2021 Softball Canada Annual General Meeting Summary
Ottawa, Ont. – The 2021 Softball Canada Annual General Meeting was held virtually on Saturday, November 13th with 60 delegates in attendance representing Softball Canada’s Board of Directors, staff and each of the 12 Provincial/Territorial Associations. The meeting was chaired by Softball Canada President Scott Neiles (Winnipeg, Man.), with the help of certified Parliamentarian Jason Robinson from Sport Law.
The meeting started with a highlight video of Canada’s historic bronze medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games held this summer, with Neiles congratulating everyone who was involved with the team and thanking the membership for their support. He expressed Softball Canada’s hope that this success will lead to increased interest and participation in our sport going forward.
A total of four Canadian Championship Special Operating Rules (SORs) were brought forward and adopted by the membership. The first was the addition of a host fee of $4,000 for the newly created U23 Women’s Canadian Championship, followed by raising the minimum age from 14 to 15 to participate in a Senior Canadian Championship. The third motion was the removal of a note indicating all coaches (head coach and assistant coaches) must be Competition – Introduction Certified in the U19, U23, Women’s and Men’s age categories. The note was removed due to a lack of opportunities for coaches to attend clinics in the 2020/2021 seasons due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the rule now stating head coaches must be Competition – Introduction Certified with assistant coaches needing to be in training or trained (note: this rule will not be in effect for the U15 Canadian Championships). The final SOR was to remove the U14 (now U15) Canadian Championship Competition Guidelines that limited pitchers to a maximum of four innings and required each player to play a minimum of two innings per game.
Next, the membership voted on a slate of eight playing rule changes that have all been approved for the 2022 season. Notable rules in Slo-Pitch were changes to the box and making the Temporary Runner rule optional until there are two outs. On the Fast Pitch side, rule changes include allowing metal cleats to be worn at the U15 age category; pitchers, hitters, on-deck batters and baserunners are required to wear a facemask up to the U17 age category, and the entire section with different pitching regulations for U14 and below age categories has been removed. Softball Canada also indicated there will be a full review of the Minor Softball Rules/Recommendations (p. 267-280 in the current rulebook) in 2022 based on the age category changes.
Elections were held for the President and three Board of Directors positions. Scott Neiles (Winnipeg, Man.) was re-elected for a second term as President, while Ryan DeBelser (Airdrie, Alta.) and Scott Searle (Orleans, Ont.) were re-elected to the Board along with Robb Andison (Whitehorse, Yuk.), who returns to the Board after a four-year break – all for two-year terms. DeBelser has served on the Board since 2009, Searle since 2019 and Andison previously served from 2007-2017.
The next Softball Canada Annual General Meeting will be held from November 11-13, 2022 in Fredericton, New Brunswick.
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