Summit Junior Baseball
Board of Directors Meeting---Thursday, 12/16/2010
In Attendance: McDonald, Lenz, Maldonado, Silberstein, Pacilio, Zaleski, Donatacci, Leiter, Competiello, Kaufman, Floegel, Tarashuk, Parker, Montero, Calabrese, Hoesly, Nardino, Coburn, Douglas,
Mr. Maldonado began the meeting at 7:35 PM. He emphasized that he would work to ensure the board meetings would last no more than 2 hours and he encouraged all board members to (i) offer topics for discussion in advance and (ii) attend as frequently as possible. There was some discussion regarding which of Tuesday or Thursday evening was a better alternative for board meetings. There was general agreement to be flexible in this regard. Mr. Maldonado and Mr. Lenz then requested approval of the minutes of the 11/23/2010 board meeting. The minutes were APPROVED.
Registration Update-- McDonald
Ms. McDonald provided an update on the status of registrations. She indicated that the numbers to-date were consistent with prior years at all age levels. She indicated that school flyers advertising registration had been approved by the Board of Education and would be sent home with kids in early January 2011. She also indicated that registration advertisements would be published in all of the traditional channels (eg., Independent Press, Summit Patch, etc.) in early January 2011.
Ms. McDonald also reminded board members to provide her soon with lists of any volunteer needs in their respective areas, so that they can be posted on the SJBB website.
She also provided a brief update on the status of the electronic pitch count system that will be used during the 2011 season. Messrs. Leiter and Kaufman agreed to work with Ms. McDonald to integrate the new pitch-count limits into this system.
Mr. Floegel indicated that winter clinics had begun, with a successful 6th grade session run by Mr. Lim. Mr. Floegel indicated that there were 8 or 9 additional scheduled clinic dates. He encouraged coaching volunteers to participate in these clinics for their relevant age groups.
Mr. Floegel provided an overview of his proposal for coaching clinics. He intends to run 1 or 2 clinics in the Elks ballroom during mid-March 2011 (perhaps in conjunction with an evening of NCAA basketball tournament viewing). He indicated that the clinic would be approximately 2 hours long. He also indicated that the clinics would provide an overview of teaching techniques with respect to all aspects of the game, but with a particular focus on pitching and catching (something most volunteer coaches know less about). He emphasized that the approach would be simple and direct, and age appropriate if possible. If there are 2 clinics, he intends for the latter session to be focused more on skills for older age levels (e.g., leading/base stealing, pitching from the stretch, etc.).
There was a discussion of the clinic proposals. It was noted that age appropriate clinics might be considered at each age level, coordinated by the various league directors. It was also noted that a practice blue print might be developed for coaches at all age levels. Messrs. Zaleski and Donatacci indicated they had materials that would be useful in that regard. Messrs. Floegel and Miller agreed to work to finalize clinic dates (tentatively 3/20 and 3/21) and a communication strategy.
Mr. Miller indicated that work was in process synthesizing coaches’ player evaluations. He and Mr. Donatacci indicated they had received about 27 and were missing about 22. Mr. Miller indicated that Mr. Bonomo was handling the data synthesis.
Mr. Miller indicated that evaluations would be conducted in late January and early February 2011 and that the draft would be held on March 6, 2011. He indicated, if possible, he was going to require all evaluation volunteers to attend all sessions to ensure consistency of ratings.
He indicated the spring travel committee was intending to meet in early January 2011 and that registration would open around January 3, 2011. He noted that there would be cuts when necessary at all spring travel levels. There was a discussion regarding spring travel league alternatives. Mr. Miller indicated that he was going to explore the Warren league as an alternative to Cerbo. It was noted that this would be helpful in ensuring that Summit would be able to enter teams in the fall Warren league.
Ms. McDonald asked for a description of the travel program to be included on the spring travel registration form. Mr. Miller noted they would emphasize there would be cuts (likely limiting team size to 12 players). It was also noted that the description should include an explanation of the level of commitment required of spring travel players.
There was a discussion the appropriate age levels for spring travel. Mr. Miller noted that there historically there had been teams at the 10U through 13U age levels. There was a request for 9U travel this year. After much discussion, including a number of concerns regarding (i) the potential additional physical stress on pitchers with little or no pitching experience and (ii) the belief that cuts at this age level might unduly discourage young players, the board AGREED that there would be no spring travel at the 9U level this year.
Mr. Kaufman provided a handout of a detailed budget proposal for the 2011 season. After Mr. Kaufman explained the proposal and answered a number of questions, the board APPROVED the budget for the 2011 season. It was agreed that no decision would be made regarding whether to charge admission for baseball Pizzafests until registrations are substantially finalized. The softball program is not charging for Pizzafest this season.
Mr. Douglas indicated that he and Mr. Calabrese were interviewing potential vendors for uniforms, apparel and trophies/awards. He noted that an objective of the search is to increase the array of apparel available in order increase sales generally. There was a discussion of Thompson’s as an alternative, including their proximity/convenience for purchasers of merchandise that might wish to make exchanges. There was also a discussion of the program’s past history with this vendor. Mr. Kaufman noted that Thompson’s has made a great effort to improve relationships with the program.
Mr. Douglas noted that there was a need for volunteers to solicit sponsorships. There was a discussion of whether letters had been sent to prior sponsor yet. It was noted that, last year, a letter had been sent in October 2009. It was agreed that letters would be sent asap to prior sponsors, seeking their commitment for the 2011 season.
Mr. Coburn indicated that field winterization had been completed (e.g., base plugs inserted wherever possible).
He described a meeting that he and other SJBB officials had on 12/14/2010 with City personnel regarding field needs and priorities, including a discussion of Mr. Coburn’s comprehensive field review summary. He indicated that there were considerable resources available in this year’s city budget for field maintenance. In this regard, he noted that the city intended to emphasize aeration, seeding and a focus on infield maintenance in general. He noted the city was considering whether to use sand or clay to enhance infield conditions but that the use of sand (given its permeability and easy mix with drying agents) was likely.
He also indicated that the city intended to install lightening detection systems at all playing fields at some point in the future. There is also an intention on the part of the city to install AED devices as well; however, there are some battery and other logistical issues that need to be worked out.
There was a discussion of the persistent drainage problem at Wilson field, notwithstanding the fact the field is new and was used for the first time in 2010. Messrs. Coburn and Maldonado indicated that this topic was discussed at their 12/14/2010 meeting and in additional phone conversations with DCS personnel. There was considerable discussion of what type of warranty existed under the terms of the agreement with the field contractor, noting that one would have expected that a drainage problem from the outset would be covered by such a warranty. According to Messrs. Coburn and Maldonado, city officials indicated that they did not believe they had a claim under this agreement at this late date. In addition, city field operations personnel were not certain that the problem was not being caused by factors unrelated to field design and construction. Messrs. Coburn and Maldonado indicated that the city intends to use various sprinkler system reconfiguration techniques this spring to eliminate the problem. After considerable discussion and debate, it was agreed that Messrs. Maldonado and Coburn would seek a copy of the agreement with the field contractor and continue discussions with relevant city personnel on this matter.
Mr. Coburn also described the initiation of a capital campaign committee, consisting of Messrs. Leiter (as Treasurer), Maldonado, Kaufman and Coburn. He emphasized the need to expand the SJBB volunteer base, particularly among women and men with fund raising experience. He believes there needs to be committees of volunteers, which would be responsible for each respective initiative. Mr. Floegel suggested the possibility of a capital campaign “idea pool.”
There was a discussion of various field expansion/new-site alternatives, including the town recycling center, certain Alcatel/Lucent property that might be used as a multi-town facility, and an expansion of Jefferson to a 60/90 diamond coupled with more 46/60 diamonds at Memorial Field.
Mr. Coburn noted that a letter had been submitted to Judith Josephs at DCP regarding the possibility of installing banners at Long Field. He also indicated that there was approximately $12,000 of field user fees that were going to be dedicated to baseball/softball field improvement initiatives. The allocation of those fees to various projects will be based in part on Mr. Coburn’s presentation to city officials on 12/14. He also noted there was a possibility that Union County grant money may be available for certain field projects, based on various work being done by Ms. Josephs.
Mr. Calabrese described his involvement with the interview and selection process associated with the search for a new Summit HS varsity softball coach. He noted that he is trying to ensure a closer working relationship between the town softball program and high school varsity program. He also noted there is an intention to field a high school freshman team as well.
Mr. Calabrese described certain softball field improvement projects that were being explored, including the possibility of installing concrete surfaces in the Memorial Field dugouts as well as new canopies at these fields. Mr. Coburn noted that the city believed that crushed stone might be a better alternative for the dugout surfaces. It was agreed that Mr. Calabrese should continue to explore these initiatives, working closely with relevant city field personnel. It was agreed that he would seek more formal input from the SJBB board after further considering these initiatives with relevant city personnel. It was noted that Union County funding might help defray certain costs associated with these initiatives.
The meeting was ADJOURNED at 9:50 PM.