Bettendorf/PV Youth Baseball: Welcome

Colt All-Star Selfie Crop
Senior Division players enjoy the 2016 All-Star Game.
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Bill Griffith
The President's message: 

Welcome back to our website!

Link to registration: https://active.leagueone.com/OLR/Pages/Welcome.aspx?ClubId=14196 

The Bettendorf-Pleasant Valley Youth Baseball Association is announcing several changes with the opening of registrations for the 2017 spring-and-summer season. Most significant among the moves is a tweak to the playing divisions; an adjustment of the date for age cutoffs; and a switch in the service checking the backgrounds of prospective coaches.

The BPV annually offers more than 600 youngsters, ages 6-19, the chance to play affordable, city-based baseball regardless of financial need. The all-volunteer, non-profit organization also works with our city's parks department to maintain, develop and improve the baseball facilities in Bettendorf. The BPV's fundraising efforts also provide an annual scholarship for a graduating senior at both Bettendorf and Pleasant Valley high schools.

To register a player online, visit the link listed above. A paper sign up form also is available for download (at http://www.eteamz.com/BPV/files/2017BPVRegistrationForm.pdf), or at several places around town -- Bettendorf City Hall, the Bettendorf Public Library, the Bettendorf Community Center and the Life Fitness Center. BPV's mailing address is P.O. Box 215, Bettedorf, Iowa 52722.

Walk up registration are available Monday, March 27, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Bettendorf Public Library, or during check-in for the tryout evaluations on Saturday, April 1 for all but the youngest and oldest divisions. Note: All players end up on teams; the evaluations are simply used to help strike a competitive balance in those divisions.

In the divisions where there are no evaluations, participants can make special requests based on groupings of school friends or shared rides where the registration question is posed, "Anything else we need to know?" However, because of roster sizes or the lateness of the requests, not all requests can be granted.

In a continuing partnership with LeClaire Youth Baseball, LeClaire residents also have the option of participating for a LeClaire-based team in the three youngest divisions, with the BPV handling all registrations.

In all but the oldest division, the season runs roughly from April 1 (evaluations and practices the remainder of the month) to May 1 (regular-season play begins) to the July 4th Weekend (All-Star games and trophy presentations) to the season-ending postseason tournaments (usually wrapped up by mid-July). The oldest division more closely mirrors the high school season, with play running mid-May to late July. A separate fall league also is offered in August, September and early October.

Participants at all levels receive a sponsored team jersey and hat. Basic team equipment is provided. Participants are expected to provide their own baseball pants and baseball glove. For those needing to apply for financial assistance, please write rftappa@gmail.com or call Bob Tappa at 563-499-4702.
 
Coaching and other volunteer opportunities are available during the registration process. For more information, contact a division representative or Steve Tappa at 563-676-8111 or tappa@qconline.com. BPV also is hosting a volunteer drive and public meeting immediately after walk-up sign-ups March 27 at the Public Library from 7:30-8:30 p.m.

For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Pat English at pat.english@americold.com or 563-209-7733. Information to sponsor teams or purchase outfield signs also is available for download at http://www.eteamz.com/BPV/files/2017BPVSponsorshipRegistrationForm.pdf.

Umpires also are needed, and compensated for their work. If interested, please apply by contacting Don Wendel at dwendel@windstream.net or 563-271-7046.

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CHANGE IN DIVISIONS & AGES

The BPV's adjusted age divisions better reflect a player's academic class, so that participants are playing with classmates. Most of the special requests BPV has received over the years is to play up in age as a result of wishing to play with friends/peers from the same grade. So the age cutoff has been shifted from the old April 30 deadline for determining eligibility to the Iowa schools standard of Sept. 15 (except in the oldest division).

The change also better fits players to the diamonds available by keeping participants in a given division an average of seven months longer on the fields with those same dimensions. By doing this, the BPV hopes to improve development (especially in more pitchers and catchers); increase the competition-level in a given division; and makes better the overall playing experience for all involved.

The divisions also carry new names with these parameters:

DIVISION: GRADE NOW (AGE NOW; range as of 9/15/16) -- FIELDS IN USE
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Coach Pitch: 1st & 2nd* (6-7; 9/16/2008-9/15/2010) -- Lowry (Middle), 23rd St. hill, Hoover, Edgewood
Kid Pitch: 3rd* (8; 9/16/2007-9/15/2008) -- Lowry (Middle), 23rd St. hill, Hoover, Edgewood
Minors: 4th & 5th (9-10; 9/16/2005-9/15/2007) -- Crow Creek #10 & #11, Scheck, 23rd St. hill
Majors: 6th & 7th (11-12; 9/16/2003-9/15/2005) -- Crow Creek #8 & #9 & #6
Juniors: 8th & 9th* (13-14; 9/16/2001-9/15/2003) -- Crow Creek #5, Norton School/Kiwanis
Seniors: 10th & up* (15-19; 4/30/1996-9/15/2001) -- Devils Glen

With this, flexibility is offered to participate in either the youngest or oldest divisions based not on age, but on ability. For instance, if an 8 year old is in second grade, or is a third grader who has never played baseball and needs more experience, parents are suggested to petition the BPV to play in the Coach Pitch division. Vice versa, if a second grader with veteran status is ready and needs the new challenge of the Kid Pitch division, but will not turn 8 years old until after the cutoff, parents can petition to play in the Kid Pitch division.

In the uppermost age brackets, participants trying out for high school teams as eighth graders or ninth graders should take advantage of the Senior Division playing on a high school-sized field. For the eighth and ninth graders who may need some growth, either physically or in terms of experience, perhaps they are best suited for the the shorter field dimensions (bases, pitching, fences) in the Juniors division.

Petitions to adjust a participant's given division can be made in writing to Ron Johns at johnsronald@johndeere.com or consult the appropriate division rep. Please note: The age cutoff for determining the oldest players in the Seniors division remains April 30 to stay aligned with any out-of-town competition.

The April 1 evaluations for the Minors and Majors divisions are at the Crow Creek 4-Plex -- last names starting with the letters A to L at 9 a.m., and last names starting with the letters M to Z at 1 p.m. The Juniors division evaluations are April 1 at Crow Creek Field 5 for all players at 1 p.m. Please check in 30 minutes prior to the evluation time. The rain date for all evaluations is Sunday, April 2 at the same fields starting at 1 p.m.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Q: How many teams are expected in each division? Won't this plan lead to problems in the Coach Pitch and Kid Pitch divisions with diamond sharing?
A: The number of teams last year in a united 8-under division was 15. Typically those squads number in the 16 team range. If we have 8 teams in Coach Pitch (1st and 2nd graders) and 8 teams in Kid Pitch (3rd graders),we should strike the proper balance between competition and development. With the exception of the Minors division, BPV typically has 10 or fewer teams, with teams playing twice during the regular season.
 
Q: Is there any movement to put together a House Select team or All-Star team that would play some extra games after the end of the season?
A: BPV continues reviewing a restart to the Blasters program (All-Stars/additional weekend travel/tournaments for those that can). The central issue continues to be volunteer support. BPV only has so many volunteers (especially on the board), but we are trying to grow. If interested in helping with behind-the-scenes work, contact rftappa@gmail.com or tappa@qconline.com.
 
Q: Are these changes being made to mirror the Little League format so BPV can eventually join a Davenport league?
A: The BPV has playing agreements with LeClaire, North Scott and East Moline at different levels. The BPV also always is reviewing additional playing opportunities and ways to improve baseball in our community. However, there are not any plans to merge leagues now or in the future. The BPV is committed to city-wide baseball, first and foremost.
 
Q: What if I have a kindergartener who wishes to play in the BPV for family or competitive reasons?
A: Appeal to play in the Coach Pitch division by writing johnsronald@johndeere.com. However, for most kindergarteners, the city's parks program provides a less-involved Coach Pitch t-shirt league most participants and families will find more age-appropriate by not introducing the competitive aspects of the sport (keeping track of runs or outs). For more information, visit http://www.bettendorf.org/department/index.php?structureid=269 or call 563-344-4113.

Q: What if my son/daughter falls under the new age/grade cutoffs, but wishes to move up in level?
A:  The BPV encourages everyone who has played two years in a league (or example the Minors (9-10), Majors (11-12), Juniors (13-14), to continue advancing "up" the division ladder. Playing a third year in one of those leagues, while allowed by either age or grade, is only encouraged for those that might need a little more development.

For any questions about our age-bracket divisions, including inquiries about coaching, contact the appropriate league director:


Ages 6-8: Steve Tappa, tappa@qconline.com, 563-676-8111 or Ron Johns, johnsronald@johndeere.com, 706-220-7286 Ages 9-10: Dan Escontrias, danesco33@gmail.com, 563-210-3489
Ages 11-12: TBA
Ages 13-14: Bob Tappa, rftappa@gmail.com, 563-499-4702
Ages 15-19: Steve Tappa, tappa@qconline.com, 563-676-8111

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CHANGES TO THE COACHING QUALIFICATIONS

Volunteer coaches of the recent past will remember being hounded to fill out "Inquire Hire" forms for the background checks the city and insurance company ask to prove fitness to work with children. No more, though. The BPV now requires all coaches to seek AAU membership annually, which has background checks built into the online approval process.
 
Applying for AAU membership is as easy as visiting the website (http://www.aausports.org), taking a few minutes to fill out the necessary form and sending a $16 annual fee. The BPV refunds this fee upon proof of membership and the Board approval necessary to be a BPV coach.
 
Proof of membership is as easy as sending the coach's BPV division rep an email with a photo attached of the coach's membership card. This information is then kept on file for that year by the BPV. Each head coach and assistant coach (two in most divisions) are required to have AAU membership.
 
Credit is applicable for having previous AAU membership, and a refund will be granted for AAU coaches in other sports, so long as the AAU membership applies to the current baseball season. The Bettendorf Youth Basketball Association is among the many organizations also requiring AAU membership. Most weekend travel tournaments run by the USSSA also require AAU membership.

AAU membership also offers: 1) $50,000 of sports accident insurance coverage when participating in AAU licensed events; 2) Covers 30 sports and all AAU-licenesed events in those activities; 3) Provides for free a Mandatory Positive Coaching Alliance coaching course and other online coaching videos; 4) Athlete & club/organization membership available & necessary for participation in AAU events.

Additionally, the BPV is requiring attendance at one of the coaching clinics offered by the BPV (or completion of the AAU's online coaching class) to earn coaching approval from the board. Proof of clinic/class completion is required. For more information, contact Bob Tappa at rftappa@gmail.com.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Q: I have a background check done through my job, club, or Governing Body every year. Can you use that information?
A: No. Federal Law does not allow organizations to share background screening information. We cannot use any other source or data for our background screening process.

Q: If my AAU membership is not approved what happens?
A: You can contact the AAU Compliance Department at 407-934-7200 for further instructions.

Q: Who sees my information and is my private information secure?
A: First Advantage has been contracted by the AAU to perform the background screenings. Please visit their website at FADV.com to learn about the company handling our background screens and your private information.
 
Q: When are the coaches clinics to attend? When are their meetings for the coaches in a respective division?
A: The dates, times and sites for clinics or meetings will be circulated closer to the season. However, most divisions meet before the April 1 evaluations or practices begin. Coaching clinics from both the Pleasant Valley High School staff and Legends Baseball Academy also are planned for April and May when the weather allows for field usage. (A clinic with Major League veteran Spin Williams was Feb. 4).

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February is a busy month for camps and clincs! Please attend what you can!

-- SUNDAY, FEB. 12 & SUNDAY, FEB. 19: Umpire clinics starting: Outdoor sessions are at least a month or so away, but for those interested in umpiring this season, all are invited to seminars with minor league & local high school official Don Umland. The Fielder's Choice Indoor Sports facility hosts the clinics (old Eagles warehouse building at 801 1st St., Milan, Ill.). Both sessions are 2:15-4:15 p.m. Rookie umpires through three years experience are welcome on Feb. 12. Umpires with 4-or-more years of experiemce are asked to attend the Feb. 19 seminar. Registration begins at 1:30 p.m. both days. Cost is $15 per registration. Please bring an umpire mask and wear umpire base gear (shin guards optional). Also have a pen or pencil and notebook with you. The clinic covers: Equipment, Basic Mechanics, Rule Fundamentals and Definitions, Pre-Game Protocol, Team-Work, and new topics not covered in previous years. Umpires from every organization locally are welcome and encouraged to attend. Completion of the clinic offers participants certification. For more information, or to RSVP, contact Jordan Rangel (309-912-1330  or jrangelqcbaseball@gmail.com). (Clinic flyer: http://www.eteamz.com/BPV/files/UmpireClinic.pdf).

-- SATURDAY, FEB. 18: PV High School players camp: The players and coaches at PV High School are hosting a camp for youngsters on Saturday, Feb. 18 at PV Junior High. The camp is for kids' ages 8-14, with 8-10 year-olds reporting from 8:30 a.m. to noon, and ages 11-14 from 1-4:30 p.m. Each session is limited to 80 players. The $40 cost includes a camp t-shirt and focuses on the fundamentals of throwing, hitting, baserunning, infield and outfield work, and pitcher and catcher work. Fun games included. For more information, email PV head coach Bill Sandry (william_sandry@ml.com) or to register, visit the link at https://pleasval.revtrak.net/tek9.asp?pg=athletics (Camp flyer: http://www.eteamz.com/BPV/files/PVBaseballCamp2-18-17.pdf).

-- MONDAY, FEB. 20: President's Day players camp at Legends: The Moline academy is hosting a clinic for players, too, on Monday, Feb. 20 from 9 a.m. to noon. The camp is for any players ages 8-18 and offers basic fundamentals to advance hitting and pitching instruction. Each athlete also will be evaluated during their training session. Cost is $50. Space is limited, so reserve your spot by contacting Ian Fink at 563-529-0319 or ian@legendsbaseballqc.com. (Camp flyer: http://www.eteamz.com/BPV/files/LegendsPresident'sDaycamp.jpg).

-- MONDAY, FEB. 20: SAU'S PRESIDENT'S DAY CAMP: Instead of having the kids lay around on an off-day from school, the St. Ambrose University baseball program is offering an active solutiom. The Bees are offering a President's Day Baseball Camp (Feb. 20), for ages 6-12, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at The Ambrose Dome (formerly The Bubble on Brady Street in Davenport). Drop offs start at 8:15 a.m. to accomodate work schedules. Lunch also is provided (pizza, chips, drinks) from noon to 12:45 p.m. The camp consists of skill-related activities in the morning and simulated games in the afternoon. Cost is $65, with additional family members discounted to $50. Registration is limited to the first 80 participants. For more information, call the head coach, Jim Callahan, at 563-333-6237 or email CallahanJamesR@sau.edu. (Camp flyer: http://www.eteamz.com/BPV/files/SAUPresident'sDaycamp.pdf).

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The Bettendorf-Pleasant Valley Youth Baseball Association was incredibly honored in September to have the family of the late William B. "Bill" Griffith remember him with memorials going to the organization (mug shot above).

The 57-year-old from Davenport died Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016 as the result of a motorcycle accident in LeClaire.

Bill was born Jan. 25, 1959 in Beloit, Wis., the son of Tom and Elsie (Peiserich) Griffith. Bill grew up in Bettendorf, though, and was employed for over 25 years in maintenance with Bettendorf Community Schools.

Bill enjoyed baseball, football and motorcycling. Among Bill's fondest memories was playing baseball as a youngster with his brothers Mark and Matthew, as well as with neighborhood friends on the field close by Jackson (now Neil Armstrong) Elementary.

In honor of that memory, Bill and the family chose to have his memorials made to BPV Baseball. Thank you to all who so generously gave in Bill's memory and in accordance with his wishes.

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VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!!! 

The Concession Stand at the 4-Plex is a two-fold project, providing a much-needed amenity for the fans/families at the 4-Plex while also raising money for the many good works of BPV. With families moving on to higher levels, though, we are seeking volunteers mainly with players in the 9-12 year-old age range, as those will be the parents normally at the 4-Plex over the near future.

Hayley English remains in charge of the project, but needs your help in running the stand on a nightly basis! If you are interested in volunteering your time -- whether on a game night or off night -- please contact Hayley at 417-439-1212 or henglish2010@hotmail.com.

Volunteers are needed in all phases of the behind-the-scenes Board of Directors. Please consider volunteering your time, ideas and talents! You don't need to be a baseball expert -- help is needed with concessions, trophies, sponsorships, outfield signs and equipment, too! 

For information about joining BPV's all-volunteer board, and ensure more than 600 kids annually play baseball in our community, please contact league president Bob Tappa at rftappa@gmail.com or 563-499-4702.

The volunteer work is responsible for several community projects, improvements and amenities you might take for granted at our city's baseball fields. From scoreboards to batting cages, to lights at Devils Glen, Paul Norton School and Crow Creek No. 5, the BPV continues to make baseball better in our community. Among the most-recent good works:

-- The BPV offers a college scholarship annually to a graduating senior at both Bettendorf and Pleasant Valley High Schools. Candidates must have good academic credentials. Community involvement is a plus. Winners must also have played at least six seasons in the BPV. Congratulations to the 2016 winners – Luke Miller at Bettendorf and Eric Dilley at Pleasant Valley. If you know of a graduating senior, urge them to apply for the scholarship this coming school year.  For an application, ask your school guidance counselor or visit http://www.eteamz.com/BPV/files/BPVscholarshipapplicartion.pdf.

-- A new scoreboard at Saldivar Field at Devils Glen Park, READY FOR THE 2017 SEASON.

-- A new batting cage at Devils Glen, prior to the start of the 2016 season, in a partnership with our affiliated Diamond Kings 13-14 travel program. Andrew Dresselhaus, the oldest son of Diamond Kings 14-under coach John Dresselhaus, completely overhauled and refurbished that part of the facility as his Boys' Scout Eagle Project. Pictures of the work and completed project are on the News & Pictures section of our website. http://www.eteamz.com/BPV/news/index.cfm?cat=578684

-- New batting cage nets at the Crow Creek Park 4-Plex ahead of the start of the 2016 season. The BPV also hangs, stores and maintains those nets, along with the batting cages at Devils Glen, CC#5 and Paul Norton School/Kiwanis Park/Castro Field. When not in use by BPV teams, the batting cages are for the entire community's benefit. Pictures of the annual project are available on the News & Pictures section of our website.

-- The concession stand at the 4-Plex is once again a going conern. Part amenity for the families attending games there, part fundraiser for the many good works of BPV. Please consider volunteering your time to help offer a concession stand! Sign ups are available through Hayley English: 417-439-1212 or henglish2010@hotmail.com. 

-- The concession stand at Devils Glen is run by volunteers from Bettendorf's New Choices, Inc. The proceeds from the stand benefit the organization's charitable mission to allow local individuals with disabilities to live as independently as possible.

-- G and R Integration Services generously donated in 2015 a defibrillator to the 4-Plex Concession Stand for emergencies. Defibrillation saves lives. The technology is a common treatment for life-threatening cardiac dysrhythmias and ventricular fibrillation. Defibrillation consists of delivering a therapeutic dose of electrical energy to the heart with a device called a defibrillator.

-- A new scoreboard was installed after the 2014 season at Castro Field at Kiwanis Park/Paul Norton School. As you can see in the News & Pictures section of our website, our fundraising efforts allowed BPV to add to scoreboards at the 4-Plex, and at Diamonds No. 5 and 6 at Crow Creek Park.

-- BPV partnered with the City of Bettendorf in 2013 to replace the 30-year-old lights at Castro.

-- A long-range fundraising project we continue working toward -- LIGHTS AT THE 4-PLEX.

Please consider donating your time and talents on behalf of the children of this community.
And, don't feel as if you need to be a baseball expert! From trophies and medals, to team and individual pictures, to concessions, sponsorships, fundraising, game equipment and league management, there's much to do in assuring more than 600 local youngsters annually get to play baseball in our city-wide league.

Volunteer work helps ensure the scholarship program as well as much-needed improvements to equipment and at all of the diamonds we use. The ultimate long-range goal is adding lights for the 4-Plex.
 
***

If you are new to our program, here's a little bit about BPV Youth Baseball:

-- Our mission is simple: to offer an affordable, city-based, competitive baseball league for the youngsters of our families in this great community;
-- Our all-volunteer program strives to offer the best experience possible for all players, coaches, officials, sponors and fans by providing a safe, fun, structured outlet;
-- Besides baseball skills, BPV also hopes to develop sportsmanship, leadership, social responsibility and a sense of community;
-- Our non-profit program raises funds to not only support this mission, but also partners with the City of Bettendorf and Bettendorf's Park & Rec Department to continually improve the baseball-playing facilities in our community;
-- BPV annually awards a $500 college scholarship to one senior each at the Bettendorf and Pleasant Valley high schools that went through our program and exhibits the traits we admire the most. (To apply, please see your high school guidance counselor);
-- With backing from our generous sponsors, no youngster is denied the chance to play baseball for financial reasons. (Contact Bob Tappa to inquire about financial assistance);
-- Our motto: It is not about the winning; it is about competing and learning to try your hardest and work together with others. We are all about helping the young people of our great community become productive citizens and fantastic neighbors.

A couple of important facts about BPV Youth Baseball:
 -- More than 600 youngsters annually participate in our program via one of our five age-bracket divisions -- 6-8, 9-10, 11-12, 13-14, 15-19.
-- All players receive a baseball uniform of a jersey, hat and socks. Baseball pants and shoes are the participant's responsibility;
-- Each team also is provided batting helmets, catcher's gear and bats upon request. Players are expected to have their own gloves;
-- Volunteers are always needed and welcomed, whether for coaching or behind-the-scenes board work. Those volunteers must clear a background check to work with children per city rules;
-- The City of Bettendorf and Bettendorf's Parks and Rec Department allows BPV to use their diamonds at the following parks: Crow Creek, Devil's Glen, Middle, Kiwanis, Hoover, Scheck, and Edgewood. We thank them for their ongoing support and invaluable partnership;
-- BPV partners with youth baseball organizations in LeClaire, the North Scott School District and cross-river East Moline to provide easily-reachable, regularly-scheduled, regular-season and postseason games at certain levels.
-- I'd also like to direct you to the rest of our website, which includes sections for Standings and Schedules, Handouts (division ruiles and other pertinent information), News & Pictures (please send us your photos) and About Us. 

Bob Tappa, 
BPV Board President 
rftappa@gmail.com 
or 563-499-4702
 
 


Rain-out Hotline: 344-4467






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Eric Dilley was the 2016 BPV Scholarship winner at Pleasant Valley.

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