2010-11-12 / Community

Weiner Pledges Support For Little League

Congressman Anthony Weiner provided the closing remarks at Rockaway Little League’s annual open meeting last Thursday night at the Belle Harbor Yacht Club and voiced his support for the League’s ongoing presence and growth at its home in Fort Tilden.

Since 1994, Rockaway Little League has been playing baseball and softball at the complex it built in Fort Tilden. Weiner, who participated in Opening Day ceremonies last season, stated that the level of professionalism and commitment demonstrated by the volunteer staff is as high as he has seen and joked that he would “join the Republican Party” if necessary to help with the League’s continued growth at Fort Tilden.

The annual open meeting was held in October to allow parents and coaches to comment on key decisions that are being made for the 2011 season. The eligible meeting participants elected 21 directors, including five new members.

Rob Rose conducted the meeting and delivered the Competition Committee report on rule changes. One of the more significant rule changes is a move to counting pitches rather than innings for boys in the Major and Junior divisions. The Board agreed this was necessary to protect young arms. Pitch counters will be purchased for each team.

The Board also agreed to enter the Major boys in the Little League 50/70 pilot program. Currently there is no intermediate step between traditional little league (46/60) and major league (60.5/90) dimensions. Using a 50-foot mound and 70-foot bases will help the players in their development.

Kamin Green of the Administration Committee reported on registration issues. After a successful pilot program, Rockaway Little League will use online registration as its primary means for signing up players. To help defray the expense, registration fees for the 2011 season will increase slightly to $150 for one player, $250 for two players and $350 for three or more players from one nuclear family. Registration will be available in mid- November and continue through January 31, 2011.

A late winter cutoff is necessary to allow time for player evaluations and the draft. Late registration will be possible but there will be a substantial penalty.

Key dates were set for the season. Due to the lateness of Easter and Passover in 2011, the first games will be played the weekend of April 2 and the official Opening Day ceremony is planned for April 9.

Player evaluations will be conducted the weekends of March 12 and 19. The league draft for competitive divisions will occur March 24. Our players will march in the St. Patrick’s Day parade (March 5) and the Memorial Day parade (May 30).

Several goals for 2011 are being discussed, including increasing registration in the baseball and softball divisions by 10 percent and even more in the Challenger Division. It is widely agreed Rockaway Little League’s inaugural season of Challenger play was the highlight of 2010.

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