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Summit Junior Baseball
Board of Directors Meeting---Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Meeting Minutes
In Attendance:   Maldonado, Lenz, Mahecha, Silberstein, Greenstein, Kaufman, Competiello, Tarashuk, Leiter, Douglas, Pacilio, Chang, McLaughlin, Coburn, Lim, McDonald

President’s  Report--Maldonado

Mr. Maldonado began the meeting at 7:30 PM.   He provided an overview of future key dates: (i) list of coaches for each grade by 2/18, (ii) mandatory/final equipment return on Saturday, 2/26 (equipment must be returned so that it can be inventoried and new equipment orders can be placed—30 bags remain outstanding), (iii) all recreation league drafts on Sunday, 3/6 at the Rec Center (drafts to be run by Dave Bonomo and Jeff Miller), (iv) Pizzafests on 3/21, 3/22, 3/23 and 3/24 (softball), grade dates/times among other three dates TBD by Stewart Douglas, who will distribute an e-mail within 2 weeks providing all relevant details, (v) opening day Monday, 4/11, and (vi) LCJ Middle School tryouts, run by Ike Welch, to be completed by 3/11 (Mr. Maldonado noted that Coach Welch would have a new assistant coach this year).

Mr. Maldonado provided a summary of the player evaluation process.  He noted the evaluations went very smoothly, thanks to the work of more than 36 volunteers and the leadership of Vince Donatacci.  He noted the process was well received by the parents as well.

Ms. McDonald provided an overview of the status of the registrations.  She noted that K-1 was still open (subject to a late fee) and that any new registrants and other grade levels would have to contact her directly at this point.  She noted that there had been a significant drop-off in enrollment at the 6th grade level relative to 6th grade enrollment in 2010 (drop from approximately 90 to approximately 65).  However, she also indicated that 3rd and 4th grade enrollment was up significantly.   There was some discussion of the possible reasons for the drop off at the 6th grade level, including the decision to move to a larger field and split the 5th and 6th graders on a trial basis during 2010.
 Mr. Maldonado noted that Mr. Leiter was in the process of developing and ordering travel program uniforms, which would be used during all travel seasons.   There was some discussion of the status and next steps with respect to LCJ Summit Middle School uniforms.  It was noted that Middle School registration fees (which have not yet been determined) would need to take into account the cost of uniforms.

Mr. Maldonado also noted that Coach Welch was going to be very clear with any boys that do not make the Middle School team that they can and should participate in the SJBB spring travel program.  He also noted that all other spring travel teams (10U through 14U) were going to participate in the Warren spring travel league.

Marketing/Purchasing-- Douglas

Mr. Pacilio briefly discussed Patriots’ Night, which is scheduled for Saturday night, May 7th.  He then provided an overview of the plans for Picture Days. After some discussion regarding alternative dates, it was agreed that Picture Days should be held on Saturday, April 30 for the younger grades and Saturday, May 14 for older grades.  Mr. Pacilio noted that there was not going to be a day for action shots and that pictures would be printed and directly shipped to parents by the photographer.   Some concern was expressed about ensuring that as many players as possible attend their respective Picture Day, noting that participation among teams has been somewhat inconsistent over the years.  It was noted that team sponsors greatly value their team photos, and therefore great effort should be made to ensure that all players participate
After discussing various logistical issues associated with field access and practice space alternatives, it was noted that equipment distribution to coaches would need to occur by the end of March.   There was a discussion of whether additional gym time might be provided for indoor practice until the fields became available.  It was noted that Mr. Trone would look into this.  Mr. Lenz agreed to reach out to Oratory Prep to determine whether their new turf field might be available.

Treasurer’s Report—Kaufman

Mr. Kaufman provided a draft financial summary, detailing various income and expenses as well as the SJBB cash position as of January 31, 2011, including year-over-year comparisons. He noted that registration revenue was down from 2010 and that not all expenses had been accrued (although he anticipated lower expenses for uniforms this season).  He also indicated that Middle School fees and expenses would require additional discussion at a future board meeting.  He indicated that SJBB had a net cash position of $147,425.69 at 1/31/2011.

 Proposal with respect to 5th and 6th grade leagues---Maldonado

Mr. Maldonado provided an overview of the Executive Committee proposal to combine the 5th and 6th grade program into a single league again, but with play taking place on a 50/70 field at Jefferson Elementary School. 

He first provided an overview of the 2010 experiment with splitting the 5th and 6th grade program into separate leagues and having the 6th graders play on a 50/70 field behind the Recreation (Dept of Community Programs) Center (Long Field).  He and others noted that the 6th grade experiment on a 50/70 field was universally well-received by the 6th graders and their parents.  Many noted that it increased run scoring and the level of action and excitement among the players. Many also felt that the 6th graders were more well prepared for the summer travel season on 50/70 fields.
Nevertheless, a significant reason for the proposal to recombine the two grades was based on the significant drop-off in 6th grade enrollment, year-over-year (as noted above).   It was noted that each age level (but particularly the 6th grade) would independently have relatively few teams, requiring each team to play the others on multiple occasions.   Many expressed the view that this might become unduly repetitive for the players.

There was much discussion regarding possible reasons for this drop-off, including the possibility that less accomplished players might have been somewhat intimidated or discouraged by the challenges of playing on a larger field.  Others suggested that there may have been a loss in enthusiasm given the movement away from what had been a very successful 5th/6th grade combination program for many years.   Many spoke of the social benefits (particularly for the younger players) associated with playing in a combination league, particularly as the 5th graders moved into the Middle School in the fall each year.

There was considerable discussion regarding the pros and cons of having 5th graders play on a 50/70 size field.  Some felt that it might be too much of a challenge for the less accomplished players at this age level.  Others thought that, although the transition might be initially difficult, all players would be better prepared for a more advanced, enjoyable and exciting level of play.   Many emphasized that the 6th graders last year were uniformly more excited by the game on the larger diamond.   It was noted that additional attention would have to be paid to ensuring that these players were adequately instructed on the additional nuances of the game on a 50/70 field, including leading and pitching from the stretch.

There was also much discussion regarding the pros and cons of having the 6th graders participate again on the smaller 46/60 field (to accommodate 5th grade concerns).   A number of individuals expressed safety concerns associated with more accomplished 12U players hitting on the smaller field; however, it was noted that Little League of America still had very accomplished 12U players participating on this size field.  Nevertheless, there was considerable sentiment expressed that this would be a step back for 6th graders, since they would all be required to play on a regulation size diamond as 7th graders.  Many felt that the 50/70 field provided an ideal transition to this higher level of play and also made the game more exciting and dynamic for the players, based on the 2010 experiment on the larger diamond.

After much discussion, the Board voted to APPROVE the Executive Committee proposal to merge the  5th and 6th grade programs into a single league that would compete on a 50/70 field at Jefferson Elementary School.  Messrs. Lim and Tarashuk voted against the proposal.   Mr. Greenstein abstained from the vote.
The meeting was ADJOURNED at 9:45 PM.