The season is almost here. This Saturday is the last registration at the JCC at Sam Michaels Park. We will be there from 10am-12pm. We will also be at the Locker Room next Wednesday from 6pm - 8pm for sign-ups, as well.
We will have two try-out sessions at the Ranson Civic Center. The first will take place on Saturday, March 1 from 9am to 12pm. The following Saturday, March 8, we will be there from 4pm-7pm. We will be taking last minute registrations at both of those try-outs.
In addition, our head Umpire Gary Howell is looking for volunteers. Gary will be at both try-out sessions and is happy to talk with you about calling games and give you tips and pointers. He is also going to hold a clinic for those who do volunteer to go over the ins and outs to get you prepared to call your first game. If you are interested, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The divisions have been posted to the site. To check it out, hover your mouse over the League menu and click Divisions from the submenu. This new page will help you see how the league will be broken down for the Spring 2014 season. The playing divisions are broken down primarily by age, but we will be holding try-outs March 1 and 8 at the Ranson Civic Center, so your child will have the opportunity to move up if the talent warrants it and there is space at the next level.
In addition, many folks have asked how much registration will cost this year. This year, registration is $60 for the first child, and $50 for each additional child. In addition, this year we are asking parents to pay for their raffle tickets up-front. The cost of these tickets is $50. You can then sell the tickets to recoup your costs, or enter them into the drawing to be held at Opening Day April 5th. Our prizes this year is $500 cash, a television, and Kindle Fire HDX and an XBox 360. Look for more details in the coming weeks.
I also wanted to take a moment to remind you of our upcoming Spirit Night at Sweet Frog in Charles Town. The fundraiser is being held on February 10th. Just mention Charles Town Ranson Little League, and Sweet Frog will donate a portion of the proceeds to the league. Running a Little League takes a lot of money, so you can help us continue to improve the league for your kids and enjoy a sweet treat!
Frozen Yogurt is cold, but not as cold as the weather has been lately. As a result, its difficult to get out in the yard and throw the ball. My son is always anxious to get out and throw, so we had to figure out a way to work inside. If you are in the same boat, here's something you can do; grab a ball. If you don't want to toss a baseball in the house, you can use a tennis ball or a whiffle ball. Sit approximately 5-feet apart and hold your throwing are straight out in front of you. Bend your throwing arm at the elbow and hold your elbow with your non-throwing hand. With your throwing forearm perpendicular to the ground, flick the ball using only your wrist. Practice this way for 10 minutes. If you have enough space, move back another two feet every 5 minutes. This drill will build your wrist strength. Here's a video that demonstrates this drill.
Arm Strength is really a misnomer. The velocity of the ball is generated by the momentum generated from your hips opening, pulling your waist, which pulls your shoulders, your elbow and finally your hand towards your target. At the point of release, you flick the ball with your wrist to put all of that momentum into the ball. A strong and consistent wrist flick is an important part of building velocity and control.
As part of an effort to keep our constituents in Charles Town Ranson Little League informed, I will be posting a weekly update called Hitting the Corners. This is an opportunity for me, as the League Information Officer, to pass along information pertinent to the parents and players of CTRLL.
First, I'd like to thank our Equipment Manager Shane Bowie for re-doing our logo. We are re-launching the league this year and we felt it appropriate to start with re-launching our branding. I think we can all agree that Shane did a fantastic job.
Now that we have such a great logo, we thought the website should be updated accordingly. This was the first phase. We wanted to get this out to show off the new logo, but I wasn't able to get it where I want it to be before we wanted to go live. What you see is a work-in-progress. As the season progresses, you'll see new features and graphics added to make this website something special.
One of the goals of the website is to keep you better informed, and one of the first steps we've taken is to update the calendar. Last season, we used this almost exclusively to keep the playing schedule up-to-date. This year, we are using it to keep the public informed of everything from board meetings, to registration dates to spirit nights and everything in between. You'll always see the Upcoming Events on each page, and if you hover over League above and then select schedule from the dropdown menu, you can get to the full calendar.
In addition, we have added a CTRLL store. You can see the scrolling graphic to the right of the page. Everything you see there can be ordered anytime. Our store is backed by Cafepress, a leading online retailer for custom graphic merchandise. Whenever you buy something from the store, CTRLL gets a check for 90% of the profits; money that we can put back into the league and ultimately, your children.
With that said, this is all in an effort to give the children of Charles Town and Ranson the best experience possible. After all, pretty logos, fancy websites and CTRLL iPhone cases don't matter much if the kids are having a bad experience on the diamond. To this end, we have been pretty busy over the last few months.
Sam Michaels Park has been cleaned up and retooled for Spring. On field A, we completely re-built the pitcher's mound from the ground up. On all the fields, we put in new bases and anchors, touched up the paint in all the dugouts and stands, and even re-painted the foul poles. For coach and player safety, we purchased L-screens so we can throw batting practice without worrying about hard shots back at the pitcher.
In addition, we have added an affiliation with the Panhandle Power Elite Travel Baseball Organization to provide advanced opportunities for kids from 8-12. The relationship with this separate organization began in Fall, and as one of the coaches of the 12U squad, I can honestly say that the boys I coached in CTRLL last Spring greatly improved with the added experience and higher competition level.
Lastly, I just want to remind everyone about Registrations. You can get all the dates and times from the Upcoming Events and Schedule, but essentially, you can sign up any Saturday in February from 10am-12pm at the Jefferson County Community Center located at Sam Michael's Park or any Wednesday in February from 6pm-8pm at the Locker Room in Ranson. We will hold try-outs the first two Saturdays in March at the Ranson Civic Center, and we will be taking sign-ups there, as well. Check the schedule for try-out times.
Remember, Little League boundry rules have changed a bit this year, so you have the option to play in the league whose boundaries you live in or the league whose boundaries your child goes to school in. That means if you live in Crosswinds or Avon Bend and go to Charles Town Middle School, you can play in either league.
Thank you for supporting Charles Town Ranson Little League. We are looking forward to helping your child learn the game of baseball or softball, as well as the life-lessons you learn from winning and losing and growing as a team and an individual. If you have any questions or concerns, contact me anytime at email@example.com or email the entire CTRLL Board of Directors at firstname.lastname@example.org.
League Information Officer
Charles Town Ranson Little League
P.S. Don't forget to hit Sweet Frogs in Charles Town on February 10th and be sure to tell them Charles Town Ranson Little League sent you!