The 2015 North-South all-star softball and baseball teams for the 19th annual Alabama All-Star Sports Week competition were announced Friday by Alvin Briggs, Director of the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA).
The softball and baseball teams are each comprised of 18 current junior student-athletes from across the state. Both will play Tuesday, July 21-softball at Lagoon Park, site of the AHSAA state softball tournament, and baseball at Riverwalk Stadium, site of the AHSAA state baseball championship series.
The teams were chosen from nominations submitted by high school coaches from across the state to participate at the 19th annual AHSAA Summer Conference and AHSADCA All-Star Games competition in Montgomery July 20-25, according to an announcement by Alvin Briggs, Director of the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA).
The AHSADCA All-Star Games also include in-state all-star games in soccer, basketball and volleyball. The 56th North-South All-Star football game will be played the previous week and is set for Friday, July 17, at Cramton Bowl.
The AHSAA Summer Conference is a week-long conference that includes sports specific clinics and special sessions for coaches, principals, athletic directors, cheerleading coaches and officials. Also, an All-Sports Equipment Expo and other related activities are scheduled throughout the week.
Among the conference’s highlights will be the Sportsmanship Luncheon honoring all schools that have not had an ejection or fine during the 2014-15 school year and the Championship Coaches Awards Banquet that includes the naming of the 2014-15 Making A Difference Award Recipients, Coaches of the Year, and the AHSADCA Athletic Director of the Year. Both banquets will be Friday, July 24.
Concluding the week will be the 19th annual Officials Awards Banquet set for July 25 at noon. The featured speaker for 2015 will be Joe Dean, Jr., Birmingham-Southern athletic director and college basketball TV sports commentator.
Coaching the South All-Stars in the baseball competition are Talley Haines of Mobile Christian, Shawn Gilmer of Enterprise, Jeff Cameron of Hale County and Roy Dixon of Central-Phenix City. Trinity’s Ken Whittle is the administrative coach.
North coaches are Bubba Roberts of Clay-Chalkville, James Blanchard of Piedmont, Tyrus Moss of Parker and Mike Good of Madison Academy. Administrative coach is Keith Lucky of St. James.
The North, which holds an 18-11-1 edge in the series which dates back to 1997, split with the South in last year’s doubleheader.
Coaches for the South Softball All-Stars are Brandon Cobb of Beauregard and Summer Chandler of Rehobeth. Susan Barnes will serve as the South’s administrative coach.
The North All-Stars will be coached by Ted Swinney of Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa and Brad James of Colbert Heights. Kent Chambers of Bob Jones is the North administrative coach.
The South and North tied game one and the South won game two last year. The North currently holds a 22-9-3 advantage in the series which also began in 1997.
The AHSADCA operates under the auspices of the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA). Membership includes coaches of all AHSAA sports as well as administrators of member schools.
2015 SOFTBALL ROSTERS
Hillcrest - Tuscaloosa
Bob Jones - Admin.
Central - Phenix City
Elba - Admin.
2015 BASEBALL ROSTERS
NORTH ALL-STAR TEAM
IF - P
Parker, A. H.
John Hartman, V
A. H. Parker
Saint James - Admin.
SOUTH ALL-STAR TEAM
Brady Johnson, Jr.
Trinity - Admin.
INDIANAPOLIS — Beginning with the 2015 high school baseball season, teams will be allowed to use video monitoring or replay equipment for coaching purposes during games.
This revision to Rule 3-3-1 was one of five changes recommended by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Baseball Rules Committee at its June 8-10 meeting in Indianapolis. The committee’s recommendations were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.
Previously, video equipment was permitted but it could not be used during games for coaching purposes.
“With advancements in technology, it was extremely difficult for officials to determine if teams were using video replay during games,” said Elliot Hopkins, NFHS director of sports and educational services and liaison to the Baseball Rules Committee. “The committee determined it was the right time to permit teams to use these technological aids if they so choose.”
In softball, two rules changes were recommended by the NFHS Softball Rules Committee at its June 16-18 meeting in Indianapolis and subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.
Rules 1-6-1 and 1-7-1 were revised to state that the batting helmet and the catcher’s helmet shall have a non-glare surface (not mirror-like).
Theresia Wynns, NFHS director of sports and officials education and liaison to the Softball Rules Committee, said the committee instituted these changes because helmets that are mirror-like in nature are distracting and could be dangerous for other players.
In other baseball rules changes, the committee expanded the definition of interference in Rule 2-21 to include follow-through interference and backswing interference.
Rule 2-21-4 will state that “follow-through interference is when the ball hits the catcher after the batter has swung at a pitch and hinders action at home plate or the catcher’s attempt to play on a runner,” and Rule 2-21-5 will state that “backswing interference is when a batter contacts the catcher or his equipment prior to the time of the pitch.”
Hopkins said that follow-through interference and backswing interference are separate and distinct acts that previously were not addressed in Rule 2-21. The rule previously covered offensive, umpire and spectator interference.
The rules committee approved a change in Rule 1-5-1 regarding the batting helmet to be consistent with the rule for helmets used by defensive players. As is the case with head protection worn by field players, the batting helmet now must have a non-glare surface (cannot be mirror-like in nature) and meet the NOCSAE standard at the time of manufacture.
The definition of a foul ball in Rule 2-16-1 was expanded to be consistent with language elsewhere in the rules book. Specifically, Rule 2-16-1f will now state that a foul is a batted ball “that hits the batter in the batter’s box.” Article “g” will state that a foul is a batted ball “that hits the ground or home plate and then hits the batter or the bat which is held by the batter while he is in the batter’s box.”
The final change approved by the Baseball Rules Committee involves the following additional language to Courtesy Runner Rule No. 1: “In the event that the offensive team bats around, the pitcher and/or catcher who had a courtesy runner inserted on their behalf may bat in their normal position in the batting order.”
Baseball is the fourth-most popular sport for boys at the high school level with 474,791 participants in 15,632 schools during the 2012-13 season, according to the NFHS Athletics Participation Survey. Fast-pitch softball is the fifth-most popular sport for girls at the high school level with 362,488 participants in 15,067 schools during the 2012-13 season.