Scoop Oelke Open set for July 21

The Dundalk Eagle - - FRONT PAGE - by Bill Gates

Mary­land At­tor­ney Gen­eral Brian Frosh — you re­mem­ber him; the state leg­is­la­ture gave him a mil­lion or so in tax­payer money so his of­fice could hire five at­tor­neys to sue the pres­i­dent with­out need­ing the per­mis­sion of the gov­er­nor — tes­ti­fied in fed­eral court that Repub­li­cans were not harmed by the way Mary­land con­gres­sional dis­tricts were drawn in 2013.

So, the peo­ple re­spon­si­ble for the shape of our 2nd Dis­trict, which doesn’t re­sem­ble a dis­trict so much as an ink spill, along with me­an­der­ing messes like the 3rd and 4th dis­tricts, were just id­iots?

From what I hear, there are places in this coun­try where it hasn’t rained for a while, long enough they’ve coined a name for it: drought. And this ab­sence of rain is con­sid­ered a bad thing.

Around these parts, of course, we have terms for when wa­ter falls from the sky, and most of them are un­print­able.

May was a par­tic­u­larly bad month for those who like to see clear skies ev­ery now and again, with so much rain that sports had to down­grade the def­i­ni­tion of playable con­di­tions to “is the mud still less than an­kle deep?”

Which is why some of you may have no­ticed there was no men­tion of the Scoop Oelke Open Golf Tour­na­ment in May.

The Scoop Open is tra­di­tion­ally played on the first Fri­day in May. For the sec­ond year in a row, it is now be­ing tra­di­tion­ally held on the third Fri­day in July.

Due to con­di­tions at the Rocky Point Wet­lands ... errr, Golf Course, the Scoop Open could not be played on its usual May date. Like last year, rain had ren­dered the course es­sen­tially un­playable.

But, hey, life, lemons, le­mon­ade and all. Some of those past Oelke Opens have fea­tured pretty cold weather. Lit­tle chance of that hap­pen­ing in July. So it comes down to whether you can putt bet­ter while shiv­er­ing, or sweat­ing.

And for any four­somes who couldn’t make it to the tour­na­ment in May, well, now you still have time to reg­is­ter.

Any four­somes who want to reg­is­ter for the July 21 event can do so by con­tac­ing Joe Cristy at 410-236-6212.

The an­nual Scoop Oelke Open is named for Greater Dun­dalk Sports Hall of Fame mem­ber and Dun­dalk

Ea­gle founder Kim­bel “Scoop” Oelke. It’s the sole fund-raiser for the Greater Dun­dalk Sports Hall of Fame.

The tour­na­ment also funds three schol­ar­ships at CCBC Dun­dalk, in mem­ory of Charles Hol­sten, Chip Wis­chuck and Richard McJil­ton.

For sin­gle play­ers (who will be placed in a four­some), the regis­tra­tion fee is $110. Four­somes reg­is­ter for $440.

The tour­na­ment is played in a “best ball” for­mat. Prizes are awarded to the top three four­somes, and awards are given to the clos­est to the pin on select holes.

A golf club will be raf­fled off. Food and drinks will also be avail­able, and there is a post-tour­na­ment lun­cheon. *** The Na­tional Fed­er­a­tion of State High School As­so­ci­a­tions last month an­nounced some for rule changes for high school base­ball.

The rec­om­men­da­tions for the changes were made dur­ing the NFHS meet­ing from June 4-6 in In­di­anapo­lis. The rec­om­men­da­tions were sub­se­quently ap­proved by the NFHS Board of Di­rec­tors.

All base­balls used in high school games must now meet the Na­tional Op­er­at­ing Com­mit­tee on Stan­dards for Ath­letic Equip­ment (NOCSAE) stan­dard at the time of man­u­fac­ture.

So, all base­balls used by high schools in ev­ery part of the coun­try will be the same size, weight and have “sim­i­lar playa­bil­ity.”

Um­mmm ... okay. Not sure how much of an im­pact that will have, or how much of an im­pact it did have, or even if there were no­tice­able differences in base­balls through­out the coun­try. Ob­vi­ously, some­one thought it was worth ad­dress­ing. Hey, what use is hav­ing a com­mit­tee for na­tional op­er­at­ing stan­dards, oth­er­wise?

An­other new rule will re­quire all catch­ers to wear a chest pro­tec­tor that meets NOCSAE stan­dards; those stan­dards hav­ing been de­vel­oped to pro­tect the catcher’s heart and chest from com­mo­tio cordis, which is a lethal dis­rup­tion of heart rhythm caused by a blow di­rectly over the heart.

In these liti­gious times, I fig­ure that any chest pro­tec­tor pro­duced by a rep­utable equip­ment man­u­fac­turer meets those stan­dards. But, okay, safety first.

Two other rules were mod­i­fied: bats can no longer have any “ex­posed riv­ets, pins, rough or sharp edges, or any form of ex­te­rior fas­tener or at­tach­ment that would present a po­ten­tial haz­ard;” and bat­ters who draw walks can now over­run first base and re­turn safely.

So, all that stuff was al­lowed on bats up un­til now? Seems pretty straight­for­ward. I guess it wasn’t ex­pressly for­bid­den by the rules, and there was a spate of bat­ters com­ing to the plate with ex­posed riv­ets and sharp edges on their bats? *** High school soft­ball also saw some changes. In­ten­tional walks can now be re­quested, award­ing the bat­ter first base with­out hav­ing to throw four pitches out­side the strike zone.

A rule that was just in­tro­duced a few years ago has now been re­scinded. Equip­ment must no longer be paced out­side the dugout or bench for the um­pire to in­spect prior to a game; coaches and school ad­min­is­tra­tors are not ex­pected to make sure play­ers are us­ing le­gal equip­ment.

Um­pires can still no­tice if il­le­gal equip­ment is used dur­ing a game, and as­sess penal­ties in that event.

Wrist­bands that in­clude a play­book or play­card are now clas­si­fied as equip­ment, and must be a sin­gle solid color other than op­tic yel­low.

Pitch­ers will now be al­lowed to step back­ward with their non-pivot foot at any time prior to the start of the pitch.

There were also some rule changes for track and field, which I’ll note in next week’s col­umn.

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