Important Dates & A Note From Wendy, News (St. George Minor Ball)

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Important Dates & A Note From Wendy
Submitted By Wendy Johnstone on Thursday, August 1, 2019
First I would like to congratulate all our teams on a great season to date. From where I sit there have been many successes, so much development, many friendships and many fun moments. This is what Minor Ball is about. 

Some important dates to remember as we head into the end of summer / early fall:

Thursday, September 5, 2019 at 6:00pm - Our Year End BBQ Banquet on Diamond A at the South Dumfries Community Center. This banquet is for all our Grasshopper - Bantam level teams. We will come together for traditional ballpark fair of hot dogs, chips and freezies to celebrate our season. MVP, Most Sportsman/womanlike & Most Improved players will be recognized on each team. We ask all players to wear their jerseys. For levels Atom and below please return your uniform pants to us at this time. This will be a celebration. Bring the whole family. There is no charge to attend, although we will be asking for free will donations.

Thursday, September 12, 2019 at 7:00pm - Our Coach Feedback Meeting will be held in the Community Room at the arena. All coaches are invited and encouraged to attend.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019 at 7:00pm - Our Parent & Player Feedback Meeting will be held in the Community Room at the arena. All parents, and senior players are invited to attend and provide feedback on the current season along with expressing wishes for next season.

I would also like to make you aware that planning has already begun for some parts of the 2020 season. It has been determined that we will work towards having female teams play in PWSA at the U10 (Mite), U12 (Squirt), U14 (Novice), U16 (Bantam) and U19 (Midget Levels). We will work towards having male OASA teams at U10 (Atom), U12 (Squirt) and U14 (PeeWee) Levels. Tryouts for these Rep & Select Level teams will happen on the following dates:

Female PWSA - September 2, 7 & 8
Male OASA - September 8, 10 & 12

These teams will supplement our existing program and hopefully fill a need for the many players and families in our community who are seeking a more competitive experience. This year we had a Mite Girls Team play in PWSA and they have done fantastically well. They have certainly broken new ground for Minor Ball. As these girls split into Mite and Squirt levels next year, we want to give them every opportunity to continue playing at the level they want to without having to leave St. George. Our Squirt Boys Select team came second in OASAs this year. Again, this is a committed group of very competitive players and families who next year will split into Squirt and PeeWee levels. We want them to have the opportunity to keep playing at that level under the Spartans Banner.  I have already received feedback that these tryouts seem too early to some of you. Please be aware that this is the typical timing for tryouts at this level. In past years we lost St. George players to other centers because we waited too long to hold tryouts. It is our wish that every kid from St. George can play as a Spartan if they want to. Are there players from outside St. George on our teams - absolutely. We have chosen to fill a void made by other centers by welcoming anyone onto our teams. I have heard from many of you over the years that you disagree with this approach. However, when we have our parent feedback meetings each year the overwhelming mandate has always been to carry with this open registration philosophy.

Please be aware that these Rep & Select level teams will in no way displace the fantastic House League program that has been in place for decades. It is however meant to provide more and different opportunities. Our House League program represents 70% of our teams and players. We will always work to have as many House League teams as possible at each level of the organization. There is absolutely no pressure for any current or future players to try for a team at a level that doesn't interest them. We will continue to have teams entered into all the same leagues as we always have. 

As we expand the program, there are a few more things to be aware of if you are interested in PWSA & OASA:

- We are accepting coaching applications now for our Select & Rep level teams. This does not mean the executive is looking to displace current coaches, but rather that we recognize some of our existing coaches will not want to coach higher level teams, and we will need more coaches for next year to accommodate more teams. We are however asking that if our existing coaches are interested they also submit an application. As in the past, to be fair, we ask that all coaches re-apply to coach each year. The coaching application can be printed off the website and should be returned to Derek Morley [email protected] no later than 5:00 on August 16. Interviews will be scheduled for the following week.

- If you are considering trying out for a Girls PWSA level team, please be aware that there is a significant increase in cost. In addition to your registration fees you can expect to pay anywhere from $500 - $1,000 more to cover tournaments, extra uniforms, etc. Most teams fund raise to cover some or all of these costs. That will ultimately be determined by the coaches and families. 

- There is an increase travel and time commitment. You can expect the season to stretch right through the summer. You can also likely expect a year round practice schedule. 

- If you are planning to tryout for a Select or Rep level team, please complete the tryout form listed under the registration section of our website. While it is not necessary to complete this form, it is very helpful to help us plan.

The St. George Minor Ball Executive is also looking for new members to join the team. In particular, we would love to have some representation from families with players 10 & under.  Watch for more information on how to get involved as we head into late summer, early fall. 

Finally, on a personal note I would like to apologize if my emails to coaches and parents, my social media and website posts seemed curt, inadequate or abrupt over the past week or so. I am not one who believes in excuses, but by way of explanation let me say that it has been a busy and trying few weeks for me personally. Sometimes it is hard to get everything done that I would like to and I believe I have rushed some messaging in the process causing extra stress and concern for members of our community. I can tell you on behalf of all 6 Executive Members the decisions we make are not easy. We do not take it lightly when players, coaches, families or umpires feel slighted by things that happen within the program. We genuinely all volunteer for this program out of a love for ball and a love for the kids in our community. As with all organizations, every decision that is made makes some people happy and some people unhappy. We do our best to make a program that is best for as many people as possible. We are unbelievably proud of all our teams and coaches for the fantastic showing this year and can't wait to celebrate this season with you at the year end banquet.

For many of you I am the direct contact on all matters. Note that from Friday, August 1 - Tuesday, August 13 I will be completely unplugged and unreachable by phone or email. If you message me during that time I will respond after the 13th. For scheduling & umpires during that time please contact Natalie McDonald [email protected] For coaches, and questions surrounding the Rep & Select level program for 2020 please contact Derek Morley [email protected]

Kindest regards:

Wendy Johnstone
SGMB Executive
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