Baseball Advisory Committee

Sept. 3, 2008 • 10 a.m.
Robert W. Hughes FHSAA Building
Gainesville, Florida

Paul McLaughlin called the meeting to order at 10 a.m.  The following committee members were in attendance:  Charlie Warner, Pace High School, John Gwynes, Ed White High School (Jacksonville), David Wheeler, Bishop Moore High School (Orlando), Matt McCool, Palatka High School, Clyde Metcalf, Sarasota High School, Frank Permuy, Gaither High School (Tampa), Pat McQuaid, FACA, Nova High School (Ft. Lauderdale) and Butch Goble, South Gulf Umpires Association (Ft. Myers).  John A. Stewart, Executive Director, Denarvise Thornton, Associate Executive Director, Paul McLaughlin, Assistant Executive Director, Justin Harrison, Associate Athletic Director and Brett Adams, Intern, 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 an overview of the purpose of the meeting and the recommendation process was explained in detail.  McLaughlin also reviewed the addition of a member of the Officials Advisory Committee to each sports advisory committee.  Welcome Butch Goble.

3.  Each committee member introduced themselves and verified their e-mail address.

4.  Clyde Metcalf, Sarasota High School, was selected chairman by a unanimous vote.

5.  The minutes from the 2007 meeting were accepted as presented.

6.  The Best 2 of 3 Region Final Series was reviewed in detail.  The following changes and recommendations are presented to tweak the format:

2008 RECOMMENDATION #1It was moved by Mr. McCool seconded by Mr. Permuy and carried unanimously for the host school to provide the umpire crew with 2 hotel rooms if the umpires’ travel distance is 100 miles or more.

7.  The 2008 state baseball tournament was discussed.  The committee opined that the City of Sarasota does a great job in hosting this event and that the tournament is well run.  Game stats from the tournament were briefly reviewed.  A return to a “home school final four” for each classification was briefly discussed.

8.  General comments regarding the 2007-08 FHSAA Baseball Manual were positive.  No changes are needed.

9.  The National Federation baseball rules were discussed.  Batters “allowing themselves” to get hit by a pitch continue to be a concern.  Paul McLaughlin discussed the new NFHS baseball rules for 2009.  The situation where the catcher is blocking the plate without the ball was discussed.

10.  Old Business:
2007 RECOMMENDATION #1It was moved by Mr. McQuaid seconded by Mr. McCool and carried unanimously to modify the bat rule for Middle Schools only.  NFHS Rule 1-3-2 and 1-3-4 shall be modified to permit bats with a differential greater than –3 to be used in Middle School baseball games.  Note: A student in eighth grade or below playing on a high school team cannot benefit from this rule change.

11.  New Business:  None.

12.  Paul McLaughlin stated that the number of ejections in all sports was greater in 2007-08 than the previous year.  Baseball ejections increased by 29%.  Baseball coaches who are not faculty members and assistant coaches in general seem to have a higher incidence of ejections as compared to faculty head coaches.  One baseball bench-clearing situation from 2007-2008 was discussed briefly.  Many of the coaches on the committee pointed out that the FHSAA policy on ejections is supportive for good sporting conduct.  The coaches know that there are consequences for unsporting conduct.  McLaughlin informed the committee regarding the remedial assistance (NFHS Fundamentals of Coaching Course) being required of any coach guilty of unsporting conduct.  Several coaches opined that umpires need to be more approachable when being asked for a rules interpretation.  There needs to be a mutual respect between both coaches and umpires.

13.  Open agenda.  These items were addressed.

13.  Paul McLaughlin thanked those committee members whose three-year term expires in June 2009.  McLaughlin reminded the committee to ask colleagues to complete a declaration of candidacy form in November/December in order to be placed on the ballot for the committee next year.  Paul McLaughlin thanked everyone for their input.  Mr. Metcalf adjourned the meeting at 12:25 pm.