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PONY Baseball and Softball's On-Line Newsletter

March/April 2007 Issue

PONY AND ASEP TEAM UP TO BRING ON-LINE COACHING PROGRAMS FOR ALL PONY COACHES PONY Baseball and Softball has announced recently that it has partnered with the American Sport Education Program (ASEP) to provide online coaches training and certification for all PONY coaches. As the exclusive coaching education provider to PONY, ASEP has designed and is hosting a PONY Coaches Education Program website which PONY-branded online coaching youth baseball and softball courses are being offered to the organization's 100,000-plus coaches. "Coaching education is paramount to a successful baseball and girl's softball playing experience," stated Abraham Key, President and CEO of PONY Baseball and Softball. "A well trained and educated coach will make a significant difference in the success and development of a player and a team. We're confident that, backed by ASEP's 25 years of coaching education expertise and experience, the PONY Coaching Education Program will provide the ultimate coaching education opportunity for our coaches," he added. PONY strongly recommends that all of our coaches participate in the program. The courses that are being offered include: PONY Coaching Youth Baseball PONY Coaching Youth Softball A coach achieves PONY Level One Certification by completing the online course for the sport he or she coaches. PONY Coaching Youth Baseball and Softball courses are priced at $19.95 each. As Level One Certification is valid for three years, the investment computes to less than $7 per year, a level affordable for any coach. ASEP (continued on page ten) GAGLIARDI INSURANCE SERVICES TO OFFER INSURANCE AGAIN IN 2007 PONY Baseball and Softball and Gagliardi Insurance Services, Inc., are pleased to provide your league with an outstanding insurance plan for the 2007 PONY Baseball/Softball season. For more than two decades Gagliardi Insurance Services, Inc. has been providing PONY affiliated leagues superior customer service and quality insurance products. Please inquire about GIS's sports risk management and sports leadership consulting services. These services can provide, in a very creative manner, the needs of sports organizations like yours. For more information on this year's program, please call toll free at 1-800-995-9768 or visit


2007 WORLD SERIES SITES AND DATES Mustang League Irving, TX August 1-4 Bronco League Monterey, CA August 2-7 Pony-13 Chino Hills, CA July 26-30 Pony League Washington, PA August 11-18 Colt League Lafayette, IN August 1-8 Palomino League Rancho Cucamonga, CA August 2-5 PONY GIRLS SOFTBALL NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS SITES AND DATES Slow Pitch (All ages) July 11-15 Slidell, LA Fast Pitch/Travel 8u, 10u, 12u ­ July 20-26 16u, 18u ­ July 28 - Aug 3 Vienna, OH 14u - July 20-26 Cary, NC Fast Pitch/League Round Rock, TX August 1-5

FROM THE PRESIDENT Abe Key - [email protected] PONY Baseball and Softball has recently been notified that the New York City Council has taken an initial vote to ban the use of non-wood baseball bats in high school play throughout New York City. This issue has also been addressed in Massachusetts, Montana and New Jersey. Massachusetts and Montana have defeated legislative attempts to ban non-wood bats. New Jersey is still in the process of evaluating the issue.

Life Lesson #37: Coaches Pre-game Routine By: Dan Keller - [email protected] In conducting coaching clinics before each season, I've listened closely to identify the common challenges and situations which cause coaches headaches. One of these mentioned consistently is pregame schedules ­ what to do leading up to game time?

Pregame is an important time to get players ready to play, both mentally and As the President and CEO of PONY Baseball and Softball, with 375,000 boys and physically. Realizing that these kids 90,000 girls participating in our organization, many of which are in the five bor- have been cooped up all day at school oughs of New York City, I wanted to share our organization's views on safety and and that they will be excited to see their "baseball buddies," the athletes will unbaseball and softball bats. doubtedly be lacking focus once rePONY Baseball and Softball was founded in Washington, Pennsylvania in the leased upon the fields. It's important to early 1950's. PONY, which stands for "Protect Our Nation's Youth," has grown have a structured plan lined up for the into an international organization. While we have grown and increased our num- kids ­ a plan which is easily followed ber of players and teams, we have maintained our focus where it should be, the and one that the athletes can quickly learn. safety and protection of our participants.

For everyone involved in PONY ­ whether coaches and parents or field directors and league officials ­ the top priority is placed on the player; their enjoyment, their learning environment and their safety. Baseball and softball are great games that teach teamwork and provide life-long memories for young people. They are also fun and safe games. FROM THE PRESIDENT (continued on page nine) BETWEEN THE LINES Don Clawson - [email protected] Director of Baseball Operations

Realistically, a coach will have his/her team at the field one hour prior to game time. Using this hour, a coach's challenge is to maximize available field space and facilities in an effort to optimally prepare his team. Below is a sample itinerary (5pm game time):

4:00-4:15 ­ Run / Stretch / Throw 4:15-4:35 ­ Repetition Warm Up Pepper Games or Batting Practice (Live At this time of year many of our northeastern and mid- vs. Whiffle) western leagues are beginning to get prepared for the Ground Ball / Fly Ball Reps coming season. There are many things to plan in order 4:35-4:55 ­ Home/Visitor Pregame on the field to be prepared for opening day. 4:55-5:05 ­ Sprints / Final Team Talk

RUN / STRETCH / THROW (RST) This scripted warm up routine warms the athlete's arms and bodies, done before any baseball related activities are carried out. RST must be started on time and Another concern is that your league's facilities are prepared to begin the season. the athletes must respect that punctualDid you do your work projects last fall in order to get ready? Have you gotten your ity is their responsibility. With such a concession stand prepared by loading it up with all the supplies needed? Have short time to prepare for the game, every minute is important.

Many leagues are doing their fundraising projects at this time. Please consider using PONY partner eFundraising (see story on page four) for all of your league's fundraising needs. They have fundraising plans that include magazine subscriptions, candy, scratch cards and frozen foods.

you checked your scoreboard, lights and public address systems to make sure As a group, first send the team on a run they are functioning properly? BETWEEN THE LINES (continued on page ten)


(R). A typical jog is from one foul pole, along the fence line to the other foul pole, and back. After running, the team

AROUND THE HORN Karen Reese - [email protected] Director of Softball Operations PONY Baseball and Softball season has begun. A reminder to all leagues/and or team that the deadline for membership renewal is April 15th. It is important for your league and/or team to register so we can get your supply box to you. This box includes rulebooks, PONY Blue Book, insurance information for leagues, travel select teams and umpires, medical release form and additional fundraising ideas we have to offer our leagues. It is also important to register early so our Field Directors can send you information on post-season play. Your league/and or team must be registered to be eligible for qualifiers and tournament play. Leagues and/or teams can now register by visiting our web site, and register their teams on-line. This site gives our members the opportunity to register their league, umpires and order supplies by using our on-line forms. You can use a credit card or print out your order form and pay with a check or money order. So visit our site and see the exciting things PONY has to offer. AROUND THE HORN (continued on page nine) "TECH" CORNER Brent Liberatore - [email protected] Director of Information Technology

now stretches (S). The stretching routine should be carried out as a group, with the team in even lines and a leader at the front of each line. The team can also form a circle, with stretching leaders in the inside of that circle. Create an award, where a player of the game (or two) gets to lead stretching - an easy way to create a positive and competitive atmosphere. Ages 11 and higher should be capable of stretching themselves, allowing a final window of time to prep the field or finalize the lineup. Stretching routines work the body from the feet to the head, with special emphasis on stretching the arms. The final warm up step is throwing (T). Carried out in pairs, you may also want to include a throwing routine (one-knee throwing ? no step ? short toss ? long toss ? quick catch). Again, leaders or a specified coach can lead throwing. BATTING PRACTICE / PEPPER GAMES

Depending on field space, the team can warm bats after R/S/T. If open field Pony Baseball and Softball has strived over the space is available, batting practice is the years to be a forerunner in the youth baseball and best way to warm athletes offensively. softball community by introducing web based regis- Let's use the typical example that two tration, tournament host application, team tourna- teams are sharing a single field before a game. Hitters can stand just behind the ment registration and overall corporate reporting sys- 1st or 3rd base bag, along the fence tem. East Zone Girls Softball has converted to complete use of this system (as line. Hitting out towards the outfield, well as being a leader in designing and updating, forgoing any paper registration athletes rotate through live batting pracand requiring 100% online registration). This has been a tremendous success, tice. If field space is limited, consider using whiffle balls for live BP or soft and we hope to expand use of our online system to the other zones. toss. This keeps kids in smaller area and allows for multiple hitters at one time.

On our corporate front, we have replaced our in-house servers, removing from service aging units moved from our old office to the new corporate headquarters. Pepper Games are another alternative Our new servers are state of the art units, insuring years of service and corporate to live batting practice. Pepper games are carried out with one batter and three data integrity. The PONY Technology Committee had just recently met in the corporate office in Washington, PA for their annual meeting. Discussions from improvements to our corporate online system, our website and its services, to future technological endeavors were covered. Stay tuned to our next PONY Express newsletter for more information on the PONY Technology Committee, and its members.


to four fielders in each game. Batters are to choke up the bat and use half swings to bat the ball back to the fielders. Fielders are to field baseballs and short-toss strikes back to the batter. A pop-up / line drive caught, or swing and miss signals the rotation of a new hitter.

Fundraising Tips brought to you by eFundraising Top 5 Tips & Tricks for Fundraising! Fundraising is critical to keeping your team or league running like a welloiled machine. For your next campaign, keep these five tips in mind and fundraising should be easy as pie! Tip #1 Get organized. Organization is key, so before you even start fundraising, make a game plan and stick to it as best you can. Determine your goal and budget. Make a team list of names and phone numbers. If you have volunteers helping out, have their names and numbers on hand as well. Keep important dates in one place so you never miss a delivery, pick up or order deadline. Tip #2 Choose your fundraiser wisely. There are many great programs available, so the best way to choose is to make a list of every program that interests you, and then start eliminating: Some will have upfront costs ­ if this doesn't fit your budget, you can knock them off your list right away, or speak to the company about payment options. Go down your list noting pros and cons of each program. Present the list to your committee or volunteer team. Choose the one that best suits the resources you have available (ex. volunteers, budget, etc). Remember, combining more than one program is a great option! For example, Scratch cards and chocolate make a perfect pair. Tip #3 Educate your team. When you're ready to start fundraising, make sure your team members know how the fundraiser works. Direct-sale fundraisers like chocolate and lollipops are easy. Participants get their tub of lollipops, sell them for a set price, collect the money and turn it in along with any unsold product. Pre-sale fundraisers take a little more explaining. Participants will need to know how to use their order form, when to hand it in, and how orders will be distributed. There are other programs like Scratch cards and online fundraisers that work a bit differently. Speak with your fundraising company for tips on how to explain them to your team members. FUNDRAISING (continued on page seven)


GROUND BALL / FLY BALL REPETITIONS In the case where field space or batting cages are not available, this time can be used to get kids ground ball and/or fly ball reps. Many coaches like to use left field area or down the baselines to crank out rep work. Be sure that you are not tearing up sensitive grass areas, and that kids are broken up into multiple groups to avoid long lines. PREGAME ROUTINE The actual order of pregame will depend on which team is home and which is visitor. Pregame is a chance for teams to get physical repetitions in ground balls and fly balls, and also a time to establish pace, flow and tempo for competition. Truly a time to begin competition, pregame should be crisp and tight, with quick feet and accurate throws. With players at positions, go through scripted routine, with mouths active and hands/feet firing. Start with each outfielder making throws to 2B, 3B and home plate. Always hit cut off men and alternate between fly balls at the athlete, ground balls at the athlete and balls hit to the fence. After outfielders are done, have them join infielders or jog off of diamond and take a knee in front of the dugout. Continue with scripted infield portion, first making plays to 1B, followed by double plays, slow rollers, etc. Finish with the slow rollers or a throw to the plate before having each athlete sprint off the field and join teammates on one knee. When everyone is off the diamond, clear the field for final prep work. SPRINTS / FINAL PREP The last 5-10 minutes are for final preparations. Older athletes (11+) should be encouraged to head down the foul line and run 3-4 sprints. This can be done as leads/breaks, with a coach leading the group and acting as a pitcher. For younger athletes, take this time to address the group, review signs or talk through areas of difficulties. It is a good idea to read through the lineup and starting positions during this time. Be sure then that the lineup is posted clearly and that the pitcher is warming in the bullpen. This example utilizes one hour of time to prepare a team for game competition. It allows athletes to safely get loose physically and mentally, but perhaps most importantly, keeps them busy. After 23 games, athletes should be well-versed in times and responsibilities, which will only help with punctuality and execution. With a lineup to make, athletes to warm, umpires to chat with and a field to prepare, there are enough moving parts to

RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE HOME PLATE UMPIRE by Thomas A. Baird - [email protected]

This is the umpiring position that will take some leadership roles and show people in a positive fashion see that you are in charge. With all levels of PONY Baseball you should take the same passion to the game with you Play Ball!! and your partner. You want to represent the game of baseball with respect and let all involved know that you care about the game being played To view this and other Life Lessons, please visit right. Always remember that you are their to enforce all of the rules the Lifeletics website: that PONY baseball has established for that level of competition. Do not pick and choose on what you want to enforce. Before every game have a brief pre-game conference with your partner(s) even if you have worked with them many times before. This way you both know that your going to be on the same page. Go over any and all things that need to be addressed that day. Enter the field together and proceed to the Home Plate area where you will conduct the Pre-Game Conference with the managers. I always tell my partner to let me go over everything and then towards the end of the brief meeting I will ask them if there is anything that I forgot to mention. This keeps your partner focused as well. This all can be done in about 2 minutes or less. Be professional and courteous to everyone involved. Always, try to start the game on time. This sometimes might require a gentle push for the teams involved to finish up their infield warm-ups so you can have time to go over the pre-game on time. Brush the plate off at the beginning of the game and at the beginning of each half inning. Have a proper supply of baseballs with you. Call strikes and keep the flow of the game moving. Don't allow excessive time outs by either team. Use a proper stance and timing behind the plate when calling balls and strikes. Come out from behind home plate and go out as far as needed to possibly make calls. But don't just sit behind home plate. One of the things that I have found to be effective over the years and keep a good game flowing smoothly is to keep things moving at a good pace between innings. Good coaches like a well paced game. A lot of times you might have time limits in local competition or even in weekend tournaments. I keep the pitcher and catcher aware that I want them out there taking their warm-up pitches. Once they are done brush off the plate and have the batter ready to go. IMPORTANT DATES April 15th ­ Membership applications due into Pony Headquarters.

drive even the most prepared coach crazy. Having multiple coaches helps immensely, and as a head coach delegate responsibilities to maximize the attention given to the kids.

May 14th ­ Late fees begin to be charged for leagues who have not registered. May 25th ­ Last day to submit stories for June Pony Express. June 18-25 ­ USA Baseball Tournament of Stars, Cary, NC THIS ISSUE'S FEATURED PONY WEBSITE LINKS PONY PARTNER WEBSITES When I start to brush the plate off I announce "Batter Up" and this helps greatly. Go over with your partner on how you will handle checked swings. Know what fly balls to the outfield will be your calls. Know what tag ups are your responsibility. Know when you have to go down to 3rd base to make calls. Watch plays at 2nd base on double plays to make sure that nothing goes wrong.

PLATE UMPIRE (continued on page seven)


PONY BEGINS USA BASEBALL TOURNAMENT OF STARS TEAM SELECTION PONY Baseball has begun selecting a team to compete in the 2007 USA Baseball Tournament of Stars to be held in Cary, NC. These 18 young men from across the country will represent PONY at this year's tournament which runs from June 18-25. The team will compete against seven other organizations including American Amateur Baseball Conference, American Legion Baseball, National Amateur Baseball Federation, DIXIE Baseball, Babe Ruth Baseball, MLB-RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) and a USA Baseball at-large Team. From these teams, 32 players will be selected to attend the Junior National Trials and Training for USA Baseball's Junior National Team. Only players born in 1989 and 1990 are eligible.


Insuring safety for your league's players and spectator's These tips will help you to ensure a safe environment at your parks. Inspection of Field -- Certain parts of a practice and game facility should be inspected each time prior to use. A quick check of the field will determine whether holes have appeared in the field, glass bottles have been broken, etc., since it was last used. Teach players to look for problems with the field and to report these concerns to you at any time. Inspection of Other Areas -- Other areas, such as spectator seating areas, walkways, etc., should be checked prior to games to determine whether unreasonable hazards exist.

A selection committee is choosing the team based on recommendations received by the player's coaches, PONY Field Directors and the USA Baseball Organization. A complete roster for the PONY team will appear Correction of Facility Problems -- Remedy any problems you can immediately; for other more in the June issue of the Pony Express On-Line. HAS YOUR LEAGUE FILED FOR TAX EXEMPT STATUS? To be tax-exempt as an organization and qualify for IRS 501(c)(3) taxexempt status you must first be organized exclusively for a charitable purpose and the organization must be a corporation. None of the organization's earnings may be passed on to a private shareholder or individual. In addition, assets of an organization must be permanently dedicated to an exempt purpose described in the IRS Section 501(c)(3). There are numerous tests that the organization must meet so we encourage you to visit the IRS web site at . This website is designed to answer all of your questions and shows you how to apply for Recognition of Exemption, apply for an employer identification number and other articles that you can download that relate to taxexempt charities. The following is a list of publications or Forms that you will need to review prior to receiving IRS Section 501(c)(3) status: Form SS-4 - Publication 557 - Package 1023 - The website is very informative and links you to all the necessary materials you need to get started.


serious problems that require additional attention, be sure to communicate with the appropriate maintenance personnel so the problem will be repaired. Non-use of Facility -- Be sure not to use a facility that is in need of repair if using it in its current condition could lead to an injury; in other words, do not use an unsafe facility until it can be made reasonably safe. Location of Spectators -- Place spectators, whether it involves bleachers or no bleachers, in areas where they will receive reasonable protection from injury and where they will not present an unreasonable risk of injury to participants, such as from collisions between players and spectators if spectators are standing very close to a baseline. Temporary Seating -- If temporary or portable spectator seating is used, determine that it is erected properly and positioned appropriately. Restricted Areas -- If players and spectators are restricted from certain areas, signage, barricades, fences, and ushers might be necessary to enforce this restriction.

To view PONY's Risk Management Guide, please go to and click on the General Information menu. Catch us on the web at:

FUNDRAISING (continued from page four) Tip #4 Encourage your team. This should be a no-brainer! You've got a great team, and great coaching makes them even better. Keep participation levels high with positive words of encouragement. Offer incentives like small prizes for reaching goals, or a big prize draw at the end for everyone who participated.


PONY Baseball and Softball is proud to announce that Spike's Trophies Inc., of Philadelphia, PA, will be our award, apparel and souvenir supplier again in 2007. This will be the third year that Spike's has handled the fulfillment of these programs for PONY.

Remember that prizes don't have to cost anything. Agreeing to coach a game in a funny costume, or having special events like a parSpike's has been in business, in Philadelphia, ents' game if the goal is reached can be great motivators. PA, since 1929 and has a history of great service and products. Tip #5 Get parents involved. Not all parents have the time to volunteer, but PONY's Director of Baseball Operations Don most can help out by asking friends, family, neighbors and coworkers to Clawson said, "We are extremely happy to be support their child's team. working with a company like Spike's. They have Send a letter home at the start of the fundraiser explaining how it works, and what they can do to help out. Tell them exactly what the money will be used for. Explain that fundraising keeps registration and equipment fees down, and that the team's success is only possible when everyone participates. Of course, every league and team is unique, and has its very own needs and goals for fundraising. To get the very best fundraising tips and ideas, call eFundraising, PONY's fundraising partner, at 1.866.682.6067 or visit their website by clicking: PLATE UMPIRE (continued from page five)

Between innings if you need to talk to your partner meet half way down the 1st baseline to go over anything quickly or to answer a question or even give a younger partner a suggestion on how you would have handled that call. But be brief and ready to go when the catcher has it down to 2nd base. As I always have suggested in these articles, you must dress your best and hustle at all times beginning the moment that you step onto the field. I like to pride myself that I'm hustling all the time on each and every play. When you dress well and hustle it takes a lot of the bite out of coaches if they chose to come out and discuss a call not always in the most friendly way. long been an industry leader and are very well equipped to provide our members with high quality products and top rate service. We are confident that they will continue to excel in providing our members with excellent products and unparalleled customer service."

To see, or purchase, the available items, please visit or call 1-888-387-7666 Ext 388. 2007 program brochures are now available by calling the above number. PONY ALUMNI SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE

PONY is proud to offer college scholarships to alumni of the PONY program. To qualify and to be considered for the $1,500 scholarships, each applicant must submit the following: 1. The Application for the scholarship signed and dated by both the applicant and their High School Guidance Counselor. Download the application . 2. The School & Community Activities Form. 3. The Essay (100 words or less). 4. An Official Secondary School Transcript. 5. A copy of the Letter of Acceptance from the school you are planning to attend. 6. A Notarized Letter from the League President of the PONY affiliated Baseball or Softball League confirming the applicant's participation for a minimum of two years in Pony League, Colt League and/or Palomino League.

Keep working hard and you will be noticed by higher up umpires looking to assign new and upcoming umpires to bigger and better games.

Again feel free to contact me with any type of question on rules, plays or 7. Two Letters of Recommendation. anything concerning umpiring at my e-mail address: For more information and to download the necessary [email protected] I will respond to all questions.

(Mr. Baird has umpired in the Pony and Colt League World Series as well as the USA Baseball Tournament of Stars and has more than 35 years of umpiring experience.) 7

forms, please visit PONY's Alumni Scholarship page by clicking:

1956 PONY LEAGUE WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS JOLIET (INGALLS PARK), IL CELEBRATE 50 YEARS AFTER The 50th Year Reunion of the Ingalls Park Pony League from Joliet, Illinois, was held recently. The night included dinner and a program. There were 7 former players, 3 players were represented by family members and special friends, and the 1956 team representative, Jim Ward. The roster of the 1956 team included: Joe Broske, Dan Dietz, Larry Duchance, Terry Fitzgerald, Bill Grey, Joe Kozlevcar, Jim Kuban, Tony LaPaso, Bill McCanna, Bob McDaniel, Jim Orr, Steve Papp, Jim Patterson, Joe Podobnik, Ed Spiezio, Ed Left to right Front Row: Joe Kozlevcar; Ed Spiezio; Bob McDaniel; Stonich, Steve Sula, Sandy Sandretto-coach, Doug Oram- Bonnie McElroy represent Larry Duchance; Carole Ferry representing coach, and Lou Fassola-coach. There were two of the play- Terry Fitzgerald Left to right Second Row: Rick Papp, son of player ers that they were unable to contact so if you have informaSteve Papp; Jim Kuban; Bill McCanna; Tony LaPaso; tion to share about Dan Dietz and Jim Patterson, please Jim Orr; Steve Papp, Jr. son of Steve Papp, Sr. contact the Joliet organization or PONY North VicePresident Steve Miller at [email protected] The reunion committee did an outstanding job of putting this together and it was a very special evening for all in attendance. There was a great deal of memorabilia included in the evening along with jackets, baseball bats, uniforms, trophies, and programs from the 1956 World Series in Washington, Pennsylvania. PONY Baseball/Softball was represented by North Zone Vice President, Steve Miller, North Zone Softball Director, Randy Crompton, Region Director, Dave Misischia, and Region Director, Denny Doyle. Vice President Steve Miller presented the organization with two flags commemorating the 1956 World Series Champions, PONY patriotic pins, and PONY baseballs. PONY President and CEO, Abraham Key has extended an invitation to all the players and their representatives to attend the 2007 PONY World Series in Washington, Pennsylvania in August to be recognized and honored on the field in which they won the championship in 1956. Ed Spiezio who was a member of the team also played for the St. Louis Cardinals World Series teams in 1963, 1967 and 1968. His son, Scott Spiezio, currently plays for the St. Louis Cardinals organization. Don Ladas who broadcast the games by ticker tape told an interesting story at the banquet. He stated that he was sitting at the Western Union station in Joliet looking at a blank wall and doing play by play from the ticker tape being sent from Washington, Pennsylvania. When he went out on the street later that evening, he saw a young man who commented, "Don, you sure got back from Washington, Pennsylvania in a hurry."


Trophies from the 1956 PONY World Series

Memorabilia from the 1956 PONY World Series

The North Zone wishes to express our sincere appreciation for the hospitality shown to us from the organization and its players. This just goes to show how rich in history PONY Baseball/Softball truly is, and how after the lights are turned out that the dream continues.

AROUND THE HORN (continued from page two)


A few more items to remember; a late fee of $10 per league for Shetland, Pinto, Mustang, Bronco and Pony leagues will be charged for leagues which file their membership renewal forms postmarked after May 14th and Colt, Palomino and Colt/Palomino leagues who register their forms postmarked after June 4th. Refunds for team membership will be given at a rate of $10 per team for leagues who request a refund in writing prior to June 15th. Sites and Dates for our 2007 PONY Girls Softball Nationals have been determined.


Fast Pitch National (League): Pinto ­ Palomino will be held in Round Rock, TX beginning on August 1. Fast Pitch National (Travel/Select): Pinto (8U), Mustang (10U), and Bronco (12U) will be held in Vienna, OH beginning on July 20th. Fast Pitch National (Travel/Select): Pony (14U) will be held in Cary, NC beginning on July 20th. Fast Pitch National (Travel/Select): Colt (16U) and Palomino (18U) will be held in Vienna, OH beginning on July 28th.


· ·

Slow Pitch National: Shetland ­ Palomino will be held in Slidell, LA beginning on July 11.

Additional information for the Nationals can be found by visiting our website,

FROM THE PRESIDENT (continued from page two) In case you were wondering, I wanted to share with you our past and current efforts to ensure that baseball and softball remain safe and enjoyable games. From our viewpoint, the more you can learn about the steps taken by PONY (and other youth baseball leagues) to ensure player safety and enjoyment, the better for PONY and youth baseball and softball. available. PONY has advocated the change of several rules over the past years to make the game a safer game. These changes include the use of safety or reduced injury factor baseballs and softballs, face guards, throat guards for catcher's masks, tapered bases and breakaway bases to name a few. We have also adopted the NOCSAE standard Our organization is guided by a Code of Ethics and Vision for catcher's helmets and batter's helmets. Statement that we believe sets the parameters for a first As in any sport or activity, there are some risks. PONY class baseball and softball experience with an unwavering Baseball and Softball is committed to player safety; and we commitment toward safety. We annually review our rules continually monitor the game to ensure we provide the and policies and have an extensive outreach and education highest standard of protection for our players. We believe effort for adults associated with the league to promote safety that PONY Baseball and Softball is safe, particularly if rules and baseball and softball skills. Our Risk Management and guidelines are followed. Guide provides information and instruction on a wide variety of safety issues, including equipment and facility safety, As New York City Council and others move forward with emergency first aid guidelines, transportation of players and this unnecessary legislation, I hope they will listen to the views and perspectives of the leagues and officials that are many more topics. on the field, teaching the game, and closest to the game PONY Baseball and Softball allows and supports the use of and vote not to ban non-wood baseball bats at the High aluminum baseball and softball bats; they have been a part School level. of PONY and other amateur leagues for more than 30 years. Our league's insurance broker thoroughly tracks claims and We are concerned that fathers and mothers may perceive injury reports. The data and our experience clearly demon- baseball and softball as unsafe. And as children (and parents) have many choices for their recreation and sport acstrate that the game is safe with aluminum bats. tivities, the game of youth baseball and softball may suffer Opponents of non-wood bats have been unable to produce if it is wrongfully perceived to be dangerous. any statistical data that infer that non-wood bats are more harmful than wood bats. Bat Exit Speed Ratio (BESR) has Please let me know if you have any questions regarding been tested and the minus three high school bats are per- PONY Baseball and Softball or if there is any additional information I can provide you. forming and testing in comparison to the best wood bats


PONY ADDS TO HEADQUARTERS STAFF PONY Baseball and Softball is pleased to announce the addition of a full time Director of Information Technology to their headquarters staff located in Washington, PA. Hired to the position was Brent J. Liberatore of Washington, PA.

ASEP (continued from page one)

"We're proud to work with PONY to create and deliver a branded coaching education program to PONY leagues and coaches across the country", said Amy Tocco, ASEP Executive Director. "ASEP's Athletes First, Winning Second' philosophy and course content are perfectly aligned PONY Baseball and Softball's Director of Information Tech- with the PONY mission, and we're excited about bringing nology will be responsible for leading the organization's ef- this important training to PONY coaches to improve the sport experience not only for coaches, but also for all forts to expand its use of their web based player / team / tourplayers, parents, and umpires associated with PONY." nament registration system, enhance their presence on the The courses are available for purchase through a cusweb, recruit web based sponsorship, better utilize existing tomized PONY Coaches Education Program website, corporate IT assets / steer future technology spending and administrate the headquarters IT systems. Please visit this site today to begin your training! Before his hiring, Liberatore was no stranger to PONY BaseBETWEEN THE LINES (continued from page two) ball and Softball. In the past he as acted as a photographer for PONY events including the PONY World Series donating Did you train your coaches for this season? If not, PONY his time and photos to PONY. He is also a member of the has just debuted an on-line coaching certification program PONY Technology Committee, previously serving as a with our newest partner ASEP that we are very excited "outside" observer before his hiring. about.. Be sure to check out the web site for these Liberatore is an alumnus of California University of Pennsyl- coaching programs, by clicking vania, graduating with a bachelor's degree in Computer Sci- Good luck with your 2007 PONY season!!! ence and Mathematics. For the last 10 years, he has worked for the F.L. Haus Company of Pittsburgh, PA, serving as their CONTACT US IT Director, doing similar duties for them that he will be taking on for PONY. Currently he lives in Washington, PA. He acts as Vice President of Girls Basketball for Prexie Youth Basketball (a local youth basketball league), also coaching several of that league's girls basketball teams. Liberatore also coaches softball for TWIST Softball of Washington, PA, currently coaching a '16 and under' slow pitch team that his daughter plays for. He is married to Marsha Liberatore, a teacher for the Washington School District of Washington, PA. He also has one daughter, Jocelyn, a freshman at Washington School District's High School. Contact Brent at: Brent J. Liberatore PONY Baseball and Softball 1951 Pony Place Washington PA 15301 724.225.1060 - phone 724.225.9852 - fax 302.340.7235 - efax [email protected]


PONY Express On-Line Editor: Don Clawson P. O. Box 225 1951 Pony Place Washington, PA 15301 (724) 225-1060 : Phone (724) 225-9852 : Fax [email protected] : Email : Web Site



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