Summit Junior Baseball
Board of Directors Meeting---Wednesday, 04/28/2010
In Attendance: Zusi, McDonald, Lenz, Trone, McLaughlin, Berson, Supran, Bonomo, Maldonado, Coburn, Meyers, Donatacci, Mayes, Luciani, Hoesly, Miller, Fuoti, Greenstein, Calabrese, Vitti-B, Douglas, Kaufman, Pacilio, Floegel
The meeting minutes from the 4/14/2010 Board Meetings were APPROVED.
Treasurer’s Report—Barbara Vitti
Ms. Vitti provided an overview of the Scholarship Committee (Barbara Vitti, Lenz, Greenstein). The committee will be reviewing applications over the next couple of weeks and selecting a male and female senior class winner. The Committee will also develop revised/more detailed standards for determining future recipients. The Committee will advise the Board of the winners at the next Board meeting.
Ms. Vitti also provided a financial overview, noting that she estimates the program will run a fiscal year surplus of approximately $6,000. The major variables influencing that estimate are summer and fall registrations. It was noted that summer enrollment to date was at 98 (last year, total enrollment was approximately 200). There was a discussion regarding the slow pace of registrations, with some attributing that to the early start for summer registration and the desire for parents to know assigned coaches before registering their kids. There was a discussion of the need to educate parents (through the Parents’ Committee) regarding the coach selection process, noting that parents are not permitted to select the coach for which their child will play. There was also a discussion of the need to ensure that parents understand that any report to the Parents’ Committee will be kept in strict confidence, with information being provided only to the Executive Committee of the Board as necessary.
Equipment Update (by Mr. Zusi for Mr. Schaffer)
Equipment distribution went smoothly based on feedback to date. There was a discussion of the need to ensure that coaches understand the importance of prudent use and preservation of baseballs, which are the largest annual equipment expense. There had been an unusually large number of requests for additional baseballs early in the season. It was noted that coaches should be made aware of the fact that practice baseballs are available in the Jefferson Shed. Please contact Jeff Schaffer with any requests.
No report, although Mr. Calabrese indicated that the multi-town program was well received (based on feedback from Madison and Chatham participants
Mr. Greenstein provided an update on uniform purchases and distribution, which have been completed for the spring. It was agreed that Mr. Greenstein would coordinate with Mr. Kaufman regarding summer uniform orders (with Mr. Kaufman providing relevant order information). It was noted that there was approximately $13G budgeted for summer uniform needs.
Mr. Fuoti indicated that additional help was needed for Picture Day and Patriots’ Night, particularly with Patriots’ Night advertising. There was a discussion of the possibility of selling various Summit baseball themed items such as sweatshirts, magnets, etc. Mr. Fuoti indicated there was a need for someone to champion this initiative before it could be pursued.
Baseball Operations (Clinics)--Trone
Mr. Trone indicated the catching clinics were a success (46 registrants for 88 possible slots, with a surplus of approximately $1,300. Lessons learned from the experience with this clinic included: (i) don’t hold during the season, (ii) there was not much interest among young girls, (iii) great interest among older girls (oversubscribed), and (iv) great interest among younger boys.
Ms. McLaughlin provided an update on the umpiring program. She indicated that feedback from the young umpires (for 3rd
grade) was generally okay so far. She noted there had been a handful of rule interpretation issues (e.g., whether a team was permitted to have 10 kids on the field). She also noted that league directors should remind coaches to refrain from “calling” pitches before the umpire makes a call, particularly since the young umpires may be intimidated to some degree by that type of input.
Ms. McDonald noted that summer registrations to date were at 98, with 4th
grade being a particularly light group. It was noted that an outreach by the 4th
grade league director (Tarashuk) to spring registrants might be helpful. It was noted that no one that fails to participate in the evaluations can be placed on a Black/tournament team.
There was a discussion of optimal summer team size, with many noting that 14 or 15 kids was too large.
Ms. McDonald noted that only 196 tickets (out of 900) had been sold for Patriots’ Night to date. There was a discussion of the need for more advertising (e-mail blasts, league director and coach outreach, etc.) as well as a discussion of alternative sales avenues (e.g., teams selling tickets in the downtown areas, perhaps in a competition).
There was a discussion of league score reporting, with Mr. McDonald describing the ease of the on-line score reporting system through the “Admin” sign-in function. There was a discussion of whether score documentation should be handled by league directors or coaches individually. It was agreed that the process should be left to the discretion of the league director in each case.
Parents’ Advisory Committee--Berson
Ms. Berson provided an overview of various parent feedback, questions and Committee recommendations, which included (i) remind coaches to place stray equipment in field bins before leaving the field after a game (so that it can be recovered more easily), although it was noted there is no bin at Franklin, (ii) providing scoreboards (even if only large chalkboards) at all of the various fields (Mr. Mayes indicated that several were in the works but that Franklin and Lincoln still needed them), (iii) more field time for practice (it was noted there are numerous grass areas for ad hoc/informal practices on sections of some of the larger fields) conducted on a more set schedule (there was a discussion of the very limited field space once the regular spring season begins), (iv) publicizing more heavily the major capital and equipment needs of the program (there is apparently parent interest in helping to fund these needs), (v) the need to more heavily publicize program events on an individual event basis in order to solicit more volunteer help, (vi) encouraging coaches to organize team “sign-up sheets” to coordinate and manage various team responsibilities among parents (e.g., keeping the scorebook, supervising bench clean-up, field preparation, disseminating e-mails regarding team activities, etc.), (vii) remind parents of younger players to bring plenty of liquids to games and practices, particularly as the weather gets warm, (viii) the appropriateness of having each coach pay for their own background check (it was agreed this would be reconsidered next season), (ix) the possibility of having older kids help with younger kids’ practices (there was a discussion of the fact this could present insurance issues but that it could be made to work under the right circumstances), (x) the need for more effective coordination among all of the various spring sports program in order to ensure optimum field use and minimize conflicts among program activities, (xi) All-Star team selections---the need to ensure all selected (and participating) players receive tee-shirts, and (xii) the need for outreach/communication regarding how the coach selection process works.
Finally, it was noted that there would be a new SJBB Coaches’ Award provided this year, which would be called the Mark Cise Award. Mark was a long-time Summit resident and SJBB volunteer who passed away suddenly last year. It was agreed that the nature of this award should be publicized on the SJBB website.
Baseball Operations (Floegel)
Mr. Mayes noted the Hotline (for announcing field closings/game cancellations) was working well and that Lew Setulsky was helping to oversee the decision-making process, as well as City personnel. Long Field---(i) a new bullpen would be constructed soon, (ii) the scoreboard was now working, and (iii) the batting cage/netting had been set up. Jefferson---the pitching machine at Jefferson was now working. Wilson---(i) measurements for fencing for Wilson field would be completed this week, and (ii) the pitching arm on the pitching machine will be repaired (Luciani and Hoesly working on it). Certain other field related issues were raised: (i) an issue with the Memorial Field bullpen/wall, and (ii) the status of projects to be funded by user fees allocated by the City DCP for the spring season (Mr. Mayes indicated a number of these initiatives were either completed or underway), (iii) Wilson drainage issues (it was noted that the contractor would be brought back to deal with the problem under the field warranty agreement—Judith Josephs at DCP to coordinate/handle), (iv) the overuse (and expense) of field drying agent---the need to make sure coaches understand this is a limited resource and that Greg Mayes makes all final calls on field access/playability---coaches should not attempt on their own to “play-through” a formal cancellation by overusing field drying agent.
Baseball Personnel (Kaufman)
Summer coach selection still a work in progress/applications still being submitted and evaluated. The issue regarding the delay on the part of parents to register before summer coach selection occurs was discussed again. It was emphasized (again) that parents cannot specifically request that their child be placed on a team with a particular summer coach.
Picture Day/Patriots’ Night/Fathers’ Day Picnic Update (Pacilio)
The first of a two-day Picture Day event was a success (at the Jefferson gym)—all teams participated and the photography was handled in a well organized manner, with a handful of communication issues. He emphasized the need to remind coaches and parents of the final Picture Day again (May 1, at Wilson Field).
Mr. Pacilio provided again an overview of the Patriots’ Night tasks and process, emphasizing the need for additional volunteers. He indicated that he expected about half of the tickets to be distributed before the night of the event and the remainder to be distributed at a table set up in front of the stadium on the night of the event. He indicated that teams would be grouped together. There was a discussion of the possibility of having SJBB sponsors sell and/or purchase leftover tickets for the event.
Mr. Pacilio indicated that the details of (and events for) the Fathers’ Day picnic were still being determined. There was a discussion of the deposit process/requirements associated with booking a food vendor for the day (rain or shine). It was noted that a deposit had to be forfeited last year when the picnic was cancelled due to torrential rain.
Mr. Hoesly noted that there was going to be a Movie Night at Jefferson Field on Friday, April 30 (SJBB and others were sponsoring the event).
Mr. Kaufman noted that Mr. Melendez and Mr. Kanaley would be conducting a Trican event at Jefferson Field on Friday, May 7 at 7 PM. The event involves a baseball game under the lights for handicapped children that are part of the Trican program. Mr. Kaufman noted the importance of “talking up” the event.
Mr. Coburn noted that league directors should remind coaches that games must end on time, regardless of when they start (subject to the maximum two hour time limit), since games otherwise become progressively more delayed over the course of a day. More specifically, no new inning should start within 15 minutes of the end of the scheduled 2 hour time limit for any game.