Monday, February 21, 2005

smslnew


smslnew
Originally uploaded by mloehndorf.
SAKATOON MINOR SOFTBALL LEAGUE

Box 8700 Saskatoon, SK S7K 6S5

Phone: 374-5155 Fax: 374-2808


THE PHILOSOPY BEHIND THE PROGRAM

1. There are less and less children deciding to play softball each year.

2. The biggest area of concern is with our youngest ages, as once kids have been in the sport for a while and have learned the necessary skills; they tend to stick with it (when compared to other sports).

3. Softball must become more appealing to the modern generation of both parents and kids. (i.e.: more action/activity in a short period of time).

4. Softball must be able to compete with sports like soccer and basketball in order to maintain its numbers.

5. Entry level softball players have had little or no prior exposure to the game. Therefore they must not be thrust into situations that demand complex fine motor skills and are competitive. These situations only lead to failure and discourage kids from participating.

6. Softball is a game that demands the development of fine motor skills in order to achieve success. Children must be taught the skills if they will continue in softball. We cannot design a game that will adequately teach the skills. A major objective of the game must be to motivate children to want to continue to play softball and improve their skills.

7. Sessions must be compact and action packed.

8. Shorter sessions will be better able to maintain a child’s ever decreasing attention. It will also place more of an emphasis on proper planning and time management by the coaches.

9. Fewer players per team will keep players active and will move the games along.

10. We must keep kid’s minds and bodies occupied during the sessions. All efforts must be made to move the game along, and keep all players as active as possible. (i.e.: not just the pitcher, catcher, and batter).

11. Blast Ball has been proven a success because it allows kids to learn at their own rate while having fun. We will get more kids playing because of it and we must keep them interested until they get to Squirts.

What is it?

BLASTBALL is a developmental game invented and marked by the ATEC Athletic Training Company in the United States. It is a very simple concept utilizing the skills of Softball in a fun, fast paced activity for young players. It has been piloted with a number of groups and the results have been outstanding. In Saskatoon it has already been introduced to last years LTP Level One coaches and a number of elementary schools. It has met with very favorable reviews. It appears that the game is best suited as an entry level activity for players five and six years old. Seven year olds liked the game but needed to add some challenging aspects.

The game is an exceptional introduction to Softball and Baseball for a number of reasons:

  • it is fun
  • it is easy to play, players have instant success
  • it is fast paced
  • no glove or special equipment is needed by the player
  • it runs within a time frame
  • it does not cost a great deal to register
  • it allows very efficient use of facilities (5 or 6 games at a time on a diamond)
  • minimal special equipment required
  • minimal instruction for volunteers

The new game of BlastBall is a fun and safe way of playing the sport of Softball. BlastBall is a totally new concept for introducing the basic fundamentals of softball (hitting, throwing, catching, running and fielding) and is aimed for the younger children. There are no complex rules, no umpires, no personal equipment and no ball diamond. It is designed to put the fun back in to the game of softball and to generate fast-paced action, provide recreation and exercise, create enthusiasm and through simplicity, allow retention of youth participants in the game. BlastBall is played with a molded ball and bat for optimum safety and can be played indoors or out. Ball gloves or mitts are not required because of the softness and size of the ball. The unique part of BlastBall is that there is only one base, and when the runner steps on the base, it makes a loud honking sound. The area of the field set-up can be adjusted to any size to suit the respective age group and skill levels. BlastBall provides an ideal entry level of play for the youngster who will go on to other advanced levels of the game. It is also a great fitness and recreational activity for schools and community programs as well as for family and friends.

Equipment- A Blast Ball set includes a: Blast Base , Blast Bat, Blast Ball (2-Pac) , Cone and a
BlastTee Line Marker

FIELD SET UP

In an open area, like a backyard, field or park, position your Blast Tee/home plate so that hitting allows you a safe area of play. Like a regular ball diamond, from the Tee pace off 30 to 50 feet to the right and position your Blast Base. This establishes your fair/foul line to the right. To the left of the Tee and perpendicular to your Blast Base line, pace off an equal distance and position your Cone. This establishes your fair/foul line to the left. Now pace off 15 feet directly in front of the Tee and lay out your Line Marker running between the (hypothetical) first and third base lines. This becomes the fair/foul line for play. If a ball is hit inside of that line it is foul and should be re-teed for another try. If it goes beyond the line, either in the air or on a roll it is considered in play.

BlastBall - Rules:

The defensive players take an infield or outfield position. A BlastBall is placed in the BlastTee and the first batter hits the ball and runs to the BlastBase. If the batter reaches the Base (the only base used) before a defensive player either catchers the BlastBall in the air (an automatic out) or fields it and yells “BLAST”, he scores a run. If the ball is caught or fielded and “BLAST” is yelled before the runner gets to the BlastBase, then the runner is out. It’s just that simple! You will end the (half) inning by batting once around the line-up. Everyone bats, every inning and do not even keep score.

The BlastBase is audible, emitting a loud “HONK” that the kids love whenever the runner stomps on the base. When fielded, the defensive player can throw the BlastBall back to another player, an adult or Sports Net J positioned near home plate (safely away from the Tee). Gloves/mitts are not needed because of the softness and size of the Ball. The fear factor of being hit is eliminated for the game all together. While batting helmets are not needed, because the Blast Ball is not being pitched or thrown to make the out, for optimum safety helmets are recommended.

Our pilot projects found that 5 players was optimum team size but that is open for discussion. A smaller number, such as 2-3 players per team works equally well. The critical decision is to know when to add difficulty to the game. The kids catch on very quickly. The novelty of the noisy base wears off. You must be ready to add small incentives to the game to the kids challenged remembering at all times the attaining success is the number one priority to having fun.

Some additions are as follows:

· Add on throw and subsequent catch to anyone by the defensive player who fields the ball, This throw can be to anyone on the defensive team anywhere on the field.

· Add one throw and subsequent catch to one specific person on the defensive team.

· Lengthen the distance of the base.

· Rotate the defensive player’s position on the field after each batter.

· Widen the vector for the hitters.

· Add outs to the game instead of all players hitting each inning.

· Add a coach pitcher and lob the ball to the hitter.

· Have three teams on the field – one hitting, one defense, and one doing fundamentals and Rotate at the end of each 1⁄2 inning.

Winter Blastball Program


Saskatoon Minor Softball is trying to develop a winter BlastBall program. Our goal in developing this program is to help the summer softball programs become stronger. Saskatoon Minor Softball is committed to supplying qualified instructors for the indoor BlastBall program. Saskatoon Minor Softball will request these instructors be paid $15/hour by the community associations.

Gym size: any size will work

Time: 1hr a session will be sufficient to schedule for a Blastball game

Registration Fee: $20 - $30 is Saskatoon Minor Softball suggested registration fee

Equipment: 1 or 2 Blastball sets at approx $150.00 per set

Instructors: Saskatoon Minor Softball will provide the instructors at $15.00 per hour and training sessions if needed

Summer Program

Upon reviewing the summer Blastball program, it is evident to see that there has been An increase in the number of children registered, of approximately 30 % in the Learn - To –

Play age category. Last year alone, Saskatoon Minor Softball had 44 teams registered in BlastBall, with each team consisting of 6 – 10 players. There has been great community feedback with regards to the new program, and parents and children are excited about the Game. In the midst of establishing this new program, Saskatoon Minor Softball providedMore instructional time for coaches, combined with demonstrations and training BlastBall

Sessions. Saskatoon Minor Softball expects to see nothing but positive results from implementing this new BlastBall program. In previous years there has been a decline in the number of softball registrants. Thanks to this new program, softball is back on the rise.

Each BlastBall coordinator was in charge of two of the eight BlastBall leagues for the summer. It was their responsibility to periodically check up on their corresponding BlastBall leagues and teams and make sure everything was running smoothly. Coaches were given the coaches the opportunity to utilize the BlastBall coordinators. BlastBall coordinators at any time could come out to a practice or game, and help run the session or work on skills. Hitting, and fielding circuits were included in their coach’s packages to ensure many ideas for practices, so that the kids did not get bored.

The kids BlastBall season ended with a mini BlastBall Tournament. Each mini tournament was run with 2 leagues, by each individual BlastBall Coordinator. The tournament was run for one day, and each team was usually guaranteed 4 to 5 games throughout the night. The night ended with each child receiving an official BlastBall certificate, with a gold seal on it. Something to be framed, and remembered.


Saskatoon Minor Softball Night

On May 26th Saskatoon Minor Softball held its annual Minor Softball Night at Bob Van Impe Stadium. The night consisted of free hotdogs, drinks, prizes and softball games for all whom attended. The night was also highlighted by our token Chicken mascot, who made the night very enjoyable. All players, coaches, parents and friends involved in Saskatoon Minor Softball were invited to this annual night celebrating softball. The evening started off at around 5:00 with all 44 Blastball teams demonstrating their outstanding skills and new BlastBall game. The teams took the field for the next hour, playing a couple games with their neighboring opponents. They came dressed for the occasion in uniforms, cleats and equipment, and were ready to play ball. They played in front of a crowd of approximately 2000 people, which happened to be a record breaking attendance in Saskatoon Minor Softball history. All BlastBall teams were included in the opening ceremonies, as each team was introduced, and received a warm welcome of applause from the crowd. For almost all the kids, this was their first ever experience playing in a large stadium. The crowd was astonished to see these little ball players’ show off their skills and abilities, and responded enthusiastically. BlastBall was a great way to start off a night of ball. These little BlastBall players were a huge part of a night to remember.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

THE SMSL PROGRAM

SAKATOON MINOR SOFTBALL LEAGUE

Box 8700 Saskatoon, SK S7K 6S5

Phone: 374-5155 Fax: 374-2808


THE PHILOSOPY BEHIND THE PROGRAM

1. There are less and less children deciding to play softball each year.

2. The biggest area of concern is with our youngest ages, as once kids have been in the sport for a while and have learned the necessary skills; they tend to stick with it (when compared to other sports).

3. Softball must become more appealing to the modern generation of both parents and kids. (i.e.: more action/activity in a short period of time).

4. Softball must be able to compete with sports like soccer and basketball in order to maintain its numbers.

5. Entry level softball players have had little or no prior exposure to the game. Therefore they must not be thrust into situations that demand complex fine motor skills and are competitive. These situations only lead to failure and discourage kids from participating.

6. Softball is a game that demands the development of fine motor skills in order to achieve success. Children must be taught the skills if they will continue in softball. We cannot design a game that will adequately teach the skills. A major objective of the game must be to motivate children to want to continue to play softball and improve their skills.

7. Sessions must be compact and action packed.

8. Shorter sessions will be better able to maintain a child’s ever decreasing attention. It will also place more of an emphasis on proper planning and time management by the coaches.

9. Fewer players per team will keep players active and will move the games along.

10. We must keep kid’s minds and bodies occupied during the sessions. All efforts must be made to move the game along, and keep all players as active as possible. (i.e.: not just the pitcher, catcher, and batter).

11. Blast Ball has been proven a success because it allows kids to learn at their own rate while having fun. We will get more kids playing because of it and we must keep them interested until they get to Squirts.

What is it?

BLASTBALL is a developmental game invented and marked by the ATEC Athletic Training Company in the United States. It is a very simple concept utilizing the skills of Softball in a fun, fast paced activity for young players. It has been piloted with a number of groups and the results have been outstanding. In Saskatoon it has already been introduced to last years LTP Level One coaches and a number of elementary schools. It has met with very favorable reviews. It appears that the game is best suited as an entry level activity for players five and six years old. Seven year olds liked the game but needed to add some challenging aspects.

The game is an exceptional introduction to Softball and Baseball for a number of reasons:

  • it is fun
  • it is easy to play, players have instant success
  • it is fast paced
  • no glove or special equipment is needed by the player
  • it runs within a time frame
  • it does not cost a great deal to register
  • it allows very efficient use of facilities (5 or 6 games at a time on a diamond)
  • minimal special equipment required
  • minimal instruction for volunteers

The new game of BlastBall is a fun and safe way of playing the sport of Softball. BlastBall is a totally new concept for introducing the basic fundamentals of softball (hitting, throwing, catching, running and fielding) and is aimed for the younger children. There are no complex rules, no umpires, no personal equipment and no ball diamond. It is designed to put the fun back in to the game of softball and to generate fast-paced action, provide recreation and exercise, create enthusiasm and through simplicity, allow retention of youth participants in the game. BlastBall is played with a molded ball and bat for optimum safety and can be played indoors or out. Ball gloves or mitts are not required because of the softness and size of the ball. The unique part of BlastBall is that there is only one base, and when the runner steps on the base, it makes a loud honking sound. The area of the field set-up can be adjusted to any size to suit the respective age group and skill levels. BlastBall provides an ideal entry level of play for the youngster who will go on to other advanced levels of the game. It is also a great fitness and recreational activity for schools and community programs as well as for family and friends.

Equipment- A Blast Ball set includes a: Blast Base , Blast Bat, Blast Ball (2-Pac) , Cone and a
BlastTee Line Marker

FIELD SET UP

In an open area, like a backyard, field or park, position your Blast Tee/home plate so that hitting allows you a safe area of play. Like a regular ball diamond, from the Tee pace off 30 to 50 feet to the right and position your Blast Base. This establishes your fair/foul line to the right. To the left of the Tee and perpendicular to your Blast Base line, pace off an equal distance and position your Cone. This establishes your fair/foul line to the left. Now pace off 15 feet directly in front of the Tee and lay out your Line Marker running between the (hypothetical) first and third base lines. This becomes the fair/foul line for play. If a ball is hit inside of that line it is foul and should be re-teed for another try. If it goes beyond the line, either in the air or on a roll it is considered in play.

BlastBall - Rules:

The defensive players take an infield or outfield position. A BlastBall is placed in the BlastTee and the first batter hits the ball and runs to the BlastBase. If the batter reaches the Base (the only base used) before a defensive player either catchers the BlastBall in the air (an automatic out) or fields it and yellsBLAST”, he scores a run. If the ball is caught or fielded and BLASTis yelled before the runner gets to the BlastBase, then the runner is out. It’s just that simple! You will end the (half) inning by batting once around the line-up. Everyone bats, every inning and do not even keep score.

The BlastBase is audible, emitting a loud HONK that the kids love whenever the runner stomps on the base. When fielded, the defensive player can throw the BlastBall back to another player, an adult or Sports Net J positioned near home plate (safely away from the Tee). Gloves/mitts are not needed because of the softness and size of the Ball. The fear factor of being hit is eliminated for the game all together. While batting helmets are not needed, because the Blast Ball is not being pitched or thrown to make the out, for optimum safety helmets are recommended.

Our pilot projects found that 5 players was optimum team size but that is open for discussion. A smaller number, such as 2-3 players per team works equally well. The critical decision is to know when to add difficulty to the game. The kids catch on very quickly. The novelty of the noisy base wears off. You must be ready to add small incentives to the game to the kids challenged remembering at all times the attaining success is the number one priority to having fun.

Some additions are as follows:

· Add on throw and subsequent catch to anyone by the defensive player who fields the ball, This throw can be to anyone on the defensive team anywhere on the field.

· Add one throw and subsequent catch to one specific person on the defensive team.

· Lengthen the distance of the base.

· Rotate the defensive player’s position on the field after each batter.

· Widen the vector for the hitters.

· Add outs to the game instead of all players hitting each inning.

· Add a coach pitcher and lob the ball to the hitter.

· Have three teams on the field – one hitting, one defense, and one doing fundamentals and Rotate at the end of each 1⁄2 inning.

Winter Blastball Program


Saskatoon Minor Softball is trying to develop a winter BlastBall program. Our goal in developing this program is to help the summer softball programs become stronger. Saskatoon Minor Softball is committed to supplying qualified instructors for the indoor BlastBall program. Saskatoon Minor Softball will request these instructors be paid $15/hour by the community associations.

Gym size: any size will work

Time: 1hr a session will be sufficient to schedule for a Blastball game

Registration Fee: $20 - $30 is Saskatoon Minor Softball suggested registration fee

Equipment: 1 or 2 Blastball sets at approx $150.00 per set

Instructors: Saskatoon Minor Softball will provide the instructors at $15.00 per hour and training sessions if needed

Summer Program

Upon reviewing the summer Blastball program, it is evident to see that there has been An increase in the number of children registered, of approximately 30 % in the Learn - To –

Play age category. Last year alone, Saskatoon Minor Softball had 44 teams registered in BlastBall, with each team consisting of 6 – 10 players. There has been great community feedback with regards to the new program, and parents and children are excited about the Game. In the midst of establishing this new program, Saskatoon Minor Softball providedMore instructional time for coaches, combined with demonstrations and training BlastBall

Sessions. Saskatoon Minor Softball expects to see nothing but positive results from implementing this new BlastBall program. In previous years there has been a decline in the number of softball registrants. Thanks to this new program, softball is back on the rise.

Each BlastBall coordinator was in charge of two of the eight BlastBall leagues for the summer. It was their responsibility to periodically check up on their corresponding BlastBall leagues and teams and make sure everything was running smoothly. Coaches were given the coaches the opportunity to utilize the BlastBall coordinators. BlastBall coordinators at any time could come out to a practice or game, and help run the session or work on skills. Hitting, and fielding circuits were included in their coach’s packages to ensure many ideas for practices, so that the kids did not get bored.

The kids BlastBall season ended with a mini BlastBall Tournament. Each mini tournament was run with 2 leagues, by each individual BlastBall Coordinator. The tournament was run for one day, and each team was usually guaranteed 4 to 5 games throughout the night. The night ended with each child receiving an official BlastBall certificate, with a gold seal on it. Something to be framed, and remembered.


Saskatoon Minor Softball Night

On May 26th Saskatoon Minor Softball held its annual Minor Softball Night at Bob Van Impe Stadium. The night consisted of free hotdogs, drinks, prizes and softball games for all whom attended. The night was also highlighted by our token Chicken mascot, who made the night very enjoyable. All players, coaches, parents and friends involved in Saskatoon Minor Softball were invited to this annual night celebrating softball. The evening started off at around 5:00 with all 44 Blastball teams demonstrating their outstanding skills and new BlastBall game. The teams took the field for the next hour, playing a couple games with their neighboring opponents. They came dressed for the occasion in uniforms, cleats and equipment, and were ready to play ball. They played in front of a crowd of approximately 2000 people, which happened to be a record breaking attendance in Saskatoon Minor Softball history. All BlastBall teams were included in the opening ceremonies, as each team was introduced, and received a warm welcome of applause from the crowd. For almost all the kids, this was their first ever experience playing in a large stadium. The crowd was astonished to see these little ball players’ show off their skills and abilities, and responded enthusiastically. BlastBall was a great way to start off a night of ball. These little BlastBall players were a huge part of a night to remember.