NAFA holds annual meeting at World Series in Fargo

Written by Bob on August 25th, 2017

FARGO – During the 2017 North American Fastpitch Association (NAFA) World Series, the organization held its national meeting with Executive Director Benjie Hedgecock calling the meeting to order.

Clark Evans took minutes and lunch was served by the Fargo-Moorhead Convention & Visitors Bureau.


Executive Committee members present were Benjie Hedgecock, Loren Lathrop, Mike Watson (by telephone), Jon kegel, Mike Oehlke, Rich Quigley, Kris Russom and Clark Evans.

Members not present were President Ronn Kopp, who chose to not have a proxy, and Jim Williamson who chose Jesse Ortiz as his proxy.

Guests were UIC Pete Davis, Shayne Arndt, Justin Feist, and Stephonie Broughton, Sports & Events Manager of the, Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Vistors Bureau, who welcomed the committee and NAFA to Fargo.

Five actions were approved the National Meeting, which falls on the 25th Anniversary of the founding of NAFA. And many actions were not approved.


1. The Executive Committee voted on a President Elect to take over at the end of President Ronn Kopp’s term at the end of the 2018 National Meeting.

Clark Evans nominated Mike Oehlke and it was seconded by Kris Russom. Ronn Kopp was nominated by Loren Lathrop and it was seconded by Rich Quigley.

** Mike Oehlke won on a written vote counted by the judge Pete Davis. This will give the current president a full year to train the new president. **

2. The Extra Hitter or (EH) was approved for all divisions of play for the 2018 World Series by a vote of 7-2. This was in direct response to over 70% of the teams coming to the Fargo World Series needing pickup players. It is much easier to convince an extra player to come at his own expense if you can promise him playing time.

3. A courtesy runner for the catcher only with two outs by the person the farthest away in the batting order (usually the last out) was approved by a 6-3 vote to speed up the time between innings.

4. The Executive Director was authorized by the Executive Committee to negotiate with Fargo, North Dakota for a contract to host the 2018 NAFA World Series based on their excellent job hosting the 2017 event with the goal of increasing the 26 Canadian teams that participated to over 50 Canadian teams in 2018.

5. Due to the far Northern 2017 / 2018 World Series location for two years, the Executive Committee authorized the Executive Director to begin negotiations with Midland, Michigan to host a East NAFA event similar to the West NAFA event hosted in Seattle, Washington each year.


1. A 9-0 vote to keep the ball white and not change it to yellow.

2. 7-2 vote to not change the stitching color from white to a color that helps the batter see the spin.

3. 7-2 vote to keep the bat rule the same for 2018 after much discussion about the players disappointment that Easton was allowed to voluntarily place bats on the banned bat list that passed the compression testing.

Much discussion about if we should do only compression testing and not use the banned bat list, but it didn’t have enough support to pass and the Executive Director was instructed by the Executive Committee to call the insurance company, and Easton and ASA to get further clarification on our association’s risk and liability if we were to change our bat rule.

Loren Lathrop stated that regardless of the answer that NAFA will always choose to protect the player first.

4. 9-0 vote to stick with the single first base and not change to the double first base.

5. Consensus to keep the fence distance the same at 250 with little to no discussion.

6. Consensus to keep the same pitching rule and continue to NOT emphasize watching the pitcher’s feet.

7. Consensus to move up the top teams in each class using the general guidelines of Recreational-top two; A-top six; A-major-top six; AA-1 or 2, and AA-Major none while allowing for appeals.

8. Designated Runner failed 9-0 as our teams aren’t paid to come, so we didn’t want someone bringing a player to run who could change the game (although it was suggested that allowing younger players to participate as a runner could expose them to our sport and create interested).

9. 9-0 vote to only allow the starters to re-enter the game and NOT allow the substitutes to enter the game.

10. The vote to include the pitcher in the courtesy runner with the catcher failed 5-4 as the Executive Director broke the tie as he doesn’t want important rule changes to be made on a 5-4 vote.


FEES for 2018:

Umpire game fees will stay that same at $35 per umpire per game with no raise.

World Series Team Entry Fees shall stay the same at $455 for all but 23-Under ($250) and Men’s Recreational ($300).

NAFA Annual Team Registration fees will be $35 with $10 going to the National office and $25 being kept by the local state director or state association.

The Umpire Annual Registration fee will be $35.

The League Sanction fee will be $35.

The Tournament Sanction fee will be $35.


Rosters will be entered online by the coaches in 2018 to save hundreds of hours in data entry by Andrew and Mary Beth. Each player will be asked to sign the waiver at sign in.

  • Fargo, North Dakota (Discussion included: should’t go back-to-back; too far north, which could possibly lose south and east teams; hosted a perfect 2017 event that included 26 Canadian teams attending.)
  • Topeka, Kansas
  • Midland, Michigan
  • Sioux Falls, South Dakota
  • Des Moines, Iowa
  • Beloit, Wisconsin
  • Quad Cities, Iowa / Illinois

    2017 Midwest Masters, Rockford, Illinois, Sept. 8-10

    2017 West Masters, Carson City, Nevada, Sept. 15-17

    2017 Wood Bat Nationals, Las Vegas, Nevada, Oct. 20-22

    2018 NAFA ISGU, Orlando, Florida, Jan. 25-28


    Ten Person Executive Committee
    1. Benjie Hedgecock, Executive Director serves on all Committees
    2. Ronn Kopp, President (term through end of 2018) then remains on Executive Committee as President Emeritus
    3. Mike Oehlke, Midwest Assistant Vice President, President Elect for 2019-2020
    4. Clark Evans, West Coast Vice President and Umpire Committee Chairman and World Series Tournament Director
    5. Mike Watson, Lower Midwest Vice President
    6. Loren Lathrop, East Vice President
    7. Jon Kegel, Upper Midwest Vice President
    8. Kris Russom, Business Manager
    9. Jim Williamson, Founder Emeritus
    10. Rich Quigley, Executive Committee Member


    Alex Linares, Florida/Latin American Director
    Craig Geisler, Vice President of Canada
    Dave Parker, Wood Bat Program Director
    Shayne Arndt, Northwest Regional Director
    Patch Wirtzenberger, Montana State Director
    J.D. Hernandez, Colorado/Wyoming State Director
    Jesse Ortiz, Northern California & Southern California State Director
    Anthony Villegas, Kansas/Kansas City Metro State Director
    Eric Lewis, Northern Missouri State Director
    Donovan Nelson, Southern Missouri State Director
    Ronn Kopp, Wisconsin State Director
    Rich Quigley, Minnesota State Director
    Shayne Arndt, Oregon State Director
    Justin Feist, North Dakota State Director
    Kerwyn Lykken, South Dakota State Director
    Mike Sutherland, Manitoba, Canada Area Director
    Ed Davis, Nevada
    Dave Parker, West Texas
    East Texas
    John Hefley, New Mexico
    East Ontario, Canada
    Duane Mckinnon, West Ontario, Canada
    Alberta, Canada
    PEI, Canada
    British Columbia, Canada
    Saskatchewan, Canada
    Quebec, Canada
    Novia Scotia, Canada
    Newfoundland, Canada

  • Tony Mancha
  • Debbie Day
  • Clark Evans will be approaching Mancha and Day about representing NAFA.

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