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January 2018 - What's Ahead & In Memory of Wayne Norton

Wayne Norton (1942-2018): BC Celebrates the life of a Pioneer & Builder

On January 6th, 2018 baseball in BC and Canada lost a legendary figure as longtime professional scout and former Executive Director of Baseball BC, Wayne Norton finally succumbed after a lengthy battle with ALS.

Wayne enjoyed a decorated career in the sport, including playing over 1200 games in the minor leagues including a stint with the Vancouver Mounties, the predecessor to the current-day Vancouver Canadians.

After his playing days were over, Norton helped launch Baseball BC, coached the National Team, helped establish the Junior National Team, and wrote many of the first NCCP manuals - which the award-winning program is still based on to this day.

In 1986 Norton established the National Baseball Institute (NBI) in Vancouver alongside John Haar. The famed program churned out many former MLB players such as Matt Stairs, Corey Koskie, Paul Spoljaric and current Baseball Canada President Jason Dickson.

Norton also had a long career and was named Jim Ridley Canadian Baseball Scout of the year in 1998 (Orioles) and in 2014 (Mariners). He most recently served as the Canadian and European Scout for the Seattle Mariners.

The number of players that Wayne had a hand in having drafted and signed is simply too long to list.

For all of his accomplishments, Wayne was honored with induction into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2016.

A Celebration of Life will be held for Wayne on February 8th, 2018 in the Inlet Theatre and Galleria at Port Moody City Hall at 6:00pm. In lieu of flowers, a donation to ALSBC - Patient Services in Wayne's name would be appreciated.

Wayne Norton's story by Bob Elliott - Canadian Baseball Network

Umpiring in 2018 - A new year & a new opportunity to stay in the game

Often a forgotten part of the game, umpires are needed for baseball games to happen and are always in short supply.  Umpiring can be a great opportunity for current & former athletes and coaches to stay in the game in a different capacity, or to simply earn some extra pocket money for spending a day at a local ball field.

Umpire development in BC happens through the British Columbia Umpires Association (BCBUA).  To get into umpiring, the first step is to attend a clinic in your local area.  Clinics begin in late January and run in various locations through the end of March.  The cost for Level 1 and Level 2 clinics, intended for 1st, 2nd and 3rd year umpires, is free with BCBUA paid membership, which is required in order to be certified to umpire in most leagues in BC.  Membership is $25 for anyone aged 13 & Under and $50 for anyone 14 or older.  Many local associations rebate the membership fee if umpires work a certain amount of games for them.

"The tremendous growth of baseball in the province in recent years has created challenges around having enough officials in order to make games happen" says BCBUA Secretary Phil Bourgeois.  "While BCBUA's membership numbers continue to grow annually, they have not grown at nearly the same rate that player registration has the past few years.  When those players start to age into higher levels in a few years such as PeeWee, Bantam and Midget, there may simply not be enough officials to cover the games if we can't attract and retain more umpires."

BCBUA has worked hard to make baseball fields a place for safer development of officials.  Bourgeois reports that 57% of umpires registered in 2016 returned for the 2017 season, a number that has been slowly improving over time.  Non-confrontation rules at the lower age levels allow for safe development for officials and an environment where it is ok to make a mistake and learn from it, while not having to endure harmful criticism from coaches & parents. 

In addition, BCBUA Vice-President Rhonda Pauls reported that over 400 Mentorships - a form of coaching where more experienced officials will work with newer officials during games and help them work on their skill-set - took place in 2017 at grass-roots and advanced levels.  BCBUA is trying to expand that number so that more newer officials have a mechanism for coaching and feedback to help them develop and gain confidence.

Umpiring can also present another pathway to High Performance for those who are dedicated and develop their skill set.  Opportunities exist to join the Baseball Canada National Umpire Program which can lead to assignments at National Tournaments and even International Tournaments.

Check out the link below to find a clinic near you & sign up!  BCBUA will be adding more clinics as they are scheduled so if you don't see one in your area check back at a later date!

Visit the BCBUA Clinic Website & Sign Up!

Provincial Championships Finalized for 2018

Baseball BC Provincials Information has been finalized for 2018.

Baseball BC Provincial Championships serve as the gateway for access for Baseball Canada and Western Canadian Baseball Championships.  Competing at a National Championship is an unforgettable event which creates lifelong memories for athletes, coaches and parents.

Opportunities still exist for associations to host Provincial Championships for the 2018 season.  Championship hosts receive an automatic entry into their applicable tournament.

Hosting Applications are still being considered at the following levels:

13U (AA & AAA)
15U (AA & AAA Qualifier)
18U (AA)

Team Entry Forms as well as the 2018 Championships Entry Package are available at the links below.  Any inquiries can be directed to Baseball BC Championships Co-Ordinator Kyle Williams at kyle@baseball.bc.ca

2018 Team Entry Form
Provincial Championships Entry Package

Coaches' Training - Apply to be an Association Partner!

Baseball BC is currently accepting applications from associations interested in partnering our association in order to provide NCCP Coach Training in 2018.

This development program has won awards and accolades from the Coaches Association of Canada and is the officially recognized training pathway for Baseball Canada.

NCCP certification has also been required for participation at various Baseball Canada Championships.

For details on partnership opportunities please contact Baseball BC Director - Programming & Servuces Scott MacKenzie at scottm@baseball.bc.ca with any questions or to submit an application.

Check out the NCCP Information Page!

Spring Break Camps - Registration is Open!

Baseball BC is once again offering Spring Break Baseball Development Camps for athletes aged 6-12 in Langley at the Langley Events Center from March 26-29, 2018.  Cost for this camp is only $50 and registration is now open!

Enjoy 4 days of baseball activities with every aspect of the game being covered; hitting, throwing, catching, fielding, running, and also some position specific development for pitchers, catchers, outfielders and infielders. We welcome players of all genders, different skill levels, and ages. From the new player who wants to try out baseball for the first time, to the experienced player that wants to work on some specific skills, we will have fun activities for all that register.

Our instructors will have played at a high level of baseball and all have experience in coaching and instructing in a camp setting. They will look to develop the player’s skills in every aspect of the game while providing a safe and fun environment.

These camps sold out in 2017 so be sure to act fast to secure your spot!  Check out the link below for more information or to register.  Contact Baseball BC Grass Roots Co-Ordinator Shawn Schaefer for any inquiries at shawn@baseball.bc.ca

Spring Break Camp Information & Registration

Kamloops Minor Baseball runs Girls Only Winter Training!

Kamloops Minor Baseball is currently running a Girls Only winter training session for both returning players and athletes new to the sport at Sussex Insurance Centre - which is Kamloops' indoor baseball facility located on McArthur Island Park.

Sessions are absolutely free and are run with a focus to introduce girls to the game of baseball.  This exciting development is celebrated by all of us at Baseball BC!

Any associations looking to bring girls' programming to their local areas are encouraged to contact Scott MacKenzie at the Baseball BC office to discuss possibilities and idea sharing.  Scott can be reached via e-mail at scottm@baseball.bc.ca or 604-586-3315

Baseball BC Girls' Program Info

Winterball Kits are Now Available!

Winterball Kits are arriving any day now and applications for interested schools and associations are now open and available at the link below. 

Winterball is a school-based baseball curriculum for students between Kindergarden and grade 6. This program is completely turn-key in approach and can be administered to P.E. classes immediately.

By partnering with the team at Baseball BC and adding Winterball to your curriculum, we are prepared to offer you an entire set of Winterball equipment as well as Instructor Manuals! The Winterball package has a retail value of well over $300 dollars and contains equipment that can be used for a variety of activities, and it's all FREE to BC Elementary Schools.

If you are interested in adding this fun, developmental program to your school or association please take a moment to visit the link below and review the information and submit an application.

Don't delay - There is a limited number of kits that we can give out.  Apply today!

Winterball Program Information & Application

BC Amateur Baseball Association
#310 - 15225 104th Avenue
Surrey, BC
V3R 6Y8

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