2020 Season Update

In case you didn't see this on Facebook yesterday, here is an update from our President about our season given the latest announcement earlier this week from the province:

Good evening,

Softball Saskatchewan has released their Return To Play document, which allows us to operate a league this summer. The "Return To Train" phase begins June 22, with no date set as to when games can begin. Best guess is the week of July 6 or 13. Full details will be emailed to members shortly. You will note they have listed dates for provincial championships - BUT - those could only happen during Phase 4.2 of the government's Reopen Saskatchewan plan. Right now there is no intermingling of communities/tournaments allowed. Our ICE teams can practice/prepare in case, but we don't know what will happen. What we do know is that we need to know ASAP what kind of registration numbers we will have. The deadline to request a refund OR to register for the upcoming season is June 23 at 11:59 p.m. We will then need to quickly draft teams and set a schedule. All of those requests can go to our Registration coordinator Shawn Okerstrom: shawn@ap4t.com. There is much yet to be decided, like schedules and coaches, safety initiatives, etc. and we ask for your patience while we work to get these things in order. We will also need "safety champions" to assist with pregame prep - if you can help please let us know. Thanks for your patience!

Craig Hemingway
League President

Here is the link to the Return to Play document that Softball Sask. sent out yesterday: https://softball.sk.ca/_uploads/5eeb9382a75c5.pdf?fbclid=IwAR1aT0DNz7vQt0XCnIpoOM4LJdeAMIPGYS8ciu6Nj6a25MvEkLsr8cF2Xsk

Things are going to move quickly now that we are sure we are going to have a season. Please note the deadline above (June 23rd at end of day) to either register (if you haven't already) and ask for a refund if you previously registered and do not wish to partake in this season. If you registered earlier this year, no need to re-register if you want to play but you do have to let us know if you do not want to.

Again, if you aren't on Facebook, the post from Craig was followed up with a post I made with some details about if you are asking for a refund OR if you have questions about this season. Here is that post:

IMPORTANT INFO ABOUT REFUNDS

To save time as I am having to reply to everyone and my email has just blown up with the recent announcement, please read my following top ten list of questions before you email me:

1. We are having a season so anyone asking for a refund will receive it but we are withholding a $25 admin fee to cover the transaction and registration system fees we have already incurred when you registered.

Some of you are upset about this but please remember we are a non-profit organization and don't have "reserves" to dig into. With reduced numbers and possible no tournaments our income will be greatly reduced. This is also a standard practice that pretty much all other leagues are doing.

And given that we don't want to incur more transaction fees, we are mailing cheques so please include a mailing address in your request.

2. Refunds will be given to the main person on the registration account. Cheques will have that person's name as the payee. In 2 parent families this shouldn't be an issue. This is to prevent one parent from taking another's refund in split families.

3. We are planning for a full 12 game season throughout July and August. It might mean more games in a given week on average (maybe 2 every week instead of 1 most weeks and 2 about a 3rd of the time) but that is the intention. And we will start as soon as we are allowed to. Hence the fees will remain the same.

4. If you had ordered a hoodie we need to know if you intend to still get it or be refunded for it as well.

5. The $25 admin fee is one per family based on the original payment. If you have 7 kids and paid for them all at once, you only incur the $25 fee once. And it still only applies once if you bought hoodies as well.

6. Please be patient with us as all of us are doing this on a volunteer basis. That means not only your refund but, if you elect to play this season, please consider this fact as we deal with the added restrictions.

7. Drafts have to be redone.

8. There are waivers that need to be completed for this season given the circumstances. These waivers come from Softball Sask and are required for players to take the field. We will get these to you shortly.

9. Please remember that your opinion is not necessarily someone else's. I have gotten earfuls about the decision to run a season. You don't have to participate if you feel the risk is too great. In fact, we would suggest you didn't. But there are those that would like to. Please respect their opinion just as you expect your's to be respected.

10. If you don't read this and ask one of these questions again, you immediately get put to the bottom of the list.

Of course #10 is a joke but please, please save both of us time by reading this list and providing the proper information up front.

Thanks for your patience everyone as we attempt to process refunds and try to quickly get a season put together in short order.

If you are electing to get a refund, we look forward to seeing you next year. If you are planning on playing, we will see you on the diamonds. ;-)

 
MESSAGE FROM OUR PRESIDENT

Hello members,

Since tomorrow would have been the day of our league evaluations we felt we should provide an update. Unfortunately, as you may have guessed, there isn't much new we can provide with COVID-19 health restrictions still in place for the foreseeable future.

The one decision we have made is that due the uncertainty of when we may get on the field again, and the likelihood that if we can play this season we may not have a lot of time to prepare, we will move forward and draft teams soon without evaluations. As was the case last season our Board will select the teams. No solution is ever perfect but we want to do all we can to be ready to start as soon as we are given the go-ahead.

That said, if you or someone you know hasn't registered their players yet, please do so by April 1. You can defer payment if you like but we would like an accurate as possible list of players when we do the draft.

We will also prepare a full-season schedule and adjust as necessary if we need to play a shortened season. We will have a Refund policy in place if it comes to that, but we will wait for certainty on that front before discussing further.

FYI the initial plan was for our Opening Day to be held Sunday, May 3 and have a double-header of games to allow all league teams to play on Opening Day. Clean Up The Park night was going to be scheduled for Thursday, April 30. That would be an absolute best-case scenario at this point.

We continue to have dialogue with Softball SK and their executive will be meeting soon to discuss options. We will take our direction on the season from Softball SK.

We will continue to provide updates when we have more information to pass along. We appreciate your patience and hope you and your families are staying safe in this time of uncertainty.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact me: chemingway73@gmail.com.

Sincerely,

Craig Hemingway
President
Moose Jaw Minor Girls Fastball

 
CLINIC/PRACTICE UPDATES

In case it wasn't apparent (and given some of the questions the board members are getting, it wasn't), the board has discussed this at length and have made the decision to proceed with our clinics and allow our Ice teams to practice AS OF TODAY (March 13th).

We realize that other organizations are shutting things down but, since our players and coaches are all from town and surrounding area (and involve no one beyond that), the risk is probably less than kids going to school and parents still working. Some other local organizations are taking the same stance.

We will continue to monitor the situation and things may change tomorrow or the next day but we are going take our cue from the schools and Yara for now - if they shut down, so will we unless we feel other factors come to light that warrant us doing so even before they do.

Of course, the ultimate choice is on the shoulders of the parents/players. You decide whether the risk is worth taking by your attendance.

And, it's worth reiterating but the recommendations are already out there and should be followed concerning personal hygiene and contact with others.

Obviously, regular washing, not sharing water bottles, avoiding unnecessary personal contact and, the big one, not attending if you feel under the weather at all are steps we recommend.

Our board is concerned about the safety of our membership but since the schools are still operating we feel that we can cautiously move forward and just keep a close eye on the situation knowing our members will do the same and take those precautions mentioned above.

Watch for updates but you can safely assume if the schools or Yara shutdown so will we. Stay healthy and see you at ball.

Shawn Okerstrom
League Commissioner

 
UPCOMING CLINICS

Hitting & Catching Clinic

There are 2 sessions - one for hitting and one for catching - to be held on April 19th at Sacred Heart School. Players can sign up for one or both - each is $15.

Please contact Darren Newberry at 306-381-5003 to register. Times will be assigned according to how many players sign up as there is a limit to the number of players per session.

Spring Fever Clinics

Registration is now open for our Spring Fever clinics for players in the Mites and Squirt divisions (players born in 2008 thru 2011). The clinics are run by the Pee Wee and Bantam Ice Coaches and players.

The clinics will start Tuesday, March 17th and run for 5 sessions (April 14th in the last one). There are 2 timeslots to register for - one from 6pm-7pm and the other from 7pm-8pm. Each is $75.

The clinics will alternate locations between Yara (1st, 3rd and 5th sessions) and the Sowden-Flanagan Baseball Centre (2nd and 4th sessions - in the old Hillcrest curling rink).

You can register for the sessions on the registration page on our website (www.mjfastball.ca/reghome) - please ensure you pick the right timeslot you want to register for. Mites and Squirts are welcome in both sessions.

Coaching Clinics

Coaches who have not previously attended a coaching clinic but intend on coaching in Squirt or higher divisions this season must take the Community Softball Coach clinic. We tentatively have this clinic booked for May 8th-9th (Friday night and Saturday). More details will follow in the coming week about how to register - we just wanted to let everyone know so they could reserve the dates.

Coaches will not be allowed to coach unless they have taken this course.

The season is getting closer... feeling it yet?

Shawn Okerstrom

League Commissioner

 
REGISTRATION REMINDER

IN-PERSON REGISTRATION is TOMORROW NIGHT (Tuesday, February 25th) from 5pm-8pm at St. Michael's School.

This is the one night you can come and get some assistance with registration, drop off cheques, or pay in cash.

EARLY-BIRD DISCOUNT is in effect until midnight at Saturday (Feb. 29th). After that, your per player fees go up by $50 so ensure you get registered before the end of Saturday.

Registration is online on our website at http://www.mjfastball.ca/reghome

Also, players in the Bantam and Midget divisions who are trying out for our Ice teams and plan on playing just on Ice (assuming they make one of those teams), still have to register in our league.

The countdown to the season is on. Look forward to seeing everyone out.

League Commissioner
Shawn Okerstrom

 
LEAGUE EVALUATIONS

League Evaluations for the SQUIRT and PEE WEE DIVISIONS will be held on Sunday, March 29th.

This is not to be confused with the Ice Tryouts - League Evaluations are for all players in these 2 divisions regardless of whether they try out for one of our Ice teams.

The intention is to evaluate the players so the draft of our league teams in these divisions can be as fair as possible.

The Squirt evaluations will start at 1pm and go to 3pm and the Pee Wee evaluations will start at 4pm and go to 6pm. Please come prepared for all aspects of the game (hitting, running, fielding) and ensure that you bring all your equipment. The evaluations will all take place on the "green" field (back right) at Yara Centre.

If you are a pitcher or a catcher, those evaluations will take place in the hour in the middle (3pm-4pm) for both divisions.

So, if you are a Squirt and want to be evaluated as a pitcher, please plan to stick around for an hour after the regular evaluations are complete. Catchers (or those who would like to catch this season) can stick around and help catch for the pitchers.

If you are a Pee Wee pitcher or catcher, please plan to come an hour before the regular evaluations (3pm instead of 4pm) to be evaluated as well.

Just to reiterate:

1pm-3pm - Squirt Evaluations

3pm-4pm - Pitcher/Catcher Evaluations for both divisions

4pm-6pm - Pee Wee Evaluations

We look forward to seeing all our Squirt and Pee Wee players there.

Shawn Okerstrom
League Commissioner

 
WINTER CLINICS

WINTER CLINICS

Lots of you have been asking and we finally have all the details arranged. Sorry it took so long - it was hard to get everything worked out between the coaches and the locations and for some reason our day jobs got in the way too. ;-)

First, a little about the clinics and our coaches. The coaches have all coached Ice teams and are bringing that experience to these clinics.

These coaches have been putting on these clinics for the last 5 years in an effort to give our players more field time over the winter.

The cost of the 6 sessions is $250/player. The sessions are 1.5 hours and we are making use of both Yara and the new Sowden Flanagan Baseball Training centre in the old Hillcrest Curling Rink as it has 3 hitting cages allowing us to get more hitting in during a session.

Every 2nd week the players will benefit from a hitting session where they will rotate between multiple stations. On the other weeks we will work on fielding, throwing drills, etc.

So, here are the details (the same times each week):
3pm-4:30pm - Pee Wee Clinics
4:30pm-6pm - Bantam Clinics
6pm-7:30pm - Squirt Clinics

The clinics will be held on the following dates:

February 2nd (Sowden/Flanagan Centre)
February 9th (Yara Centre)
February 16th - No Sessions
February 23rd (Sowden/Flanagan Centre)
March 1st (Yara Centre)
March 8th (Sowden/Flanagan Centre)
March 15th (Sowden/Flanagan Centre)

So how do you sign up? Please contact me (Shawn Okerstrom) either by email (shawn@ap4t.com) or cell (306-630-8567). We are only taking 25 players per division and they generally fill up very fast so we say that those who pay secure their spots in the clinics.

We look forward to seeing everyone out.

Shawn

 
REGISTRATION IS OPEN FOR THE 2020 SEASON!

Thanks for all your patience.We had a last minute addition to the registration form that delayed things but we are now ready for you to give us your money. ;-)

So, here's the deal. Registration is $130 for U6 (Learn to Play) and U8 (Mini-Mites) and $200 for U10 (Mites, U12 (Squirts), U14 (Pee Wees), U16 (Bantams) and U19 (Midgets). Plus, there is a $50 fundraiser tacked on.

HOWEVER, if you register AND PAY before the end of February 29th (an extra day this year), you can take advantage of a $50 discount.

Plus, NEW THIS YEAR, we have MJ Minor Girl's Fastball swag that you can order in the form of a Cool Moose Logo Hoodie (see a pic here: http://www2.mjfastball.ca/MJDMGFHoodie.jpg).

And if you take advantage of ordering it when you register, you get it at a $10 discount from the regular price we will be charging in later orders.

The registration system will automatically put your players in their respective division (so no need to ask) and you can pay by credit card during the process or elect to send in a cheque.

We will also be holding a IN-PERSON REGISTRATION NIGHT at St. Michael's school again from 5pm-8pm on Tuesday, February 25th if you would rather drop off a cheque, want to pay in cash, or need help registering.

How do you register you ask? It's easy, simply head to http://www.mjfastball.ca/reghome and click on the link.

If you didn't setup an account last year, you will need to. If you did and forget your password, you should be able to reset it from the logon page.

And if you need any help beyond that, I am available for a small fee. ;-)

Shawn Okerstrom
League Commissioner

 
2020 SEASON REGISTRATION and ICE TRYOUTS

We know that with this spectacular weather we are getting treated with that everyone is anxious about the upcoming fastball season.

SEASON REGISTRATION

First of all, we realize everyone is excited to pay for the upcoming season but we had a small delay with our registration system as we are trying to add a couple of things that are taking some time to implement. We should have it up soon and once we do, there will be a surprise we think many of you will like. If you want a hint, it has something to do with a rabbit that goes over your head. ;-)

ICE TRYOUTS

On another note, we have the tryouts for the Ice teams scheduled. The dates are as follows and all are at Yara:

U12 Saturday, February 29th - 4pm-5:30pm Saturday, March 7th - 4pm-5:30pm

U14 Saturday, February 22nd - 1:30pm-3:00pm Saturday, February 29th - 4pm-5:30pm

U16 Saturday, February 29th - 6pm-7:30pm Saturday, March 7th - 6pm-7:30pm

U19 Saturday, February 22nd - 3:30pm-5pm Saturday, February 29th - 6pm-7:30pm

PLEASE NOTE: You will need to show up to tryouts at least 15 minutes early to ensure you know which field you are on (some tryouts are running at the same time on different fields) plus you will need to register and warmup.

Also, THERE WILL BE A ONE-TIME $10 CHARGE this year to cover the fees incurred for renting Yara. You will only have to pay this charge once even if you come to both dates.

Some other quick notes pertaining to the Ice Tryouts:

First of all, there is a good chance that in the U12, U14 and U16 divisions that we could have 2 teams. We cannot name coaches for teams we don't know if we have yet or not and there has been some interest expressed by some coaches for those teams in some cases but, as always, it will depend on where their daughters end up at tryouts.

So, if you are interested and think you might be one of those coaches, it would be a good idea to be at the tryouts and watching the players so you know how they rate. Once the primary team in each division is picked, those 2nd teams can be drafted from the remaining players. It also wouldn't hurt to let the board know about your interest.

Lastly - and this is a personal recommendation - don't come out to tryouts without at least getting out once to throw a ball ahead of time. We have had good players passed over for teams in the past because they were extremely rusty and did not evaluate well.

That's hard to understand for some players/parents but the evaluators aren't familiar with these players and aren't able to see how well they may play at their best in a 1.5 hour tryout - especially if they are rusty.

And it's always a good idea to attend both tryouts as the best evaluation you have will be considered.

Other than that, good luck.

Shawn Okerstrom League Commissioner

 
2020 ICE COACH APPLICATIONS

Attention Ice Coaches

Moose Jaw Minor Girls Fastball is accepting Head Coach Applications for the 2020 ICE U12, U14, U16 and U19 provincial teams.

Please send applications including your coaching certifications and experience to Craig Hemingway at chemingway73@gmail.com.

All applications must be received no later than 11:59pm December 9, 2019.

For further information please contact Craig by email or at 306-692-5328 or contact any of the other board members.

 
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

Our AGM Has Been Rescheduled

Due to "Rider Pride" the MJMGF AGM has been changed to Tuesday, November 19 - 6:30 pm at Mosaic Place in the Colonsay Room. (Mezzanine Level).

In addition to the financial statement, President's message and election of Directors (we have three open spots on our Board, PLUS the President and Secretary terms have expired - if you or someone you know would like to join the Board please attend), the Membership will vote on a few development initiatives given initial approval by the current Board, but must be ratified at the AGM.

The initiatives are below and please reserve comments for the meeting. Comments made here are not considered a vote and the Board will NOT engage in discussion on this page:

1 - ICE policy : THAT a one-year pilot project be instituted for the 2020 season that allows Bantam and Midget-aged players, should they make an ICE team, be given the option to play EITHER ICE or House, or both.

2 - THAT a one-year pilot project be instituted for the 2020 season that House divisional practice nights be scheduled on the same nights designated for the same division's designated ICE night. House practices to be facilitated by a collection of House coaches in that division.

3 - THAT a $50 rebate on player registration fees (maximum one registration) be provided for each of the two selected coaches of each House team. The incentive rebate to be awarded at the completion of the MJMGF season.

4 - THAT all coaches in Squirt divisions and higher be required to have completed their Softball Saskatchewan "Community Softball Coach" clinic in addition to Respect In Sport. Coaches in any age group below Squirt need only to complete "Respect In Sport" to be eligible to coach. MJMGF will continue to pay registration fees for those that take the Community Softball Coach clinic.

Additionally, a new ICE Policy and Procedure Manual will be presented for approval. It may be approved in the current form or with some changes per the initiatives above. The proposed manual can be viewed HERE.

 
Diamond Bookings

NEW! Our online booking system is now up and running.

Please fee free to schedule your own practices but please be considerate as there are many other teams looking for practice times as well.

There is a 2 booking per week limit for each team (the batting cage and diamond 3 can be booked together and only counted as 1 booking).

Weekends are open until our tournaments start May 24th - there is limited weekend availability at Optimist starting that weekend. If a date doesn't show any available time it is either a date that is not available or the practice times are all booked.

Book Your Practice HERE

 
Welcome to the Home of Moose Jaw & District Minor Girl's Fastball
Posted Feb 18, 2019

Welcome! Our new website is finally up and running and we are excited about the 2019 season. There is much going on already... registration, pitching clinics, player clinics for many divisions, Ice tryouts, tournament dates have been set and the countdown to the start of the season is on.


 

Welcome to MJDMGF's New Web Site!