As Christmas approaches we have played, well scheduled, 6 rounds and are
attempting to squeeze in two more before the Christmas adjournment.
Obviously because of the Covid disturbance we started later than usual and so
we are trying to get the players as much baseball as possible. The weather
authorities warned it was going to be a wet summer and for once they got it
partially right. We’ve only lost one and a bit Saturdays out of 6 so far but
unfortunately Friday night 16’s comp has been decimated. At this time humans
are unable to control the weather but we’re working on it. Some teams have
made up their washed out round 4 games midweek and we are quite happy to
condone this as long as both clubs are prepared to play the game.
One of the rounds squeezed in is round 8 which has been allocated to the
week between the end of school and Christmas. Round 7 is on the website and
round 8 has been sent to clubs but is yet to be posted. We’ve been made
aware of at least one scheduling problem where a clash of grounds with
another sport may need attention. We’re gambling on not many people going
away as soon as school finishes this year. Certainly they won’t be going to
Western Australia and you’d be taking a gamble going overseas.
Could I remind clubs that they will have to source their own umpires for Round
8 as it is unreasonable to ask the Umpire’s Association to allocate umpires
when the vast majority of its members are adults who will be at work when the
midweek games kick off. If you know an umpire who doesn’t work because
he’s so old they retrenched him then book him asap. All of the midweek games
start at 5.30 but as the children are not at school they will be around but the
major hurdle will be either dad or mum or grandad/grandma getting away
from work to transport them to the ground.
A reminder also that we recommence on the 21 st /22 nd January instead of after
Coaches need to be mindful that if they are playing on Saturday 18 th of
December (round 7) and then again on Tuesday 21 st that they don’t pitch their
players so long on Saturday that they are unavailable on Tuesday. LL, IL and JL
players who throw more than 50 (finish the batter if started before 50) on
Saturday will require 3 days rest under the BNSW policy. If their team is playing
on Wednesday they will be fine should they go to our limit of 60 on Saturday
but if they are drawn to play Tuesday then stop at the 50 mark and only two
days rest is required.
I was complimented on the CSJBA’s slow but steady start to the season by an
extremely experienced JL1 coach this week. He said the long layoff for his
players during Covid has seen a small number of his players underprepared
physically for a return to just club baseball. They are carrying niggling injuries
and if they had an intensive rep program to also contend with he felt the injury
problem would have been much worse. It was gratifying to receive the
Junior Umpires: A couple of issues.
Coaches who become frustrated and consequently don’t conduct themselves
ideally. Bite your tongues!
Junior umpires who are asked to do games they aren’t really experienced
enough to handle.
Junior umpires who don’t have capable adult support and supervision.
Coaches who influence junior umpires inappropriately taking advantage of a
child’s tendency to defer to an adult.
These come up every season and although not in plague proportions it does
occur. If there is a problem the junior umpires can stop the game and ask for
instruction/assistance from the umpire coordinator. Pitched ball game coaches
have the ability to lodge a protest if the umpire makes a mistake on a rule or
interpretation of a rule. Note you can’t normally protest judgement calls –
strike, ball, safe, out, fair, foul.
The biggest bugbear for me is umpires who allow too long between innings
and time is wasted. Disorganised coaches also contribute to long breaks
between innings when they don’t get their team out onto the field promptly.
We have a catcher speed up rule – use it. Know the positions kids are playing
before the game and allow the manager to tell them of planned fielding
changes while they’re batting instead of during the changeover.
More on junior umpires – umpires sign on the result sheet to testify that the
winner and score are correct. They are not involved with pitching statistics,
fielding positions or injuries. Two young umpires waited patiently in Round 5
for scorers who insisted the pitch counts had to be completed, box scores filled
in, i’s dotted and t’s crossed before the result sheets could be signed. Because
they were youths and reluctant to disagree with adults they waited for quite a
while despite their need to get away to play their own games.
The umpire asks the result, checks both scorers agree and then signs after the
results are written on the result sheets. Then they are gone. Little else
concerns them. Of course it is embarrassing when a signed result sheet is
submitted without a result or score. That has happened and as I knew mum
(coached her in softball back in our younger days) I dobbed on him.
Players arriving late or leaving early: We want children to play baseball.
Consequently a child who is late can join the game without penalty. They just
go on the bottom of the batting order and take their turn when it comes up.
Similarly there is no penalty if a child leaves early. In my 29 years with baseball
I have only once heard of a coach suggesting a player become unwell and drop
out of the game on the grounds his approaching At Bat was unlikely to be
useful to the team and the match was in the balance. I wasn’t involved with
the administration back then but he was censured by both his club and the
A reminder about rule 26.1: Last Saturday at a LL game a batter got hit in the
face by a foul that came off the bat awkwardly. There was some doubt about
whether he could continue. The Junior umpire was asked what would be the
call if he couldn’t complete his at bat. The rule says he seeks treatment and the
next batter comes to the plate with a new count. The injured player misses his
bat without penalty but can’t bat again until his turn comes around in the
natural order of the game. Fortunately the wounded warrior came back to
finish his turn – lucky because the junior umpire had no idea what to do and
neither did the coaches. In big boys baseball a reserve from the bench would
replace the injured player and take his count. We don’t have reserves as
everyone bats. A bit tough on the pitcher but we’re a compassionate baseball
Juniors wearing the Umpires’ Association uniform should be members of the
Umpires Association. It is very reasonable fee – just $10 which a club could
consider covering. Once the Umpires’ Association has a junior umpire’s details
they will be invited to workshops, meetings and receive educational emails.
The treasurer is Geoff Ollerton. His email is email@example.com
He tells me he has new junior umpire members from Comets, Bosco and St
George. Members from last season are rolled over for this season due to the
Covid interruption. Geoff acknowledges that some clubs outfit their junior
umpires in club related junior umpire uniforms rather than Umpire Association
Special Event: The Grade Club play their first home game of the season against
Manly this Wednesday evening at Bonnet Bay. As an attractive undercard we
have two LL games happening prior to the main game. On diamond 3 in the left
field corner LL Majors Cronulla and St George are playing a make up for their
round 4 washout. In the right field corner, diamond 4, Bosco and Yarrawarrah
LL Div 3 are squaring off. All spectators are welcome. The canteen will be open
and the BBQ operating. LL starts at 5.15 and finishes at 6.45. First Grade starts
at 7.15 and finishes at 9.45.
Rookie Reps trials were held recently and we have formed three teams for the
tournament at the end of February. Thank you to the coaches who
volunteered to be involved. They are Henry Twaddell from Dolphins, Robbie
Hayes Conway from Yarrawarrah and Shane O’Connor from Giants. The players
involved are listed on the CSJBA website.
Hitting Centre Development Program: Once again we have invited the players
entering the pitched ball ranks to a session at the Grand Slam Batting Centre.
We start with the lowest ranked LL division and work though all the LL teams.
Thus far we have hosted the LL Div 3 teams and without exception they have
found the experience beneficial and enjoyable.
Finally, thanks to Giants President Nathan Fuz for getting us access to the
Taren Point Bowling Club for our December meeting. See you there?