Commissioners Introduction and Welcome
A year ago in this commissioner introductory column, I began with the statement that “positive changes in USA Softball have continued in the past year”. Unfortunately, this year I can only give the good news that the calendar year of 2020 has probably ended by the time you read this column.
Much like the rest of the country, USA Softball had a near tragic year caused by a virus that would not let up and forced the cancellation of our Annual Hall of Fame Banquet, many of our tournaments, several of our important meetings, illnesses to many and some keys deaths of a couple of our valued friends and commissioner staff.
This year we saw the deaths of 50 year Central Illinois commissioner Floyd Gordon; Mr. SloPitch, Lloyd Nelson of Carbondale; and Gary Nohren, one of our strong supporters of our mens fastpich program.
Fortunately, part of our 2020 season was salvaged by the great work of Jerry Stewart, Bob Adams and Paul Tomazzzoli. Jerry filled in for me during my two month ’leave of absence” due to family illness, Bob Adams somehow salvaged his JO State Tournament schedule and Paul Tomazzoli worked tirelessly traveling and communicating with and assigning umpires to our various state tournaments.
Loss of anticipated revenue quickly became the number one concern of the National and various (almost all) of the state associations. The National USA cancelled the National Convention in Shreveport, decided to use the 2020 Rule Books for this 2021 year and reprint next year, no rule changes for this year, made´adjustments on National Tournament assignments and decided to make no procedural code changes that were enacted at last years Convention in Reno.
Here in Illinois, we were forced to cancel our Hall of Fame Banquet in April and reschedule for October only to have to change again. We have already scheduled our December Executive Committee meeting as a virtual meeting. And since last years Hall of Fame inductions were cancelled, those inductees will hopefully be honored this year if we can have a banquet and we will table this years nominations and selection until next year.
In conclusion, we all hope that this dreaded virus will subside or be controlled so we can go back to normalcy in US softball this summer. All the best! Don Brewer