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Scott Searle announced as Team Ontario Male Head Coach

Softball Ontario is pleased to announce the coaching staff for Team Ontario’s men’s softball team that will be representing Ontario at the 2021 Canada Summer Games in the Niagara region of southwestern Ontario.

Brad Thomson, OASA President, in announcing the coaching staff said, “We are excited to be able to have such a strong combination of staff with technical and playing experience to identify and develop our players to proudly represent us against the best players from across the country. We are confident that Scott and Jamie will do a great job in getting the most out of each player and that Paddy will make sure that all of the off-field logistics are taken care of to let the athletes and coaches focus on playing ball.”

Scott Searle will take over the reins as the Head Coach for this cycle after serving as an Assistant Coach for the 2017 team. Scott brings a wealth of coaching experience and technical skills to the role. He is a fully certified Level 4 coach with a Diploma in High-Performance Coaching. He is the Master Coach Developer for Softball Ontario’s Competitive Coaching Stream and was recently named Team Leader for the 2018 Junior Men’s National Team. He has held a number of coaching positions with senior men’s teams and several women’s teams in the Ottawa area, where he is a high school teacher.

Jamie Simpson will be the Assistant Coach. The Simpson name has long-standing ties to many successful teams from Owen Sound and Jamie has been both a player and a coach on several of those. He is an accomplished pitcher having success provincially, nationally and internationally that will no doubt help in the mentoring and development of pitchers and players throughout this cycle. He is an active participant on Softball Ontario’s CANpitch committee. Jamie is currently the Head Coach of the U23 Owen Sound Selects and teaches elementary school in Cambridge.

Paddy Fitzgerald-Nolan returns as the Team Manager, a role in which she excelled for the 2017 team. Paddy brings an enthusiastic positive attitude to everything she does in addition to strong organizational and event planning skills to make sure that all of the necessary logistics are taken care of. Paddy is in her 11th year as the Treasurer for the OASA and has demonstrated her ability to plan and execute events of all sizes on numerous occasions.

Isabelle Cayer joins 2018 Webinar Series

Softball Ontario’s 2018 Webinar Series wraps up on Monday, April 23, 2018, as Canadian Coaching expert Isabelle Cayer joins the series to discuss “Women in Coaching: How to Increase the Number of Women in Coaching”!

Isabelle Cayer is a Senior Coaching Consultant with the Coaching Association of Canada, working with nine National Sport Organizations on coach education, and is the manager of the Women in Coaching Program. She has been working at the national level of sport for 20 years, previously with Skate Canada, managing national coaching programs and spearheading LTAD. She is a current NCCP Master Coach Developer and CAAWS Women & Leadership Program Facilitator. A graduate of the University of Ottawa, a former competitive athlete, NCCP Certified Provincial Coach in figure skating, she volunteers her time in sport as the current President of a skating club, and events such as the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup and 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

Softball Canada Announces 2018 Women’s Border Battle Roster

Ottawa, Ont. – Softball Canada is pleased to announce the list of athletes who have been selected to represent Team Canada at the Women’s Slo-Pitch Border Battle. The Canadian Women’s Slo-Pitch Border Battle team will be looking to defend its title after winning the inaugural Women’s event in Oklahoma City last summer. This year’s Slo-Pitch Border Battle will be played in Kitchener, Ont. from July 27-29.

Team Canada will play a series of exhibition games before they take on Team USA in a one-game showdown at the Women’s Slo-Pitch Border Battle on July 29th.

“Any time you get the chance to wear a Team Canada jersey it is very special” said head coach Tony Carnelos. “We have assembled a great group of talented players and to be able to defend our title and represent our country in Kitchener in front of our friends and family will be a tremendous honour.”

The list of athletes selected to participate was chosen by the coaching staff and a panel of Slo-Pitch experts from across the country. Performance at provincial, national and international events was used as one of the major contributors to the selections.

The coaching staff will consist of Tony Carnelos (Georgetown, Ont.) who will serve as the head coach with Kelly Hryniw (Ardrossan, Alta.) serving as the assistant coach, with both returning from last year’s winning squad.

The following athletes have been chosen to represent Canada at the 2018 Women’s Slo-Pitch Border Battle:

ATHLETES

FIRST NAME LAST NAME HOMETOWN
Kaitlin Anseeuw Simcoe, Ont.
Jackie Bates Langley, B.C.
Erica Burns West Lorne, Ont.
Tina Gulbrandsen Langley, B.C.
Tonya Gulbrandsen Langley, B.C.
Kiera Lyons Ryley, Alta.
Michelle Lorenz Toronto, Ont.
Jacqueline O’Quinn Toronto, Ont.
Jessica O’Quinn Toronto, Ont.
Patricia Simon Big Horn, Alta.
Paige Smith Gretna, Man.
Kearstin Solberg Ryley, Alta.
Ashley Steckle-Klunder Brantford, Ont.
Lenny Stoddart Bolton, Ont.
Charity (Fez) Verboom Shannonville, Ont.

COACHING STAFF

POSITION NAME HOMETOWN
Head Coach Tony Carnelos Georgetown, Ont.
Assistant Coach Kelly Hryniw Ardrossan, Alta.
Team Leader Ryan DeBelser Prince George, B.C.
Manager – National Teams Mike Branchaud Ottawa, Ont.

 

The full game schedule will be announced at a later date, culminating with a doubleheader featuring the Women’s and Men’s Border Battles between Team Canada and Team USA the evening of Sunday, July 29.

Ticket prices have been set at $25.00 (CDN) for the full weekend pass and $10.00 (CDN) for a day pass. Tickets will go on sale through the Softball Canada website and at the Kahunaverse Sports locations in Mississauga and London on May 1st.

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Softball Canada Announces 2018 Men’s Slo-Pitch Border Battle Roster

Ottawa, Ont. – Softball Canada is pleased to announce the list of athletes who have been selected to represent Team Canada at the Men’s Slo-Pitch Border Battle. The 10th edition of the annual event will take place in Kitchener, Ont. from July 27-29.

Team Canada will play a series of exhibition games before they take on Team USA in a one-game showdown at the Men’s Slo-Pitch Border Battle on July 29th. The Canadian team is coming off an exciting 31-28 win at last year’s Border Battle in Oklahoma City to break Team USA’s six game winning streak.

“As head coach of Team Canada, I’m very excited to face Team USA on our home turf with the chance to defend and prove that last year’s win was earned and by no means good fortune” stated head coach Grant Garrett. “Our 2018 team is very athletic with all-around outstanding defence and speed, but more importantly, full of true gamers that will take this immense challenge head on and fight to the end.”

This will mark the second time the event is played on Canadian soil as Kitchener previously hosted in 2014 with the United States coming out with the 18-9 victory.

The list of athletes selected to participate was chosen by the coaching staff and a panel of Slo-Pitch experts from across the country. Performance at provincial, national and international events was used as one of the major contributors to the selections.

The coaching staff will consist of Grant Garrett (Georgetown, ON) who will serve as the head coach with Mike Hrynenko (Winnipeg, MB) serving as the assistant coach, both of whom are returning from last year’s winning team.

The following athletes have been chosen to represent Canada at the 2018 Men’s Slo-Pitch Border Battle:

ATHLETES

FIRST NAME
LAST NAME
HOMETOWN
Colin
Andrews
Hanover, Ont.
Jeff
Andrews
St. Albert, Alta.
Dave
Goulet
Sherbrooke, Que.
Kyle
Knechtel
Ayr, Ont.
Dany
Laprise
Sherbrooke, Que.
Steele
Lewis
Windsor, Ont.
Jonathan
Malo
Quebec City, Que.
Dustin
McLoughlin
Maple Ridge, B.C.
Ron
Nadalin
Woodstock, Ont.
Curtis
Neabel
Woodstock, Ont.
Chris
Parr
Chilliwack, B.C.
Justin
Pennell
Toronto, Ont.
Hunter
Platten
Edmonton, Alta.
Jeff
Zanolli
Taber, Alta.
Josh
Zanolli
Drayton Valley, Alta.

 

COACHING STAFF

POSITION NAME HOMETOWN
Head Coach Grant Garrett Georgetown, Ont.
Assistant Coach Mike Hrynenko Winnipeg, Man.
Team Leader Ryan DeBelser Prince George, B.C.
Manager – National Teams Mike Branchaud Ottawa, Ont.

 

The full game schedule will be announced at a later date, culminating with a doubleheader featuring the Women’s and Men’s Border Battles between Team Canada and Team USA the evening of Sunday, July 29.

Ticket prices have been set at $25.00 (CDN) for the full weekend pass and $10.00 (CDN) for a day pass. Tickets will go on sale through the Softball Canada website and at the Kahunaverse Sports locations in Mississauga and London on May 1st.

 

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Trevor Topping Named to 2018 WBSC World Championships

Softball Canada is pleased to announce the selection of four umpires to represent Canada at two WBSC World Championships in 2018.

Frankie Billingsley (Edmonton, Alta.) will carry the flag to Chiba, Japan as she has been selected to the umpire crew at the 2018 WBSC XVI Women’s Softball World Championship from August 2 – 12.

Billingsley also worked the 2016 Women’s World Championships in Surrey, B.C.

A trio of Softball Canada umpires have been appointed to the crew of the 2018 WBSC XII Junior Men’s Softball World Championship in Prince Albert, Sask. from July 7-15. Clinton Harvey (Valley, N.S.), Frank Fargey (Winnipeg, Man.) and Trevor Topping (Kitchener, Ont.) have been selected for the event on home soil. Harvey previously worked the 2015 WBSC Junior Women’s Softball World Championship in Oklahoma City while this will be the first world championship events for both Fargey and Topping.

The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) is the international sport governing body for softball and baseball. Outside of the Olympic Games, umpiring at a World Championship is considered the pinnacle for officials around the world.

Congratulations to all those selected.

Visit www.softball.ca for more information

ts 2018 Junior Women’s National Team Combines

Softball Canada is pleased to announce that a series of Technical Combines will be offered to identify athletes across the country beginning in April. Combines will be led by Women’s National Team staff and supported by current and former Women’s National Team athletes and staff.

Each Combine will run a half day in length and include a Technical skills component and Fitness assessment component. This new approach to athlete identification places emphasis on offensive and defensive technical skill and physical fitness.

Attending the Combine is advantageous to those who are serious about playing international softball. In addition to the Combine, athletes who attend will be tracked throughout the 2018 and the 2019 seasons including Provincial and Canadian Championships. In September, a “Prospects List” will be released along with a mandatory winter training program. In the spring of 2019 and 2020, final selection camps will be held to name the respective 2019 and 2020 rosters. Athletes interested in being considered for the 2019 and 2020 Junior Women’s National Team should attend one of the Combines.

The 2019 Junior Women’s National Team will target athletes born in 2000-2002, while the 2020 Junior Women’s National Team will be for athletes born in 2001-2003.

Click here for more

By Gilles Leblanc, Softball Canada

WBSC to launch new ‘Softball World Cup’ Flagship brand

ROME, Italy – The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) today announced the launch of the Softball World Cup flagship brand.

The new Softball World Cup brand identity and tournament system will replace the current Softball World Championships across all categories: Men’s, Women’s, U-19 Men’s and U-19 Women’s.

The major restructuring of softball’s pinnacle international competitions was decided at the WBSC Softball Division Board meeting in Rome, Italy, hosted in the headquarters of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI).

“This new Softball World Cup brand and tournament structure — with continental qualifiers — will be an exciting showcase of the best softball athletes and countries in the world,” said WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari. “The new Softball World Cups will boost our long-term Olympic potential and help our mission to grow a one-billion global baseball/softball community over the next decade.”

WBSC Softball Division Chairman Tommy Velazquez said: “The Softball World Cup platform will be positioned to realise maximum global broadcast, commercial and audience growth – providing increased prestige, visibility and attraction to the sport and the elite athletes who dedicate their lives practicing it. This Softball World Cup system with qualifiers will also raise the value and marketability of our Continental Associations and their competitions.”

As part of the new brand identity and restructuring, the new Softball World Cups will be played every two years and feature:

  • 16-team tournament formats for Men’s, Women’s and U-19 Women’s categories, discontinuing the previous open format across all categories
  • 12-team tournament format for U-19 Men’s
  • Continental Qualifiers:
    • Representatives by Continent (16-team Softball World Cup)
      • Africa – 2
      • Americas -5
      • Asia – 3
      • Europe – 3
      • Oceania – 2
      • Wild Card – 1
    • Representatives by Continent (12-team Softball World Cup)
      • Africa – 1
      • Americas -4
      • Asia – 2
      • Europe – 2
      • Oceania – 2
      • Wild Card – 1
  • “Junior” category renamed “U-19”

Calendar adjustments for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 

 

The final edition of the Women’s Softball World Championship will take place this year in Chiba, Japan. The Women’s Softball World Cup will then launch in 2021 and be played in the year before and after the Summer Olympic Games (i.e., 2021, 2023, etc.).

The next edition of the U-19 Women’s category will continue as previously planned in 2019, before shifting to even years in 2020 to be staged in the year prior to and after the Women’s Softball World Cup (i.e., 2020, 2022, etc.).

The final edition of the Junior Men’s Softball World Championship will be held this year in Prince Albert, SK, Canada. The U-19 Men’s Softball World Cup will then launch in 2021 and be played every two years (i.e., 2021, 2023, etc.).

The next two editions of the Men’s category will be played in 2019 and 2021, before shifting to even years starting in 2022 (i.e., 2022, 2024, 2026, etc.).

For more information, visit www.wbsc.org.


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2018 Women’s National Team Final Selection Camp Invitees

Ottawa, Ont. – Softball Canada is very pleased to announce the list of twenty-two (22) athletes who will advance to the second phase of the Women’s National Team selection process following a preliminary Selection Camp held in Fort Myers, Fla. last week. The final Selection Camp will take place from May 30th to June 10th in Thousand Oaks, Calif.

“The first phase of the selection process proved to be extremely competitive with our overall depth having improved significantly” stated Mark Smith, Softball Canada’s High-Performance Director and Women’s National Team Head Coach. “It is clear that the athletes are taking their preparation seriously. Congratulations to those who have advanced. The next phase will determine our final roster for the 2018 WSBC Women’s Softball World Championship.”

In 2018, Team Canada will compete at various events including the World Cup of Softball in Irvine, Calif. and the Canada Cup in Surrey, B.C. in preparation for the WBSC Women’s Softball World Championship that will take place August 2-12 in Chiba, Japan.

The athletes who will continue to the second phase of the selection process are:

NAME
HOMETOWN
Kara Bilodeau Cumming, GA
Kristen Brown Levittown, NY
Jenna Caira Toronto, ON
Emma Entzminger Victoria, BC
Larissa Franklin Maple Ridge, BC
Kenzie Friesen Saskatoon, SK
Jennifer Gilbert Saskatoon, SK
Sara Groenewegen Surrey, BC
Victoria Hayward Toronto, ON
Karissa Hovinga Edmonton, AB
Kelsey Jenkins Delta, BC
Danielle Lawrie Langley, BC
Janet Leung Mississauga, ON
Joey Lye Toronto, ON
Sara Plourde Baker Lake, NB
Erika Polidori Brantford, ON
Kaleigh Rafter Guelph, ON
Victoria Rumph Mount Forest, ON
Jenn Salling Port Coquitlam, BC
Nicole Schroeder Yorba Linda, CA
Holly Speers Surrey, BC
Natalie Wideman Mississauga, ON

Coaching Staff

POSITION
NAME
HOMETOWN
Head Coach Mark Smith Falmouth, NS
Assistant Coach/Manager Melissa Basilio Oshawa, ON
Assistant Coach Russell Cooper Tahiti Bay, NZL
Assistant Coach Dave Paetkau Abbotsford, BC
Performance Analyst Glenn Boles St. Catharines, ON
Performance Analyst Hubie Basilio Oshawa, ON
Strength & Conditioning Coach Scott Willgress Halifax, NS
Mental Performance Coach Lauren Tashman Pennington, NJ
Team Leader/Pool Coach Melissa Finley London, ON

 


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2017-18 Webinar Series resumes with Jessica Mancini

Team Ontario Assistant Coach Jessica Mancini kicks off 2018 as the 2017-18 Softball Ontario Webinar Series continues on Monday, January 15. NCCP Certified Coaches will earn one (1) Professional Development Point towards maintaining their certification and learn valuable tips from one of Ontario’s top coaches.

Jessica played collegiate Softball on a scholarship at Spring Arbor University in Michigan from 2001-2005. During that time, Jessica was a part of winning several regional championships and captured the 2005 National Championship. In addition to Jessica’s playing career, she was a member of the 2013 Team Ontario Training staff, Assistant Coach with University of Waterloo Women’s Fast Pitch Team as well as an instructor at several PWSA Skills Camps, Colour Your Dream development clinics and Softball Ontario’s Softball Performance Centre program. In 2017, Jessica obtained her Competition-Development, Softball Certified status and brought home the Bronze medal with Team Ontario from the Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg, ON. Mancini is a registered physiotherapist in Hamilton, ON with a special interest in sports injuries and concussion management.


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My Experience at the Canada Summer Games

I wanted to take this opportunity to first thank Provincial Women’s Softball Association (PWSA) Canada Summer Games Committee, the PWSA Executive, the PWSA membership and the Canada Games athletes and staff for the opportunity to represent Team Ontario, Softball Ontario and the PWSA at the 2017 Canada Games. It was my second time attending, having attended in 2013, and I can say without a doubt, it never gets dull or routine representing your province – the honour and pride to wear Team Ontario across your chest is beyond words, the feeling of walking into an opening or closing ceremony (I have been fortunate enough to now have experienced both) is humbling, emotional (read tears of joy), and most importantly an honour.

While in 2017, we fell short of achieving our goal of winning and bringing back home gold for Ontario, we improved upon our 2013 fourth place finish. Both results immediately following the Games were personally disappointing in that we did not meet our goal, however, I know that the athletes and staff did the very best we could … the chips didn’t fall in our favour and sometimes you have to just “tip your hat” to your opponent.

As I reflect on both my experiences, I want to thank the PWSA, the athletes and coaches of both the 2013 and 2017 for lessons and memories far greater than wins and losses. As coaches, we can get a narrowed focus on what success means and that typically aligns with wins and losses, however, our greatest measure of success is our athletes. When we all start out coaching our aim is to provide opportunity, not just opportunity to grow as ballplayers but more importantly as people.

Your PWSA president 30+ years ago put up her hand to coach a t-ball team in a small Toronto Borough with her husband, so my sister and I could play, learn the value of teamwork, being a good time, and be active (read burn off energy and learn how to get along with one another!)

I remember asking my boss who hired me for my first “real” job after graduate school, why he had hired me (during my first week he asked if I would play on the company slo-pitch Team) and he candidly said, we can teach you the specific skill set of the job, your education has taught you to learn and the fundamentals of engineering and Softball has taught you how to be a great teammate, how to communicate with others, how to work collaboratively, how to push through challenge and how to manage your time, how to set goals, etc. I am reminded of Bruno’s words to me 15 years later as I reflect on my coaching career … I remember teams, games, plays, athletes, the “ah ha” moments and now most fondly, when I get an email from former athletes telling about what they have been up to, sharing their life with me, telling me the impact the team, the sport and myself have had on them, they don’t recount the wins or the losses but the life-skills and life-lessons they learned in the safe and controlled environment that we create as coaches.

I will share one last thing to close off my thanks. While we as coaches ask and push our athletes to excel in pursuit of success, I am reminded that we as coaches similarly need to push ourselves to develop, excel, and grow and for me, my athletes, and fellow coaches inspire me to do that, to challenge myself, so that I can challenge them. To close, as I have done in my reflection on my Canada Games experience and having a difficult time reconciling the result of our fourth-place finish in 2013 and bronze medal in 2017, I challenge everyone here to remember why you got involved in the game as a volunteer administrator and or coach… and remember…

“A coach will impact more young people in a year than the average person does in a lifetime – Bill Graham” …

What do you want your legacy to be?

By Johanna Malisani