Thursday, December 01, 2011

Softball Ontario offering $500 awards

Earn $500 for your Softball Association! Make Sure to Apply by December 23, 2011!

TORONTO, ON - Could your Softball Association use an extra $500 to help train your coaches, umpires or volunteers? Softball Ontario's Softball Association Fundamental Excellence (SAFE) Awards are a great way to fund your volunteer training for 2012! Apply by December 23, 2011 at 12:00 PM to be eligible for one of twenty-four (24) SAFE Awards.

What is a SAFE Award?
A Softball Association Fundamental Excellence Award is an award of $500 for Softball Associations to use in one of four (4) categories:
Volunteer Development
Community Coach Development
Competitive Coach Development
Umpire Development

The Awards will help Softball Associations to train volunteers for the 2012 softball season, thereby increasing their volunteer capacity and the quality of their programs. Softball Associations receiving a SAFE Award will receive a special presentation of a SAFE Award Plaque at one of their Softball Association’s events. In addition, the SAFE Award will help Softball Associations to work towards improving their SAFE STAR Rating!

How do I apply for a SAFE Award?Applying for a SAFE Award is easy! Just follow these three (3) steps:
Step 1: Become a member of the Play Softball Network by 12:00 PM on December 23, 2011
It’s free and easy to join, with lots of benefits for your Softball Association! Download an application form here:
Step 2: Submit your SAFE STAR Rating Application by 12:00 PM on December 23, 2011
Download a copy of the SAFE STAR Rating Application Form here:
Step 3: Complete the SAFE Award Application Form and send it to the Softball Ontario Office by 12:00 PM on December 23, 2011

Download a copy of the SAFE STAR Rating Application Form here:

Softball Associations are encouraged to set up a telephone meeting with Participation Program Coordinator Lisa Crompton by email lcrompton@softballontario.ca or by phone at 416-426-7150 to review applications prior to submission.

Complete all three (3) Steps in the SAFE Award Application Process by 12:00 PM on December 23, 2011 to be eligible for a SAFE Award. To assist Softball Associations in their application, sample application materials are available in the SAFE STAR Section of Softball Ontario’s web site at www.softballontario.ca under Association Awards.

If you would like to find out more information about the Softball Association Fundamental Excellence (SAFE) Awards, the SAFE STAR Ratings Program, or if you have any questions please contact Lisa Crompton at lcrompton@softballontario.ca or call 416-426-7150.Softball Ontario is the governing body for the sport of softball in Ontario. Our goal is to promote and develop the sport of softball for its athletes, officials and volunteers by providing programs and services at all levels of competitions.

The Ontario Trillium Foundation is an agency of the Government of Ontario. Their mission is to build healthy and vibrant communities throughout Ontario by strengthening the capacity of the voluntary sector, through investments in community-based initiatives.


Softball Ontario looking for Pitching Instructors

Softball Ontario Seeks Regional Pitching Instructors for the 2012 CANpitch Program Season

TORONTO, ON - Softball Ontario is now accepting applications for the position of Regional Pitching Instructor (Fast Pitch) for Softball Canada’s CANpitch Program. Softball Ontario has seventeen (17) trained Regional Pitching Instructors located throughout all of Ontario ready and able to deliver the CANpitch Program. Softball Ontario is looking for new Instructors to join our team!The CANpitch Program is Softball Canada’s national pitching program created to provide a nationally standardized curriculum based on Softball Canada’s Long-Term Player Development framework to introduce and develop the skill of windmill pitching.

What is a Regional Pitching Instructor?
A Regional Pitching Instructor (RPI) is responsible for delivering the 6-week Program and become the pitching expert in their host location within Ontario. The RPI will receive instruction and support from Softball Ontario and the Master Pitching Instructor(s) who will train and mentor throughout the 6-week Clinic. The Regional Pitching Instructor (RPI) is responsible to Softball Ontario. The primary role of Softball Ontario’s RPI is to be the pitching expert in their host location within Ontario. RPIs will receive instruction and support from Softball Ontario’s four (4) Master Pitching Instructors (MPIs) through mentoring and professional development opportunities. RPIs will deliver the CANpitch Program throughout Ontario.Duties and

Responsibilities include (but not limited to):
Accountable and Responsible to Softball Ontario for a two (2) year term.
Responsible for delivering one (1) 6-week clinic per clinic season.
Attend all training sessions, workshops and participate in conference calls hosted by Softball Ontario, when necessary.
To communicate regularly with Softball Ontario Master Pitching Instructor(s) and Softball Ontario about the CANpitch Program and Clinic delivery
To promote the CANpitch Program to local Softball Associations in their area.

The ideal candidate must have the following Qualifications:
Demonstrate a commitment to pitching instructor using the CANpitch Curriculum
Have strong communication skills
Have strong leadership ability
Be a positive role model
Experience in Pitching a Requirement; Coaching experience an Asset.

Regional Pitching Instructors are compensated for their delivery of the CANpitch Program at a reasonable hourly rate. Becoming a Regional Pitching InstructorFor those individuals interested in becoming a Softball Ontario Regional Pitching Instructor please send a letter of interest along with a resume outlining your Fast Pitch pitching experience to the Softball Ontario office “Attention- Carly Laxton – CANpitch Program Coordinator” by Wednesday, December 14, 2011 by 4:30pm.

In the coming weeks Softball Ontario will collect and evaluate all applicants, however Softball Ontario will be focusing on areas of need when choosing individuals to join the CANpitch Instructor team.

All candidates MUST attend the Greater Toronto Area FULL two-day training weekend on January 14 and 15, 2012. Partial attendance will not qualify. This two-day training weekend will allow our Pitching Committee Members to further evaluate your skills and theory to help determine if you will be a good fit for the delivery of the CANpitch Program.

Attending the two-day training does not mean you are chosen as a Regional Pitching Instructor. For more information about Softball Canada’s CANpitch Program please visit the Softball Ontario website: www.softballontario.ca or contact Carly Laxton at claxton@softballontario.ca or call (416) 426-7150.