Managers, we have sent out several messages about the balls that are used at the tournaments. Beginning in October, we began using the old FHC ball, which is quite lively in the winter months. We will continue using this ball for the rest of the year, or until we run out, for at least two reasons.
First, as I said, the ball is just as good as any during the winter months. Second, we spend thousands of dollars every year on balls, and we have experimented with many types to find the best ball possible for our teams, so we are going to use them until they run out. If we just stop using them before we run out we will have to raise our fees in order to break even, and no one wants that.
The Microcell ball will not be used until we announce it is ok to use them in tournament play. We have been told that some teams have been throwing the Microcell ball into play instead of the proper ball. Going forward, we are putting the responsibility on the pitchers to look at the ball thrown in by the batting team, and determine if it is the proper ball. If it's not the proper ball, the pitcher is to give the ball to the umpire, and the umpire will keep the ball until the game is over. Again, it is the responsibility of the pitcher to make sure the proper ball is used, and the proper ball is not the Microcell, until a later date.