Date: November 18, 2021
From: Scott Kelly – Petoskey Tournament Director, District 21 Commissioner, USA Softball of Michigan Chairperson of the Men’s Fast Pitch Committee
Scott’s contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com; business phone: 231-547-1144; cell phone: 231-881-0810
Hello to All Tournament Softball in Petoskey interested People, Teams, and Organizations:
PLEASE SHARE WITH ALL FAST PITCH SOFTBALL INTERESTED INDIVIDUALS IN MICHIGAN
Last season we were not sure if we could continue running tournaments in Petoskey. Over the summer, many of you came forward and offered to help in various ways and said you very much wanted to make sure we kept things going.
Last year we identified several problems:
1. lack of umpires,
2. lack of young pitchers,
3. lack of opportunities for young adults to participate in fast pitch.
Here is our proposed solution that we have come up with in more details. Financial support from two major sources in 2022 has made it possible for us to offer the “Development Workshops”. Thank you to Duke VanderArk and Jeff Sherman for your financial support of developing fast pitch softball in Michigan.
On Saturday’s in June 2022 (6/4, 6/11, 6/18, 6/25) we will be hosting 4 separate “Development Workshops” where we would like to have 4 umpires, 8 pitchers, 8 catchers and 24 position players for two hours of instruction from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm led by experienced individual instructors in each of those four areas. This will be followed by four teams of 10 players scrimmaging from 1:00 – 7:00 pm to get additional “game experience” at the waterfront with active feedback from the instructors during the course of the day. One idea we’ve had to accomplish the 10 player teams was to have groups of 10 come in with the 2 pitchers, 2 catchers and 6 position players with a possible new/developing umpire from their area. Due to liability issues, we are limiting all participants to males, age 18 and over. We are looking at $20 per person for these development days ($220 for 10 players and an umpire) that may be covered by a team or sponsor with a newer/developing team. Also, if you know of retired umpires who may have some equipment to donate that we can use during our Development Weekends that can help outfit new umpires just getting started, we would very much appreciate them getting in contact with me so we can recycle that equipment.
For the tournament weekends in July, we will paying $60 per game for umpires so we can attract more umpires and compete with some of the other opportunities for umpires. We will also be covering motels for umpires from outside the area and/or providing camping/RV reimbursement and some mileage stipends. In our area, we are needing to rely more on out of area umpires as our local pool has diminished significantly in recent years. We will do our best to increase our pool of available umpires – hopefully through the attraction of former ballplayers who would still like to stay connected to the game. This will result in a need to increase our team entry fee to a sustainability level for 2023 without large corporate sponsorships that are underwriting much of the 2022 budget.
Our team entry fee for 2022 will be $600 with a four game guarantee. If we are rained out and only a portion of the four games is played, we will do what we have done in the past and make some percentage of the refunds as long as we don’t have the per game expenses of umpires, field rental, softballs, scorekeepers and such. As in the past, we will continue to have awards for the 1st and 2nd place teams, individual awards for outstanding pitcher, hitter, infielder and outfielder, website archives of the game by game results, facebook updates for each game and tournament results along with scorekeeping, announcing, bat testing and tournament coordinators to keep things running smoothly.
With such a limited amount of tournaments and numbers of available slots, we are moving 2022 to an “Invitational Format” to maximize the number of teams that are able to come to Petoskey. This list of teams is based upon past participation, recent state and national finishes. I am sure I have missed some teams and my apologies in advance. I am also sure that not every team listed on the invitation list will be able to make that designated weekend work for them. I would like to know which teams are willing and able and can commit to their designated weekend as soon as possible. This will allow us to develop a list of interested fill in participants sooner than later. If teams not listed are interested in getting on a “consideration list” or need to make a change of weekends but it’s within their classification for 2022, please let me know your team name, classification level and the appropriate weekend that you are interested in. No guarantees, but this will help me develop a list of interested participants that may be able to serve as fill-ins.
I am hoping to have teams for 2022 tournament participation locked in by January 1st and then payment to lock in your spot by February 1st.
We are hoping to have our new website up and running soon but it has taken longer than expected. The new site will provide opportunities to make credit card payments online to lock in your participation in either a Development Saturday or a weekend tournament. Hope to have the website up and running by mid-December. The new site will be at: www.D21Softball.com and the old site will be redirected to the new site.
I am also hoping to follow up with some motels and the Visitors and Convention Bureau in Petoskey to see if there are some better room rates available for teams and players coming to Petoskey for the eight different weekends of activities in June and July. I hope to have those details set up by mid-January.
Also on my things to do list involve securing the instructors for each of the four Saturday’s in June. I’ve got some initial positive responses by a number of people but I need to get everyone locked in. For those that agree to be instructors, I will be doing a travel stipend and one overnight in a local motel as an incentive for your time and efforts.
Here is what I’m looking at for teams to invite for the 2022 Tournaments:
Petoskey’s Waterfront Adult Fast Pitch 2022 Weekend Schedule
July 1-3, men’s class C/D – Marquardt Memorial
Teams I would like to invite: Homer Aces, Priority Mortgage, Munger Fastpitch, D1 Fastpitch and Champion Glass
July 8-10 men's B/C – Bare Invitational
Teams I would like to invite: Wranglers, Brewers, Labadie, McBain and Majestic
July 15-17 men’s D/E – White Memorial
Teams I would like to invite: BASES, Flynn's, Fox Chevrolet, Lamons and Superior Vault.
July 22-24 men’s A/B – Harbaugh Memorial
Teams I would like to invite: Lightning, Gray Sox, Snappers, Tiffany's and Rebels
All weekend tournaments will involve the 5 team, 4 game guarantee with the top two pool play finishers meeting for a one game championship. Schedules involve 4 teams playing Friday night (usually 7 and 8:30), Saturday games at 10, 11:30, 1:30, 3:30, 5:30 and 7:00 and then Sunday games at 8:00 and 9:30 to finish pool play and the championship game Sunday at 11:30 am.
As you can see there are a lot of moving parts to this and with a budget of just under $27,000 for 2022, being organized and communicating effectively will help things go smoothly.
Any questions or comments, please let me know.
Feel free to share this with any and all – especially the teams that are listed on the invite list and for those interested participants for the Development Saturdays including umpires, pitchers, catcher and players.
And a big congratulations to Blaine Milheim from Eaton Rapids who was recently announced as a member of Team USA for 2022. One of 18 players in the country! I would love to see more college baseball players become involved in men’s fast pitch softball and Blaine is a great example of someone who just recently finished an outstanding collegiate career.
Through education, skill development and opportunities to show those skills, we can have many more Team USA representatives from Michigan.
Lynda Christensen and Bev Neville were inducted into the 2014 MASA Hall of Fame in Midland on 1/18/14. Ten Hall of Fame members from MASA District 21 were on hand to welcome them. (LtoR) Julie Biddick, George Wheelock, Deb Hamlin, Mike Lalonde, Meg Kitson, Monica Kline, Lynda Christensen, Dick Bare, Bev Neville, Jerry Rosevear, Dick Harbaugh and Stacey Barber-Walker.
LtoR: Julie Biddick
(2007), Mike Lalonde (2008), Stacey
Barber-Walker, George Wheelock (2000) and Monica
Kline (2006) at Stacey's induction into the MASA
Hall of Fame. Stacey is joined by
representatives from District 21 who were able
to attend the banquet to welcome Stacey into the
Hall of Fame in Midland on 1/19/13.
Dick Bare, Marty Stempky, George Wheelock, Deb
Hamlin, Meg Kitson at the MASA Hall of Fame
Induction in Midland in January 2011. Marty and
Deb were inducted as players.
Mike Lalonde, George Wheelock, Billy Norton,
Dick Bare at the MASA Hall of Fame induction in
Midland in January 2010. Billy Norton, D21 UIC,
Hodge (L), Meg Fowler-Kitson (R) with Leroy
Buchanan at their MASA Hall of Fame induction in
Midland in January of 2009.
A simulated view from
behind the backstop for facing one of the
fastest men's fast pitch throwers - 83/84 mph
from 46 feet is equivalent to 108/110 mph in