Little League girls vying in Delmar for district title
By Tony Russo
Eleven- and 12-year-old girls from seven Maryland districts came to Delmar this week to compete for the right to represent the state at the regional finals in Albany, N.Y., and then possibly in Williamsport, Pa., at the Little League World Series.
Hosting a state championship tournament requires dedication on the part of league volunteers. It is not uncommon for a district to decline to take their turn as host due to lack of support personnel and facilities. Thanks to the dedication of league officials and local residents, however, Delmar was able to accept the hosting responsibilities for the Senior League state championship tournament.
The Little League (which sanctions the tournament) has detailed requirements it imposes on any league that accepts host responsibilities, including checking the field to ensure that fences and turf remain in good repair in order to reduce injury.
Jim Robinson of Delmar is the Little League District administrator (the eyes and ears of the league, he likes to say) and the person responsible for ensuring the tournament runs as smoothly as possible. In order to accomplish this he makes sure that he keeps the local officials, coaches and umpires current on Little League mandates.
He, along with Wayne Massey, Ron Wilcosz, Paul Scovell and Bruce Bradford, not only made sure the league standards were enforced, but also made sure their guests were taken care of. In addition to providing the players with food each day, the league accorded the participants legitimate all-star respect.
Sterling Brown, the Denton coach, remarked that the opening ceremonies were as impressive as he has seen at a state tournament, particularly because of the attention given to the athletes.
Of course, no amount of preparedness or hospitality can prevent the rain. Early last Saturday morning, Robinson had to make a difficult choice. He phoned the participating coaches, cancelled the day’s events and implemented a contingency plan to get the tournament back on schedule. But as the morning went on and the rain stopped he began to second-guess his decision: “Of course, at about ten o’clock, I began to look like an idiot [for canceling all of the games] but by the time the fields were in shape, at about two or three, it started raining again, so I didn’t look as bad.”
By adding game times to this week’s schedule Robinson believes that he can avoid having doubleheaders. Playing two games in one day puts a team at a disadvantage, he said, not only because of player fatigue, but also because of rules governing the number of innings a pitcher can pitch on a given day.
The tournament continues this week and is expected to finish by this Thursday or Friday (depending on the weather).