Why are you supporting Little League In Richmond?
The answer to that one started out pretty simple. After running the “Just Play Ball” program out of King George Park on Richmond’s East side for a couple years, a number of the kids wanted to try their hand at organized baseball. Problem for some of the families, as for many others playing organized sports, was trying to find time to travel to other locations, arranging rides, etc. In talking to South Van Little League, who’s park is 6.2 kms away, they were prepared to 1) Register all the kids for us and 2) Come into Richmond for all of the games to be played. 3) Arrange the entire schedule along with umpires…4) Include the kids in all their ceremonies, etc.
That pretty well made it a “no-brainer” in trying to get the game back on track in East Richmond as was the “goal” at the outset of taking the “Just Play Ball” program into there.
But then after spending my entire coaching career in “B.C. Minor Baseball”, I realized there were plenty of other reasons for kids to play Little League at this point over BC Minor Baseball… Especially in Richmond. That I’ve answered below as a different question.
Why the push for artificial turf infield and who would pay for this?
This one has been on Richmond’s “Facility Needs List” for over a decade….With most Cities in the Pacific Northwest now going this route, it should be an “automatic” for getting support. Especially since the City has seen just how sought after Latrace Field is not only by local groups, but those from outlying areas.
Having this available, not only for early season training, but for trying to get in the many, many games that get rained out in April, May on regular grass fields, is something I truly believe should be added to the City’s inventory of parks.
So much so, that we a) Put together an “Artificial Turf Diamond Committee” last summer and b) I’ve committed $100,000 of available funding from Richmond Baseball to help make this happen should they be willing to get on board with this…. Have indicated to the City more than once that I’d like to “sit down and see just what it would take to bring this to fruition”, but as of yet, no real luck in moving this forward.
You really think you can get the top end Richmond players to buy into Little League in order to achieve your goal of having Richmond represent at LL Provincials, Canadians and the LL WORLD SERIES”?…. Especially with RCBA showing on their website why kids SHOULDN’T play LL?
LOL…. First off, what they have on their website is mostly “POLITICAL DOUBLESPEAK” that I’m not sure even deserves addressing….But I will anyway.
In my opinion, it’s mostly based on “fear and ignorance”….. “Fear” that the Richmond LL program is going to try to get all 500+ players that they have registered on an annual basis, and “ignorance”, because their President either doesn’t know about all the opportunities available for LL players after the “Community Based Spring Season” or he wants to out and out hide the fact……. Just for fun, you actually might want to ask him “Who played longer into the 2017 summer”….. The District Six Select Team that I coached at the Baseball BC Provincials (which offers a unique opportunity for those better players playing LITTLE LEAGUE) or Richmond’s Pee Wee teams each spring.
Fact is, IF Richmond had its own “decent team”, they could enter the tournament entirely on their own and take a shot at the Canadian Nationals… They actually can right now as part of BC Minor, BUT because RCBA’s President is also the VP of BC Minor Baseball, Richmond kids continue to miss out on that opportunity due to the “politics” of the current situation… Which is really to bad, because it’s those “age specific” opportunities that you can’t get back once their gone.
No need to get into the “LTAD” thing….. They continually “pride themselves” in how many kids they keep registering and growing, YET when you look at their top age groups, they can BARELY muster enough kids together to field teams on their own….. What families really, really need to do is look at the numbers and current results of kids continuing to play the game "Long Term"....... As yourself, "How do they start with HUNDREDS, and end of with just a few at the end"??.... ..If 25 out of 500 play into Midget age (16-18), that's less than FIVE percent of the players they introduced to the game at one point or another... Read that again and let it sink in for a bit....... Do I think we can change that given the resources we have available to us?....I wouldn't be creating this website if I didn't believe we couldn't.
Putting their post aside, RLL doesn’t “need to get all Richmond’s top players”. With the resources available to them through Richmond Baseball and their “Affiliated Partners”, they’ll actually work towards DEVELOPING their own “best players”… What they’ve been waiting for, is the commitment from the City of Richmond for an actual YOUTH BASEBALL DIAMOND on the East Side before going “all in”… That came late this past winter, but things were definitely progressing in that regard until this past month or so... I meet with them shortly to get things back on track in that regard.
The rest, as they say, is yet to be seen.