This Year in Baseball is a regular feature on Baseball.ca that will preview the year ahead in baseball from the 10 Provincial organizations. As we move across the nation from West to East, we take an in-depth look at Baseball Québec.
If you are looking for a province that is a leader in innovation, look no further than Baseball Québec.
Always at the forefront of new ideas and developing current programs into new territory, Baseball Québec is on pace for another fantastic year on the field in 2011.
Baseball Québec has taken the success of the Rally Cap program and applied the same concepts of Rally Cap to the ‘Atome B’ level.
“Our ‘Atome B’ level is playing 6-on-6 baseball for the second year,” explained Robert Brousseau, Director of Baseball Operations with Baseball Québec. “The players really enjoy this concept because they are involved in the play most of the time.”
The idea behind having 6-on-6 baseball at the ‘Atome B’ level is meant for players who did not participate in the Rally Cap program. Since Rally Cap graduates’ are already familiar with the rules and basic concepts of baseball, most of them are playing at the ‘Atome A’ level.
“The kids who are just being introduced to baseball in Atome are mostly playing at the ‘B’ level,” continued Brousseau. “These kids are getting more at-bats during the game, are more involved in the play which makes the games exciting and also shortens the amount of time it takes to play a game.”
Baseball Québec is at a point right now where nearly 100% of their member associations are using the Rally Cap program. In 2012, it will be mandatory for all associations to use Rally Cap.
“Our board passed a motion that Rally Cap be used in all associations by 2012,” said Brousseau.
Another positive in the province lies in the area of girl’s baseball where participation numbers are always high. Baseball Québec formed a partnership with Hockey Québec where the two organizations shared lists of their member players as a recruitment tool for each sport.
“We did a major mail-out campaign to all of the girls playing hockey in Québec,” said Brousseau. “We won’t know the impact of this campaign until the registration numbers come in, but I have heard that some associations have an increased amount of girl’s playing baseball this year.”
Baseball Québec will also be holding Provincial Championships for girl’s this summer at the Peewee and Bantam levels. It is expected that over 20 teams will participate in both championships combined, which according to Brousseau is a big increase from 6 years ago when Baseball Québec first hosted a Provincial Championship for girls.
“The first time we held Provincial Championships for girls we only had 8 teams and now we are over 20,” he said.
Always a source of pride for the province, the high performance teams are getting geared up for the National Championships in August. The team that will represent Québec at the Baseball Canada Cup will hope to get back into the medals after capturing silver in 2009, followed by a 4th place finish in 2010.
“The roster is not finalized yet, but preparations are well underway for that team to compete in Moncton,” noted Brousseau.
Baseball Québec has also recently added two new employees in Maxime Prud'homme Lamarche (Director, Marketing and Events) and Marc-Olivier Jodoin-Mimeault (Coordinator, Sport Development).
For more information about Baseball Québec, please visit: www.baseballquebec.com