What the heck are you guys up to anyway?, News (St. George Minor Ball)

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What the heck are you guys up to anyway?
Submitted By Wendy Johnstone on Thursday, August 22, 2019
We know you lots of you are wondering why the heck is the Executive so focused on 2020 when this season isn’t even over yet for some teams. Let me start by saying we are not only focused on 2020. We are also busy planning the year end BBQ, ordering banners for Diamond A to mark our successes and getting out to enjoy some of the games still being played. But…part of our job is also to be listening to you and thinking ahead and planning for next year. So, let me give you a bit of perspective.

Our program has exploded over the past few years. As we have added opportunities, they have been seized upon and many players and families are asking for more. Our primary goal is and always has been fun and development. We have seen some of the best development come through offering new opportunities and new challenges. There has been a lot of trial,  and some error, but the overwhelming feedback is we are moving in the right direction – so we will keep heading down that path. Let me summarize the most common feedback we get:

  • My child is not interested in a lot of extra tournaments. They don’t like the pressure and just want to play “regular” ball with their friends.
  • My child LOVES this sport and literally wants to play every night. They finish a game Saturday morning and are at home or at the park with their friends still practicing a few hours later.
  • My child loves playing in St. George but wants more opportunities….so as much as we love your program, we’re going to take them to Brantford / Cambridge next year.

As an Executive, we have spent considerable time trying to develop a program that meets the needs of as many families as possible. Although we would love to have the perfect program for everyone in St. George – and we will always strive towards that – we are not naive enough to think that will ever happen. But…we believe that our 2020 Program will provide more opportunities for St. George youth than ever before. This is the plan:

Over the next month we will put together competitive teams for 2020 at the following levels:

Girls – Squirt, Bantam, Midget

Boys – Atom, Squirt, PeeWee

To clarify – if we do not have enough players try out at any of these levels, we will drop that competitive team from our program. However, early registration for tryouts has exceeded our expectations so at this time we are as confident as we can be that we will have the 6 teams listed above. Can players from outside St. George try out? Yes. As we have developed and been so successful on the field, we have seen interest grow from outside our community. This has been one of the most contentious issues on the executive and among our families over the past few years. Our mandate is this – we are not going to turn away a child from Glen Morris, Sheffield, Lynden, Brantford, Cambridge etc who wants to play ball for us. We have a good program. We are excited that so many kids enjoy playing ball. We think youth sports is a fantastic experience for kids and we are not going to exclude players that have found something in our community they haven’t been able to find in their own. Having said that – part of the mandate we will give our Rep and Select coaches is that in the case of equal players preference be given to St. George kids.

Once this program is up and running, we will open registration for our traditional House League Program which offers teams for boys and girls from T-Ball and up. There will be an in-person registration in January. Where there is more than one team at a given level, the players will be divided as equally as possible based on talent. We will do our best to avoid a situation where one St. George team is significantly stronger/weaker than another team at the same level. Will we take friendships into account? Of course! There is a spot on the registration form to indicate if you’d like to play with a certain friend and we do our very best to accommodate that. We cannot guarantee it in every circumstance, but I can tell you in the 6 years I’ve been involved in registration there has never been a case where someone requested a friend on their registration form and we didn’t make it happen. Will these House League teams play in ORs & do tournaments - we sure hope so! Ultimately this is and always has been up to the team coach and families to decide - but as an executive we encourage all teams to consider this. ORs are a ton of fun, and a fantastic opportunity to play teams outside your normal league. 

We know there are still a lot of questions so be prepared for a lot of communication over the next couple of weeks. This will start with more information on what PWSA and Select Ball involves. If there is a question you think is not being answered, or a clarification you need please text it to Wendy at 905-746-8600. If you have the question - someone else does too and I will work to answer it in a future post. I will also gently remind you that with over 200 players registered in Minor Ball there are sometimes a lot of questions. I have to balance this volunteer commitment with running a business and my own multi-sport family. So, I will get back to you – but it may be later in the day or even the next day.

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