Letter From Hardball
Coaches, Players and Parents
We want to start off by thanking you for coming to the Vero Beach Classic this weekend. We also wanted to thank the 70 + college/pro scouts in attendance, staff members and those participants that understood what we were going through trying to reschedule 60 teams and were appreciative we did everything we could to not cancel the event and let the players continue to play in front of the schools in attendance.
Obviously things didn’t go as planned with the weather raining out over 40 games on Friday and Saturday night. After being rained out on all 17 fields, we went to plan B before being rained out once again. On Saturday night, after being rained out for the second straight day on all 17 fields we were forced to make a decision. Either cancel the tournament because of all the games that had been rained out, or do as best as possible to get everyone to play on Sunday in front of the coaches and pro scouts (70+) that made the trip to Vero Beach. After much debate, we decided to do everything possible to get teams to play as many games on Sunday, and having the championship games go off at 8pm. At this point we had to move games that hadn’t been played to 5 inning games and 1 1/2 hr time limits, resume games where they left off, and even decide winners of games with lob sided scores in which games hadn’t gone a full 4 1/2 innings.
We understood that by doing this it could effect teams in pool play in a positive way and other teams in a negative way. It was something that we did not want to do but HAD TO do in order to get in as many games on Sunday. For those teams that it effected their playoff run we do sincerely apologize and the last thing we wanted was to effect any playoff implications but it simply had to be done in order to get games in, even if they were only for 5 innings. After the pool play games were decided we took the pool play winners from each pool with 1 wildcard for each division to create the playoffs.
At the end of the day we wanted to put as many players possible in front of college coaches and that meant having to change things in a significant way after having 2 of the 3 days being rained out. If there was something different we could have done we would have but at this point in the event we did not have any other options other than to extend the tournament into the week but we know parents had to go back to work on Monday and could not have taken off with this late of a notice. We considered everything possible.
We would like to extend a credit amount to those teams that have already registered and paid for the FAU Tournament August 2nd – 5th who did not get the guaranteed amount of games in over the weekend and also invite teams that did not already register to join us and also give them a credit amount for playing in the tournament.
Please let us know if you would like to take us up on our offer as space is very limited.
* Congrats to Palm Beach PAL and SF Breakers on winning the championship in their respective age divisions. We will be updating their features soon!
HardBall Baseball Staff