Archive for September, 2008

ISF Pitcher from Botswana Looking

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

Tony Moyo, a pitcher from the Botswana ISF team is interested in pitching in the USA next summer. He is 42 years old and I’m told pitched in a several ISF competitions. He can be reached at tmoyo19 (at)

Poll on NAFA’s Decision that may Require Masters team to Arrive on and Play Friday

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

NAFA recently announced a change for the format of the Masters Regional World Series, changing the tournament from a weekend (Saturday-Sunday) event, that may require teams to arrive and play games on Friday, instead of Saturday and Sunday.

Some have expressed support of the decision, saying it will allow them to get a four game guarantee instead of three, while others point to the fact that it will require them to take off another day of work (Friday for those flying, and Thursday and Friday for those driving). Some note the 10pm starting time for some of the Friday night games, and point to a tournament where games run hours behind schedule, and the possibility of playing til 2am, then coming back for an early morning game Saturday.

Here is what the press release from NAFA said:

Currently the plan is for each team to play one game Friday night, 2 games on Saturday and then the Single Elimination on Sunday. Some teams have requested 3 Saturday round robin games and no Friday game. We will try and accommodate their requests as much as possible but the consideration of all teams will take priority. If we did play Friday night it would be after 5pm with furthest driving teams playing at 6:30 or 8:15pm or 10 pm.

Whatever your opinion, vote in the poll to tell us what you think, and remember you can post more detailed thoughts in the comments section.

Is NAFA’s decision to require Masters teams to arrive and play games on Friday a good idea?
No. free polls

Fastpitchwest’s last poll asked readers their opinion on the ASA’s decision to split the “C” National in two. Voters overwhelmingly opposed the idea (337-61, 85%-15%) The poll and readers comments have been forwarded to the ASA for their information.

Have an idea for a future poll at Fastpitchwest? Send to jim (at) fastpitchwest (dot) com.

Circle Tap Calls it a Day

Monday, September 29th, 2008


(click icon to see original post at Al’s Fastball)

Circle Tap Fastpitch
September 29, 2008
Denmark, WI USA

Hello fastpitch world. On this dreary, rainy Wisconsin evening I have some dark news to share with you. The Circle Tap Fastpitch organization has decided to cease operations.

First, I want to truely thank Darren Derricks for his 15 years of sponsorship of this organization. Circle Tap Fastpitch was born in 1994. In 1996 Circle Tap earned it’s first berth to the coveted ISC World tournament and shocked the world putting up a 6-2 mark and a 7th place finish behind the pitching of Hayden Smith and Terry Downes.

The Tappers top finishes were in 2004 and 2005 when we placed 4th and 3rd in the World respectively. Those teams were loaded with talent and will always hold a special place in my heart, who knows what could have been if we could have kept it together. In all we had six top 10 finishes.

In the ASA National Tournaments we fared pretty well in recent years as well. 2003 Runner-up, 2004 3rd place, before winning it all in 2006. Darren’s generosity over the years allowed us to travel the country with competitive teams and have a whole lot of fun. The loyalty to the local players was tremendous. That’s not to take anything away from all of the
out of area players that played for CT over the years. We were lucky enough to have played with some of the most talented players from around the US, Canada, and beyond. The CT team was run just a little bit different than all the others and I think that is what made it special. The game of fastpitch opens the door to meet a lot of different types of people from a lot of different cultures. Everyone might not always see eye to eye on the field but at the end of the day it’s the passion for
this little known game of fastpitch softball that creates an energy that can’t be matched.

I want to thank everyone who has ever worn a CT uniform, as well as all of the umpires, fans, and competitors as well as the many sponsors that chipped in here and there. It’s been a helluva fun ride both on and off the field and I’m sad to see it go but all good things must come to an end. So many memories come flooding back as I write this but there just isn’t enough time.

On a couple of side notes, the Boys of Summer will continue, I can be contacted for information. The tournament is an icon of open level fastpitch today and exploits the competition that drives teams during the regular season.

Also, if there are teams out there that need contact info for any of our players, feel free to contact me and I can get you that information if they want me to release it.

Thank You all, and maybe I’ll see you at a ball park next year.
Dean Kane
CT Fastpitch

Editor’s note:
While rumors of the demise of Circle Tap had been swirling since the end of the World Tournament last month, it is always hard to see a team of this caliber disappear from the landscape. We wish Dean Kane, Derrin Derricks and all of the folks at Circle Tap the best in their future endeavors. Circle Tap has been a mainstay of ISC Fastpitch for more than a decade, with many of the games best players wearing their uniform over the years. They will be missed, but I am happy to see the tradition at Boys of Summer continue. By all reports, it is one of the most popular among the players, no doubt because of the hospitality enjoyed at their park.

Dean aka zakkflash has been one of the more frequent posters to Al’s Fastball, something we hope continues in the future.

ASA announces 2009 USA Softball Men’s National team for 2009 ISF World Championships

Monday, September 29th, 2008

From the official ASA/USA Softball website:

Posted to official website: 9/29/2008
ASA announces 2009 USA Softball Men’s National team

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — The Amateur Softball Association, the National Governing Body of Softball in the United States, announced today 15 of the 17 athletes that will be on the roster that will compete in a series of events leading up to and including the ISF World Championships in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan July 17-26, 2009. The two remaining positions will be announced March 1, 2009.

Below are the 15 athletes named to the 2009 USA Softball Men’s National Team roster:

Frank DeGroat (Ringwood, N.J.)
Chris DeLarwelle (Denmark, Wis.)
Nate Devine (Merced, Calif.)
Don Garvey (Appleton, Wis.)
Paul Koert (Brooklin, Ontario, Canada)
Adam LaLonde (Ashland, Ky.)
Terry Luster (Bunceton, Mo.)
Kyle Magnusson (West Valley, Utah)
Blake Miller (Kingsville, Texas)
Daryn Miller (Bloomington, Il.)
Matt Palazzo (Pleasant Hill, Iowa)
Stephen Pinocchio (Merced, Calif.)
Travis Price (Corona, Calif.)
Landy Rodriguez (West Haverstraw, N.Y.)
Chase Turner (Sacramento, Calif.)

The 2009 Men’s National team will be led by head coach Pete Turner (Stockton, Calif.) and assisted by Thad Brown (Modesto, Calif.) and Avon Meacham (Upper Marlboro, Md.).

Editor’s Note: Pitchers listed in bold.

Team USA in Camp in Chula Vista, CA

Monday, September 29th, 2008

Team USA was in camp over the weekend, at the Arco Olympic Training Facility in Chula Vista, CA (near San Diego) Friday-Saturday, September 26-27, 2008, with most of the 30-some-odd players on the current expanded roster present. Maddy and I were guests, courtesy of the USA Softball staff, and got a first hand look at things Saturday afternoon. We hope to be able to share some photos with you shortly. The squad broke camp late Saturday, with the staff to begin work on the final roster selections for next year’s ISF World Championships in Saskatoon, Canada. We’ll keep an eye out, along with the rest of you for the press release from USA Softball.

Click USA Softball logo above to see the list of players on the current expanded roster.

View Larger Map

Down in the Dominican Republic

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

Meanwhile, down in the Dominican Republic:

This photo appeared in the El Nacional newspaper in the Dominican Republic this week, provided courtesy of our friend in Omaha, NE, Matt Christiansen.

Can you spot anyone you know? (Hints: Sisko, Potolicchio, Algar, Montero, Ezekiel, Schweyer, etc)

Santa Rosa may bench adult softball

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

City may bench adult softball
Santa Rosa budget cuts would eliminate sports, recreation programs


Photos by KENT PORTER / The Press Democrat
Aric Weinzinger of Curtin Air Freight, a team in Santa Rosa’s Recreation and Parks adult softball league, waits on deck for his turn at bat during a game Wednesday at Northwest Community Park. City budget cuts may spell the end of city support for adult softball and other recreation programs.

Softball has taught many recreational athletes in Santa Rosa to persevere even if down nine runs in the seventh inning — or if a looming budget crisis threatens to take their leagues away.

“I remember our captain kept saying, ‘Don’t give up, never give up,’ ” said Rich Depp, recalling a softball championship almost 30 years ago. “This is a prime example of never giving up until it’s over.”

The City Council in November will consider a proposal to eliminate all adult and youth athletic programs, a move that would end one of the largest recreational softball programs in Northern California and a staple in Santa Rosa for more than 40 years.

“It’s been something we never thought was going to go away,” said Lawrence Solomon, whose team is sponsored by Curtin Air Freight.

City softball leagues drew 3,600 players this summer, and 1,500 signed up for fall leagues. The city’s proposal also would cancel youth soccer, basketball, T-ball and sports camps, clinics and classes for 700 children. Tennis lessons for 600 youths and 80 adults also would end.

Eliminating the athletic programs would save the city $128,000 a year. It is one of about 85 steps the city is considering to close a $10.5 million budget gap.

“We find ourselves in a totally repugnant situation,” said Assistant City Manager Marc Richardson, who oversees the Recreation and Parks Department. “We have to do what we have to do. These are the options that have to be considered by the council.”

Players such as Theresa Strickland refuse to lose softball without a fight. She and her fiance have gathered 1,000 signatures on a protest petition and launched a Web site,

Editor’s note: We encourage our readers to click the link above, and to email the city, using the link provided on the website, to speak up for softball. Please be respectful, as it is likely to be more effective that way.

She is urging softball players and the community to attend the City Council meeting Tuesday, when some proposed cuts will be discussed. The council will not be reviewing the sports proposal until its Nov. 18 meeting.

“I hate the thought that it won’t be here,” she said. “It’s a sad thing for the whole community.”

Strickland, who coaches a women’s team, said the league offers an outlet for stress, keeps people active and stimulates the economy by supporting local restaurants and bars frequented by players after games. “If there is no softball, there is going to be more people staying at home and not involved in the community,” she said.

Jonny Berglund looks forward to playing softball every week with his brother and friends. “Honestly, what can you do to get adult men involved without alcohol on a routine basis?” he asked.

Berglund said he supports raising fees as long as it’s not a dramatic increase. Fees range from $595 for a coed team to $670 for men’s fast-pitch teams.

City officials said they’ve raised fees in the past to avoid cuts, but this time would require up to a 75 percent increase.

“Our experience is that people won’t pay that,” said Eric Jorgeson, deputy director of the recreation division. “We begin to price ourselves out of being able to offer a program.”

Jorgeson said league fees generate about $150,000, which covers expenses for umpires, scorekeepers, balls, awards and lights, but not enough to pay for the two employees responsible for overseeing the sports program.

Depp said he worked for 35 years to keep the Rollmasters alive so he could see his two sons play alongside him, and now they do.

“We’re going through a financial crisis, people are worrying about losing their jobs and not providing for their families,” he said.

“You treasure the outlets you have, and one of those for my family is softball.”

You can reach Staff Writer Tracie Morales at 521-5274 or

ISC PRAWN Clarification

Friday, September 26th, 2008

A situation recently developed requiring the ISC Executive Committee to approve a slight change in our PRAWN restrictions.

PRAWN restrictions are shown on page 146 of the 2008 ISC World Championship Guide and on the ISC web site There is a front page link to the PRAWN Restrictions document.

The change involves the scenario when a team loses its only PRAWN pitcher and whether or not they can replace the pitcher with another PRAWN pitcher even if their total PRAWN count is at 6 or higher. Our previous wording was contradictory where one paragraph allowed it and a subsequent paragraph disallowed it.

By unanimous approval of the Executive Committee, the PRAWN replacement may be made in this type of situation. This change also expresses the original intent of the rule when it was first developed by the ISC Player Rep Committee.

The new wording states: No team may add a PRAWN to their roster until their total PRAWN count falls below 6 except when a team loses its only PRAWN pitcher they may add a replacement PRAWN pitcher, regardless of their total PRAWN count.

This wording change now appears on our web site and will be incoporated into the PRAWN rule when the 2009 Guide is published in the spring.


2008 NAFA Masters World Series Wrap Up-All World Selections

Friday, September 26th, 2008

From Robert Hernandez at NAFA

2008 NAFA Masters World Series Wrap Up-All World Selections

The completed brackets are on the NAFA website at The 2009 NAFA Masters World Series will be held September 11-13 tentatively in Rockford, Illinois for the East and definitely in Carson City, Nevada September 18-20 for the West. The 55-Over will be held in the East Only. The Women’s 35-Over will be held in the West Only. Based on the coaches survey’s we have received so far, we will be adding an additional game for a 4-Game Guarantee (3 round robin games followed by single elimination on Sunday). Currently the plan is for each team to play one game Friday night, 2 games on Saturday and then the Single Elimination on Sunday. Some teams have requested 3 Saturday round robin games and no Friday game. We will try and accommodate their requests as much as possible but the consideration of all teams will take priority. If we did play Friday night it would be after 5pm with furthest driving teams playing at 6:30 or 8:15pm or 10 pm. The Masters Survey can be printed out and emailed to us. It is online at

Many of the survey responses have asked for a way to make sure games stay on time on Saturday in the round robin using one of the following methods; tie breaker, time limit or 5 inning games. Everyone agrees that the Sunday Elimination play should have no time limit, be 7 innings and not have a tie breaker unless it is after a lot of innings. In Carson City, players asked that due to the high elevation that the homerun fences be moved back from the present 250 feet to somewhere between 265 and 275 feet. The palm pilot scorekeeping in the West was so awesome that we are trying to work out having them in the East also for 2009. The courtesy runner for the pitcher and catcher only was well received and well enforced by the umpires. The older age groups have asked for an additional fielder to have a courtesy runner as well and we will be looking into that. We will continue the age eligibility rule for all ages (3 players, 3 years too young that are not pitchers) but the 55 Division where all players have to be turning 55 in the current calendar year. We will continue to do player ID checks in the East and start them in the West in 2010. The new ball was an overwhelming success and we will use it again next year. On the surveys many people have swung to desiring the yellow ball but not a majority yet but we need to address it soon as it is about even on white verses yellow on the surveys.

We would like to thank Terry Knight and his staff at the Bowling Green Complex in Middleton, Wisconsin for bringing in 3 backhoes, skinning 4 infields and making unplayable fields playable very quickly once it stopped raining at 2:30pm and had fields up by 4pm on Saturday. The staff at Verona did very well also using 30 bags of diamond dry to get their fields playable. With the amount of rain we had it was close to a miracle that the staff was able to get the fields playable. We started at 4 PM playing 5 inning games and got all games in by 2 AM. We started again at 7 AM on Sunday and got all games in playing 7 full innings and got done just 10 minutes before it started raining again. Thanks to Tournament Directors Mike Watson and Jon Kegel, Loren Lathrop for doing an outstanding job of administering this event and thanks to the Umpires and Tournament UIC Hank St. Clair for putting in a lot of late hours on the fields.

We would also like to thank Joel Dunn and his staff (especially Jeremiah) for hosting such an awesome event with perfect weather in Carson City, Nevada. The homerun contest was a hit Friday night and the games went very smoothly all weekend. Due to the number of teams we had to play on a 5th field for the first time and that went well also. Special thanks to Loren Lathrop, Dewey Yoke and Robert Hernandez for administering the event. Thanks to Roy Stout for handling the gate. Thanks to Jan, Mike, Kate, Sylvia and Tammy for doing palm pilot scorekeeping and stats and special thanks to Tournament UIC Steve Vail and the umpires for doing a great job. Kris Russom did an awesome job with souvenirs at both East and West events.

With a record number of teams in both the East and West, our NAFA Directors would like to thank each of our teams for choosing NAFA and making us #1. The 2009 season will be even better as we will have 80 Masters teams (48 in Rockford, Il. And 32 in Carson City) as well as over 228 classified teams that will participate in our NAFA World Series events in 2009. The dates and City’s for the classified World Series will be released on our website October 1st.

Benjie Hedgecock
NAFA Executive Director

All World Series Selections After the Jump.


Hockey Night Theme Song Contest

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

Guest Editor’s Note: A colleague of mine at my office has an entry (and a good one) in the Hockey Night in Canada theme song contest. (For our American friends, the rights to the old Hockey Night in Canada theme song, which is essentially Canada’s second national anthem, expired and were acquired by another tv station, so there is a contest to write a new theme.)

Click here to listen and vote!