HONG KONG—Coach pitch (Slow Pitch) baseball is a new starter league organized by the Hong Kong Baseball Association for children aged 6 to 11. It fills a gap between the Tealeaves baseball training for 4-5 year old children and the major league (8-11) which leads onto the Pony league (10-14) run by the Association in coordination with Pony League USA.
Baseball is still in its infancy in Hong Kong and various groups have set up their own training and league arrangements.
Seven teams have signed up to this new league: Aliens T, Astros Baseball Club, Bombers, Rowdies, Tai Po Indians, St Andrews and St Andres BB. They are taking part in a series of matches that started on Saturday March 3 and goes through to playoffs on May 16 and 23 to decide final league placings. They play at a sports field in the grounds of Hong Kong Baptist Assembly at Fanling.
Patrick Calkins, an American junior school teacher in Hong Kong was instrumental in putting this new idea forward to the HK Baseball Association.
In interview with Epoch Times. Patrick explained his thinking and what has been done to date.
“About 18 months ago my son Jay, was concentrating on Fencing but I said to him, Fencing is not going to do a lot for you, you should play an American sport. “Baseball is an American sport”.
So Patrick told Jay “get some friends and let’s start playing Baseball”.
Patrick then started looking for a league to join but could not find anything suitable. He approached the HK Baseball Association about starting a new league. Initially there was some difficulty in moving this forward but after finding a field that they could use for the matches, the Association agreed to organize a league for them.
“The parents have been very supportive one got the uniforms made, another does all of the paperwork and computer work, and my wife looks after all of the kit” said Patrick.
“This is the first league we could get into, so now we in and are looking forward to playing this league” he explained.
“Then we have a summer break after which the older children will play the Major League (Little League) and later follow on to the Pony League for age group 10 to 14”, he continued.
Patrick’s team is called the Tai Po Indians, they call themselves the “international” Tai Po Indians as they have players from many countries of the world, including Africa nations, Australia, Russia, America, Canada and Hong Kong,
“They are just starting to play but are picking the game up quickly, and having lots of fun” Patrick explained.
Last Saturday the Tai Po Indians played their 3rd match, this time against league leaders “Bombers” under the stewardship of an experienced Base Ball Association umpire. There was lots of excitement as the children hit the balls and ran to bases. The match was very close finishing 11-10 to the Bombers. All of the children had fun as well as playing a competitive match in their new sport. At the end of the match the players all lined up to thank the opposing team
Earlier in the afternoon Bombers played team “Rowdies”.
Some photos from the match
Photos of “Rowdies” team Batting against “Bombers” earlier on the same day.