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News Detail


Feb, 2021

Softball Coaches & Parents Update

Etown Fast Pitch Coaches and Families!

THANK YOU for volunteering your time and efforts towards creating positive and fun learning environments for the girls in our program. Please read throughton the end as this letter has important information you should know about our upcoming Spring season.

1. Introductions

This is my second year as commissioner of Etown Fastpitch (that certainly was a crazy first year!) and my 7th season of coaching in our organization. I am blessed to have a great team of people working together with me behind the scenes: Wendi Grinnell (prior commissioner), Tara McCoach (concessions, jerseys), Steve Riegler (field and equipment), and Tom Rotondo (sponsorships). Throughout the season they may be reaching out to you. 
                           Head Coaches: We now have head coach volunteers for each of our 7 teams this Spring season! Thank you all for stepping up into this leadership position-we greatly appreciate you!
8U Blue: Wendi Grinnell, Field 2 practices & games Wednesday/Saturday
8U White: Shaun McCoach, Field 4 practices & games Wednesday/Saturday
10U Blue (Minor): Abby Benedict, Field 1 practices & games Tuesday/Thursday
10U White (Minor): Matt Gerber, Field 2 practices & games Tuesday/Thursday
12U Blue (B): Lisa Cleveland, Field 3 practices & games Monday/Wednesday
12U White (A): Karrie Norman, Field 1 practices & games Monday/Wednesday
14U Blue (A): Tom Leitzel, Field 3 practices & games Tuesday/Thursday/occassional games Fridays

2. Season Dates
                OPEN GYMS - 2/27 (3-5pm), 3/6 (4-6pm), 3/13 (3-5pm) @IN THE NET 798 Airport Rd. Palmyra
                Coach & player signup for open gyms: Open gym signup
                Coaches for open gyms must have at least criminal and child abuse clearances complete
                Masks will be required the entire time inside the facility
                Girls should bring their own equipment/borrow equipment from Steve prior to the open gym. 

                SEASON - Practices will begin late March as soon as the weather allows safe play. Fields are closed until 3/15. Games will begin mid-April and end early June. Playoffs follow end of games, which end mid-June.  The name of the league has changed from DRGSL (Donegal Rheems Girls Softball League) to LANCO Youth Softball (Lancaster County Youth Softball). Schedules and league        information can still be found at www.DRGSL.orgCOACH LEAGUE MEETING is currently scheduled for April 8th. One coach from each team is required to attend. Game balls and scorebooks     will be given out at this meeting. Location is TBD. If over zoom, arrangements will be made for pickup. Game day field prep - each team is currently responsible for getting their own field drug/raked/lined as needed before each game. This is a big task on top of what we require in planning practices and game day lineups. Please utilize your assistants as much as possible to share this added responsibility and reach out to each other if you are able to help with another field for games on the same day. Each head coach will receive a key to our coach area of concession, equipment boxes, and sheds. One key opens all of these locations. If you need an additional key for an assistant, please let me know. 

MENTAL SKILLS WORKSHOP - SUNDAY FEB 28th @6pm via ZOOM with former college pitcher Amanda Schaefer. She is a metal skills coach out of Nebraska and will be doing a private confidence camp workshop with our girls. This typically costs $37/girls to the public, but we are getting a very good price for our entire organization and we are able to offer at no cost to our players and coaches. Please encourage ALL players to get on the workshop. This is for the coaches as well!!!

                TOURNAMENTS- 10U/12U Etown Tournament MAY 22-23. Coaches of these teams - please ask parents to mark their calendars for this weekend. As a fundraiser for our organization, we will need many volunteers to run this successfully. Coaches of 8U/14U, please encourage your parents/older girls to also volunteer to support the organization.
                SHOWCASE Tournament June 5-6: This is a local tournament that will be hosted at our fields. It is to showcase high school players to college recruiters. This is another huge opportunity for our organization to fundraise with concessions, field prep, and hosting. Please keep this date in mind and encourage parents/older girls to volunteer when the                                                                     signups come around.
                14U Tournament - TBD. I'm currently looking for a 14U tournament to register our team.

                OPENING DAY CEREMONIESAPRIL 10TH (RAINDATE APRIL 11TH) - Teams will arrive in uniform in the morning (exact time TBD), individual player names will be called as teams are recognized, team pictures, team challenges, recognition of sponsors (hoping they also can attend). Please ask parents to mark this date as well.  More details to follow.

3. VOLUNTEER CLEARANCES (sorry this information is a little crazy - tried to copy/paste from a prior email)
ALL volunteers on the fields with the girls (from head coach to scorebook keeper on the bench) are required to have clearances completed and loaded into our website.
1. Register as a softball volunteer If your spouse registered your player, you will need to register under a new account. 
2. Click in your account/Click on "volunteer" in left-hand side bar/Click on "details" of your volunteer profile
3. Click on the links in each of the following areas to complete clearances and upload to the system. If you had clearances last Spring that are still within 5 yrs, you can upload those (if you are having trouble finding them, let myself or Kristi Ritter (RAA compliance manager) know and we can try to pull them from the old site. 

-Please make sure you have a photo uploaded.

-Complete concussion training (about 30min) and upload the certificate. This must be done each year. Use the link in your volunteer details. There will be a pre-assessment, training, and post assessment. Certificate is good for one year.

-Abuse Prevention training (Safesport) is required for all HEAD coaches, optional for assistant coaches (this might change after discussion with USA softball). This training will take about 1.5hrs to complete. REGISTER with USA softball. This should be free. Don’t register anything that has a cost. You will receive a membership ID (write this down). Log back into your account and click on the ACE Education training tabs. In here you’ll see a tab for the safesport training. Enter your USA softball membership ID to get the training free. Complete the training and save your certificate. Upload to your volunteer account.

If you are having trouble this way, you can use the link and code in your RheemsAA account – I don’t prefer this method as the code links you to a Soccer association.

-PA background check (free) valid for 5 yrs (use chrome/firefox/internet explorer browser – safari will not work)

-PA Child Abuse, valid for 5yrs -

-10 year PA resident affirmation (or FBI fingerprint clearance) – link is on volunteer details. Print/sign (anyone can witness sign)/upload.

You can contact either myself or Kristi Ritter, Rheems AA Risk Management Coordinator at with questions/concerns.

Please let me know once your clearances/trainings are all uploaded so that you can be cleared for coaching on the field.

Sometimes it's difficult to get volunteers and sometimes everyone wants to help;-) I encourage 3-4 assistants helping the head coach with stations/drills and games. It will be up to the head coaches to decide who and how many volunteers are needed during practices & games. ALL volunteers must be cleared prior to assisting. Parents that are not volunteer cleared should be dropping off/picking up or watching from cars during practice if they choose to stay. 

4. EXPECTATIONS - Our organization exists to promote an atmosphere where girls can grow in their physical and mental skills as well as have a positive and enjoyable experience with their teammates. Please set aside time to communicate goals and expectations of your players AND parents. I expect that all coaches will be the example for showing respect to all players/parents/umpires. I also expect all coaches to follow and communicate all COVID related guidelines and practices set by our organization to ensure the safety of our families and community. If you have any issues, please don't hesitate to reach out to me at any time. 

We could not continue to having a successful program without your help. Thank you again.

Play Ball!
Karrie Norman
Etown Fastpitch Commissioner

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Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania 17022

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