Managers, we dodged another bad weather weekend last tournament but we had to play all of the games on Sunday. We really do monitor the weather at least 2 weeks in advance, and make tournament contacts a priority so we can make an intelligent decision as early as possible prior to the tournament weekend. We are right most of the time, but this is Florida, and we all know that the weather can change most anytime. Your safety, and ours, is the primary decision on whether to play or not. Normally, our 'shortened games' are 40 minutes + the open inning. We did that in January in the Vero Beach area, but we played on Saturday. We used Sunday as a travel day. But, this past weekend, we were forced to play 30 minutes plus 1 because we had to play those games on Sunday. We played every single scheduled game, and still did not get out of there until after 7pm. Hopefully, we will not have to do that again. I just wanted you to know why we played the 30 minute games.
Our Hotel situation is a hot topic. The Hotel fees have gone up, and gas is horribly expensive. We are not in the Hotel business, but we do have Tony Shard working exrtra hard to get us good rates, but that is only with a certain number of rooms. To save money, you need to contact the Hotels that Tony puts on the website, but you also need to book those rooms some 6 weeks in advance. If you don't do that, you are not going to get the good rates. Also, when you call one of the FHC Hotels for that weekend, please do not try to negotiate a better rate just for your team. Tony tells them not to allow that, but sometimes you might have a new person working the reservation desk. He gets us a great rate based on a large number of "blocked rooms."
For you new Managers, I will explain our bad weather policy. Again, after research and discussion, we at the FHC will determine whether we will play or not. We will do that no later than Thursday at noon before a tournament is to be played. That normally gives you time to call the Hotel where you are staying by 4pm. In most cases, the Hotels will allow that 24 hour plus so you can cancel your rooms. Make sure you keep your eye on the 'weather hotline' for up to date information, especially if there is a chance of bad weather.
There has been a lot of discussion about how we are handling the points situation. I will get something else out soon that will tell you what's going on. You will have the opportunity to vote on how we handle the points going forward. You must vote if you expect to have a voice in what we will do in the future. We will be voting the last week of March, or the first week in April. Stay tuned!
If you win a tournament bracket, make sure you go by the 'sign-in table' and fill out the Bracket Winner form. You can make an agreement with the Site Director to contact him later that day but no later than the next day. We need to get the orders in to our printer.
According to the By-Laws, you are required to be at the game site one hour before your game time. It is not a half an hour. It is especially needed when we go to shortened games. Tell your always late Players they must be early, and not just on time.
We will be starting our 'bat checks' in April. Within a few tournaments, all teams will be 'bat checked.' We are looking for safe bats in our league. The bats we use, and the balls we provide, are already lively. I will provide the 'policies of bat checking' soon.
Managers, do not sign a Player in that is not there on Saturday. We had one team that signed in 18 Players on Saturday, but only 13 were in the dugout. We had a problem with that several years ago, and it is happening again. Please do not force us to penalize the Managers that take advantage of the Manager Sign-in because they cannot count. If we catch it, the Manager can get a first time warning, and then face suspension. We could go back and check in the whole team all 12 months of the year, but we would rather trust you Managers to do the right thing. If a Player does not play on Saturday, but comes Sunday, he still gets credit for the weekend. Also, if a Player is hurt, but still comes to the tournament to maybe just coach a base, he still gets credit for the tournament. Also, if you use a Pick-up Player, and he goes on your roster later, he gets credit toward qualifying for the December State Tournament.