Victorian Masters Baseball Carnival 2022

CARNIVAL UPDATE:   13 October 2021

At this point, the Carnival is scheduled to return to Ballarat in 2022, with tentative dates of Friday 25 March to Sunday 27 March (inclusive). This will be a fortnight after the Labour Day weekend in Victoria, and one week prior to the end of daylight saving.

While the City of Ballarat and local clubs in Ballarat Royals and Alfredton Eagles have expressed their active support for the event being delivered over those three days, there are factors that render it difficult for us to lock in that or any other final scheduling.

With COVID considerations remaining front and centre – including for all major events - there is further uncertainty around dates for Baseball Victoria Summer Season and subsequent winter baseball scheduling, all of which may impact on travel arrangements along with the availability of managers, players and umpires.

For the next several weeks at least, we are constrained to remain flexible – in limbo, effectively - pending the impact of states easing restrictions and potentially opening up to interstate travel. We are cognisant, too, of government and local council requirements that may need to be stringently applied in order for major events such as this Carnival to proceed.

Although the dates provided are preferred for staging of the 2022 event, we will not be in a position to confirm scheduling until later this year. For the time being, please ensure that team accommodation or other arrangements can be negotiated accordingly with providers.

The Victorian Masters Baseball Carnival is a terrific event that has provided so much enjoyment for many people over the past twenty-five years. Be assured that we will be working with council, local clubs and baseball interests to deliver this wonderful event in 2022 and well into the future.

Please let me know if you have thoughts or input that you would like to offer at this point.

For now, best wishes to all!

Kingsley Collins (Carnival Administrator)   0488 735297   0353 329202

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While our state, among other jurisdictions throughout the world, will remain at varying degrees of uncertainty into the more immediate future, life must go on - a concept well and truly appreciated by the indomitable members of our Masters baseball community.

Although the interruptions to Victorian baseball activity over the past fifteen or sixteen months have been unfortunate, competitions have nevertheless been able to proceed at some level, at least – including Baseball Victoria summer season, winter leagues, local junior competitions and of course a most successful 2021 Victorian Masters Carnival hosted by Geelong Baseball Association and its clubs.

An annual Baseball Australia sanctioned event with a distinguished history dating back to 1997, the Ballarat-based Victorian Masters will enter its twenty-sixth year in 2022 – a telling reflection on the quality of the participants who have helped achieve such remarkable longevity for a unique mature-aged event that continues to grow in both team numbers and popularity.

The Carnival is poised to return to its Ballarat home in 2022.

In setting dates for the three-day event, we will as always need to factor in scheduling of both Baseball Victoria summer league and the start of winter season. Assuming that Baseball Victoria competition will be completed by the Labour Day long weekend in 2022, projected dates for the Carnival are expected to be either of the following:

Friday 18 March to Sunday 20 March (inclusive)

Friday 25 March to Sunday 27 March (inclusive)

Either scheduling will fall within projected summer and winter seasons and prior to the end of Victorian Daylight Saving.

With more definite information to become available over the weeks to come, Masters baseball interests are encouraged to offer their always much-appreciated feedback.

Our wonderful participants own this event. Always have. Always will.

Best wishes to all.

Kingsley Collins (Administrator)  17 June 2021    0488735297

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CARNIVAL MAKES TRIUMPHANT COMEBACK AFTER BREAK

While the weather conditions were somewhat less than perfect – especially on the final day – the 2021 Victorian Masters Baseball Carnival was another resounding success as it rebounded from the COVID19-forced hiatus of last year.

Congratulations to all twenty-two teams for continuing to support this unique event that continues to showcase the best in the spirit of mature-aged team sport. Very well done to the winners - Big Cat Tomatoes, who nailed both the 50 Plus and 45 Plus titles, and of course to the 35 Plus Pandas, who again fielded a star-studded squad that would acquit itself wonderfully against any opponent.

Thank you to the Geelong Baseball Association for taking on Carnival organisation at short notice, while we extend our appreciation to the Saints and Guild winter clubs for assuming hosting rights in such an efficient and spirited manner.

Thank you to all officials, scorers, ground staff, canteen staff, supporters and others who contributed positively to the event – including our friends at Baseball Victoria for providing timely results and match reporting throughout the weekend.

As always, there were many highlights and memories that will be taken away by participants. Please feel free to share experiences, images and reflections on social media sites as we move into recovery mode and look forward to our future endeavours in baseball – whether at Masters or the upcoming winter seasons.

Well done, and best wishes to all!

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RESULTS, NEWS, IMAGES (9-11 April 2021)

Geelong Baseball Association and Baseball Victoria will be providing results and daily updates via their Facebook pages during the three-day Carnival. Aside from accessing those services, please feel free to engage with fellow participants and supporters through Vic Masters Facebook. We encourage anyone wishing to share images across any social media to do so.

For ideas and suggestions on future Carnivals, email kcollins@iprimus.com.au or australianbaseballalumni@gmail.com

GBA FACEBOOK   BASEBALL VICTORIA FACEBOOK   VIC MASTERS FACEBOOK 

Masters baseball - where you are only as old as you are....

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All Masters players are reminded that they are required to hold current BA/BV registration or the tournament-specific cover provided by Baseball Victoria. Click below for the tournament-specific link:

***   TOURNAMENT REGISTRATION LINK   ***

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***  CARNIVAL DRAW   *** 

Tournament Draw is now posted HERE and as an Excel file HERE.

Please note that all games are of ninety minutes duration, with five and ten-minute rules to be applied as required.

First-named is home team.

Competition Rules have been updated and posted under the ''RULES'' tab.

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VICTORIAN MASTERS UPDATE:   24 MARCH 2021

*** Team numbers have been updated to 22 with the inclusion of Doncaster 50 Plus and Doncaster 35 Plus ***

An impressive list of twenty-two teams overall has entered for the Victorian Masters Baseball Carnival at Geelong Baseball Centre from Friday 9 April to Sunday 11 April (inclusive).

Sloths, Coburg, Big Cat Tomatoes, Sandringham, Goldiggers, Doncaster, Bees, Pandas and Tassy Tigers will contest the 50 Plus group, while squads representing Fitzroy, Golddiggers, Sloths, Big Cat Tomatoes and Rebels will compete in the 45 Plus group. Bald Eagles, Sloths, Rebels, Tip Rats, Pandas, Doncaster, Red Sox and Cods will comprise the 35 Plus division.

We thank all participating individuals, officials and teams for their involvement in the event, which is poised for a triumphant return after the COVID19 trials and tribulations of the past twelve months........

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GBA officials are currently finalising a tournament draw, which will be posted by late March. All teams will play four preliminary games of ninety minutes duration prior to finals on the Sunday afternoon. All teams will have at least one game each day, with a couple of squads required to play their doubleheader on the Sunday, because of the uneven number of sides in 45 Plus and 35 Plus.

Starting time each day will be no earlier than 9.30 AM and finals will be concluded by 4.30 - 5.00 PM on the Sunday afternoon. It is expected that there will be a night game scheduled for the Friday evening – immediately following the traditional Carnival Happy Hour.

A reminder that all players are required to hold current Baseball Victoria/Baseball Australia or equivalent state registration to be covered under the national insurance scheme. For players seeking tournament only cover for this particular event, we expect to post the appropriate BV link with our next update.

Best wishes to all with your preparation for what shapes as another terrific weekend!

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***   CARNIVAL UPDATE:  9 MARCH 2021   ***

With just over a month to the first pitch of this unique, long-standing Masters sporting event, entries are coming in steadily as Geelong baseball interests step up their preparation for an influx of no doubt wonderfully conditioned athletes from across our sporting community.

Conditioned for having a great time – on and off field – might be a more accurate summation, though there will certainly be some terrifically competitive baseball played across all age groupings.

At this stage it looks like the traditional Friday night Happy Hour will be held at the Saints ground (to be confirmed, but keep that one in mind), with all players, officials and supporters invited along – whether or not they are playing in the late afternoon time slot.

Geelong Baseball Association and affiliate clubs are seriously enthused with the opportunity to deliver the 2021 Carnival and to honour its focus on engagement, participation and fun for all concerned.

A reminder that final team entries should be submitted by Friday 12 March to allow time for constructing a draw. Entry payment can be made at a later time if required.

All players are required to hold either current Baseball Australia/Baseball Victoria registration or to have taken out the one-off tournament registration that will be become available in the next couple of weeks.

For 2021 Carnival contacts and team entry details, see the update below.

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***   TEAM ENTRY, PLAYER REGISTRATION, CONTACTS   *** (update 22 February)

Team Entry is now open, and should be completed by Friday 12 March. Although players may be added and deleted from lists up until start of the tournament, definite team entries need to be confirmed. Team Entry Form is posted HERE, via image to the right and on the GBA WEBSITE.

Please note the changed contacts and bank account details from previous tournaments or from earlier listed. Correspondence or questions should be directed to GBA President Glenn Talbot (president@geelongbaseballassociation.com.au   0425 851035) or Executive Officer Tony McPherson (eo@geelongbaseballassociation.com.au   0407 868720).

Players are reminded that they must hold current Baseball Australia/Baseball Victoria registration or the one-off tournament registration that will become available over the next few weeks.

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***   CARNIVAL UPDATE (13 February 2021):   ***

I have forwarded to all interested parties the following update on the 2021 Victorian Masters Baseball Carnival, which has been rescheduled from Ballarat to Geelong Baseball Centre over the same dates – Friday 9 April to Sunday 11 April (inclusive).

CARNIVAL CONTACTS.

Geelong Baseball Association will administer planning and delivery of the Carnival for 2021. The Guild and Saints winter clubs will assume hosting responsibilities.

Principal GBA contacts are as follow.

President:   Glenn Talbot (0425 851035    glenn@gtsbookkeeping.com.au)

Executive Officer:   Tony McPherson (0407 868720   karon.mcpherson@bigpond.com)

CARNIVAL RELOCATION.

While the Ballarat clubs have been outstanding supporters of the Carnival since its return to the begonia city a decade ago, circumstances this year posed serious challenges.

Because of ongoing public health concerns and uncertainty over the COVID19 virus, combined with a series of unexpected administrative complications and real worry over being able to satisfy the very stringent state government COVIDSafe demands involved – for individuals and clubs - I recommended to host club Ballarat Royals that the Carnival not be held in Ballarat this year.

As sole Carnival Administrator for the past ten years, and with ultimate responsibility for the event, I made that call in good faith – one with which the Royals reluctantly agreed.

After hearing of our decision to cancel the tournament, Geelong Baseball Association approached me with an offer to host the Carnival in 2021. The GBA is abundantly aware of the prestige and popularity of the event among the Masters fraternity and the league expressed its commitment to helping keep the tournament alive – especially after it had already been cancelled in 2020.

The GBA presented a compelling case that league administration, in conjunction with the Guild and Saints clubs, would have the organisational wherewithal, the volunteer personnel, the structures and the experience to deliver a fully COVIDSafe event that would see the workload and responsibility shared across the league and host clubs.

The GBA further expressed its commitment to direct clear administrative proceeds to its affiliate winter clubs while honouring the long-standing “low cost/high value” nature of the event.

In its efforts to maintain both the spirit and the delivery of the Carnival, the GBA provided to me its undertaking that Ballarat baseball interests would be consulted with a view to the event returning to its historical “home” in 2022 and that discussions would be held around rotation between our two cities well into the future.

For too many years Carnival administration has been a one-man band – notwithstanding the invaluable support that has been forthcoming from council, local clubs and fellow baseball lifers. As much as I have enjoyed directing a project that has been dear to my heart for many years, changing times and circumstances have required a response.

I am appreciative that Geelong Baseball Association has stepped up in making its offer to help keep the Carnival alive – along the way committing to “put back” into the sport across the region whilst recognising the Ballarat connection and ensuring that its clubs retain an ongoing involvement.

Early signs are that this Carnival could be the biggest yet – even in these weird, uncertain times. While we have no guarantee of anything these days, the Victorian Masters Baseball Carnival will hopefully remain as a unique mature-aged celebration of team sport, baseball fun, mates and mateship.

Long may it live on!

TEAM ENTRY.

Team Entry Form will be emailed to team managers, posted on the Carnival website and linked via Facebook during the next few days. It is expected that team entry will remain at $ 600.00, which will entitle each team to have up to twenty players on each roster.

Team Entry will require player name, date of birth and a contact phone number (for COVIDSafe purposes).

As always, players can be added or deleted from entry up until a team plays its first game.

PLAYER REGISTRATION.

As usual, players are required to hold current Baseball Australia/Baseball Victoria or equivalent registration for insurance purposes.

For those who are not currently registered, Baseball Victoria will again be offering one-off Tournament Registration closer to the event. A reminder, and the link, will be provided when that becomes available.

TOURNAMENT RULES.

Rules have been recently updated and are available on the Victorian Masters website. While there may be some modifications prior to the event, these should be minor only and will be notified to managers as necessary.

Best wishes to all.

Kingsley Collins (03 53329202   0488 735297)

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***   URGENT UPDATE (11 February 2021):   CHANGE OF VENUE   ***

The 2021 Victorian Masters Baseball Carnival has been relocated to Geelong Baseball Centre. Dates remain the same – Friday 9 April to Sunday 11 April (inclusive).

The Carnival will be organised and managed by Geelong Baseball Association, with Saints and Guild as the host clubs. Geelong baseball interests have vast experience in the delivery of major events and we know that they will again do a great job with the Masters Carnival.

Full detail, including GBA contacts and entry procedures, will be notified via email prior to this weekend, with Facebook and the Carnival website updated.

Apologies for any inconvenience caused by the late, but unavoidable change of venue.

Best wishes.

Kingsley Collins   0353 329202   0488 735297

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***   CARNIVAL UPDATE:   18 JANUARY 2021   ***

Thank you to the many team contacts who have notified of team intentions regarding resurrection of the Masters Carnival in April this year. The overwhelming response is that the Carnival should go ahead, and local host club Ballarat Royals has again expressed its desire to be involved.

However, there are a couple of matters that should be kept in mind.

First, Carnival dates fall after the completion of Daylight Saving. That places some limitation on the number of games that can be scheduled on each of the three days in order for each team to play a minimum of four prior to finals. We had an absolute full book of twenty-six teams for the cancelled 2020 event, but really cannot accommodate more than twenty-four this time around.

While it looks like there might be a few scratchings since then, it is still going to be really tight. We may or may not be in a position to accept new teams, but will not really know until after entries are called for in early to mid-February.

Secondly, we are all aware of ongoing COVID regulations and the chance that the virus could rear its ugly head at any time – despite restrictions and the best of community intentions. The Carnival is yet to be approved by City of Ballarat, Baseball Victoria and Baseball Australia – all of whom we are in discussions with at the moment.

While we are confident that the Carnival will be able to be delivered in a COVIDSafe manner – observing all requirements of council and sports governing bodies – approval is mandatory and has not yet been received.

There is a heap of work that needs to be done to create a workable COVIDSafe environment and there is a particular concern around the demographic of many of our participants.

This has to be done right.

We will be working with Baseball Victoria, City of Ballarat and the host club to ensure that the Carnival can indeed be COVIDSafe. But the requirements are understandably very strict.

We will inform all interested parties of final approvals (or otherwise) just as soon as we have reached that point. For the time being, it might be prudent to not commit heavily to accommodation – or at least be able to negotiate with providers in view of the ongoing uncertainty of where we might be situated in another couple of months.

More to come shortly.

Best wishes.

Kingsley Collins (Administrator)   03 53 329202   0488 735297

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***   CARNIVAL UPDATE:   14 DECEMBER 2020   ***

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The time-honoured Victorian Masters Baseball Carnival has been scheduled for Friday 9 April to Sunday 11 April 2021.

To be held at Prince of Wales Reserve, Gillies Street, Ballarat, the three-day tournament will again be hosted by Ballarat Royals, with much-appreciated support from joint POWR tenant Alfredton Eagles.

DATES.

The Carnival has been scheduled after the completion of Baseball Victoria finals in late March and prior to the commencement of winter leagues. The timing is later, by necessity, and delivery of the tournament is of course contingent upon the COVID19 virus remaining controlled and community sport being permissible under government guidelines.

TEAMS AND DRAW.

The tournament weekend – which falls in the middle of the Victorian school holidays – will be held after the completion of daylight saving, which has clear implications for scheduling should we again attract the large number of teams that have joined us in recent times.

Should it become necessary, we may need to look at playing a few games on the archery area or we may need to schedule some fixtures for the Thursday afternoon. Team managements are asked to keep the latter option in mind and to run the possibility past their players. Any team that plays on Thursday afternoon could reasonably expect a later game on Friday, along with single games on the Saturday and Sunday prior to finals.  

As in the past few years, we expect to offer competitions in 35 Plus, 45 Plus and 50 Plus.

APPROVALS AND RESTRICTIONS.

Final Carnival scheduling is subject to sanctioning by Baseball Australia and approval by the City of Ballarat, which is a long-time supporter of the event and is well aware of its economic and social benefit to the region.

The Carnival will of course observe any restrictions and COVID-safe strategies as required by government and council.

In organising travel and accommodation arrangements, Team Managers should monitor any developments that may occur over coming months.

TEAM ENTRY.

A Team Entry form will be posted to managers and made available on the Carnival website in mid to late January. At this stage we expect that team entry will remain at $ 600, with up to twenty players permitted on any team roster.

A deadline on Team Entry will be set for mid-February.

REGISTRATION OF PLAYERS.

All players participating in the event will be required to hold current Baseball Victoria/Baseball Australia registration for insurance purposes.

Anyone playing in summer competitions will be covered under existing registration. Although it is to be finalised for 2021, we expect that a “tournament only” registration will be available at a reduced rate for those wishing to play only at this specific Masters event.

UMPIRES.

I have contacted BUAV to again seek assistance of the Victorian umpiring fraternity in delivering the event. Stewart Howe and Greg Howard will be spreading the word to interested personnel early in the New Year.

In summary, it is all systems go for resumption of the Carnival in 2021!

Best wishes to all for a healthy and relaxing holiday season.

Kingsley Collins (Administrator)    03 53329202   0488 735297   kcollins@iprimus.com.au

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 VICTORIAN MASTERS BASEBALL CARNIVAL 2021

With Victorian baseball beginning to emerge from its COVID-induced hiatus, the time seemed opportune to request your feedback on where we might be situated in regard to a potential 2021 Victorian Masters Baseball Carnival.

While none of us can predict what might or might not happen over coming months, it appears conceivable that the Carnival may be resurrected should COVID19 continue to be held at bay and assuming that a safe environment can be assured for the event to proceed.

Should the Carnival be able to proceed, its timing will be subject in part to Baseball Victoria scheduling. The summer season is starting later and is scheduled to finish during the last week in March. That would obviously push back our usual scheduling somewhat and would create implications related to Easter, school holidays and start of winter seasons.

School Holidays 2021 start on Thursday 1 April. Easter Friday is 2 April. Daylight Saving finishes on Saturday 3 April.

Winter seasons are projected to start over the weekends of either 17/18 April or 24/25 April.

While some people might prefer the Victorian Masters to be held over Easter, I suspect that others probably do not, meaning that the more likely window for conducting the tournament would be Friday 9 April to Sunday 11 April (that is, middle week of the school holidays and after the end of Daylight Saving).

The three day schedule assumes a significant number of team entries (the last couple of tournaments have drawn twenty-six in total, across three age groups).

Taking these various factors into account (and considering that cessation of Daylight Saving would impact on the number of teams allowable should the tournament be hosted in Ballarat), I would appreciate team manager feedback to assist in making a decision on whether, and when, the Carnival might be held in 2021.

Are you and/or your squad keen for the Carnival to resume in 2021?

Would you and your squad be happy for the tournament to be scheduled over the Easter weekend?

Would you and your squad be happy for the Carnival to be set for Friday 9 April to Sunday 11 April (IE middle week of school holidays)?

Is there another scheduling option that may be a better alternative (remembering that the Carnival needs to consider the timing of both summer and winter competitions)?

Given the apparent constraints, do you and/or your squad feel that Carnival resumption should be delayed until 2022?

These past several months of pandemic life have shown that we should never take anything for granted – as situations can change very quickly. However, we will proceed with planning for this time-honoured and quite magnificent Masters sporting event on the basis of what we hope, and we believe, can again be delivered under the right circumstances.

We are aiming to make a final decision on the 2021 Carnival prior to Christmas.

Thank you for your input.

Stay safe, and best wishes.

Kingsley Collins (Administrator)   kcollins@iprimus.com.au  0488 735297

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Victorian Masters Baseball Carnival 20-22 March 2020

A WEALTH OF MEMORIES, WITH MANY MORE TO BE MADE.....With the Carnival now rescheduled until March 2021, our supporters are invited to refresh and relive their enthusiasm for this unique event by browsing through our regular FACEBOOK instalments of images from past tournaments.

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VICTORIAN MASTERS UPDATE (11 April 2020)

It has been an extraordinary and very different past several weeks for all of us, as Australia strives to confront the threats posed by COVID-19 and to minimise the damage of a lethal and unforgiving virus that has already created unimaginable carnage across the globe.

While it is still very early days, Australia appears to be making a decent fist of its response to the challenge as we seek to avoid the frightening scenarios that have been unfolding in other countries.

It seems that Australians have in general embraced the strategies and restrictions put in place by governments – and have done so in our typically pragmatic and good-natured manner.

Our baseball community is comprised of overwhelmingly decent human beings. There is no doubt that same community will be collectively doing its very best to comply with requests and directives issued by governments and health professionals in seeking to manage the crisis and to save lives.

We know that Australians can together work towards addressing the challenge of our lifetimes and hopefully moving into a recovery phase in the not too distant future, when we can restore a degree of normality to our lives.

For all – including our baseball community - that time will be eagerly anticipated.

As far as the Victorian Masters Baseball Carnival is concerned, we are now looking towards 2021, with a reschedule later this year not appearing to be practicable – given a range of uncertainties surrounding the virus itself, our community health situation and the potential timing of state and national competitions when they are able to go ahead.

Accordingly, the Victorian Masters Baseball Carnival will not be rescheduled for 2020 but is projected to return in 2021 should all circumstances permit.

The Carnival will be scheduled as a three-day event after the Victorian Labour Day weekend in 2021.

Depending on timing of Baseball Victoria Summer League, the dates will be either Friday 12 March to Sunday 14 March or Friday 19 March to Sunday 21 March (that is, prior to Easter and to Term One Victorian School Holidays). 

The Carnival will again be held at Prince of Wales Reserve, Gillies Street, Ballarat – where the baseball fields are incidentally in fantastic condition at the moment, thanks to work done by council and the local clubs over recent months!

Baseball governing bodies – here and overseas – will all be looking forward with optimism to the resumption of competitions, many of which will hopefully occur sooner rather than later.

In the meantime, I encourage our Masters community to stay engaged – including through social media outlets such as the Vic Masters Facebook page, which will be providing updates over the weeks and months to come.

We will continue to post historic material from previous Carnivals – especially images - and we encourage everyone to contribute in any ways that they deem fit.

Good health and best wishes to all.

Kingsley Collins (Administrator)   0488 735297   03 53329202

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THE LATEST (Saturday 14 March 2020).

 

With plenty happening at breakneck speed over the past few days, it seemed timely to take a breath and apply some practical considerations about where the Masters Carnival is situated.

I have contacted all teams to arrange refund of their entry for this year’s event. Teams and individuals will hopefully be able to minimise the financial loss incurred, although it is clear that all involved with the postponed Carnival will take a hit.

Although there is potential for reschedule to mid-September, that may not be practicable – depending on response - given the commitment of many players and officials to the Pan Pac Masters on the Gold Coast in November.

Realistically, it is more likely that we will be looking to write this year off and direct our attentions towards Carnival dates to be fixed for March of 2021.

Both this website and our Facebook page will be updated over the weeks and months ahead. In the meantime, please stay in touch and – far more importantly - look out for each other as we deal with the challenges collectively confronting all of us.

Kingsley Collins (Administrator)

VICTORIAN MASTERS POSTPONEMENT (13 March 2020)

After speaking to baseball officials and stakeholders involved in delivery of the Victorian Masters, we have reluctantly decided to postpone the event to a later date.

Between players, officials, supporters and local clubs the event attracts something between 400 and 600 people over the weekend. While that may be less than the threshold set by the Australian government for cancellation, and while not all will be at Prince of Wales at any given time – except perhaps on the Sunday – there are other key factors that needed to be considered.

First, as a Masters event, the vast majority of participants fall into what is deemed by health experts to be the most vulnerable demographic - 40 to over 70 years of age. Many of our umpires, club officials and volunteers are in that age grouping. By early reckonings provided to Baseball Australia, the morbidity rate for persons over 60 contracting the disease could be as high as 14.8 % when the virus reaches its peak.

Secondly, although we think of baseball as a non-contact sport, our capacity to provide a safe environment for the Carnival is seriously compromised by the nature of the activity – in its shared use of baseballs, bats, helmets and other gear - and of this particular event, which is built so fundamentally around active group engagement and social interaction.

Thirdly, the host club, volunteers, some umpires and some players have expressed understandable reservation about the event going ahead next weekend.        READ THE FULL RELEASE HERE.....

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CRUCIAL UPDATE (13 March 2020)

After discussions with all parties involved in delivery of the Victorian Masters Baseball Carnival 2020, I have forwarded the following release to team managers. While it gives no pleasure to any of us, the situation is of grave urgency and requires a response that is in the very best interests of community health and safety.

"With the COVID-19 situation evolving very rapidly and impacting a plethora of social and sporting activities across the globe, all of us involved in event management – and all participants - are constrained to act in the best interest of our communities.

Although the Carnival is a relatively small event held predominantly outdoors, it involves a generally older demographic and it relies heavily for its enjoyment on social engagement.

As diligent as we might be in applying the strategies recommended by health professionals, baseball is a sport in which contact is largely unavoidable, with balls, bats, helmets and other equipment being shared and with umpiring officials required to be in close proximity to catchers.

Baseball Victoria, Baseball Australia, state governments and health experts have this morning been in discussions about the status of planned baseball events. In determining whether the Carnival goes ahead as planned or is re-scheduled to a later date, we will be acting on the advice and direction of those authorities.

I will post a further update when a decision has been reached – hopefully later today."

Kingsley Collins
Administrator

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URGENT UPDATE (10 March 2020)

Just ten days out from the twenty-fourth incarnation of this unique baseball event, all appears to be moving along quite smoothly despite some adjustments being required to the schedule that was previously posted.

While I have posted this update to Facebook and to managers, please forward to players, to other officials and to interested parties as you deem fit.

REVISED DRAW.

Late withdrawal of the Cods 45 Plus team has necessitated changes to the Masters Draw. The Revised Draw (dated 10 March 2020) is attached HERE.

Please scrap copies of the earlier draw.

In 50 Plus, changes are minimal (a ground change and one game moved later on Friday).

With Cods out, there have been a few changes to the original 45 Plus schedule, including a later start on the Saturday. Cheltenham and Sloths will now both have doubleheaders on the Sunday.

There are a few ground changes in 35 Plus, where the Tomatoes/Doncaster Friday game moves to 10.15 start.

All teams have equal home and away status. All have at least one game on the main ground, and no more than two. Ground 1 is the main field, Ground 2 is adjacent and Ground 3 is to the west of the complex.

INTERCHANGE OF PLAYERS.

Although it was not always possible, we have sought to avoid clashes between groups that have two or three teams entered (IE Sloths, Tassy, Diggers, Doncaster, Tomatoes and Pandas). Where any players are qualified on age, they are free to play in both groups if desired (IE 50 Plus can play in 45 Plus or 35 plus, while 45 Plus can play with their group’s 35 Plus team).

To qualify for a final, any player must have appeared in two preliminary games of any age group for the tournament. This means, for example, that a Sloths player who might have appeared in a 50 Plus game and a 45 Plus game would be OK to play the final of any of the Sloths age groups. A 50 Plus Doncaster player with at least two overall game appearances would be fine to play in the Doncaster 35 Plus final if it qualified. And so on.

BV/BA INSURANCE.

Players are reminded that they need to hold either full current playing registration or the tournament-specific registration now available (see link to the right of the website). Any person who played summer baseball, including Masters, is already covered. Any person who is registered for the upcoming winter season, or will be registering for winter prior to the Carnival, will be covered.

HAPPY HOUR.

Whether your team is playing the final time slot on Friday or not, all are cordially invited to partake of a complimentary barbecue feed and some cut price drinks prior to the Friday night game between Wombats and Sloths, who we believe have both been engaged in intensive training for months now…..well, possibly since last year!

HOST CLUB.

Ballarat Royals will again assume principal responsibility as host club, with a wide range of food, drink and services made available at or around the central clubroom facility. The Royals committee has been working hard on its planning over recent weeks and will be looking to emulate or even improve upon their club’s fantastic effort of 2019. The Carnival is a very demanding gig for the hosts, and we know that their input is always well appreciated by our visitors.

OSTEO ELITE.

As earlier mentioned, Doctor Luke Abels and some of his staff will be setting up a temporary facility at Prince of Wales Reserve, offering osteopathic and physiotherapy services to our Masters contingent at minimal cost per session. Their gazebo will be sponsored by Osteo Sports Network, synthetic turf will be provided by BJP Synthetics (Gary and Brock Pawley), while bottled water will be supplied by Quest Apartments Flemington for anyone who visits the Osteo Elite tent.

FIRST AID.

Anthony Perkins will again be supplying first-aid assistance over the course of the weekend. Anthony will be making himself easily accessible and we will ensure that his phone number is posted prominently in dugouts and elsewhere.

THE FRESNO CONNECTION.

With the COVID19 situation ever-evolving, we remain hopeful that all will work out with the Carnival’s first affiliation to a professional overseas club – especially in regard to supply of uniforms and personnel. However, should there be any issue created by the virus response, Fresno Grizzlies (with a strong Ballarat contingent) will still be playing under that banner in the 50 Plus group.

BATTLE OF THE TITANS.

You may have noted on our Facebook page a post pumping up the 50 Plus game between Coburg and Golddiggers scheduled for 1.15 Saturday on the Alfredton ground. Coburg, Golddiggers and Fitzroy are absolute trailblazers for this tournament - and of Masters baseball generally – with a collective history reaching back well over two decades! While some of their personnel might have changed, Coburg and Diggers (and Fitzroy) are among shining examples of the spirit of Masters sport – in its healthy competitiveness, its capacity for fun and its respect for both the game and the opposition. It should be a ripper game – and it presents a great opportunity for those who can make it to check out a marvellous display of baseball memorabilia in the Eagles clubrooms.

Please contact me if you have questions or require further information on any Carnival matter before I issue a final update early next week.

Best wishes.

Kingsley Collins (Administrator)  03 53329202    0488 735297

 

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