Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Using the Team Calendar

If you're an iCal, Google Calendar, or Outlook (2010 and later, I think) user, you can link directly to a calendar that I've set up for the team. See the links below for the different ways that google offers to link.

I use the iCal link to show the calendar in Outlook at work. If you have always wanted to add an external calendar to Outlook, your Android phone, iPhone, or iPad, but didn't quite know how, let me know and I'll see if I can walk you through it.

All games are now in the calendar, including the 5/21 and 5/29 rainouts.

Happy geeking out!




When Is A Game Called?

The Parks and Recreation Department sent the following email, this morning. I thought I'd pass it directly on to all of you so that you can know what's going on if you hear something. Expect this to NEVER be an issue with K-Ball. Everyone on the field is going to have one primary goal in mind: having fun playing baseball. Generally, the key to more fun is more at-bats, and that means playing all of the time available, even if it means the possibility of the other team having a big inning and winning. They can learn clock management in coach-pitch. :)

See you all tonight!


Last night we had some confusion over the time limit and when to call the game if the home team can not catch up.  Remember we must play either the time limit or the number of innings to have a completed game.

·        Time limit:  To have a complete game you must play the full time limit or the full number of innings.  (THERE IS NOT A RULE THAT STATES THE GAME WILL BE CALLED IF A TEAM CAN NOT CATCH UP).  We keep track of the seven runs so we know when to change the inning over. EXAMPLE:  After three innings the score is 21-0, the home team is behind and you have (4) four minutes left in the time limit we will start another inning. If we let the visitor team bat we will let the home team bat. Please keep in mind in this example if the home team is ahead we would call the game after the visitors batted. 

·        Time limit: Once you start an inning you will complete that inning even if the time limit expires.  Example:  You start an inning with (4) four minutes left in the time limit with the home team behind.  The time expires in the top of that inning, the visitor team will be allowed to complete their turn at bat and then the home team will be allowed to bat. Please keep in mind in this example if the home team is ahead we would call the game after the visitors batted. 

In those leagues that have run rules, the game will be called when we have played the required number of innings where the run rule goes into effect.  If there is no run rule we still must play the full time limit or full number of innings. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

About the Padded Balls

I thought I'd point out a few things about the padded balls that our kids play and practice with. The padded t-ball balls benefit the kids in a couple of ways.

First, they're padded, so they probably hurt a little less and they also don't bruise quite as badly when one of our kids takes one in the arm. The big safety benefit, though, is that the padded balls don't jump off the bat quite like a hard ball does. Lower hit velocities mean safer infielders, and safer infielders means our daisy pickers (my Zoe included) are safer when they play in the infield.

Our league in Texas played hard balls at the T-Ball level. During a game, I stopped a line drive from hitting our pitcher in the forehead. It came at him so fast, he simply didn't have time to react, and he was one of quicker and more acrobatic kids on the team. I offer that story in support of the idea that the benefits are there.

They have their drawbacks, though. The big difference I've seen is that the padded balls don't hop like a hard ball does, especially when a kid has to field a one-hop hit to 3rd/SS/2nd/1st on the dirt. Our kids may have some adjusting to do at the coach pitch level, but I think that most tee ball players don't spend enough time fielding grounders to develop much of an instinct.

I also once had a kindergartener throw a hard ball at my face from 5 feet away. (He was just giving me the ball, like I asked.) I got a fat lip out of the deal, but I survived. We coaches and parents may wind up glad for ourselves that the ball is padded, too.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Pitch, Hit, and Run Contest

If your K-Baller likes competition, they might like this:
Pitch, Hit, and Run Contest Flyer
April 27th at 10:00 AM at Sanborn Fields in Stillwater

Monday, April 1, 2013

A Few Business Items

First of all, thanks for a great practice on Saturday. I know the kids wanted to get their hands on the bats, and it was good to see them working so hard.

Bad Game Days: If there are any dates between April 29th and June 17th that you know of that will conflict with games, please let me know. For example, will your child will have cub scouts or dance practice on a certain night of the week? Will they be gone for vacation? I will submit these dates to Park and Rec so that we can make sure that we aren't caught without enough kids to play. Park and Rec works very hard to puzzle out the Rubik's Cube of scheduling, and so I can't make any promises on their behalf. But, I assure you that they will do their best. I need these dates by the end of this week, please.

Background Check Meeting: Park and Rec is putting together one more last-chance background check meeting. Please go to this meeting if you are even a little curious or interested in being on the field during games. I will continue to call on everyone to join the fun on the field during practice, but to be on the field on game day, you must have a background check. Bring your kids and some paper/pencils/crayons if you need to to make the scheduling work.  The meeting is Sunday April 7th at 2:00 PM at the Park and Rec offices on 9th.

Parent Meeting: Maybe we should call it the "Family Meeting". Either way, we will meet at Mazzio's at 6th and Hester at 5:30 PM this Tuesday for food, fun, and a little getting to know each other. See you there! Food on your own. I will call ahead and mass some tables together. See you then!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

First Practice

I will need help on the field. Your K-Baller will need help on the field. Tomorrow, here is what the team will need:

  • I have two tees and two bats. I need two coaches, one for each tee, to pull kids aside one at a time and practice/learn hitting.
  • Each player will need some individual help with basic throwing and game concepts. Every parent should feel free to jump in and help out. If you don't feel like you know baseball basics well enough to teach it, helping them to listen and learn will go miles.

Weather and Contingency Plan
The weather looks like it may be a little iffy. We can still have plenty of fun if it's a little rainy. Keep an eye out for email and text messages. If you hear nothing, assume practice is on as scheduled.

If the weather gets miserable, we will move practice to Mazzio's to get to know each other a little, choose a team name, talk equipment, etc.

Have a great day tomorrow! See you at Babcock Park Field #2 at 5:30!

Monday, March 25, 2013

This Week In K-Ball

Hello, K-Ballers! Nothing says baseball like snow and 20-degree lows, right? Here's a calendar overview and the plan for this Thursday. Have a great week!
  • Thursday, March 28th: practice. 530p to 645p, Babcock #2 (also my daughter Zoe's birthday)
  • Saturday, March 30th: practice. 100p to 1:15p, Babcock #2
  • Tuesday, April 2nd: team meeting. 530p, Location TBD.
  What to bring on Thursday:
  • Your k-baller.
  • Yourselves.
  • Bat if you have it.
  • Padded ball if you have one. Write your name on it.
  • Glove if you have one.
  • Long pants that can get grubby.
  • Dress for evening cool.
  • Shoes that can get grubby if you have them.
The Thursday plan:
We will practice the basics: throwing, catching and hitting, with a focus on setting a fun tone for the season.
  • Play catch while teammates arrive.
  • Warm up as a group and learn names.
  • Play a game.
  • Pick a team name.
  • Work with parents and coaches on fundamentals of throwing.
  • Play a different game if time.
  • Talk equipment with parents and kids.
  • Group up and go home.
  • Please help coach your kid or someone else's, especially in these early weeks. You need not know a thing about baseball to help them learn. Order siblings can help, too.
  • That's a long agenda to work into an hour and 15 minutes. Please be at the field ready to play when practice starts. I know some of us work, some of us have to have three kids at three different places at the same time, some of us are coming from the other side of town, etc. I understand. Please do your best. You and your K-Baller will be greeted with a smile, no matter what.
  • Weather for Thursday is trending wet. Please keep an eye out for an email and a text if the weather looks miserable.