Little League Baseball and Softball in West Windsor Plainsboro and Cranbury NJ

My my My my
WWLL Board Meeting – January 20, 2009
Executive Board Members Present: Kevin Chapman, Andy Lupo, Ron Russell, Jackie Stein, Ellen Vogt, Chris Thornton; Shawn Panson
Others in attendance: Steve Lichtenstein, Sean Bluni, Dan Weber, Robert Dunn, Andrew Klein, Rob Bacall, Theresa Chao-Bergman, George Revock, Linda Demilt, Brian O’Leary.
Minutes. Approved.
Treasurer’s Report (Shawn) Finances are fine for now – registration fees are coming in, and expenses are not yet ramping up. Money is moving to money market funds to stay liquid but get some interest. Assume that all money will eventually get spent so not locking up long term. Clinics are about break-even, which is what we wanted. All else is in good shape. Ellen notes that we have nine players receiving financial assistance so far this year, which is the same as last year. If families need help with league fees, they can contact Ellen or Andy. {Discussion about expenses from prior years. Need to be careful about not overspending. Note that we have to light the fields ($15K per year) and provide field maintenance that is not provided by the Township.}
Registration (Ellen summarizing). Down 10-20 players in registration from last year. A little “slow” so far at some levels. League is reaching out to some parents to make sure that all kids are registering and following up. Many different activities that are drawing away players – not all Lacrosse or other sports, some scout issues, fencing, multiple kids/events, etc. Andy has talked to township about putting up signs and a banner to put up by HS South to advertise for registrations. Will get the signs up and get the word out, particularly for new players and younger age levels. Will consider getting some of the local pre-schools to be sponsors and then also distribute flyers for the kids who might play t-ball. Push to sign up majors players resulted in more than 100 kids signing up, which is consistent with prior years. Efforts to contact kids who played last year (phone calls) were successful in getting out late registrations. Final registration numbers from Linda show 11 more players registered currently as compared to end of January 2008. At end, numbers are fairly encouraging.
Player Agent (Jackie) Have been working on pushing the memorial awards early in the season this year. Want to make that a bigger deal. Working with majors coordinators toward player evaluations and drafts. No major issues so far.
Softball report (Ron). Numbers for registration are starting to come up. Coordinators are making phone calls to try to make sure that everyone gets registered from last year. Have had a big push. Still a little weak on majors. Biggest drain on softball seems to be lacrosse. Coordinators should be confirmed (two more) in the next week or so. Waiting to confirm before announcing. Clinics are up and running. (some concern about the reporting process on the web site when getting lists of participants.) Pitching and fielding clinics are moving. Ron will get expense information to Shawn. Have been getting most of the registrations through the web site (required). Some additional confusion about registration, but we’re working on making sure that all participants have registered. Will be doing some more clinics later in the spring, and also some coaching clinics.
Baseball Report (Chris) Sean and Brian have done great job organizing majors. Managers have been selected and approved. (Rob Bacall, Kevin Chapman, George Revock, Ron Rumack, Scott Schoenblum, Pat O’Brien, Andrew Foster, Frank Duplack) 104 kids registered so far, will take 96 to fill out 8 teams. Coordinators have looked at evaluations and think that 8 teams will be the right number. All managers are experienced and have had good evaluations as well as good track records for teaching and developing players and fostering a competitive league but with appropriate emphasis on sportsmanship and enjoyment for the players. Most have also provided significant service to the league in other volunteer positions as well as in manager/coach positions.
Minors is now looking at between 6-7 teams depending on final registrations. Could climb in coming weeks. Letter will go out to 9-year-olds
who are registering to AAA to see who is interested in trying out for Minors. 
Dana and George are working on AAA registrations. Have added 9 new names this week. Are making phone calls to see if we can get more registrations. Will be communicating with all players.
Rookie (AA and A) coordinators will be reaching out for parents soon on those registrations, which typically lag behind. 
{Discussion about wanting to let kids who are friends to play together at younger ages, but once teams are drafted (balanced) special requests are not honored.}
Scholarshops (Theresa) Form has been created for students to fill out to apply for WWLL scholarship. Evaluators will see transcript information and other applicant information without names, to create a “blind” selection process. Andy: looks good and is much more organized than in prior years.
Website (Andrew) Suggests that scholarship form may be done as a web-based application by 2010. Some problems with that due to the need to get official transcripts from the schools. Chris notes that Demosphere functionality allows archived information through coaches, but cannot query based on players in order to see who played where in prior years. Andrew: navigation on web site is improving. Not a time to do any real work on the site now since there is so much traffic. We are about locked down for now. Working on how to limit the material that is on the home page. 
Rob asked about uploading photos. Andrew is considering linking to a different web site and linking from the league web site, rather than trying to work with Demosphere on photos. Layout and upload is difficult with Demosphere, but Andrew is working on getting different ways to get lots of pictures.
Discussion about how to register even if a kid needs financial aid. Registration on line has a box to check. Family needs to send an email to the league office in order to apply. Parents can still register through the web site even without paying.
Post Season Tournaments. We have been awarded 10-year-old final tournament Softball, and the State Sectional tournament for the 10s. Ron is the district commissioner for both tournaments. We have also been awarded the final 9 for the district 12-year-olds. This will be a lot of work, and will bring in income during the summer, but also need to have volunteers. Alan Bensky will be tournament director.
District Coach clinics (March 1 in Robbinsville) All coaches who want to register can go and league will pay for it. League encourages all coaches and managers to attend. There is a specific softball track. Information is on the web site.
Umpire clinics. Scheduled and up on the web site. Will be encouraging all umps to work both baseball and softball. Registration is running very good. But, we need to determine a location for the umpire clinics. This will have to be a priority. Will need to explain different payment methods from last year (will not be paying from concession stand for youth umps). Clinics will include a day focusing on softball in order to allow all umps to be able to work softball. (Girls will generally do softball.)
Chris wants to reach out for Bob Nuse to get an article for Packet on the umpire registration clinics and process.
NOTE THAT WE NEED TO GET A LOCATION FOR CLINICS! WW SENIOR CENTER IS NOT AVAILABLE. Board members are encouraged to contact Kevin if they know about any venue that might be available.
Safety clinic (March 12 – Allentown) Will be up on the web site. All teams should have a coach (at least one) attend safety clinic and have certification for the season.
Sponsorships. Letters have gone out. Will be following up. (Still have a few who didn’t pay for last year) Sponsorships run $200 to $450 depending on league, and signs for Ward Field are $400. Still looking for a volunteer to be coordinator of sponsors and sponsorships.
Raffle. Dick’s will be helping with sponsorship. Idea is to try to get the raffles out by photo day, which is early May this year. Will want to get them back well before the championship Saturday. Looking to pare down the number of prizes to make awards day go smoother.
Merch. Have date for Trenton Thunder day (on site) and we’ve been selling a lot of helmets. Ellen is on top of the sales at the moment. Looking for a volunteer to handle the distribution of items that have been sold through the web site. We have inventory at the Indoor, but need to distribute to the purchasers.
Indoor. Had a small issue with heat, but it is being worked on. Iron Mike has been fixed. Indoor card sales have been brisk. Still waiting for new access card system to be installed (soon). Booking clinics and some other time (high school varsity teams). Limiting the AAU teams in order to save some time for WWLL first.
Comments/additional issues. 
Discussion about birth certificates. Some concerns from parents about sending .pdf files or faxes. If there are some issues about computer security. But, Linda has received many of them via email without problem. Linda deletes files once there has been a print of the form. Does not seem to be a problem. Not acceptable for birth certificates to be given to coaches. Must be submitted to the league registrar. 
Ellen has received an email about timely return of bond money – turns out that the money hit their credit card and they didn’t realize. Common occurrence. Refunds have been actually sent very timely over the past few years.
Baseball Majors workouts scheduled for this Friday/Saturday. Have equipment and facilities. 
[end – 8:45 p.m.]