Message from the President

Dear Westgarth Members

Over the course of this season, the Committee and I have observed and had reported to us a worrying trend at Westgarth Baseball Club games. There has been in increase in aggressive and abusive behaviour in our games involving the throwing of equipment, use of bad language and culminating two weeks ago in the abuse of a Merri Park user. This particular incident led to two separate complaints being made to the club and occurred in the presence of junior players and their parents. In response to these events the Committee will be taking the following actions:

1) Before each game this weekend a Committee member will address each team and reinforce our commitment to removing unacceptable behaviour from our games

2) Team managers will be encouraged to support umpires – particularly club umpires – to act when unacceptable behaviour occurs. This includes benching players and, if deemed necessary, reporting the behaviour to the Committee for further action

3) The Committee will work with Council to obtain signage and visible deterrents to stop Merri Park users from inadvertently disrupting games

4) The Committee will develop over the next few weeks a Player Code of Conduct that will outline what common sense should tell most players is unacceptable and unsportsmanlike behaviour. This will allow us to act quickly without the need for ‘warnings’ when this behaviour is observed or reported

To be clear, the culture we want to develop at Westgarth is one where we are considered:

• Tough but fair by our competitors
• Disciplined and supportive by our team mates
• A good neighbour and positive role model by spectators, parents and Merri Park users

The Westgarth Baseball Club is by tradition a family club with a history of success. We are now in “A” Grade and need to develop strong junior programs to both qualify for finals participation as well as developing a player base for the future. To do this we need to have the commitment of Members, players and parents alike. We will never get this commitment if the club is perceived as an undisciplined and abusive environment to be around. Baseball is a fun and social leisure activity for many of us – let’s keep it that way.

Mike Deeble
President – Westgarth Baseball Club