Pre season messages
As I mentioned in our team meeting, please bear with me through the month of April :) April is always the craziest month. Along those lines, there may be things that are scheduled like practices or scrimmages that not everyone can make. I totally understand if they have to miss something but my philosophy is that if 10 out of 12 kids can make a scrimmage then it's worth it. Obviously, once the games start, I'd rather not have kids miss unless absolutely necessary. Also, the practices that are on the schedule are important because we have some team things to work on. See more notes about this below.
Schedule - The season schedule is uploaded on eSoft. There were quite a few school and other activities to schedule around so I did the best I could but there will be some conflicts but in general I am pretty happy with the schedule. My plan was to front load the schedule which I was able to do but I am sure we will have some reschedules. Sometimes the schedule changes and if it does I will send a message and change it in eSoft. There is also a schedule on the SSBL site which has the location of away games. It is too cumbersome to type all the addresses so I've included a link on our team page at www.playballohio.com to our schedule (which will tell you the field name) and another link to the SSBL field addresses. If you have any questions, just ask and I'll help.
Tournaments - I put four tournaments on the schedule with one of them being "possible tournament". Based on how the schedule played out, I wouldn't mind adding a fourth tournament which would be the Bowen Tournament at Jackson fields. We would have one player out of town but we can pick up some eligible players from the 15u team. If everyone wants to participate, we would split the cost since this is an extra tournament.
Practice Update - I have reserved Greensburg United Methodist church for 6 dates because they have 90 foot base paths. It was unavailable Tues-Thurs so I reserved some Saturdays and Mondays as you will see on the schedule. The first one is THIS SATURDAY April 14th, so we will be practicing there instead of Stow Alliance Church. I apologize for the change but it's better to practice on a full sized field if possible. The other dates I reserved are Mon 4/16, Sat 4/21, Mon 4/23, Mon 5/7, Sat 5/12 and Mon 5/21. I'd rather practice on a full sized field than Stow Alliance so if we can practice on Green United Mothodist Church field, I'd rather do that. My apologies because this means that Monday practices are back on for the next two weeks (see note above about April craziness). However, if we get a good practice on a Monday, I am more inclined to cancel practice on Tues or Thurs during the school week to save on some driving and then we will practice Saturday and Sunday. I know this is counter to what I said recently but as I thought about it, it makes more send to practice on the weekend indoors instead of a weekday, for the sake of travel. So the schedule is updated in eSoft and I will communicate via text message as soon as possible as the weather dictates.
Scrimmages - I am trying to schedule some scrimmages for the next few weeks. I will try to keep them on days we have practice but it's hard to say if that will work out.
Carpooling - We have several families who are in close proximity to one another and I'd like to encourage communication for the possibility of carpooling. In particular, the following families are in close proximity; 1) Harkness (Jackson), Schindewolf (Manchester), Johnston (North Canton), 2: Engle (Stow), Grubb (Aurora), Deckert (Cuyahoga Falls). I'm going to send a group message to these two groups so you can get each others contact information. I feel like this can be particularly helpful for sharing rides to practice over the next few weeks.
Practices during the season - My philosophy (and the philosophy oF MLB, most colleges and even most high schools) is that you work on your team "stuff" during the pre-season or until you have it down. Then, during the season,players should be responsible for keeping themselves sharp. This is why the boys have memberships to the academy. We will very rarely, if ever, have a team batting practice outside because it is not very efficient. What we will have is pre-game batting practice (when possible). Also, we will work on every aspect of our team stuff during our pre-game warmup. We will have a very specific pre-game routine that incorporates most of the things we work on as a team. The boys are expected to take extra grounders, fly balls, bullpens and batting practice on their own.
I'm sure I've forgotten something I wanted to say so keep an eye our for additional messages :)
As I suspected, there are a few more items I wanted to mention. These are some of the rules. the full rules can be found here - https://www.ssbl1.com and look for the 2018 Boys Travel league rules. Some of these rules do not apply during tournaments but most of them do.
Practice Help - Any parent that want to help during practice, please get a hold of me. I may need help hitting fly balls, grounders, chasing foul balls, catching in etc. If you feel that you can help with one of these AND will PROMISE not to try and teach anything other than repeating what I've told the kids, please get a hold of me.
Bat Rule - this is how the bat rule reads this year.
: For ages 13 and younger 2 3/4” barrel maximum and 36” length. For 14U age group there is also a -5 differential maximum, length –weight=differential. For High School ages 15 and older Bats must meet the BBCOR requirements and a -3 differential.
New pitch limit rule:
41. Pitching Rules:
A) Pitch Count Limitations:
B) A pitcher may finish the current batter if the daily pitch limit is reached during that at bat.
C) If a pitcher throws 31 pitches (high school) or 21 (8U-14U) or, he may NOT pitch in the second game of a double header (or the next day).
D) At the end of each contest, coaches will submit pitcher number and pitches thrown on the SSBL website.
E) All pitches thrown in a suspended game or a scrimmage game SHALL COUNT toward the daily pitch limit and the total number of pitches thrown.
F) Any player pitching during a period in which rest is required is considered to be pitching as an ineligible player.
G) If a pitcher reaches a day(s) of rest threshold while facing a batter, the pitcher may continue to pitch until any one of the following conditions occurs: (1) that batter reaches base; (2) that batter is retired; or (3) the third out is made to complete the half-inning or the game. The pitcher will only be required to observe the calendar day(s) of rest for the threshold he/she reached during that at-bat, provided that pitcher is removed or the game is completed before delivering a pitch to another batter.”
Note: Any victorious contest in which an ineligible player is participating will result in forfeiture of the contest.
I'm sure there will be more