Archive for October, 2009

Olympic flame arrives in Canada in advance of Vancouver Games

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

A non-fastpitch sports story – and salute to our friends in Vancouver –

From the Los Angeles Times

The Olympic flame completed its journey from Greece and landed in Canada early this morning. The first two torchbearers were two-time speed-skating gold medalist Catriona Le May Doan and triathlete Simon Whitfield, who won gold for Canada at the 2000 Sydney Games and silver at Beijing in 2008.

They handed it off to rower Silke Laumann, a three-time Olympic medalist, and diver Alexandre Despatie, a two-time medalist and the first Canadian man to win an Olympic diving medal.

The Vancouver Olympic website has a nifty section about the torch relay, with an interactive map, videos and stories on some of the 12,000 folks who will carry the torch across the country and back in time for the Feb. 12 Opening Ceremony.

Among the higher-profile torchbearers: NHL standout Sidney Crosby, who is scheduled to carry the flame in his home province of Nova Scotia on Nov. 18. Crosby was left off Canada’s Olympic team for the 2006 Turin Games but that won’t happen this time.

— Helene Elliott

Honours for softball stalwarts

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

Glen Tood (left) was inducted into the ISF Hall of Fame last week, while Bob Henning was named Softball BC’s umpire-in-chief.

By Nick Greenizan – Peace Arch News

A pair of Peninsula softball stalwarts received good news this week, as Canada Cup founder Glen Todd was inducted into the International Softball Federation Hall of Fame, and veteran umpire Bob Henning was named umpire-in-chief for Softball BC.

Todd, who was also inducted into the Softball BC Hall of Fame as a builder in 2004, has been involved in softball in Surrey since 1978, first as a coach, and later as president of the South Surrey-White Rock Minor Softball Association.

He also served on Softball BC’s board from 1987 until 2001, and also helped establish the White Rock Renegades softball program, as well as the one at Simon Fraser University.

He is perhaps best known locally as the founder and driving force behind the world-renowned Canada Cup women’s fastpitch tournament, which has been held annually at Softball City since 1993.

Todd was voted into the hall of fame during the recent ISF Congress, which took place in Venezuela. The ISF Hall of Fame recognizes people who have contributed to the sport of softball on the international stage.00

“In all capacities, Glen was a real competitor and a very hard worker who has done a great deal in the development of softball in B.C., Canada and around the world,” Softball Canada president Kevin Quinn said, in a release.

“It is outstanding to see Glen honoured for his years of service to our sport.”

Also inducted alongside Todd was Ontario native Darren Zack, one of Canada’s top pitchers during the 1990s.

Henning was named Softball BC’s head umpire during the organization’s annual general meeting recently in Kelowna.

The South Surrey resident has an impressive history, and has a reputation as one of the game’s finest umpires.

He began his career with USA Little League Baseball in 1967, and he joined Softball BC in 1973. Since then, he has umpired in seven Canadian national championships, four world championships, 15 Canada Cups, two NAIA college championships and the 1994 World Masters Games.

More recently, he worked the 2009 ISF Men’s World Championships, which were held in Saskatoon last July.

As umpire-in-chief, Henning will oversee more than 1,000 umpires throughout the province.

Bat maker found liable for player’s death

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

After 12 hours of deliberation, a jury sided with the parents of former Miles City American Legion baseball pitcher Brandon Patch in a civil suit over the player’s death during a 2003 game in Helena.

Aluminum bat maker Hillerich & Bradsby Co. failed to provide adequate warning as to the dangers of the bat used by a Helena Senators player during the game, at least eight of the 12 Lewis and Clark County jurors agreed Wednesday.

Hillerich & Bradsby Co. was ordered to pay $792,000 to Patch’s estate, which is represented by his mother, Debbie Patch, who filed the suit. Those funds were allotted to cover the lost earnings Patch would have made had he lived, and the pain he suffered from the injury before he died about four hours after being struck in the temple with a batted ball.

“This was for Brandon and the kids on the field,” Debbie Patch said after hearing the ruling. “We just hoped we could get the truth out for more people to see.”

In the verdict read in District Judge Kathy Seeley’s courtroom, the jurors found the company, which makes Louisville Slugger bats, liable for failing to warn users of the danger of its aluminum bats and that this failure caused the accident that killed 18-year-old Patch.

A third decision was that the bat was not defective. Attorneys representing Debbie Patch argued during the week-long trial that the bat used on July 25, 2003, was defective because it was more dangerous than the average user would expect.

Another $58,000 was awarded by the five-man, seven-woman jury to parents Debbie and Duane Patch for their mental grief and funeral expenses. The original suit, filed in June 2006, did not seek a specified amount.
Duane Patch shook and sobbed as the verdict was read. He clutched his wife in an embrace as they both wiped tears, and he repeatedly pointed to the sky, as if to his son.

“That’s a grand slam,” Duane Patch said as he hugged one of the family’s attorneys.

Debbie Patch said they went into the suit unsure but hoping to prevail. When the jury went into a second day of deliberation, she wasn’t sure if that would be in her favor. She said it was never about the money.

“We just want to save someone else’s life,” Debbie Patch explained, adding she hopes other players and parents now will get adequate warning about the dangers she perceives with aluminum bats.

While the Patch family doesn’t have set plans for the funds, there has been talk of putting on a wooden-bat tournament in Miles City. That American Legion team, the Mavericks, only uses wood bats now.
“We should go back to the way baseball is supposed to be played,” she said.

All teams should use wooden bats, the way professional players do, Debbie Patch added. Aluminum bats have been scrutinized because of the internal wall structure and because their weight is more evenly distributed than wooden ones, making them easier to swing harder and faster.

Attorneys for Hillerich & Bradsby Co. argued any other bat would not have hit the ball differently; in fact, they said, most bats on the market at the time would have struck the ball harder. Patch’s death was a tragic accident, they said. The defense lawyers declined comment after the verdict was read.

Baseballs hit with aluminum bats, such as the one used in that American Legion game, only give pitchers milliseconds to respond in a defensive stance, the plaintiffs said. Plaintiff’s attorney Joe White said the average time needed by a pitcher to defend a batted ball is 400 milliseconds. Patch had 378 milliseconds to respond, he said.

Eyewitnesses called by the plaintiffs said they could not see the ball between the time it left the bat and when it ricocheted off Patch’s head. Patch collapsed on the mound. He died as a result of his injuries about four hours later.

“Brandon was with us,” Debbie Patch said. “No. 11 showed up all of the time. He knows I wouldn’t stop.”

Reporter Angela Brandt: 447-4078 or

2009 ISC Video Archives now online

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Oct 29, 2009 – The ISC Streaming Committee has posted the video archives of 14 complete games from the 2009 ISC World Tournament in Moline Illinois.

The games can be freely played on demand, and are found in the Archive section of the ISC Sportsjuice page:

The 2009 ISC World Championship game is directly accessible from the above page, and the other 13 games can be accessed from the pull down menu of the Archive section on the page. Coverage of the awards ceremony is also included with the Championship game.

The web site will also include direct links to the video archives.

“The 2009 ISC World Tournament was the first under our new reorganized streaming plan, and other than the rain, it was the most well received of all of our previous live video webcasts” said Dave Blackburn, ISC Commissioner of Streaming and Broadcasting. “We had satisfied viewers from all around the world, and we had very few, if any, disruptions to our live streams. With what we have learned in the last 4 years, I am quite encouraged about the future of our live video webcasts.”

With over 30 hours of game video coverage now accessible, fastball fans can now relive the tournament, and follow the action as the

Kitchener Rivershark Twins capture their second consecutive ISC World fastball Championship.

Editor’s note:

This was Ballparkradio’s first year of involvement with the ISC video broadcasts. I wanted to take a moment and thank the ISC video crew – including the guy that started it all, Executive Producer Dave Blackburn, along with his assistant Roseann Allen, and camera crew, Mike and Jerry Betz, all of whom did an outstanding job with this year’s video production. Judging from the emails we received, it was the best quality, most stable, reliable video stream ever. The credit for that goes to those four people, who worked extremely hard to make it happen.

That said, I was very disappointed with the unprofessional broadcast environment in the WT press box – disruptions from certain people in the press box who didn’t seem to care about the quality of the broadcasts, or that their conversations, cell phone ringers, noise and in some cases, profanity, were going out over the air.

As you watch or listen to the archived broadcasts, if you hear this, I would appreciate if you would email me with the game number and time of the disruptions or distactions in the background. (e.g. Game 12, 12:22-12:45 etc.) with any notes describing it. Send to jim (at) ballparkradio (dot) com.

Boys of Summer – July 9 – 11, 2010

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

October 27, 2009
Denmark, WI USA

Hello all,
The Boys of Summer Tournament has always invited back the teams from the previous year to compete in this prestigious event. We again invite all 2009 participants back and you will be given priority over any new
entries. With the depletion of the field of teams at the ISC level over the last couple of seasons, I suspect there will be some holes to fill.

At this point, it is undetermined how many teams will be accepted, so if you are interested, please respond with your intent at your convenience. For any team or fan that has been to this event, it would be hard to argue that it is the strongest regular season tournament each summer. Our intent is to keep it that way.

Thanks for all your interest.

July 9 – 11
Boys of Summer – Denmark and Circle Tap, WI
Amount of Teams based on interest
Format: Round Robin into single elimination
Entry fee: TBD
Contact: Zakk Flash – – 920-676-2448
UIC: Hank St. Clair – – 216-533-5209


Possible ISC Changes For 2010 Season

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

With the recent influx of notices of teams ceasing operations for 2010, the ISC is taking steps to ensure that the ISC World Tournament remains a healthy and viable event that has appeal for teams, fans, host cities and the ISC.

Any proposed changes will require approval by both the ISC Executive Committee and then the full ISC Board of Directors. Our goal is to have this process completed and announced in the next five weeks.

Without going into specifics, some or all of the following may be impacted:
* PRAWN rules for 2010
* Out of Region fees
* Berth allocations to our five regions for Qualifying tournaments
* Team rankings
* Structure of both the ISC World Tournament and the ISC II Tournament of Champions

Because of the above, we suggest that teams take the above into consideration in discussions with prospective players until everyone knows exactly what changes will be implemented.

We are committed to making an announcement as quickly as possible.

Ken Hackmeister
Executive Director

Bob Henning Elected Softball British Columbia Umpire-in Chief

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

At the recent 2009 Softball BC Annual General Meeting held in Kelowna, BC, an election was held for the vacant position of Umpire-in-Chief (UIC). The UIC position is a 2 year appointment and includes a concurrent 2 year appointment to the Softball BC Board of Directors.

Bob Henning of Surrey, BC, Canada has been elected as the new UIC of British Columbia.

Bob is highly respected as an enthusiastic and passionate instructor of softball officiating and is well known as one of the finest softball umpires in the world. He began his career working Little League baseball in 1967, and then elite level men’s Fastpitch in 1969, joined Softball BC in 1973, earned his Softball Canada Level V in 1988 and attained his International (ISF) certification in 1989.

Bob has umpired in 7 Canadian National Championships, 4 ISC World Championships, 15 Canada Cup International Women’s Championships, 2 NAIA National Championships, the 1994 World Masters Games, 2 International Challenge Cups, numerous West Coast Classic Invitational’s, the 2000 International Softball Cup help at the Olympic Stadium in Blacktown, ACT, Australia, over 25 International tournaments outside North America, the Australian, Canadian and New Zealand Senior Men’s National Championships all within one year and worked the 1993 ISF Junior Men’s World Championship at Red Lion Park in Auckland, New Zealand and the 2009 ISF Men’s World Championship held last July in at Bob Van Impe Stadium in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Bob has umpired in 7 countries and has taught seminars in Mexico, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil and has taught at most of the prestigious Softball Canada Blue Conventions. Additionally Bob taught at the Softball Canada National Umpire School and was an instructor at many of the Softball Canada advanced clinics. He also instructed 2 separate ISF clinics in China and stayed on to umpire the Chinese National Championship in Chungdu City, Sichuan including the Chinese National Games in Guangzhou, Guangdong.

Bob has been the UIC for numerous Provincial and Western Canadian Championships, the BC Summer Games, the Vancouver Challenge, many St. George, Utah Red Rock Invitational’s and was either UIC or DUIC at 5 Canadian National Championships including the 1990 Junior Women’s, 1991 Senior Men’s, 1996 Midget Boy’s, 2005 Junior Men’s, and the 2006 Junior Men’s Fastball Championships.

He will be in charge of a large program of over 1000 umpires that was previously run by the likes of Umpires -in-Chief Gordie McDonald (deceased), Wayne King, Tom Bell, Brian Van Os (presently the National Director of Umpires for Softball Canada), 1996 Olympic umpire Mike Hornak and the departing incumbent Michael Track.

Bob served on the Softball Canada National Umpire Staff for then NDU Wayne Brown, serving as a Deputy UIC in 2003 and was a member of the Softball Canada Officiating Development Committee (ODC). Bob is currently the Editor of the Softball Canada umpire newsletter ‘Between the Lines’.

You can contact Bob Henning at 604-790-1166 or e-mail him: brotherinblue (at) shaw (dot) ca.

Zack, Sorenson headline ISF HoF + World Championships every two years

Monday, October 26th, 2009

Two items of note that we want to draw your attention to in particular from the ISF Congress in Venezuela.

The first is the election of the legendary Darren Zack to the ISF Hall of Fame. Darren, who will be inducted into Softball Canada’s Hall of Fame in November and will become a member of the ISC Hall of Fame next August, won ISF gold in 1992 and two silver medals in 1996 and 2004.

Congratulations Darren!

Joining Darren will be Mark Sorenson, the former captain of the New Zealand Black Sox. Mark won triple ISF Gold in 1996, 2000 and in 2004 at home in Christchurch.

Congratulations Mark!

Also, we note with interest that the ISF passed a Canadian motion that calls for World Championships to be played every two years in every category, beginning in 2012. The schedule will see Women’s and Junior Men’s in 2012 (even years) and then Men’s and Junior Women’s in 2013 (odd years). With North Shore City, New Zealand being named the host of the 2013 Men’s World Championship, we eagerly look forward to seeing who will be the host in 2015.

Sweeping Changes at ISF Congress at Venezuela

Sunday, October 25th, 2009

From the ISF website:

October 25, 2009

Elections, Constitution, & New ISF Logo Among Numerous Developments

MARGARITA ISLAND, VENEZUELA – The retention of the world governing body’s leader, a new secretary general, and various changes among the regional vice presidents were part of the many developments coming out of the just-concluded XXIV International Softball Federation Congress held here. It was also revealed that extensive re-branding efforts will commence shortly, featuring a new ISF logo and revamped website.

In addition, the delegates approved a constitution that took effect immediately and they awarded two future world championships. Plus, a new class was elected to the ISF Hall of Fame. There were also changes to the playing rules, and visits from special guests. The latter included Venezuela Sports Minister Victoria Mata, Venezuela Olympic Committee President Dr. Eduardo Álvarez, and Venezuela Olympic Committee Vice President Mrs. Elida de Álvarez.

Don Porter was re-elected as ISF president, having run unopposed. Ms. LOW Beng Choo (Malaysia) is the ISF’s new secretary general, following elections that took place yesterday. She was previously the ISF deputy secretary general. Retiring ISF Secretary General Andy Loechner (USA) had been in the position since 1987. Two other women from Ms. Low’s region were among those elected by the congress, including a former Olympic softball coach.

In the five regions, a significant change was made in that each now has two vice presidents, plus there is a new position called non-Spanish-speaking Caribbean vice president. The changes are as follows:

VP Position
1st Vice President Mr. Dale McMann (CAN)
2nd Vice President Mr. Bob Leveloff (NZ)
Africa Mr. Guillo Marapjane (RSA)
Mr. Marumo Morule (BOT)
North America Mr. E.T. Colvin (USA)
Non-Spanish-speaking Caribbean Mr. Romell Knowles (BAH)
Latin America Mr. Antonio Morales (COL)
Mr. Jesús Suniaga (VEN)
Asia Mme. JIANG Xiuyun (CHN)
Mme. Taeko Utsugi (JPN)
Europe Mr. Ami Baran (ISR)
Mr. Andre van Overbeek (NED)
Oceania Mr. Darryl Clout (AUS)
Mr. Robert J. Steff, Sr. (GUM)
In addition, International Olympic Committee Members Mme. Beatrice Allen (GAM) and Mr. Meliton Sanchez (PAN) remain as members of the ISF Executive Council. Furthermore, the newly created constitution – which comes in addition to the standing ISF Administrative Code – will provide for the creation of an ISF Board of Directors and gives a new, forward direction for the world governing body.

Based on bids that had been presented, the ISF IX Junior Men’s World Championship in 2012 was awarded to Parana, Argentina, and the ISF XIII Men’s World Championship in 2013 was awarded to North Shore City, New Zealand. Dates for both tournaments will be announced at a later time. The event three years from now will mark the first ISF world championship to be held in South America.

Newly elected to the ISF Hall of Fame are the following:
PLAYERS: Peter Clout (AUS), Naomi Ellis (BAH), Rhonda Hira (NZ), Sally (McDermid) McCreedy (AUS), Nobunori Nishimura (Japan), Mark Sorenson (NZ), Darren Zack (CAN)
UMPIRES: Eduardo Jose Falcon (VEN), John McAuliffe (AUS), Wayne Saunders (NZ)
ADMINISTRATORS: Ivan Eduardo Briceno C. (VEN), Philippa Griffith-Bailey (BIZ), Viatcheslav Smagin (RUS), Robert J. Steffy Sr. (GUM), Glen Todd (CAN)
COACHES: Naomi Shaw (NZ)
MERITORIOUS SERVICE: Jacinto David Amaiz (VEN), Don Tricker (NZ)

Also, two individuals were announced as recipients of the prestigious ISF Medal of Honor. Retiring ISF 1st Vice President Clovis Lodewijks (AHO) and Secretary General Andy Loechner (USA) became just the eleventh and twelfth recipients of the award.

The next ISF Congress will take place in October 2011, with the site to be announced at a later date.

2013 ISF World Championships to North Shore City, New Zealand

Sunday, October 25th, 2009

(click logo for original news story)

[T]he 2013 Men’s World Championships [were awarded] to North Shore City in New Zealand.

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