Baseball Advisory Committee

September 5, 2002 • 10 a.m.
FHSAA Headquarters
Gainesville, Florida

The meeting was called to order by Paul McLaughlin at 10 a.m. The following committee members were in attendance: Greg Jones, Chiles High School (Tallahassee), Carlan Martin, Crestview High School, Pete Post, Boone High School (Orlando), David Lee, Leesburg High School, David Saliba, Winter Haven High School, Jon Zaborowski, Lakeland Christian School, and John Crumbley, FACA, Jesuit High School (Tampa). Ronald L. Allen, Associate Commissioner and Paul K. McLaughlin, Director of Athletics, also attended the meeting.

1. Mr. McLaughlin welcomed the committee members to the FHSAA office. He explained the procedure for completing the expense vouchers.

2. Mr. McLaughlin gave the committee members a tour of the Robert W. Hughes Building.

3. Mr. McLaughlin gave the committee members an overview of the purpose of the meeting.

4. Each committee member introduced themselves.

5. Greg Jones, Chiles High School, was selected chairman by a unanimous vote.

6. It was moved by Mr. Post, seconded by Mr. Zaborowski and carried unanimously to adopt the agenda as submitted.

7. General comments regarding the 2001-02 FHSAA Baseball Manual were very positive. Mr. Crumbley asked about the starting date for baseball practice that was adopted by the Board of Directors at their September 2001 meeting. The starting date is listed correctly (January 20, 2003) on the January FHSAA Calendar but incorrectly on the summary of dates found in the front of the same publication. Mr. McLaughlin stated that the size of the 2002-03 FHSAA Baseball Manual will be reduced to 5 1/2 by 8 1/2 inches with all forms being published in the FHSAA Forms Book rather than in each individual sports manual.

Detailed information regarding all recommendations can be found on the attachments to these minutes.

RECOMMENDATION #1: It was moved by Mr. Crumbley seconded by Mr. Post and carried unanimously to Reword 3.020 (Squad Participation) to read “A student who participates in an interscholastic contest in baseball as a member of the varsity team may not participate as a member of the junior varsity, junior high or other team, or vice versa, until the day following such participation.” [instead of 3 days].
It was moved by Mr. Martin seconded by Mr. Saliba and carried unanimously to fast track the above recommendation.

8. The 2002 state baseball tournament was discussed. The coaches on the committee reviewed a proposal to change the method of deciding the home team in the region semifinal and final games. It was agreed to leave this site selection process unchanged. Mr. McLaughlin also shared a very positive article regarding high school baseball in Florida which was published in the May 2002 National Federation News.

9. The National Federation baseball rules were discussed. There was unanimous agreement not to change any of the “by state association adoption” rules. Mr. McLaughlin also shared the NFHS rules changes for 2003. He made specific emphasis on the new NOCSAE seal requirement for the catchers’ helmet / mask. The pitching requirements regarding the shoulder turn were reviewed along with the set-position below the chin requirement. All committee members agreed not to pursue any NFHS rules changes for the 2004 season.

10. Mr. Allen stated that ejections are getting better. An ejection summary for the 2001-02 school year was distributed. There was an improvement of 40 less ejections compared to the previous season. He stated that we are winning this battle. The head coaches are not the problem; it is the assistant coaches.

11. Discussion was also held on the following items:
a) Change the 10-run rule to be 12 runs after 4 innings and 15 runs after 3 innings. This is not an option since Florida has adopted the 10-run. States do not have the option of changing the number of runs or number of innings. b) Establish a time-limit for sub-varsity contests. The coaches took no action on this item.

12. The Baseball Advisory Committee has been made aware of the proposals which the Board of Directors will consider to reduce contests limitations beginning with the 2003-04 school year. The committee feels this is an injustice to the baseball players, coaches, fans and programs in Florida for the following reasons:
a) Most baseball programs are self-sufficient financially.
b) The idea of professional educators guiding the student-athletes through their formative years is preferred to individuals from outside entities (i.e. AAU, etc.)
c) Student-athletes would rather represent their school than a non-school team.
If reduction is deemed absolutely necessary, our committee makes the following:

RECOMMENDATION : We propose that the baseball playing season be nine weeks in duration. The cap of 28 games would stay in place but would be played on a maximum of 22 playing dates with no more than one date per week requiring a loss of school time. As in other southeastern states, tournaments will count as two playing dates.

13. In conclusion, Paul McLaughlin thanked out-going committee members Greg Jones, Pete Post, and David Saliba for their years of service on the committee. He stated that the declaration of candidacy forms would be available on the web site in November and asked the committee members to urge other coaches to be a part of the committee. Mr. Jones adjourned the meeting at 12:40 p.m.