Managers, I have several things for you this month:
- Thank you to all of the 60 and up teams this past weekend that were the first to get their bats tested. You guys were great and fully understand what we are doing. We are not looking for 'altered bats.' We are looking for unsafe bats. At this time we are looking at the 150 compression level. Anything below that number is not safe to use in a FHC game. We had 12 bats or so that registered below that number and almost all of them were very well used bats. But, if I were you I would get my bat tested before I bought a new one.
The next tournament is the 50's tournament in Polk County later this month. Be prepared to get to the tournament site an hour early or stay afterward to get your bats tested. We actually ran out of FHC stickers on Saturday but will have more at the next tournament. Bring all of the bats you might use to be tested. If you do not get your bat tested on Saturday you can do so on Sunday. Our target date for getting all bats tested for all teams is June 1st. You will be notified if that becomes the official date. We have not solidified the rules for untested bats but I will post this early. I can tell you that if a bat is brought into the batter's box without the proper FHC sticker, the Player will be called out immediately, with no questions asked. Also, when you get a new bat you can get it tested at the next tournament. We will have a bat tester at 3 different sites throughout the year.
- I need to explain to you why we have had to limit the number of fields that are normally offered to us by the fine folks in Polk County. They are the Polk County Sports Marketing group who have treated us awesomely for many years. The Polk County Sites that we play at are having the same problems that we hear about nationwide. Simply put, they are having a "worker shortage." On some of the scheduled FHC weekends the Sites just don't have enough people to work the tournament. We were fortunate to get an additional 2 fields at the Bartow Complex which allowed us to bring on the teams that were open the waiting list. If your team is playing at that complex make sure that you watch your language and be aware that there is a 'young girl's tournament' going on at the same time. We will have a food truck there so there is no reason for our Players to be around the kids anyway. Also, be careful when you enter and leave the complex. Alcohol is prohibited at the park so take your drinks with you back to your Hotel room.
- I am not surprising anyone by telling you we have a Hotel problem. I addressed this before but you would do yourself well to go through our Hotel man, Tony Shard, because he will get you the best deal possible for a decent place to stay. You can find his email on the website under the Calendar. However, he has informed me that we now need to get our reservations at least 6 weeks out from the tournament. We are going to let you know earlier so you can know where you are playing at and stay at a Hotel that is as close as possible to your Site.
- The Manger's vote concluded and the results are in:
a. The vote was 91-3 to have the FHC Rating Committee continue to place the teams where they should be at the proper playing level.
b. The vote was 63-29 to have the FHC give points to teams that do not play a given tournament so they will stay at the proper competitive level.
c. In an unanimous vote the Manger's have voted to have the points posted after every tournament.
- If you win your bracket make sure that someone on your team stays around and fills out the "bracket winner' form. If you do not do that it could delay your winner's shirts coming to your team. Do not tell your team it is our fault when it is your fault you did not do the proper form.
- You guys know that the weather can be very fickle. We have been very fortunate so far this year because we have been able to play most games in all of our tournaments. We follow the weather at least 2 weeks out and really do try to get all of the games in. If we must go to a 'shortened game' format please be patient but be ready to play. According to our By-Laws, you must be at the field one full hour before your scheduled game time in case we can start early. It is not 30 minutes. It has not been 30 minutes in many years. As far as starting a regular game at 8am, the umpires may ask you if you have your Players there and ready so you can begin the game early. They are just trying to get the day started a little early because it is hard enough to keep the day on schedule as it is. If you do not have your team there and ready then you do not have to start until game time.
- I am a Christian man and I love the after game prayer that both teams share. That will not change but please get the guys together quickly after the game so you can share the camaraderie.