Managers, can you believe that it is already August? Until this past weekend, we have lost only a handful of games to the weather, but we were not so lucky this weekend. We played all Saturday games at Loyce Harpe, and all shortened games at the Winter Haven fields on Sunday, but unfortunately, we were rained out both days at Auburndale. So, with the help of the maintenance crews, we played one half of the games scheduled. Men, please share with your players that this is Florida, and we do not control the weather. And, even though we run our own tournaments, if the Park Supervisor says that the fields are unplayable, then we don't play. That happened at the Auburndale fields this past weekend. We know it is a crying shame to drive 1, 2, 3 hours or more, and not get to play. Our Commissioners and Site Directors were at the parks at 5:30 each morning, but it did not work out. I myself have played in FHC for over 20 years, and I know how it feels to go through what happened at Auburnadale. I got an email complaining about that very thing last night. There were people standing around waiting to get into the park, but we were not allowed to help because the fields were deemed unplayable. Sometimes it is better to not push the send button on your email, and pick the phone up and just ask what happened.
As in every year, we have several positions on the Board up for election. I will address that soon, but if you are interested in being on the Board, you need to contact Greg Hazel and myself to declare your intention to run. The positions up for election are: Vice Chairman, Treasurer, Area 2 Director, and Area 4 Director. You must declare by October 1st to be eligible.
Remember to check your rosters weekly. Do not wait until November to see who is eligible for the December Tournament. Manager's have 30 days to check and make sure your Players get credit for a tournament.
At the 50's State Tournament, we are going to experiment with a different format. Our next Manager's Meetings will be held at the tournament Sites in September and that will be discussed then. Instead of the dreaded "1-pitch," we have been using the "short game" approach. We are using the regular pitching format in a 30 minute plus one concept. For a game to be considered completed, we are using a 3 inning approach rather than the usual 5 inning rule.
If we are rained out on Sunday, we go back to the Saturday results where every team completed 2 games. If we are able to play some Sunday games, we can use the 3 game result only if all teams within that bracket completed 3 games. Otherwise, we go back to Saturday's results.
We are all devastated when one of our FHC Players is badly injured, but especially if we lose that person to death. But, each and every one of you needs to understand that FHC is not responsible for injury or death. Our organization tries our best to provide safe fields, well trained umpires, and quick reaction when 911 is necessary. Legally, we are not required to keep even a bandaid at our Sites. It is the job of the Manager and his team to be prepared in case of an emergency. We bring some first aide material, and try to have an emergency device at all of our events but we are not required to do so. We do that because we care about each and every one of you. Having said that, you need to understand that if a tragedy occurs, and you think that you want to bring a lawsuit against our organization, be prepared to not play in FHC ever again. It is in the By-Laws.
With the fall, we expect that our northern friends will start trickling in. That also means that our tournament numbers will increase as well. That also means that there will be a possibility of playing later in the evening and maybe sitting out more than the one game we are used to.
When we have bad weather, quite often we are forced to play the "short games," so you need to remind your players that they must be at the game site a full game before they are scheduled. That "30-minute" rule before the game time went out years ago, but most people still think it is applicable. Remember, you are required to be at the game site ONE FULL GAME before your scheduled game.
Managers, check your rosters online, contact our Secretary with your roster changes (not at the Site), and God bless you all.