USSSA Celebrates National Pro Fastpitch Title, Inducts Ten More Hall of Famers at 43rd National Meeting; 2010 Membership Surpasses 225,000 Milestone
Daytona Beach, Fl.—The United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) celebrated surpassing the 225,000 member milestone, a National Pro Fastpitch title, Gold Medal Baseball Games, and “USSSA Live” video streaming at its 43rd Annual National Meeting November 14-20 at the Hilton Ocean Walk Village Resort in Daytona Beach, Fl.
The Association also welcomed ten new members into its Hall of Fame, passed nine slow pitch rule changes and two by-law changes.
USSSA CEO/Executive Director Don DeDonatis delivers his keynote address at the 2010 USSSA National Meeting held November 14-19 at the Hilton Ocean Walk Village Resort in Daytona Beach, Fl. Photo by Mike McNutt.
At its convention, the nation’s largest multi-sports organization continued to bask in its partnership with ESPN’s Wide World of Sports, popular website and USSSA Today magazine, and leading-edge Conference USSSA program, along with its phenomenal growth. USSSA announced that it had registered 230,857 members through mid-November, marking an increase of some 7,000 teams, officials and directors over the same period the previous year.
Additionally in 2010, USSSA sent a baseball team – Team USSSA – to compete in Osaka, Japan, expanded its broadcasting reach to the MLB Network and ESPN2, created a unique new line of director and umpire apparel, and opened a new online store at http://www.USSSAStore.com.
In his keynote address, USSSA CEO/Executive Director Don DeDonatis reflected on the Association’s phenomenal growth in the thirteen years since it had become a multi-sports organization, fully embraced cutting edge online technology and electronic communication, relocated from Petersburg, Va. to Kissimmee, Fl., and entered into agreements with Osceola County and Disney’s Wide World of Sports.
“By that time, our vision became clear and our mission was unstoppable,” DeDonatis told hundreds of convention delegates at the week’s first General Assembly meeting. “Our relocation to Florida has proven to be very beneficial and has opened many doors and opportunities for us. The potential for growth in every sport has made USSSA the undisputed leader in amateur sports today.”
DeDonatis went on to report that the Association had reached all of its objectives in 2010, including hosting teams from seven different countries and Puerto Rico in its baseball Gold Medal Games, sending Team USSSA to Japan, expanding USSSA Live video streaming broadcasts, and capturing a National Pro Fastpitch crown.
“As in everything we do, we focused on being the very best,” said DeDonatis regarding the “USSSA Pride” team. “We put the best possible product on the on the field representing USSSA with a roster that featured seven starters from the national team, the best pitcher in the world, and five of the top college players in the country.”
In August, the Pride captured the Cowle’s Cup and the NPF Championship.
In 2011, DeDonatis said that USSSA will expand international play in both baseball and fast pitch, affiliate with State and Gold Elite programs throughout the country through USSSA Pride, further showcase the video streaming and television capabilities of USSSA Live, offer real live scoring through Pointstreak Mobile, create a USSSA App for its directors to access its web features using smart phones and IPads, and bring its National Hall of Fame to the web with a complete rotating 3D tour.
In closing, DeDonatis thanked his staff at USSSA National Headquarters, Board of Directors, Vice-Presidents and Directors of all the Association’s sports, stating that he “could not be more pleased with where we are as an organization.
“We continue to raise the bar and set our standards high,” said DeDonatis. “Much is expected of us, and I have no doubt that we will continue to meet these expectations.”
“Let’s move forward today with the realization that there is much more work to do and new challenges that need to be met. Thank you for your attendance this week and I wish each of you the very best, and strong and productive meetings in the days ahead.”
Among the rule and by-law changes passed at its convention, the USSSA will now prohibit “Watch List” players from competing in its Mixed “C,” “D,” and “E” programs, and players who played on Men’s or Women’s “C” teams or higher are no longer eligible for the Mixed “E” program. Run rules were changed in both the Women’s (15 after 3 and 10 after 5) and Mixed “D” and “E” (20 after 3, 15 after 4, and 10 after 5) programs. The 16-under and 14-under boys’ and girls’ slow pitch youth programs were combined into a 15-under category. Women’s teams reclassified by the by-laws may now appeal their classification after two tournaments instead of four previously required. And the deadline to make three of the six roster additions has been changed from May 1st, June 1st and July 1st, to July 1st, August 1st and September 1st.
Also beginning in 2011, teams must put their rosters online within five days after a tournament or they will no longer receive points. After July 1st, teams that fail to put their rosters online prior to a tournament will not receive points.
The USSSA announced a major change to its slow pitch bat standard at the convention. Beginning in the fall of 2011, manufacturers can only make the new USSSA bat with a new USSSA mark. Bats with the new mark cannot exceed 1.2 BPF under any circumstances. Old bats will be eliminated after the 2012 season.
Finally, USSSA increased its online World Tournament entry fee for slow pitch from $315 to $365.
The USSSA inducted ten new members into its Hall of Fame. They are Hank Garris (FL), Howie Krause (OH), John McCraw (NC), and J. C. Phelps (KY) in the male player category; Chuck Drewicz (MI) in the manager category; Cleon Deaner (VA) in the executive category; Chuck Beckwell (MI) in the umpire category; Greg Blackburn (TN) in the sponsor category; Craig Ciandella (CA) in the special service longevity category, and Mike McCarron (LA) in the special service category.
Ten new candidates were selected for induction in 2011. They were Dal Beggs (FL), Craig Elliott (AL), and Jimmy Powers (NC) in the male player category; Sherri “Lynnie” France (FL) in the female player category; Larry Quartuccio (KY) and Frank Webb (MO) in the manager category; David Evaul (TX) in the executive category; Corky Carter (TN) in the umpire category; Don Cooper (WA) in the sponsor category; and Lou Blaha (VA) in the special service longevity category.
The ten will be inducted during a Hall of Fame banquet at the USSSA National Meeting on November 13-18 at the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate, ChampionsGate, FL.
2010 Convention Awards
Publication of the Year Award:
Rookie Director of the Year Awards:
Baseball – Adam Farb, Mill Valley, CA
Baseball – T-Rex Program – Kevin Naegele, Hobbs, NM
Basketball – John Anderson, San Diego, CA
Fast Pitch – Gordon Patterson, Jupiter, FL
Slow Pitch – Elliott Clark, Phoenix, AZ
National Headquarters Award of Excellence Award:
Julie Rodriquez, Hobbs, NM
Dwight Hall Spark Plug of the Year Awards:
Slow Pitch (East): Rick Marz, NY
Slow Pitch (West): Kim Titus, Choctaw, OK
Baseball: Dan Murray, Prairie Village, KS
Fast Pitch: Jeff Moose, Hanover, PA
William Bradley Hensley Basketball Spark Plug of the Year Award:
Jeff Schneider, Myrtle Beach, SC
Complex of the Year Award:
Fortune Road Athletic Complex, Kissimmee, FL
USSSA Official of the Year Award:
Baseball Umpire of the Year: Anthony Wall, LA
Fast Pitch Umpire of the Year: Chris Kroon, FL
Slow Pitch Umpire of the Year: Tony Wolczak, MI
Official of the Year: Carlos Childress, FL
Director of the Year Awards:
Fast Pitch: Brian Sage, IA
Baseball: Scott Mobley, AL
Slow Pitch: Vaughn Kelley, AL
Basketball: Kevin Wilson, MN
Soccer: Robert Miles, FL
USSSA Award of Merit:
T. R. Brockwell, FL
USSSA Distinguished Service Awards:
Dalton Brown, CA
Neal Swanner, LA
Assistant Executive Director’s Award – Non-Slow Pitch Category:
Frank Griffin, LA
Assistant Executive Director’s Award – Slow Pitch Category:
Greg Huchingson, TX
E. A. Ramsey/CEO Award:
Bernie Guenther, FL
Mark Linnemann, KY
The Bat King
Bat Shaving Bat Rolling Bats for Sale Bat Rolling Machines