Do you have an interest in Umpiring for LV in-house games in 2018? Do you have a 13+ year-old who may be interested? LV sponsors a "Junior Umpire" program that trains these young adults, coaches, assistant coaches and any volunteer to umpire AAA and Majors Divisions games. The program pays $25 for every game umpired at the plate and $15 for every game umpired in the field. There are two umpires slots available for each game and you self assign to open games yourself right here on the league website. You will receive a free umpire shirt and umpire equipment will be available at every field. It's a great way to make some summer cash!
If you or your 13+ year old are interested, attendance at an umpiring clinic is mandatory. LV's Umpire-In-Chief, Jim Hadik, will run an in-house clinic prior to the start of our spring season, however there is an excellent clinic for umpires (and coaches) being sponsored by the Fort Washington Golden Generals American Legion Baseball organization on SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 4TH from 10:00am to 1:30pm at the Wissahickon HS Gym (521 Houston Road, Ambler). This clinic is an amazing way for those interested in umpiring to learn from professionals, like current MLB umpire, Al Porter! All of the information can be found here.
If you are interested in attending this clinic, please email Jim Hadik at
. LV Baseball will cover the registration fee. The deadline to register is JANUARY 28TH!
LV Baseball - January Newsletter - Registration is OPEN!
Well, the calendar has changed to 2018 and that means it's time to start getting serious about Spring Baseball! The monthly newsletters are back and I have an awful lot to share to start the year...
First, the LV Baseball Board has undergone some changes itself and adopted a new Constitution in November. It was a long overdue update to the rules that govern how our organization operates. The only material change was in the manner in which individuals are elected to the LV Board, which now consists of seven (7) individuals, with the rest of the elected positions being LV Members. All of the changes made are otherwise consistent with Little League guidelines. One of the most important changes made was the addition of a new LV Board position - Coaching Coordinator. This new role was created to oversee the development of LV's coaching and player development program. While we have many terrific coaches and volunteers at all Divisions of LV Baseball, there was a lack of common elements as our players progressed from Single A up through Majors and beyond. Chris Felton has taken on this incredibly important role for LV. Chris brings a wealth of youth sports experience to LV's Board and I'm personally very excited about the changes already being discussed.
Most of you are already aware of some of those changes, but here are a few important ones...
·At the conclusion of the 2017 Spring Season, we conducted a league-wide survey on all things LV Baseball. We had a terrific response rate to the survey and I thank all of you who participated. The results were extremely helpful in shaping the direction that we need to take LV baseball. All comments - both positive and negative - were taken into consideration as the LV Board mapped out the best path forward. All of the changes made in 2017 were mostly well received by a majority of the survey respondents. As with all changes, some were not pleased and we'll work towards making what changes we can to address all concerns. More on this later...
·LV is consolidating leagues within each Division for 2018. No longer will there be an "American" and "National" league at any Division. Players at League Ages 4, 5, and 6 will play at a single Division of Single A (Tee Ball). Players at League Ages 7 and 8 will play at a single Division of Double A, which will be exclusively machine pitch only this year. Coach Pitch has been removed entirely. Triple A (League Age 9 and 10), Majors (League Age 11 and 12), Juniors (League Age 13-15) and Seniors (League Age 16-18) have not changed.
·In 2015, Little League International voted to change the date on which players' age is determined for any given year. The date moved from April 30th to August 31st, with players aged 12 having been grandfathered to the old date so as to avoid them missing their 12-year old season - a relatively important one in Little League. LV Baseball has been preparing to implement this change across its in-house programs for the last several years, but the time has come to make it official. Accordingly, players born between April 30 and August 31 may be affected. For this year's registration, you may be surprised to find what Division your child is targeted to play. This is why. There is an option in the registration form to request to play up or play down. LV's Player Agent will review each request appropriately, but please note that you should register your child based on his/her age on August 31, 2018.
·As previously communicated, Little League Baseball decided to adopt the new USA Baseball bat standard for mandated use effective January 1, 2018. Accordingly, LV Baseball is required to implement this standard. All bats used for 2018 for in-house play (excluding ITL) must have the "USA Baseball" marking on them. LV has been notified that the Suburban Travel Baseball League (STBL) will also move to this standard for 2018. Please note that Tee Ball bats are excluded from this standard, however they are required to have a USA Baseball sticker affixed to them, which LV Baseball will provide at no charge for 2018. (Please note, this is not an LV rule, it's a Little League rule!) Any bat that does NOT have the USA Baseball marking is considered illegal as of now.
·Historically, LV Baseball has had a rule that for all non-Tee Ball players that batting helmets must have a cage. Earlier this month, this rule was removed by the LV Board effective immediately and all Divisional rules will be updated accordingly. While it is no longer a requirement, families can make their own determinations of whether they want to continue having a cage for personal batting helmets. LV is simply not requiring them any longer. This rule change applies to both in-house and travel programs.
Revisiting the survey results for a moment, here are some thoughts on the more relevant items:
·Our fields are always and will always be one of our most difficult challenges. LV Baseball is entirely self-funding non-profit organization and is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of all fields other than those in New Britain Township (namely, North Branch Park). Therefore, we do the best we can with the funds we can allocate to our fields. While some changes have been made to make improvements, we realize that they are not always in the best possible condition. Some are subject to greater impacts by the weather than others and we try our best to make them as playable as we can whenever we can. We will continue to invest in Chestnut Street Park and Tower Hill in 2018, but there is simply no other available fields within our league boundaries to help alleviate scheduling issues for the number of teams and players we have. And for the record, we recognize that Barness Park in Warrington is very nice. There is no need to remind anyone of this fact. Chalfont Borough does not subsidize LV the way that Warrington subsidizes Warrington Youth Baseball.
·While clearly one of the hot buttons of some, the pins were generally an agreeable replacement for the participation trophies provided by LV prior to 2017. Some loved them, some hated them, but the majority thought that it was a good change. We will continue that practice in 2018 and are considering expanding the use of pins for other ages and events.
·Clearly, our Double A Division was a challenge last year as we transitioned to a single league with only seven teams. Coach Pitch and Kid Pitch were a big topic and we are making some changes as discussed above. All Double A players will hit against machine pitch, eliminating both coach pitch and kid pitch this year. This decision was not made lightly and much research and investigation was done by the LV Board in order to give our 7 and 8 year olds the best opportunity at developing baseball skills appropriate for their age.
·On the subject of Fees, which is one that there is no shortage of opinions, LV Baseball works particularly hard to manage the operating expenses of our organization very diligently to provide as high a quality experience for our players as we can without sacrificing safety. Despite several observations that LV is more expensive than neighboring organizations for what is provided, the LV Board has not found that to be the case. LV has nothing but good things to say about our neighbors and the programs that they offer, but every organization has its challenges and strengths. We believe that LV's fees are fair and competitive, which is largely supported by the survey results. That having been said, in order to address rising costs associated with LV's travel program over the last several years, travel fees for 2018 are increasing from $160 to $200 per player. This change shifts more of the burden associated with costs particular to LV's travel teams to those players. The LV Board will continue to evaluate registration fees every year and make those changes that are appropriate.
·Also, regarding Fees, there seems to be some confusion over the registration fees and the Annual Raffle. Although the first child registered to play baseball are $165, LV's registration fees for the first child are actually $115 but include a mandatory $50 for the Annual Raffle, bringing the total to $165. The survey results indicated that a fair number of you do not approve of the Annual Raffle, or at least the way that it is conducted. We are actively looking for ways to modify it, but we cannot eliminate it or significantly change it at this time. Without it, LV would suffer a dramatic decrease in available funding and significant changes would have to be made in order to just maintain status quo.
Speaking of fundraising, LV's fundraising efforts beyond the Annual Raffle were hugely successful in 2017 and LV cannot thank all of you enough for the contributions made. The first annual LV Baseball Golf Outing in August was a wild success with over 50 golfers, raising over $5,000 itself and taking our 2017 fundraising effort to just about $8,100. A humongous thank you to our Fundraising Coordinator, Matt Benscoter, for an incredible job throughout the year! We will be looking to begin organizing this year's golf outing shortly. Along with the Annual Raffle, these proceeds allow us to make some much needed investments for our organization. Accordingly, in 2018, LV will be making several purchases, including:
·Two JUGS pitching machines (for Chestnut Street and Tower Hill);
·A new shed for Chestnut Street Park (pending Chalfont Borough approval);
·A new temporary outfield fence for North Branch Park Field #6;
·Replacement helmets, catching gear, and other aging league-owned equipment; as well as
·Some other smaller improvements to just about every field utilized by LV.
We will be publishing the 2018 Fundraising Events calendar shortly. If fundraising continues to grow, LV will be able to make larger investments to benefit our players for years to come. Speaking of fundraising, our 2018 Cooperstown Team has been formed and they are busy plotting and planning for this once in a lifetime experience. The 2018 LV Tomahawks have their first fundraising event - a Trivia / Beef and Beer Night - planned for FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 16th. I will forward along more information about that event separately. It's a great, fun event for a terrific cause!
Last but not least.... REGISTRATION FOR SPRING BASEBALL IS NOW OPEN! You can register on our league website here!!! Our Opening Day Ceremony is scheduled for SATURDAY, APRIL 7TH! Baseball will be here before you know it. I can't wait!!!
Thank you for your continued support. That's all until next month....