The nineteenth annual Victorian Masters Baseball Carnival will be held at Prince of Wales Reserve, Gillies Street Ballarat, from Friday 27 March to Sunday 29 March 2015 (inclusive).
An email update (including some changes to age groupings and rules) will be forwarded to team managers and posted here and on Facebook during the next week.
The eighteenth Victorian Masters Carnival was wrapped up in Ballarat on Sunday after titanic struggles to qualify for the afternoon playoffs.
While finalists for 45 Plus Division One had effectively been decided by Saturday evening, 45 Plus Division Two and 35 Plus qualifying games both went to the wire – with computations and permutations still going on until the last pitch of the last innings of the last game prior to playoffs.
Celebrating their twentieth year as a Masters entity, Golddiggers engineered a fairytale result with a 3-2 win over reigning champion Big Cat Tomatoes in 45 Plus Division One.
Leading the 45 Plus Division Two group throughout, Sandringham capped off the weekend with a 3-1 result over Fitzroy, which was out on its feet after a marathon extra innings morning game.
Entering the 35 Plus Division as a series favourite, Guild lived up to the hype with a powerful 11-6 result over a gallant Buccaneers, which qualified for the showdown in an enthralling three-way go with Brown Sox and Big Cat Tomatoes.
Well done to the winning teams (see below). Hearty congratulations to all seventeen teams for participating in another memorable and uplifting Masters baseball event.
We extend our thanks to host club Ballarat City Brewers, who did a magnificent job with catering and general maintenance of the facility over the weekend. We thank the Alfredton and Mounties clubs for presenting their grounds in pretty decent conditions given issues with water supply over summer and we extend our appreciation to City of Ballarat on continuing to support Masters baseball.
Thank you to our band of umpires, to scorers and to the club volunteers who helped out in a myriad of ways over the weekend.
While the series was another unqualified success, we can always get better at what we do. There were a couple of concerns that arose over the weekend, prompting us to re-think certain playing conditions, length of games, age qualifications, venue and the like. Team managers and players have been invited to provide input and offer suggestions that will help strengthen competition structure and help meet player needs and expectations into the future.
The 2015 Carnival has been tentatively set for Friday 27 March to Sunday 29 March, with a fall-back option of 17-19 April should there be an issue with the earlier dates. Dates and venue will be confirmed in the next four to six weeks.
Congratulations, again, to all players, officials, volunteers and families who continue to support Masters baseball with such enthusiasm. CARNIVAL IMAGES
With the sun beaming brightly, our mature-aged warriors responded in style and turned on another stunning display at Prince of Wales today.
Celebrating its twentieth year as a Masters entity, Golddiggers won both games in 45 Plus Division One to earn a saloon passage ride into the Sunday afternoon final. With a head-to-head advantage over third-placed Coburg, Big Cat Tomatoes will suit up for that game, but only after a warm-up stoush with fifth-placed Bendigo Dragons - who would dearly love to finish on a high. Even with the inclusion of a couple of quality players, Melbourne (fourth) dropped both of its Saturday games and will slug it out with the Cobras for bragging rights only.
The situation remains fluid in 45 Plus Division Two, where Sandringham, Fitzroy and Tassy Tigers have all notched three wins from four outings - ahead of Big Cat Tomatoes and the Bees, with Newport Rams striving for its first win. The result of the Sandringham and Tassy clash - early on Sunday - will be pivotal to this division, which again remains wide open going to the last day.
Guild has gone four from four in the prestigious 35 Plus division and has secured a finals berth. The Pandas will face Brown Sox (three and one) in what could be an enthralling Sunday morning clash given that Big Cat Tomatoes currently share second billing and will face a tough opponent in Buccaneers (two and two). Of considerable interest, too, will be the stoush between Bees and Doncaster, both of whom will be gunning for a win to finish the tournament.
The eighteenth Victorian Masters Baseball Carnival continues on Sunday 6 April, with preliminary games commencing at 9.00 AM and finals in all grades in the afternoon. Be there to share in the fun.
The eighteenth Victorian Masters kicked off in fine albeit cool conditions at Prince of Wales Reserve today, with all three divisions producing their share of tight contests and epic finishes - including a tie-breaking thriller again involving Fitzroy, which has made a habit of engaging in this feature of the game.
45 Plus Division One saw all five teams finish the day with a win and loss, assuring us of some serious strategy and some mature-aged baseball desperation on the morrow. Without its regular manager this time, perennial finalist Coburg proved that it could indeed unearth a hitting pitcher although it will face a task to again wrest the title from Big Cat Tomatoes while Golddiggers, Bendigo and Melbourne will be looking to earn a saloon passage run to the Sunday final if any can snag a couple of Saturday wins.
Returning after a break last year, a rejuvenated Sandringham is undefeated in 45 Plus Division Two, where Fitzroy, Tassy Tigers, Bees and Tomatoes have also been impressive in posting a win apiece and Newport Rams are favoured to fleece a couple of sides before the weekend is out.
Although tested on opening day, 35 Plus benchmarks Big Cat Tomatoes and Guild went two from two, while Buccaneers and Brown Sox both enjoyed an early win. Doncaster was an extremely competitive unit on debut and the Bees will be keen for redemption for faltering after a great start in the morning game.
The series continues on Saturday 5 April, with games starting at 9.00 AM and culminating in the much-anticipated evening clash between the Diggers and Coburg.
Scroll down for a sample of images from the Carnival. More to come later.
Thanks largely to support from local council and some superb individual efforts by members of the Ballarat baseball community (they know who they are), all is in readiness for another memorable Masters Carnival starting on Friday 4 April.
We will aim to provide daily updates and images both here and on Facebook.
Safe travel for all players, families, supporters and officials who are joining us!
Please be with us, if you can, for the Friday night Happy Hour- and above all else, have a great weekend among baseball friends.
Series Draw for the 2014 Carnival has been confirmed. There are no changes from the Draft Draw.
Draw and Results will be accessible via the menu tab. A printable copy of the Draw is available HERE.
VICTORIAN MASTERS BASEBALL CARNIVAL
Ballarat, 4-6 April 2014
Games will commence at 9.00 AM on each day, with finals in the three divisions to be played on Sunday afternoon.
Two twilight/night games have been scheduled – one on Friday night (Guild vs Buccaneers) and one on Saturday night (Golddiggers vs Coburg). Both games will start at around 6.45.
Teams in 35 Plus and 45 Plus Division Two will play five preliminary games, with the top two playing off in the final. 45 Plus Division One will play four preliminary games by Saturday night, with the top team going straight to the final and the other four playing off on Sunday morning (second vs fifth, third vs fourth).
Final standings in all groups will be decided first on points, then on head to head and then (if required) on runs scored against (see Rule 6).
DRAW, GROUNDS, RESULTS
With the volume of teams entered, we have again needed to use the archery area as a fourth field. No team will play on that area more than once, all teams have at least one game on the main ground and we have sought to balance home and away status.
It has been a very dry summer that has posed challenges for the maintenance of baseball fields across the state. All three local clubs – Alfredton, Mounties and Ballarat Brewers – have been fantastic in the support that they have offered in helping have the baseball grounds and environs in decent shape for this year’s Carnival.
The Final Draw (including printable version) is posted HERE.
Copies of the draw, results and ladders will be posted at the clubrooms as available and will be updated on our website each evening. We welcome any website or Facebook contributions that might be forthcoming - in the way of photographs, anecdotes or reports.
Rules (including a printable version) are available via the link below. Managers and umpires should familiarise themselves with the rules, several of which have been modified for Masters baseball. TOURNAMENT RULES
TEAM LISTS AND ENTRY
If you have not submitted a team list, please ensure that you do so prior to your team playing its first game. No interchange or addition of players is allowed after a team plays its first game.
Entry payments that are still outstanding should be handed to Kingsley Collins or Jeff Clack for recoding and receipting.
For teams arriving in town on the Thursday, there should be no issue with having a run on the main ground or on one of the other playing areas (depending on local clubs’ training schedules).
FRIDAY HAPPY HOUR
All teams, officials and supporters are invited to partake of Carnival hospitality provided by host club Ballarat Brewers immediately after completion of the Friday games.
We have again opted to provide a complimentary barbecue (sausages, hamburgers, salads and bread) for players, scorers, officials and supporters. Drinks will be provided at reduced or cost price for an hour or so prior to the night game.
Ballarat Brewers will be offering a range of reasonably-priced food and drink for the duration of the Carnival. The club is now run by an enthusiastic and youthful band of workers who are committed to again make the series a great success for everyone concerned.
If you have any issues or any particular requests over the weekend, please do not hesitate to let catering staff or club officials know.
Breakfasts will be available on the Saturday and Sunday, from 7.30 onwards, depending on demand.
TEA AND COFFEE
To make it more convenient for players and supporters while reducing pressure on canteen staff, we will again be operating on a self-serve honour system. A tea and coffee area will be set aside in the under cover area near the clubrooms. Players and supporters will be able to serve themselves while being asked to make a $ 1.00 contribution to cover the cost of the service.
We will have a qualified first-aid person and an assistant on site for the duration of the series. Our first-aid man (Anthony Perkins) will be based immediately inside the clubrooms area and will also be doing the rounds during game times. Anthony will be wearing a distinctive top and his mobile number will be posted with a First Aid logo in dugouts.
For those super-fit Masters athletes requiring attention over the weekend, masseuse Narelle will be available in the clubrooms during a number of time slots each day. Cash payment of $ 10.00 per 15-minute session.
By direct arrangement with Narelle on Friday (1.00 – 4.00 PM), Saturday (10 - 12 AM and 3.00 - 5.00 PM) and Sunday (10.00 AM – 12.00 PM and 2.00 – 4.00 PM).
TWENTY YEARS OF DIGGERS
This year’s event coincides with the twentieth anniversary of the Golddiggers, an enduring and ever-evolving entity of mature-aged players that has participated in just about every major Masters baseball event since 1994.
Although only a few of the originals will be suiting up in Ballarat (Chopper, Mick, even old KC might put in a cameo), dozens of players from Victoria and beyond have at some time been involved with the Diggers. While we celebrate the involvement of all baseball people at events such as this, we cordially invite existing and former Diggers to join us at any time over the weekend, to have a drink, reminisce and to trade stories between friends.
Ian McKenzie is again coordinating a crew of umpires with a proven commitment to Masters baseball. Some of those people will also be spending playing time with their own teams.
We thank each in advance for their support, which is acknowledged by modest game payments.
An umpires’ area will be set aside in the main clubroom area for changing and relaxation space.
A large, sealed and lit parking area is available to the lake side of the baseball complex. Ample parking space will also be available on the site of the former main diamond.
THE SPOILS OF VICTORY
While we do not award individual medals, our historical, perpetual and very mildly coveted Carnival shields will be presented to the winning teams at the conclusion of the Carnival.
Please let me know if your team requires any clarification or further information
Best wishes to all for another great weekend of Masters baseball!
Victorian Masters Baseball Carnival
Friday 4 April - Sunday 6 April 2014
UPDATE POSTED 15 MARCH
It is now less than three weeks from the eighteenth annual Victorian Masters Baseball Carnival. All seems to be progressing quite well, although we would encourage the last few of the participating teams to complete registration as soon as possible.
Eligible players can still be added to playing lists right up until a team plays its first game.
TEAMS AND DIVISIONS
A total of seventeen teams has entered across the two age groupings – 35 Plus and 45 Plus.
45 Plus Division One will comprise Big Cat Tomatoes, Coburg, Diggers, Bendigo and Melbourne. Each will play four preliminary games on Friday and Saturday, with the leader going through to the final and the other four playing off on Sunday morning to decide the other finalist.
45 Plus Division Two involves Fitzroy, Sandringham, Big Cat Tomatoes, Bees, Newport Rams and Tassy Tigers. Each will play five preliminary games, with a final on Sunday afternoon.
35 Plus comprises Big Cat Tomatoes, Guild, Bees, Brown Sox, Doncaster and Buccaneers. Each will play five preliminary games, with a final on Sunday afternoon.
Thank you to the teams who offered to play night games. We have this year settled on what should be a couple of rippers. Guild will meet Buccaneers on Friday night, while old rivals Coburg and Golddiggers will lock horns in a Sunday evening clash. Both games will start at 6.45 or 7.00 PM. Other teams who expressed interest in night games will be first in line next time.
This has been forwarded to Team Managers for their perusal and is also posted HERE. It is not possible to keep all teams totally happy with the draw, though we have done our best to be fair. Pending feedback on any glaring mistakes or imbalance, we will aim to confirm the draw over the next few days.
We are still on the lookout for a few more capable persons to officiate during the series, including any players who might like to cross to the other side for a game or two a day. If you are keen, or if you know of persons who may be available to help out, please contact Umpires Coordinator Ian McKenzie (Ian@IDMcKenzie.com or 0409 704459).
PLAYER REGISTRATION AND INSURANCE
All players participating in the series are reminded that they need to hold current ABF/BV registration in order to be covered under the relevant insurance scheme. The Victorian Masters Carnival, Ballarat Baseball Association, organisers and host club neither offer nor accept liability for health problems or injury suffered through playing participation in the Carnival.
FRIDAY HAPPY HOUR
Teams, officials and supporters are reminded of the traditional Happy Hour on the Friday, at which all are welcome. Host club Ballarat Brewers will be providing cut-price drinks and complimentary barbecue food (including salads and breads) for a period of time prior to and during the night game. A special invitation is extended to former and current Golddiggers and their families in celebration of their twenty years of Masters baseball.
Now equipped with some bleacher seating, the main diamond will be in its usual pristine condition. The City of Ballarat and the local clubs have been working hard to get the other grounds up to scratch after a very dry summer period that has taken its toll. While they (and the archery field) may not be in perfect nick, we are confident they will hold up OK over the three days.
Best wishes with your team’s preparation for what shapes as another wonderful weekend.
Kingsley Collins (Administrator)
VICTORIAN MASTERS BASEBALL CARNIVAL 2014
Friday 4 April – Sunday 6 April
UPDATE: 19 February 2014
TEAMS AND DRAW
Seventeen teams have been entered across the two age groupings – 35 plus and 45 plus.
Sandringham returns this year and Doncaster is a welcome new entry to 35 Plus. Mildura Wanderers are taking a break. Regulars in Buccaneers 45 Plus and Bundoora 35 Plus have not entered this time.
We are currently working on a draw that will become available in the next couple of weeks, factoring in the teams listed below. Please let me know if you envisage any problem with a particular team entry or if you have any reasonable request that we may be able to accommodate.
Several teams have already paid entry and have submitted team lists. Please attend to this as soon as you can, preferably by Friday 22 February.
The Entry Form is attached and is also available on the Carnival website (see "About Us" in the menu).
Players can be added or deleted from team lists up until the start of their first game.
If your team is looking for extra players, please let us know and we will try to assist. Alternatively, you can post messages on our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/vic.masters.98).
35 PLUS DIVISION
Teams will again play five preliminary games prior to a final between the top two finishers.
TEAMS: Big Cat Tomatoes, Brown Sox, Guild, Bees, Doncaster and Buccaneers.
45 PLUS DIVISION
The eleven teams will again be split into a Division One group and a Division Two group, based partly on 2013 standings and partly on expressed wishes by teams.
While it is great to play against different teams when possible, the ideal is of course to create competitive contests that all teams can enjoy.
This year we propose to have five teams in Division One and six in Division Two. We will seek to ensure that each team plays at least five games for the weekend.
TEAMS: Tassy Tigers, Fitzroy, Big Cat Tomatoes 1, Big Cat Tomatoes 2, Golddiggers, Newport Rams, Bendigo, Melbourne, Bees, Coburg, Sandringham
We have again applied a degree of flexibility with the minimum age, especially in the 45 Plus group. A few players under the minimum age have been given dispensation to play, on the condition that they not pitch or catch.
GROUNDS AND TIMES
The number of teams places pressure on grounds and scheduling, requiring us to again use the archery area as a fourth baseball field. It is not flash, as we know, and we will ensure that the minimum number of games (probably only two or three) will be played there.
Like everywhere else, the hot, dry summer has impacted upon the playing surfaces (though not on the main ground, which has an automatic sprinkler system in the outfield). In cooperation with the City of Ballarat, the three local clubs are endeavouring to have the grounds in their best possible condition.
Although daylight saving will not finish until the Saturday night of the Carnival, games will by necessity start earlier in the day (8.30 AM or 9.00 AM), with five time slots on Friday and Saturday and 20-30 minutes between games.
We’ll again be aiming to play a game on Friday night and a game on Saturday night. Guild and Buccaneers have expressed interest in a Friday night game (likely 7.00 – 8.30 PM). If any team has a definite interest for the Saturday night, let me know ASAP.
There will be few if any changes to the rules, which are posted on the Carnival website and have been emailed to Team Managers. The only significant change from last year has been the addition of the Ten Minute Rule (after scheduled finish time in preliminary games, not finals) as an adjunct to the existing Five Minute Rule.
Team Managers should inform their players of any rules that are in variance with those for the Baseball Victoria Masters League. For one example, the Carnival allows up to seven extra hitters in the lineup. We also allow substitute fielders in certain circumstances (see Rule 14).
Ian McKenzie will again be coordinating the umpires, who as usual will be paid a modest fee for their services. While we encourage each participating team to provide an umpire, it is not always possible. If your team has an umpire available, or if you are aware of capable persons keen to do some umpiring at the Carnival, please let Ian know (email@example.com).
PLAYER REGISTRATION AND INSURANCE
As mentioned in the Carnival Rules, all players are required to be registered with Baseball Victoria or an interstate ABF-accredited organisation to be covered by playing insurance. While we will have qualified first-aid personnel on site, the Victorian Masters Carnival neither offers nor accepts any liability for injury or illness caused by participation.
CATERING AND HAPPY HOUR
After doing a great job last year, Ballarat Brewers will again be providing the catering over the three days. The Carnival Happy Hour will again be held on Friday night after completion of the final day games and prior to the start of the night game.
Drinks will be provided at discount prices and as always there will be some complimentary food on offer, including barbecued meats, salads and bread. All squads, families and supporters are encouraged to join us for the Friday evening festivities.
TWO DECADES OF DIGGERS
One of our regular teams, the Golddiggers (known variously as the Diggers and Essendon Diggers) will be gracing us with their presence to celebrate their twentieth year of Masters baseball – a journey that began way back at the World Masters Games in 1994.
Personnel has of course changed with the times. Some of the originals are no longer playing, while junior Diggers have stepped to the plate in their place.
We are inviting all current and former Golddiggers, along with families, supporters and officials to join us at some time over the weekend for a drink and some reminiscing.
We will issue another update, with a Draft Draw, in another two to three weeks. If you require information or need clarification on any issue at this stage, please let me know.
Victorian Masters Carnival
It was a great day for the felines at the 2013 Carnival, as Big Cat Tomatoes snagged two titles and Fitzroy recovered from a deficit to edge out Wanderers in the final day of competition.....MORE
While the broader community has been enjoying the holiday break, put its collective feet up and relaxed, the mature-aged baseball fraternity is ramping up the fitness programme, hitting the gym, recruiting with enthusiasm and already plotting strategies for another tilt at this time-honoured Masters event.
Well, most, or some - or maybe none of the above. READ MORE
CONTACT US for more information on this unique Masters event.
As most baseball people are aware, club and association websites have transferred to a new online platform.
Please be patient while we seek to transfer information, records, images and other material from our previous site.
While we expect this site - for our purposes - to be fully functional towards the end of 2013, you can stay in touch with us either by the contacts listed or though the Carnival Facebook page.
|45 PLUS DIVISION ONE|
|Coburg 8||Melbourne 2|
|Big Cat Tomatoes 12||Bendigo 4|
|FINAL: Golddiggers 3 defeated BC Tomatoes 2|
|45 PLUS DIVISION TWO|
|Sandringham 6||Tassy Tigers 5|
|Fitzroy 7||Newport Rams 6|
|Bees 14||Big Cat Tomatoes 3|
|FINAL: Sandringham 3 defeated Fitzroy 1|
|Buccaneers 5||Big Cat Tomatoes 2|
|Guild 2||Brown Sox 0|
|Doncaster 14||Bees 3|
|FINAL: Guild 11 defeated Buccaneers 6|
|45 PLUS DIVISION ONE|
|BC Tomatoes 13||Bendigo 4|
|BC Tomatoes 8||Melbourne 3|
|Coburg 10||Bendigo Dragons 4|
|Golddiggers 4||Melbourne 2|
|Coburg 3||Golddiggers 4|
|45 PLUS DIVISION TWO|
|Fitzroy 7||Sandringham 6|
|Sandringham 2||Bees 0|
|Big Cat Tomatoes 13||Rams 3|
|Tassy Tigers 16||Big Cat Tomatoes 15|
|Fitzroy 10||Bees 7|
|Tassy Tigers 12||Rams 2|
|35 PLUS DIVISION|
|Big Cat Tomatoes 12||Doncaster 2|
|Guild 4||Big Cat Tomatoes 3|
|Doncaster 1||Buccaneers 11|
|Bees 5||Guild 7|
|Brown Sox 14||Bees 0|
|Buccaneers 5||Brown Sox 6|
|LADDERS AFTER DAY TWO|
|45 PLUS DIVISION ONE|
|Bendigo 1||Melbourne 3|
|Melbourne 0||Coburg 9|
|BC Tomatoes 3||Coburg 2|
|Diggers 0||Bendigo 2|
|BC Tomatoes 4||Diggers 5|
|45 PLUS DIVISION TWO|
|Tassy Tigers 1||Fitzroy 5|
|Bees 12||Newport Rams 11|
|Bees 4||Tassy Tigers 8|
|Newport Rams 2||Sandringham 4|
|BC Tomatoes 9||Fitzroy 8|
|BC Tomatoes 7||Sandringham 14|
|Bees 3||BC Tomatoes 5|
|BC Tomatoes 5||Brown Sox 1|
|Brown Sox 13||Doncaster 4|
|Doncaster 2||Guild 5|
|Buccaneers 10||Bees 0|
|Guild 4||Buccaneers 2|
|LADDERS AFTER DAY ONE|