11-18-10 November 18 Update




We received the following memo today from Dan Hay, president, Surf City Tourneys:

“As you know, we turned our Surf City October Showcase tournament into our first ever Breast Cancer Awareness event.  This showcase tournament was held on October 15-17, 2010.  Teams from all over the country supported this event by donating part of their entry fee to find a cure.  Many teams wore pink socks, jerseys, head bands, wrist bands etc.  Surf City tourneys adorned the HB sports complex with Pink Pennants and Banners.   As a result of this event, Surf City Tourneys is honored to announce that they have made a donation in the amount of $20,000.00 to the National Avon Breast Cancer Crusade.

Gary Haning and I would like to thank everyone for their support of this very important cause.”


Impact Gold Signees
Alyssa  Gregg (2011) committed to Sam Houston State
Cassandra Barefield (2011) committed to Nothwestern State
Reagan Boenker (2013) committed to Texas A&M.
Erin Shireman (2012) committed to the University of Texas.

OregonSigns Five
The quintet of prep seniors includes pitcher Karissa Hovinga (Ralston, Neb.), outfielders Alyssa Gillespie (Hillsboro, Ore.)  and Janie Takeda (Placentia, Calif.), and infielders Hannah Melick (Auburn, Wash.) and Jamie Rae Sullivan (Huntington Beach, Calif.).


OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – The Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball announced today the training and competition schedule for the 2011 season for the USA Softball Women’s National Team. The tentative schedule includes four international events in four countries and three exhibition stops around the United States.

Highlighting the schedule is the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, where the U.S. will seek its eighth Pan American Championship. There will also be four opportunities for fans to watch Team USA in the United States as there are three exhibition stops along with the return of the World Cup of Softball at Oklahoma City’s Hall of Fame Stadium. Plant City, Fla., Salem, Va., and Bowie, Md., will all host the team in exhibition games next year.

The tentative schedule is as follows with all dates subject to change.

2011 schedule for the Women’s National Team

June 13-17
National Team Selection Camp
Chula Vista, California

June 24-25
Exhibition Games
Plant City, Florida

June 29
Exhibition Games
Salem, Virginia

July 1
Exhibition Games
Bowie, Maryland

July 9-17
Canada Cup
Surrey, B.C., Canada

July 21-25
World Cup of Softball VI
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Rabin named commissioner

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – The Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America is pleased to announce that Michael Rabin of Woodinville, Wash., has been named the Seattle-Tacoma ASA Commissioner, effective Dec. 31, 2010. Rabin will replace Joe Wilson who is retiring from ASA after 16 years of service.

Rabin has been with the ASA since 2002 when he served as the Chairman for Seattle’s first ASA 18-Under Gold Sector Tournament. He has served in many different capacities for Seattle ASA including Deputy Chairman of the ASA/USA 16U “A” Girls’ National Championship, Committee member of the ASA National Umpire school and Umpire-in-Chief for the Girls’ 18U “A” Regional Tournament. Rabin also started the first local ASA Youth Umpire Program in 2008.


Although ASA has had intelligent, thoughtful executive directors like Don Porter and Ron Radigonda, the ASA Council (commissioners and other reps) its policy-making body, has long been noted for its lack of political acuity and situational acumen.

The latest case in point: the failure at the last Council meeting to induct the famed Gordon’s Panthers coach, Larry Mays, into the ASA Hall of Fame.  In fact, no travel ball coaches are in that Hall of Fame.  The lamest excuse we heard was that there is no category for travel ball coaches.  Duh!  Create one.

At a time when ASA’s credibility and standing with the travel ball community is at an all-time low, the Council had a golden opportunity to recognize that travel ball is one of its largest constituent groups, that travel ball generates the star players who populate ASA national teams, and that national championships at the youth level are critical to the future of fast pitch softball.  Unfortunately, such facts do not seem to resonate with commissioners who seem intensely more focused on their old guard.  SPY would not deny HoF credentials to any of the honorees – but none of those honorees will make common cause for ASA with the travel ball community.

Larry Mays won more ASA national championships than any youth coach.  Spy thanks So Cal commissioner Phil Gutierrez for recognizing that reality and nominating Mays.

Overlooking Larry Mays is a de facto argument for term limits for ASA Commissioners.  Hopefully, some of that old guard will be replaced by younger commissioners with closer ties to youth softball.   Or, perhaps there is need for a new national organization which considers support and recognition for youth softball a vital mandate.

Note: I have not always agreed with Porter or Radigonda, but I have always given them some slack, knowing the challenges they face in obtaining Council concurrence on policy matters.

To be fair, the National Fast Pitch Coaches Association, which is essentially the college coaches organization, also has not honored the winning JO coaches in its Hall of Fame.  Their excuse: Mays et al are not members of NFCA. Ironically, travel ball coaches are the largest membership group in NFCA but have little influence on its policies.



After the Batbuster this weekend, I am off to Portland for Thanksgiving with Allison and Jared.  With no tournaments to report, I will publish some stories – including several in the Spy magazine – and others on www.spysoftball.org.  I think this week’s actions by a civilian court re a Guantanamo defendant is appalling; we’re giving full benefit of our system of laws to people intent on destroying our society.  I will tell you about some real-life terrorist situations, drawing on my fundamental belief that persons who threaten our society have forfeited certain rights – not the right to be judged, a core principle of any democracy, but a process which ensures that these terrorist are not free to perpetuate their mayhem on innocents, which is what has occurred with respect to many who have been released from Gitmo and other detention facilities, only to return to their fiendish ways.  Libya turned British sympathy into a mockery vis Lockerbie.  We still need a 911 reckoning.  Hard line?  Yes. I became hard line the day I found myself on an airplane in Egypt and the man behind me had a bomb in his brief case.  rfh


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