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SABA announces tryout committee

Matt Barlow.
Matt Barlow. - Contributed

Barlow, Grady, Hann to oversee selection of teams


The Summerside Area Baseball Association (SABA) hopes it has taken a major step towards ensuring fairness when it comes to selecting teams.

SABA has introduced a tryout selection committee that will oversee tryouts for all rep teams for the 2019 season. The three-member committee will consist of Matt Barlow, Nick Hann and Chuck Grady. All three have extensive playing and coaching experience.

“The tryout committee we introduced is going to be an independent body in our association that is going to take the role and responsibility from the board of directors, which previously oversaw tryouts, and they are going to oversee our tryouts,” explained SABA president Tanner Doiron. “It is made up of three individuals who have no ties to any of the board of directors, and they are going to be unbiased people that have no ties whatsoever to anybody and they know the sport of baseball.”

Nick Hann.
Nick Hann.

Doiron said the committee will be paid positions.

“They will not be on the field running stations,” continued Doiron. “We’ve had issues with that in the past, where we’ve had our board of directors there helping to select tryouts and find themselves running a station halfway through a tryout and don’t have a chance to watch all the kids.
“This way, we are going to have these individuals in the stands watching. They will make notes, and watch every detail of the tryouts.”
Doiron added that at the end of the tryouts, the committee will come up with what they feel is the best roster.
“We are also not going to be stripping the right of the coaches to select as well,” continued Doiron. “The coaches will present the committee with a roster they feel should be posted at the end of the day, and what this committee will do is cross-reference it with their list. For the most part most of the names are going to line up.”
However, Doiron did confirm that the final say on all roster spots will go to the selection committee.
“It’s probably only going to come down to one or two players, and they should be able to talk it out,” said Doiron.

Coaches in favour
Sean Campbell, who was recently named Summerside mosquito AAA coach, and bantam AAA co-coach Rob McCormack are in favour of the new format.
“It’s a great idea and I think it should be mandatory in all sports and all associations,” said Campbell. “I know it’s easier said than done, but it’s a great way to relieve some of the pressure put on coaches, parents and most importantly children that the right things are going to be done.”
McCormack has 20 years coaching experience, and followed a similar blueprint with the P.E.I. Youth Selects’ under-17 team last summer.
“Last year, with the Youth Selects, there was a three-panel committee that overlooked our practices and our tryout process,” said McCormack. “Basically, as coaches, we selected our team and submitted it to this committee, and they compared it to who they thought should make it, and any differences we had a discussion.
“It’s good for the fairness, and the perception of biasedness.”
Campbell is happy there will be more eyes focused on assessing the players.
“It relieves some of the pressure and tensions that come with being the coach,” said Campbell. “The worst part of being a coach is making cuts.

Chuck Grady.
Chuck Grady.

“It will definitely make it a lot easier to go through that stage of the process.”
McCormack pointed out this process could also prove to be educational for coaches.
“Last year, coaching the Select team, the committee was made up of experienced people, and they may have some good thoughts that help you get down to that last decision or two that maybe you didn’t think of,” added McCormack.

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