January 9 2003
BVI Amateur Softball Association reintroducing B division, village league
BY DEAN GREENAWAY
With the aim of taking the sport back to its roots and rekindling village
rivalries, the BVI Amateur Softball Association held a general meeting on
Thursday night at the Sports Division conference room. The meeting was the
first for the executive since taking office on October 30. The meeting
targeted managers and coaches of new and existing teams, old and new
umpires, vendors and anyone who had an interested in taking BVI softball to
a new plateau.
Association president Neville 'Sheep' Smith said the aim of the meeting was
to discuss the plans for softball and the introduction of a B division
which was dropped 15 years ago. "We need as much support as we can get from
everybodyeven the people who are not playing," Smith said. "It's about
everybody putting something into BVI softball so we can get it where we
want it to be. We are really concentrating on developing the B league. What
we are trying to do is to go into the different villages and introduce the
league as a village league."
Smith said some of the games will be played in different villages as in the
past when games were played in such areas as Greenland, Baughers Bay,
Cappoons Bay and Sea Cows Bay. Smith said his association is hoping that
government will help to fix fields in these villages. This league will
start at the end of the regular season and incorporate players who are in
Little League Baseball. Smith explained that each B league player has to be
from the particular village where the team is formed in order to be
eligible to play.
"We want it to be that way to rekindle that old village vs village
rivalry," Smith who came up through that system noted before BVI softball
was centralized in the mid 70s, losing the luster of the 'village' concept
as teams became integrated with players from different areas. "That way we
can rebuild softball then re-introduce it into the schools." Smith says
pitching clinics will also be held as there is a shortage of young pitchers
in the league.
Since the Oct. 30 elections, Smith said meetings have been held with
Minister of Sports Lloyd Black, who has assured things will be in place to
help the sport. He said most of his executive committee's other meetings
have been strategy meetings about the introduction of the B league and
preparations for the 2004 league which opens on March 5.
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