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

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West Windsor Little League 
Board Meeting minutes

December 11, 2007
In attendance:  Executive Board Members – Chris Thornton , Ellen Vogt, Kevin Chapman .  Absent:  Andy Lupo, Holly Shemitz , Ron Russell, Ed O’Connor.

Also in attendance:  Mike Meduski, Bob Sacco, Jeff Weinberg, Nick Schera, Angelo Balestrieri, Linda Demilt, Suresh Jeswal, Frank Pilkiewicz, Aron Arias.
Meeting scheduled to start at 7:30.  
Call to order 7:38 p.m.  (By Kevin Chapman in Andy’s absence)

Approval of Minutes from November Meeting:  Approved without opposition.
Treasurer’s report – Ed O’Connor (absent – no report)
Registration – Linda:  Report submitted showing registration history last 3 years.  Currently running behind historic levels of registration on the new web site so far this year – 215 so far (+20 who have not paid) as compared to 410 last year as of end of December (month end).  We expect more registrations coming in during the rest of the month, including the walk-in registration process on December 15.

Ellen Vogt points out that this year we will have a hard $50 late fee for anyone signing up after end of January.

Note about current web site set up not letting people sign up for leagues above technical age level of the child.  (Some players will be allowed to “play up” after registration is closed, but registration process does not let people sign up above age level.)  The system is working properly.
Softball Report. –.Jeff Weinberg reports:  Coordinators are in place (names and emails are listed on the web site).  Batting and fielding clinics are rolling along.  Pitching also, which is well attended.  Batting/fielding not so much.  Will be having a catching clinic for a nominal fee (to encourage attendance).  Some discussion going on about having a “juniors” program this year in combination with Robbinsville.  In discussion concerning modification of pitching rules for minors so that after a certain number of walks, a coach will step in to pitch.  Still down on registrations, somewhat due to confusion about change in registration systems.
Baseball Report –. Chris Thornton .  Have currently 12 candidates for majors managers.  Starting the interview process and will consider all candidates (must have kids registered by deadline).  Expect that draft will be end of January.  Workouts will be 3rd weekend of January.  Minors coordinators are working on the rules changes for 2008. Will report on that next month.

Angelo Balestrieri/Bob Sacco will be post-season coordinators.  Chris reports on LL district meeting regarding post-season.  Report that Livingston team (won states in 2006) and also had top 11-year-old team.  They got their all-stars together for a fall travel team, which was discussed in their monthly Board meeting.  The next year, there was a protest after Livingston won their district tournament and Williamsport ruled that the travel team was improperly sponsored by the LL and disqualified the league from the championship.  (It was protested.)  Rule for LL is that the 10, 11, and 12-year-old district teams cannot be organized by the league before the cut-off date.  We can do evaluations and workouts, but cannot pick the teams and let the kids know who is on the team, and cannot let the teams work out together as a team.  

Chris will circulate a book called “positive coaching” that emphasizes the power of positive reinforcement for LL age kids.  Some good suggestions for coaches/managers.  Bob Sacco will investigate possibility of ordering some copies of the book to be distributed to our managers.  Authors of the book also have a web site and run in-person clinics for coaches.  (Could run around $1,000 for in-person clinic, which would include books.)

Report on safety/first-aid clinics for 2008.  Andy will check with township about piggy-backing on Rutgers safety certification class when they do it for the other sports.  There are some concerns about potential liability if our league does not comply with statutory requirements concerning safety training for coaches.

At district meeting, there is now a schedule for the “tournament of champions” at the end of the season.  Schedule for this year, and rotation for future years is up on the district web site.  Suggestion is that the team in first place on a cut-off date will represent West Windsor , and then would get a “bye” in the WW playoffs while playing in the tournament of champions.
Player development –. Bob Sacco:  Dates and times for winter clinics are finalized (almost) and will be sent out shortly.  Will send out only to registered 2008 clinics.  We have 34 people signed up for the “AL & AL” clinic in March.
Merchandise:  Ellen reports that merch sales are up, probably because of the new web site.  Indoor card sales and refills are up.  Also some donations and buy-out of volunteers.
Sponsorship:    Ellen:  Two new sponsors have signed up.  Andy is working on recruiting someone to be the sponsorship chairperson for this year.  We will be giving out sponsor plaques from last year.  (General discussion about soliciting new sponsors.)
Big Brother/Big Sister:           Registration is up on the web site.  Have two registrations so far.  Softball will solicit former players to sign up. Will reach out to the high school baseball/softball coaches to solicit their players (volunteer work for high school kids).
Equipment/Uniforms:Ellen:  {winter break – no uniform news}

Safety Plan:     None  (Andy will report next time)
Website:          Seems to be working pretty well so far.  Parents may submit any comments/suggestions.  Working on generating reports or granting access to coordinators to access the registration data. Will set up training programs (live) so that the coordinators will be able to access the web site.

Still working on the process on the web site for posting scores and pitching stats.
Indoor Facility –.Ellen reports that lights and heat are working.  Clinics are going strong.  Reminder to everyone to clean up after themselves.  (People need to not monkey with the clock on the timer that runs the lights!)  Too much food coming into the facility – please remember that there is no eating in the facility – water only.

Note that “garage” door is often not locked – chain is just dangling.  Need to consider some better mechanism for locking that door.

Suggestion that we need another pitching “mound” for the indoor so that we can have two pitchers working off the simulated mound at the same time.

Concern expressed about high school kids using the facility unsupervised, particularly late at night.  Could be a source of garbage, and may not be good for the facility.
Field Maintenance:     Ward field is shut down for the winter.  Will be scheduling field maintenance clinics for coaches in the spring.

Comments/new issues – none.
Meeting adjourned at 8:40 p.m.

Walk-in registration is Saturday, Dec. 15th from 10-12.
Next Board meeting is January 8th – 7:30 – WW Municipal Center .