Victorian Masters: Update and Draw (22 February 2017)

The twenty-first Victorian Masters Baseball Carnival will be held at Prince of Wales Reserve, Gillies Street Ballarat, from Friday 17 March to Sunday 19 March 2017.       

***   UPDATE:   22 February 2017   ***


Withdrawal of the Bees 35 Plus team has necessitated some changes to the Draft Draw issued a couple of weeks ago. We have also factored in special requests to the extent that it has been possible.

The Tournament Draw is available HERE. A printable version is available HERE. We do not envisage further changes unless they are absolutely necessary (EG withdrawal of any team).

There are a few relatively minor changes to 50 Plus and 45 Plus, with most of the alterations in the 35 Plus group. One team (Sloths 35 Plus) now has two games on the Sunday morning, which is less than ideal but was the only way to accommodate the uneven number of teams so that everyone played that day.

All teams have at least one game on the main ground, drawn as Diamond One. Diamond Two is immediately adjacent (across the road) and Diamond Three is to the west of the clubrooms.


Friday games will start at 8.30 AM, Saturday at 8.00 and Sunday will now be 8.30. There is a 30-minute break between Friday games, but only a 15-minute break on Saturday and Sunday, with a little more allowed immediately prior to finals.


50 Plus will play each other once by Saturday night. 50 Plus Semi-Finals are scheduled first up on Sunday (1 vs 4 and 2 vs 3), with the Semi-Final winners to play off.

Both 45 Plus and 35 Plus will play four preliminary games, with finals on Sunday afternoon. The top two teams in each group (decided first on win percentage) will play off in the final. Because all will not have played each other, it is possible that teams may be equal on win percentage, in which event standings will be decided under the criteria mentioned in Rule 6 and Rule 33 (IE first on winning percentage, then head-to-head if it can be applied, then the lesser number of runs scored against over an equal number of games and further provisions as outlined in Rule 6).

RULES have been updated and are posted on the Carnival website.

ONLINE COMMUNICATION. If your team is looking for more players, or if you know of players looking for a team, please feel free to engage through the Carnival Facebook page (see below).

TEAM ENTRY AND PAYMENT. This should be finalised as soon as possible. Team Managers are reminded that eligible players can be added to or deleted from lists right up until a team plays its first game.

I will issue a further update in the next week to ten days. In the meantime, if you have any questions or require clarification on any matter, please let me know.

Best wishes to all.

Kingsley Collins (Administrator)

03 53329202            0488 735297     


***   UPDATE:   3 February 2017   ***


There will be three age groups in 2017 – 50 Plus, 45 Plus and 35 Plus.

50 Plus:   Coburg, Fitzroy, Big Cat Tomatoes, Tassy Tigers

45 Plus:   Bees, Sandringham, Bendigo Dragons, Pandas, Diggers, Cheltenham, Doncaster, Sloths

35 Plus:   Pandas, Ballarat, Sloths, Newport, Bees, Big Cat Tomatoes, Red Sox, Tassy Tigers, Cods, Doncaster


A Draft Draw is currently being prepared. We expect to make that available for perusal within the next fortnight before confirmation of a Final Draw at least three weeks from the tournament. While this is subject to change, Friday games will be starting at 8.30 AM, with Saturday and Sunday games likely to be 8.00 or 8.15.


All games will remain at 90 minutes.


We anticipate a Friday night game only, unless two teams in the same age group are especially keen to play on Saturday night.


A number of teams have already supplied team lists and paid Carnival Entry. Please attend to that as soon as possible, and remember that team lists can be added to right up until the first game.


While we look like again having a fine group of officials to help us out this year, we invite any potential umpires (if they have not been contacted already) to email Umpires Coordinator Kevin McMurrugh ( regarding their availability.


An update has been posted on the Carnival website. There are no significant changes to the rules that have served us pretty well over the years. The only one of any note is a clarification to rules regarding replacement players. Rule 19 now reads:

19.        Players may be replaced and they may re-enter the game, but ONLY in the batting spot of the replacement player (IE their original spot). If it wishes, and provided there is no disruption to the batting order, any team may alternate defensive duties between its squad on an innings by innings basis. For example, Bill Smith might play the first innings in the field and sit on the bench while Fred Jones comes off the bench to replace him in the second innings. Smith (or any other squad player) might then field in the next defensive inning. NOTE: To avoid delays, any defensive replacement should remain on the field for the entire inning (unless injured of course). Like the Extra Hitters Rule, this provision is there to allow the greatest possible involvement of players in any squad.


All teams, supporters and officials are reminded of the Friday night Happy Hour immediately after the day games and prior to the evening game. There will again be a complimentary barbecue, with salads and bread, and the Ballarat Brewers will be offering cut price drinks during that time.

I again mention involvement of a new local brewery – the Athletic Club, which has hit Ballarat by storm with its range of high quality, boutique beers. The Athletic Club Brewery is a sponsor of the Ballarat City Baseball Club and its products will most certainly be available along with the usual range of refreshments for thirsty baseball players.

Kingsley Collins (Administrator)

03 53329202    0488 735297     


***   UPDATE:   25 JANUARY 2017   ***

The 2017 Victorian Masters will be held at Prince of Wales Reserve, Gillies Street Ballarat, from Friday 17 March to Sunday 19 March (inclusive).


Feedback from teams suggests that we will not be able to offer a 50 Plus competition this time around. At this stage we will be going with a 45 Plus competition (thirteen teams have thus far committed) and a 35 Plus competition (comprising between nine and eleven teams). When we have final numbers we will be able to decide on potential groupings into divisions for Draw purposes.


Every year since the Carnival returned to Ballarat we have spoken about imposing a limit of entered teams overall (solely because of ground and time constraints). With three purpose-built baseball fields available we can accommodate up to 24 teams, although it will be a very tight schedule compounded by odd numbers of teams possible in each age group.

We will again be aiming to schedule every team for at least four preliminary games before finals.

All games (preliminary and final) are expected to remain at ninety minutes duration.

Games will by necessity be starting at 8.00 AM or 8.30 AM on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday. In your response to the questions towards the end of this update, please consider your team’s availability for early games, which will be drawn at random unless there are extenuating circumstances (such as a team playing a night game the previous day).

Assuming that team entries hold up, there will need to be a very short break between games – either 15 or 20 minutes.


While the “official” deadline for team entry was set at 29 January 2017, as always we apply a degree of flexibility as teams get themselves organised after the holiday break. However, we ask that entry payment be made and team lists be provided as soon as possible.

Team entry is again $ 600.00, payment of which will be acknowledged by email receipt. Squads can include up to twenty players. We understand that there may be some changes to playing personnel between team entry and the playing of a team’s first game. No problems there.

Team Entry is currently open. There is a link on the front page of the website where entry forms and payment details can be accessed.


At 25 January 2017, the following teams have committed to this year’s event.

45 PLUS:   Coburg, Big Cat Tomatoes A, Big Cat Tomatoes B, Fitzroy, Tassy Tigers, Pandas, Bees, Sandringham, Bendigo Dragons, Golddiggers, Cheltenham, Sloths, Doncaster

35 PLUS:   Pandas, Cods, Tassy Tigers, Newport, Big Cat Tomatoes, Red Sox, Sloths, Doncaster, Bees


Each team is expected to supply its own scorer.

Kevin McMurrugh will again be coordinating and rostering the umpires. All teams are invited to bring their own umpire if possible. Umpires are paid a modest amount per game and there is no limit on the number of games in which they can officiate.

While we already have a listing of several umpires committed to help out this year, Kevin will be keen to hear from other teams or individuals keen to join the adjudicating party (email


Team Managers are asked to remind their players that they require current ABF registration to be covered by the national insurance scheme. The Carnival is sanctioned by Baseball Australia, which provides a degree of protection as an approved activity.

However, we understand the situation of players either returning to the game or new to the game who might reasonably balk at the idea of paying a BA annual registration to play a handful of games. I believe that some players in that position are currently seeking to be offered a short-term insurance cover at a reduced rate. Should people have, or choose to have their own private insurance cover, then that is a safe option.


Ballarat City Brewers will again be providing all of the catering for the 2017 Carnival, including breakfasts on the Saturday and Sunday.


All players, umpires and supporters are invited to join us on the Friday evening (after the last of the day games) to partake of Carnival hospitality in the form of cut-priced drinks and complimentary barbecue/salads at the Prince of Wales clubrooms.


A new brewing force in Ballarat and a current sponsor of the Ballarat City Baseball Club, the Athletic Club is now in full operation and has already established a great reputation for its range of boutique beers. The Athletic Club will have an involvement in Happy Hour services and will be offering its frothy products to an ever discerning Masters baseball fraternity over the course of the weekend.

Check out their site, and keep this one in mind for future visits to Ballarat:


Evolved over the past 21 years, our Victorian Masters rules – which are posted on the website - have served us pretty well. While we will be re-visiting the rules over the next few weeks, I do not expect any significant changes. If any changes are made, they will be notified well in advance of the Carnival.


We will aim at making the final Draw available at least a fortnight prior to the Carnival.


Most of the entering teams for 2017 have already contacted us with their intentions. While that has helped us out plenty with planning, we request that Team Managers confirm the extent of team involvement at this stage by sending a brief email or text response to these questions.

1.            CONFIRMATION. Please confirm preferred team name and the age group(s) to be entered.

2.            NIGHT GAMES. At least one Friday night game and one Saturday night game will need to be scheduled. Is your team happy to play a night game? Which night, for preference? Does your team not mind either way? Are you unable to play a night game for some reason?

3.            SPECIAL REQUESTS. It will not be possible to keep all people entirely happy all of the time. As far as we can, we will seek to consider all reasonable preferences (EG to have doubleheaders scheduled without a long break in between, to share games across all fields, to provide for night game participants starting later the next day). We are also aware of at least one Melbourne summer club having its Presentation Night on the Friday evening – something we will aim to work around.

4.            GAMES/GAME LENGTH. As always, we will seek to make playing conditions as safe and as convenient as we can, although an increased number of teams creates some challenges. While we will schedule at least four preliminary games for all teams, it is going to be tight over a three-day series. If it comes to the crunch, would your squad accept reduced game time (to 75-80 minutes)?

Responses to these questions will be much appreciated.

The massive increase of interest in the Carnival over the past few years suggests that we may need to reassess for the future. There are a few suggestions doing the rounds.

The Carnival could revert to being a four-day event. The series could maybe be split between centres (with one group playing in Ballarat, another in Geelong or Bacchus Marsh). The series could be held over two or even three weekends or it could be held at another time of year.

Masters has been a real success story of Australian baseball. It is a great thing that we are being challenged to accommodate the increasing numbers of baseball players who want to retain an active involvement for as long as they possibly can.

I look forward to again hearing from you. Best wishes.

Kingsley Collins (Carnival Administrator)

03 53329202     0488 735297


***   UPDATE:   20 DECEMBER 2016   ***

Just a quick update regarding the 2017 Victorian Masters Baseball Carnival to be held in Ballarat from Friday 17 March to Sunday 19 March (inclusive).

Thank you to all of those people who have contacted me regarding their team’s intentions for 2017. Thank you, too, to the couple of teams who have already forwarded team lists (that are of course subject to change prior to the Carnival).

We welcome a 45 Plus entry from Cheltenham Baseball Club, a Doncaster 45 Plus entry (to add to their 35s) and a Sloths 45 Plus entry (to add to their 35s).

At this stage we appear very close to the maximum of 24 teams in three age groups, assuming the continuing presence of a few of our regular teams from whom we have not yet heard.

There has been interest expressed by another two potential entries, who we have asked to hold off making any plans until mid-January, when we should have a more clear idea of team numbers.

If your team has not yet confirmed with me its intentions for the 2017 Carnival, it would be terrific if you could do so as soon as possible. Let me know, too, what you would like your team to be called, for Draw purposes.

A reminder that we are asking for registrations to be paid by late January (see Entry Form and details on the Carnival website).

There will be a night game on both Friday and Saturday night, running from 7.30 to 9.00 PM. If your team is keen to be involved in one of those, let me know.

On umpires. Kevin McMurrugh has again offered his services to help coordinate our band of umpires, who are always very much valued for their assistance with this event. If your team will be bringing a capable person to umpire some games (and be paid accordingly), or if you know of officials who may be interested, please either let me know or message Kevin directly (

Ballarat City Brewers will again be supplying all of the catering for the Carnival. They always do a fantastic job and we expect nothing less on this occasion.

Let me know if you need any assistance or any further information at this stage. I will issue another update in mid-January.

In the meantime, have a peaceful and enjoyable holiday break.

Best wishes to all.

Kingsley Collins (Carnival Administrator)


***   UPDATE:   1 DECEMBER 2016   ***

It is now just over three months until the 2017 Victorian Masters.

The 2017 Carnival will be the twenty-first edition of this remarkable event that in 1997 started out with four teams – Fitzroy, Latrobe Valley, Geelong and Golddiggers, the host club. After several drought years at the magnificent Geelong Baseball Centre, the Carnival returned to Ballarat in 2011, where it has continued to prosper and to attract increasingly more teams and more players.


The Carnival will be played at Prince of Wales Reserve, Gillies Street Ballarat, from Friday 17 March to Sunday 19 March 2017 (inclusive). The three-day event has been scheduled after the Labour Day weekend and prior to Easter/School Holidays. It falls comfortably between the end of summer and the start of winter baseball and – as far as we can gather – it does not clash with any other major sporting event in the Begonia City.


With up to an absolute maximum of twenty-four teams expected, we will again be seeking to use the three baseball fields without scheduling any games on the archery overflow area. If we need to use the archery area at all, we will ensure that no team plays more than one game there.


We are already aware of potential new teams and a couple of others interested in returning to the Carnival after a break. With the three baseball grounds and the archery area only used if necessary, we have set an absolute maximum of twenty-four teams across all age groupings.

We have already heard from most of our regular teams regarding their intentions for 2017. A number have again expressed definite interest in a 50 Plus division, which worked really well for the first time in 2016.

Even if you have already contacted me, I would appreciate it if you could confirm with me your team’s intention prior to Christmas (IE name and number of teams, with preferred age group).

If the total number of interested teams looks like potentially exceeding the maximum of twenty-four, we will be giving preference to our regular or returning teams.

A Team Entry Form has been emailed to Masters contacts and is now available on the Carnival website (under About Us and via the link to the right of Home Page). Team Entry remains at $ 600, and all team entries should be finalised by Friday 27 January 2017. There is no issue with adding players after that date, just as long as they are notified before a team plays its first game.


Three age groups are being offered – 35 Plus, 45 Plus and 50 Plus. For any age group to be viable, we will need to have at least four teams entered – which on the basis of the past couple of years should not be a problem.

35 PLUS. To qualify to play in this division, a person must have turned 35 in the year of competition (IE by 31 December 2017). There will be no exemptions.

45 PLUS. To qualify to play in this division, a person must have turned 45 in the year of competition (IE by 31 December 2017). There will be no exemptions.

50 PLUS. To qualify to play in this division, a person must have turned 50 in the year of competition (IE by 31 December 2017). However, any two players who are close to that age (IE 47 to 49) may apply for exemption to join a particular team. Their applications will be considered on a case-by-case base by a panel of three long-standing members of the Masters community who will be appointed if and when they are required.


In a perfect world, all teams in all age divisions will play five preliminary games before a Sunday afternoon final. However, with the large number of teams likely to enter and with the probability of an uneven number in any group, we expect – like in 2016 – that some or even all teams may be guaranteed just four preliminary games prior to finals.

All games, including finals, will be of the same length. Most likely that will be 90 minutes, to be confirmed with team organisers and umpires well beforehand.

Again depending on the number of teams entered, games are likely to be scheduled from early morning each day (8.00 AM or thereabouts). Games will run all day on the Friday and Saturday, and until 4.00 - 4.30 PM on the Sunday.


We will again be playing at least one game on the Friday night and one on the Saturday night. Please let me know ASAP if your team is interested in a game on either night.


All teams must supply their own scorer. Although it is not always possible, it would be useful if teams could also bring an accompanying umpire. We ask prospective umpires to please let us know directly, or to mention their availability to Team Managers. Over the next month or so we expect to appoint an Umpires’ Co-ordinator to manage allocation of games and the like.

All umpires will be paid for their services, at the same rate per game for plate and line (projected to be increased modestly from previous years).


Ballarat City Brewers will again be providing all catering for the weekend. The Friday Night Happy Hour tradition will of course continue, with all teams, officials and supporters invited to partake of cut-price drinks and complimentary food. More of that later.


The Ballarat Brewers club will again be ordering a quantity of Carnival stubby holders to be on sale. At club discretion there may other items available, although the principal purpose of the Carnival – as always – will be to provide a low-cost, high value event basically without the commercial trappings.


Baseball Australia is aware of the lengthy history of the Carnival and it is fully supportive. We will again be paying Baseball Australia a modest fee to ensure that the Carnival is officially sanctioned by the national governing body.  However, it should be emphasised that all players require current Baseball Australia registration to ensure that they are covered under the national insurance plan. Neither Carnival organisers nor Baseball Victoria nor Baseball Australia offer or accept any liability for injury or illness suffered as a result of participation at the Carnival.

Team organisers have a role to play in impressing this requirement on their roster.


The Carnival Rules have been progressively developed over the years and have served us pretty well. Carnival Rules are posted on our website to ensure that players, managers and umpires are fully aware of specific requirements and any variance to the Rules of Baseball. Any changes to existing rules will be notified well before the event.

AUSTRALIAN BASEBALL ALUMNI. Most people in the Australian baseball community are aware of the existence of the Alumni, a not for profit organisation established two years ago with a commitment to promote and report on Australian baseball while providing mentoring services and funding assistance for specified projects. I have been fortunate enough to have a role with the Alumni project, which is supported by some of the highest profile baseball people in the land. For Masters players who are not aware of the project, or have not yet taken out a membership, we urge you to visit the Alumni website or Facebook page to see what the project is all about.  

There will be a further update and a reminder about Victorian Masters entry during mid-January. In the meantime let me know if there is anything that needs to be clarified.

Best wishes to all for a safe and relaxed holiday season.

Kingsley Collins (Administrator, Victorian Masters Baseball Carnival)      

Victorian Masters 2017

Day Three Results

***see left for standings after preliminaries***  
50 PLUS  
Tassy Tigers 15     Fitzroy Lions 1
45 PLUS  
Pandas 12     Bendigo Dragons 2
Big Cat Toms 11     Bees 4
Diggers 8     Sandringham 5
35 PLUS  
Sloths 7     Ballarat 2
Cods 9     Tassy Tigers 5
Red Sox 3     Sloths 6
Pandas 11     Doncaster Dragons 1
Big Cat Toms 10     Newport Rams 0

Day Two Results

50 PLUS  
Coburg 13     Newport Rams 0
Coburg 14     Tassy Tigers 5
Fitzroy Lions 7     Big Cat Toms 0
Tassy Tigers 4     Big Cat Toms 17
Newport Rams 7     Fitzroy Lions 9
45 PLUS  
Sandringham 7     Bees 3
Big Cat Toms 7     Diggers 3
Bees 5     Bendigo 14
Pandas 12     Diggers 3
35 PLUS  
Ballarat 1     Big Cat Toms 5
Doncaster 7     Tassy 8
Big Cat Toms 2     Cods 3
Doncaster 2     Red Sox 6
Tassy Tigers 10     Ballarat 11
Red Sox 4     Pandas 14
Cods 6     Pandas 13
Newport Rams 0     Sloths 1

Day One Results

50 PLUS  
Tassy Tigers 6     Fitzroy Lions 0
Newport Rams 2     Tassy Tigers 18
Fitzroy Lions 1     Coburg 18
Big Cat Toms 9     Newport Rams 10
Big Cat Toms 0     Coburg 7
45 PLUS  
Bees 1     Pandas 16
Big Cat Toms 8     Pandas 2
Sandringham 6     Big Cat Toms 11
Bendigo Dragons 7     Sandringham 18
Diggers 9     Bendigo Dragons 3
35 PLUS  
Newport Rams 11     Red Sox 7
Pandas 16     Newport Rams 6
Sloths 4     Doncaster Dragons 7
Ballarat 8     Cods 6
Tassy 5     Big Cat Toms 7

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