What do we do in the event of rain? Are games cancelled? How/when will we know if our game is cancelled?
If conditions aren't playable, then affected games won't be played but that decision can't be made based on a forecast..
We monitor the weather radar ( https://www.theweathernetwork.com/ca/map/radar?lat=43.4303&lng=-80.4831) as conditions do change and forecasts aren't totally accurate --- % chances of rain are rarely 100% and timing is everything!!!
Decisions on such aren't made until closer to game time as the actual situation can be determined. ..
If we're still assessing the situation (up until an hour before game time), decisions may have to be made at game time at the diamond by the coaches of the teams involved along with the officiating crew. Such decisions are on an individual game basis as often one diamond may be playable while another is deemed not to be by those at the actual game site.
IF the City cancels the permits --- by 3 pm --- then all games/events are cancelled for the affected sites for that day. This is usually based on the anticipated field conditions that will exist at game time for a particular location. We monitor the City site ( https://app2.kitchener.ca/fieldconditions/ ) and get notified if any of our scheduled events are affected (as late as 3 pm). After 3 pm, we make our own decisions as noted above.
We try and play whenever possible!
What equipment does my child need?
UPDATED for 2023: We provide all the required equipment to each team so no player needs their own helmet, bat, fielder's mask nor (for 3-Pitch players) catcher's gear. Such equipment is shared as necessary by team members in need of such. So, with the exception of a fielding glove*, we provide everything needed for participation. *We also have an inventory of gloves available, by request, for loan (for the season) to individual players who don't have their own. Note: No gloves are required for Blastball, T-Ball is played with a 9" diameter soft-core baseball (beginner/basic baseball glove), 3-Pitch is played with an 11" regulation softball (glove suitable for softball).
Players should have closed shoes suitable for running, i.e. running shoes -- not sandals, flip flops, nor bare feet. We recommend that participants wear long pants when playing.
What time do the games start?
All games (except those scheduled for play on Saturday) start at 6:30 pm. Saturday games start at 9:00 am.
What days do you schedule games?
Teams generally have two games scheduled each week. Actual game days vary each week but are scheduled within any the playing day parameters provided on the registration forms. During weeks affected by holidays, i.e. Victoria Day in May, some teams may only have 1 game on their schedule.
What if the 2023 season ends up getting cancelled? How do I get a refund?
We won't open registration for 2023 if we aren't comfortable that we'll actually be granted permits to play --- and offer a program that everyone can enjoy. IF things take a turn for the worse and regulations prohibit us from offering a viable program, participants will be offered a full refund (without penalty). Such a turn would, most likely, also result in most other children's recreational activities also being canceled. Cancellation part-way through our "official" season will be reviewed at that time and could involve "extending" the season as we did in 2022.
I was wondering how much I would have to pay if I received any subsidized funding? As a single mom, money is very tight right now but my child is excited to start playing ball again.
We do offer payments terms and subsidized registration fees to ensure that everyone who wants to play gets to play and enjoy the experience. To help us "stretch our dollars further", we do encourage those in need of financial assistance to contact the City of Kitchener and apply for the City's Leisure Access Program which provides funding for City programs such as swimming lessons. (While our program is not eligible for funding from the City program itself, the acceptance criteria are the same as for Canadian Tire's Jump Start Program and Jump Start does cover registrations in our program.) Regardless of funding assistance obtained from outside sources (e.g. JumpStart, House of Friendship, OutReach, etc.), we won't hold up your registration awaiting payment but do ask that you pay what you can afford --- when you can afford it. Jump Start: https://jumpstart.canadiantire.ca
In support of our Fee-assistance Program we, in turn, receive funding from the Kitchener Sports Association to ensure that everyone gets to play! In addition, we maintain an inventory of loaner gloves and provide each team with helmets, masks and bats so there's no equipment required for your child to own to be able to play and play safely.
What's the plan for the 2023 ball season?
At this time, (November 2022), we are planning to play starting as early in May as possible with programs similar to our "pre-pandemic" offerings and ending by June 27. Specifics on any modifications to the procedures and any resultant rule changes will be posted on the website and all participants will be notified of such. All participants (players, parents, volunteers, spectators, officials) are required to abide by safety protocols and teams may also enforce their own additional measures. Compliance with mandated protocols is not optional. Each team must have an adult volunteer responsible for health and safety. Senior T-Ball and all 3-Pitch teams are also required to have another volunteer to supervise sportsmanship.
How do I ensure my child will be on the same team as his/her friend(s)?
Specify the names of any friends in the space provided for such on the registration form. (We only require the name(s) not explanations -- and proper/correct full names work best!) Note that making more than one or two requests is often not possible especially if the others also have made requests to be with others. Mutual requests work best as playing day preferences have to be given priority. Advice: Check with the other player to confirm he/she is actually registering with us, which league they are registering in and whether they have any playing day restrictions. (Requests from bonafide coaches carry a lot of weight!)
How many teams are there?
The number of teams in each league is determined by the number of children registered to play by the end of March. The exact number varies from league to league and from year to year but recently (pre-Covid) we've had 10 to 16 Blastball teams, 12 to 16 Junior T-Ball teams, 6 to 8 Senior T-Ball teams, and 5 to 8 teams in each of our 3-Pitch leagues; total 44 to 54 teams. 2023 will be a "recovery" year as we build back to a new "normal".
When can I get my child's game schedule? (2023)
Short answer: Approximately 10 days before the start of the season. Schedules are released at each league's organizational meeting after the coaches have the opportunity to review them. Teams schedule their own team meetings and practices and are expected to have at least one (more preferably) before their first scheduled game.
Team schedules are not set until after registrations are processed. Every team has an entirely different schedule, all based on the preferences of the players on the various teams. (IF you need to change your playing day preferences, you must do so before the coaches approve the schedules. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Once the schedules are approved, the team rosters are set and no changes are allowed.
For a child born in 2018, with little or no playing experience, which league is better: Blastball or Junior T-Ball?
For our 2023 season, yes you have the option of either Blastball or Junior T-Ball. Your question of which one is best is impossible for anyone to answer definitively but here are some things to consider:
Your child would be one of the oldest in Blastball or one of the youngest in Junior T-Ball. None of the children in either league will have much, if any, playing experience as there hasn't been much play for the last three years. Both leagues are all at the introductory level but Junior T-Ball does involve all 3 bases, positional fielding and is much closer to the "real" game even though there is no scoring. (Blastball only involves one base so no base running but does present more opportunity to bat.) Complete league descriptions are on this website.
That said, the biggest consideration is what your child's friends, classmates and/or neighbours are doing. If he/she has a friend who's registering, then that could be the deciding factor. (Friend request should be mutual and not have conflicting playing day requests.) Kids like to play, at least initially, with known friends even though they'll meet many more during the season.
Also, your child may be able to provide more guidance regarding their preferred level of play.
I registered already but now want to change my playing day preferences; also my child has a friend request to add. What should I do?
The person who completed the registration form can make additions/corrections any time up to when the organizational meetings are held. Send an email to us (Ball@stanleyparkoptimist.com) with the request details and don't forget to include both your name, contact # and the player's full name.
My child wants to play but the registration fee is a barrier for us at this time. What can I do?
We don't turn any child away. You can still complete the registration paperwork online and check off one of the options (e.g. cash) for payment later. You can then see us at one of our information/registration sessions and confirm the registration status. Unless you are getting funding from an outside source, e.g. JumpStart, we ask that you pay what you can afford (as you can afford to do so). We get funding through the Kitchener Sports Association and accept donations so we don't have to turn anyone away for financial reasons.
What's the last date I can register to play?
Registering early is always recommended, especially if you have playing day restrictions or "friend" requests. Once April hits, the number of teams in each league has already been established so the number of roster spots is limited. These are then filled on a first-come basis. As leagues fill up, we employ a waiting list in case of withdrawals. Late fees apply in late March (March 28/2023) for any spots that are still open.) Once the team photos are taken in the first 2 weeks of the season, the online registration system is formally shut down for all leagues. (Warning: Registration for specific leagues usually closes well before the photo dates.)