I've been doing this for a few seasons now so I have tried to put as much as possible into this one very long email. Look forward to seeing everyone Wed!
Tonka Black 10U Fastpitch Update:
Games start THIS WEEKEND. Please post on GroupMe if you can’t make it. We will use GroupMe as our main communication tool going forward.
We will play double headers every Saturday at random times somewhere in Minnesota. Each week MN Softball uses the prior weeks game scores to determine schedule matchups for the next week. The majority of the most competitive teams that we are likely to play are in the metro area so hopefully we don’t need to travel too far but I know a Tonka team had to go to Mankato last season so just heads up.
Without going into great detail, it’s my understanding that MN Softball is allowing players that normally would go “up” to 12U in the fall the option of staying in 10U due to COVID cancelling many organizations seasons. This will likely lead to a very interesting fall season.
Starting next week: We will practice at Freeman Park 4 on Wednesdays at 7pm and Deephaven Elementary 1 on Thursdays at 5:30pm. Practices are 90 minutes. After school starts, we will drop one of the practice days.
This week: Minnetonka HS Batting Cages 6pm Wed. & Deephaven 1 at 5:30 pm on Thursday.
Many of your kids played this summer and we will continue to need to practice social distancing and follow COVID guidelines. Overall, I think we did OK this summer but know we can do better. The largest challenge is when our team is up to bat, players are on the bench and coaches are in the field with baserunners. Parents, if you see the kids too close to each other please remind them so we don’t get shut down.
COVID. I’m sure you have seen the MGSA Covid Policy by now. Here is a link as well to MN Fastpitch: https://fastpitch.mnsoftball.com/covid19. If you player has ANY symptoms, please stay at home. If one player on our team tests positive the whole team shuts down for 14 days.
Catchers will continue to need their own equipment and bring to each practice and game. Pitchers will be using our own team balls during the games and bring back to the dugout at the end of each inning.
We have designated pitchers and catchers on the team and will rotate along with utility players throughout the regular season for skill development. For the season end tournament, the coaches will place players in the lineup with the goal to field the most competitive team possible.
This probably goes without saying, but please no parents in the dugout or bench during games.
Supply and Demand. Umpires are very hard to find for softball and baseball right now. Please refrain from any direct comments to umpires. MGSA has a policy that any coach that gets kicked out of a game is also done for the full season.
All teams go to state tournament with multiple tiers at end of season regardless of win/loss record and ranking. Teams are placed in a tier based on regular season record.
If any parent(s) are interested in running the “GameChanger Team Manager” app. during the games, we are looking for a volunteer. This is a fun way to track stats and family members can follow the game if they can’t make it.
Jessica Keating has volunteered to be team manager, she will be posting most of our game/practice times to GroupMe along with other updates. Thank you!
I’m told our fall uniforms are all black and will be here before this Saturday’s game. If we don’t receive before Thursday’s practice, players will need to pick up from Jessica before first game so allow extra time.
If you know you can not make a Saturday game day, please post on GroupMe that week so we can potentially look for a sub.
Warm-ups will start 40 minutes before every game starting with throwing/arm warmups and will end with hitting.
Catchers and pitchers at this age are still new in developing their speed/accuracy, so we need great fielders backing them up. If I can ask one thing of all the parents is to help your player with their “mental checklist” they should be thinking about before every pitch. A common system is: Ball, Base, Backup. 1st assume the ball is coming to you, envision catching the ball and making a great play to the proper base. 2nd If the ball doesn’t come to you, what base do you need to cover. 3rd if the ball doesn’t come to you and you don’t need to cover a base, who are you backing up.
We will talk about this in practice this week. For this 10U season:
Right field will back up throws to first
Left field will back up throws to 3rd
Short stop and 2nd will cover 3rd and 1st on the bunt while 3rd, first and pitcher charge the ball
2nd and short will back up throws to the pitcher from the catcher
Short stop will cover 2nd base on the steal from 1st with center field backing up
Pitcher will cover home on overthrow
2nd will cover first if first need to charge a short hit, short covers 3rd if 3rd needs to charge
2nd will be the “cut” for balls hit to right field (short covers second)
Short stop will be the “cut” for balls hit to left (2nd cover second)
For grounders to short, 2nd covers second and grounders to 2nd, shortstop covers 2nd
Thanks for everyone that volunteered to help! This year your coaches will be: