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…They Will Come…
This pearl of wisdom, a line by the character played by Kevin Costner in the epic movie Field of Dreams. is very much applicable to JWWC 2011 in light of all the construction and refurbishment currently underway at Turfhall Softball Complex.
Participants from the 16 competing nations will be the first to have the use of the new and upgraded facilities. As from January 2012, the 40 clubs affiliated to Western Province Softball Federation will “inherited” all the facilities.
The new and improved Turfhall Softball Complex is going to be a world-class facility to be proud of and to be protected against vandalism and willful destruction.
The planned date for completion and the handover of the facility to the JWWC Local Organising Committee is 14 November.
66 games will be contested over 11 days. This translates to an average of eight games per day, for eight of the 11 days, which in turn indicates that the dirt (gravel) areas of the two fields are going to take a pounding every two hours from 10am onwards on each day.
To ensure that every team experience the same conditions throughout the tournament, a Field and Facilities Team will be performing a crucial role within the proceedings of the Championship.
The team, under the capable leadership of WPSF Umpire-in-Chief, Noreen Wallace and Ivor Lovell, the Vice President of WPSF will practically live at the venue to ensure that the surfaces, dugouts, bullpens and change rooms are ready for EACH game. On paper this sounds like a “walk in the park”, however they will be preparing for this tournament somewhat like a military unit by conducting rehearsals to determine the pace in the preparation of surfaces between games including re-lining the field where required and field drills to effect running repairs in the course of game should the Plate Umpire call for it.
Drills that sets the pace for the rapid deployment of the surface covers for the dirt areas should rain cause stoppage in a game, also forms an integral part of their preparation.
The four dugouts have to be prepared prior to each game. Water coolers must be topped up, fresh disposable drinking cups for each game and the clearing of possible litter.
Each change room—there are four inside the main pavilion and two at the B-field—must be prepared for each game. Some teams will have unique requirements for their dressing rooms before and after each game and this will be managed by the F&F team.
Next week: JWWC 2011 and the testing of players for performance enhancing substances and recreational drugs.
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