Hello everyone and welcome to the DPLL 2021 Minors division RATTLERS!
I’m Jason Wansor and I’ll be managing our team this year. I think I speak for everyone by expressing how excited I am to get these boys back on the field after being so confined for the past year. As you would probably expect, however, things will look a little different so that we can provide a safe playing environment while complying with existing governmental and Little League regulations. More on that below.
Our roster this season is as follows:
• Greyson Abughazaleh
• Paul Aljian
• Oliver Bouley
• Benjamin Calles
• Max Douglas
• Shane Moore
• Zane Pflanzer
• Colin Stempel
• Jordan Thrasher
• Finn Wansor
Everyone should log into DPLL.net and navigate to Teams—>2021 Minors Rattlers. This site provides a central place for team communications, access to schedule for practices, games, etc. It’s a bit clunky, but it gets the job done. There is also a great app called SportsSignUp Play which ties into the DPLL site. If you don’t already have the app, you can download it and you’ll use your same email and password that you use for signing into dpll.net in order to sign into the app. All of our practices, roster, and (eventually) games will be loaded into it in real time as they are scheduled, and it allows for quick and easy messaging between all of us.
- PRACTICES & GAMES:
- We will typically have two games per week -- one on Saturday + one evening game during the week (which will likely vary between Tues/Wed/Thurs). We are projecting games to start sometime in April if the current case numbers continue to trend downward. I’m sure the league will send out an email explaining this in greater detail.
- Games are six innings with no new inning starting after the 2 hour mark. A copy of our local rules for the Minors division can be found on the league website. Please review.
- We will generally have two practices per week and one batting cage session leading up to the official start of the season. We will practice on-field, as well as utilizing the batting cages at Girsh. Practices for all teams begin on March 15th and I’m only able to schedule through the end of March. As of right now, our field practice times will be Tuesday, 3:30-5:00pm and Thursday, 5:30-7:00pm. Batting cage sessions will be on Saturdays at 9:15-10:15am. These dates/times should be reflected on the website and the SportsSignUP app. I understand that there will be conflicts based on work schedules and other extracurricular activities, so don’t worry if you can’t make all practices. That being said, please message me if your son needs transportation to and from practice if there is a work conflict (especially for our early practice on Tuesdays)
- Once our official game schedule is finalized, we will adjust and settle into a dedicated weekly practice schedule.
- FIRST PRACTICE will be Tuesday, March 16th from 3:30-5:00pm on the Minors field at Girsh Park. We'll begin by meeting/introducing everyone and going over some thoughts and goals for the season with the boys. Once we get through that, we'll hand out ballcaps, warm up and run through a series of practice drills. At the end of practice, I'll stick around and be happy to answer any questions you may have.
- COVID – Parents will not be able to attend practices in the way you would have in years past.
- Practices - Players will need to be dropped off and picked up in the parking lot. When dropped off, a league member will do a quick temperature check before allowing the player onto the field. Masks or neck gaitors must be worn at all times.
- Games – At present, it looks like there will be no concessions and spectators (limited to immediate family members) will be required to view games from the outfield fence. The bleacher stands will be used for players so that they can be adequately spaced apart while their team is at bat. I know this is a huge bummer, especially for those of you who like to chirp at the umpires, but it’s what we have to do for now in order to play games.
- VOLUNTEER ROLES:
Thank you to my lovely wife Staci Wansor for volunteering to be our Team Parent this season! Staci will follow up with everyone to make sure all forms (COVID waiver, medical, etc.) are filled out and submitted. I understand that you will be able to fill all these forms out online this year through the DPLL website. All forms need to be completed by March 9th.
At this time, I'd like to introduce our official assistant coach: Adam Stempel (Colin’s Dad). I would love to have additional coaches or parents willing to help at practices from time to time, but it’s unclear right now whether and how many any additional coaches/parents will be allowed on the field (in a normal non-pandemic infused season, we would be able to have 2 official assistant coaches). For now, just let me know if you’d like to be an assistant coach or help out at practice as a non-official assistant coach and I’ll get back to you.
We will also need help with:
- UMPIRES: This spot is near and dear to my heart because when I’m not managing a team, I usually umpire at least a couple of games per week. It’s so much fun to do and the next best thing to actually playing. Without parents volunteering as umpires, we wouldn’t be able to play any games. So I would encourage those who haven’t umpired before to leave your comfort zone and give it a shot. The league puts on great training clinics and every parent I’ve spoken to who’s ever umpired never regrets it.
- SCOREKEEPERS – If you don’t like the prospect of watching every game from the outfield, this may be your chance to get the best seat in the house – right behind the backstop. The league will put on training clinics if you haven’t done this before.
- FIELD CREW: The league will also have training clinics for those who haven’t volunteered as field crew before.
- UNIFORMS & EQUIPMENT:
- For Uniforms:
- DPLL will provide a jersey (shirt) and ballcap to each player
- Each family will need to purchase the following (Big 5, Dick's Sporting Goods or online are all good options):
- BLACK baseball pants
- BLACK belt
- MAROON socks
- (Optional) ¾ baseball sleeve shirt (w/ BLACK arms)…for those colder weather days
- Since the boys will need to have masks on for practices and games, Staci is looking into getting neck gaitors ordered with the Rattler logo. I’ll update everyone on this once we get some more information on pricing and availability.
- For Equipment:
- The league will provide us with catcher's gear
- Each player will need to have the following for all games and practices:
- Baseball Glove
- Baseball Cleats
- Batting Helmet
- Bats – It is not required that every player have their own bat, though the kids do love to have their own. There will no doubt be plenty of bats available to use in our dugout each week. IMPORTANT: As everyone experienced during the past two seasons, ALL Little Leagues across the country are subject to the updated 2018 USA Baseball Bat standards. All bats used this season must meet these standards and should have the USA logo.
- Water Bottle - I'd like to make sure the kids always have a water bottle that they bring with them to practices and games
Finally, though I know a number of you already, thought I'd share a little background on me. My family and I have lived in Goleta for about five years after moving here from San Diego. Staci and I have two boys (Rohan, 12 and Finn, 8) and a daughter (Adylin, 9). Rohan is playing in the Juniors division this year and Adylin is playing softball through Goleta Valley Girls Softball (GVGS). I grew up playing a variety of different sports, but mostly baseball, swimming and water polo. I’ve coached soccer and baseball in some capacity over the last 7 years, 4 of those seasons with DPLL.
At this level of play, the boys will be adjusting to “kid pitch” and will notice that the competitiveness is ratcheted up a bit. My primary goals will be to focus on the fundamentals of the game while helping each player develop and improve his respective skills. Most important, I want the boys to have FUN, develop cohesively as a team and to play with a positive attitude focused on wining and good sportsmanship.
We look forward to seeing everyone on March 16th. It’s so great to be back and I know it’s going to be a fantastic season!!!! Please let me know if you will not be able to attend the first practice for any reason.
Last, please send me an email letting me know you received this message. I want to make sure everyone is getting this and other important information to come.
Thank you all very much,
Cell: 619-565-9917 (call or text anytime)