Welcome To Vipers 2020/21

I want to take a moment to say hello and thank all of you for your commitment to the 2020/21 Vipers (NJV). We are doing things this year we have never done and look forward to the challenge. We have a lot of great things planned and continue to build and expand on the strong foundation we have built over the last 10 years.

I actually tried to send a message via Teamsnap last week and only learned yesterday it was not sent due to email issues on their end.

Please make sure to follow our social media feeds.

Follow us on Facebook

@realnjvipers Twitter

NorthJerseyVipersSoftball on Instagram

We are in a new and changing world with youth sports.  Not only the NJV has had to change the way we approach events, so has many of the tournaments, venues and locations we access.  It may seem at times you have a part time job signing waiver forms.  Unfortunately this is part of our new normal and something we must embrace.  Viper protocols are listed herein.

Viper Daily CoVid Attest  (must be executed day of any and all NJV events, no exceptions)

Borough of Northvale Waiver  (must be executed once to put a cleat in the ground)

Closter Waiver & Covid Form  (signed day of use)

We want to hear from you and are always interested to hear new ideas.  While we believe we know a lot and rely on our experience, we know we do not know everything.  If there is something specific to your team or an idea for the organization, we want to hear from you!  Often times the best ideas come from parents and players.

We will be disseminating Viper Batting Gloves between now (until inventory is exhausted) and Thanksgiving (when new shipment arrives).  We will also be distributing Viper Face Masks and Head Bands.  We are exploring the most effective way to get personal buckets received and distributed.

Blast accounts are being renewed for all returning players.  All new players will be receiving their sensors over the next 30 days or so.  We need to inventory/ order for all of our new players.  We will have a kickoff webinar with BLAST on usage that will be scheduled soon

For HS Players…get on Sports Recruits and set up your profile!!  We also sent out webinar schedules on how to use SR for you to attend.  This platform is incredible and invaluable and you will get out of it what you put into it.  Year to date, our players have sent 532 messages to college coaches and received 439 coach engagements (response, video or profile view).  30% D1, 65% D3, 5% other.  We have received 41 coach engagements in the last 30 days.  Yes, it IS a numbers game!

We have access to the most amount of practice fields we have ever had: Wyckoff, Paramus, Northvale, Norwood, Closter & Pascack Brook.  When we say we are everywhere, we usually are.

Our new indoor facility is 99% done and has been assigned out on a test basis.  We need to see what we know, do not know and what we need to address.  I will be sending out facility time assignments to our coaches over the next few days.  We will limit access to one team only to ensure social distancing as much as possible and safety protocols.  Believe it or not a cat has limited our ability to finish the electrical work.

For new players (and returning), we do offer private hitting and fielding lessons.  Contact me for details.

I will be scheduling some organization clinics that will supplement your practices.  I will break them up between 10/12u and 14/16u.  18’s will be asked to assist.

We have posted many drills kids can do at home.  These are in line with what we teach and supported by our staff 100%.  See our Training & Videos page

We ask all teams to use Game Changer and Teamsnap for game records and availability.  The coaches will be inquiring with you to explore if any parents/ asst coaches have experience doing this.  With limiting the number of dugout coaches, it is hard for our coaches to do this and manage the game/ safety protocols.

Our Viper store is up and running again for 2020/21.  Links are below and on the Home Page of the website.

Softball Fan Gear

Softball Uniforms

Baseball Fan Gear

Baseball Uniforms

Vipers will from time to time ask players to guest for our organization should we need players to fulfill a daily schedule.  Our guest policy is here.

I try and push out as much information as possible, anticipating the questions that come in and we routinely address.  I want to highlight a few portions from the Player Pack all of you received and signed as part of the registration process.  These are also FAQ’s I receive and this should help you understand our approach.

  • (Parents/ Players, “P&P”) understand that being part of the Vipers is an honor, privilege, and an enhanced commitment.  (P&P) represent herein that (I) will make as many games and practices as possible.  P&P acknowledge that we are part of a team and that the team’s commitment to scheduled events is necessary for the team and the organization to be successful.  Should there be a situation(s) where (I) cannot attend a tournament, game or practice, P&P will give as much notice as possible to the staff directly via phone/ email/ text.  Should there be recurring situations that games and practices are missed and communication is not proactive between me (and/ or my child) and the coach, P&P understand that playing time may lessen and/ or be significantly reduced. 
  • The organization works very hard and in conjunction with Head Coaches and team coaches to create a competitive schedule commensurate with team ability.  The club (team) will communicate these events to you and/ or place TBD dates into your calendars as much as possible.  You are expected to be at as many games/ tournaments as possible.  Vipers are your priority over town, rec, travel summer teams and Summer/ Fall high school softball games.  Should a tournament be scheduled, and the team cannot field enough players, the tournament will be considered as if it happened.  Players, coaches and parents are expected to appreciate and fulfill the commitment being made by all parties.  Vipers are the priority!  Rosters are built to absorb 1-2 players being unavailable from time to time (but not more than that).
  • P&P understand the coach and coaching staff has the right and responsibility on where my child plays, bats in the lineup, how many innings they pitch/catch, etc….   I agree I will play the positions I am assigned to during the games in which we play.  Players will hustle with enthusiasm, present a positive attitude and represent the organization with class.  THE COACH WILL DECIDE WHERE PLAYERS PLAY AND HOW MUCH THEY PLAY.  As referenced herein and throughout, the times to discuss positioning, playing time, etc… is after the 48-hour rule has elapsed
  • Playing time and positions are earned not given.  EVERY position on the field is important.  EVERY ONE!  Coaches run practice and evaluate skills on an ongoing basis.  Players are inserted where they can best succeed.
  • Players play.  Coaches coach.  Parents cheer.
  • (Parents) will refrain from coaching their child or other players during games and practices, unless (they are) one of the official coaches of the team.  Attempts to coach your child, while may be well intentioned, may contradict what the head coach is doing or what has been practiced.  Parents are encouraged to approach coaches when appropriate to ask questions but attempting to coach during a game is prohibited.
  • (Parents) will not enter the dugout during a game or position (themselves) near a dugout as to interfere with players or coaches.
  • Coaches are advised to NOT discuss anything game related with parents/ guardians until the “48-hour rule” has elapsed.  48 hours must elapse.  Coaches are directed by the organization to not have these conversations in < 48 hours.  
  • Club Softball is not recreation softball, where every participant is guaranteed a minimum number of innings played, or that every player bat in the lineup.  Club Softball is a privilege and a heightened commitment.  Our objective is to play everyone as much as we can as game situations dictate to be competitive.  Having said that, no girl or parent signs up for club softball and attends practices with the expectation to travel all over the state (and surrounding states) just to watch from the bench while the other girls play.  If a girl has been deemed worthy of making the team then it becomes incumbent upon the manager and his/her coaching staff to find playing time for all players Saturday (2 games) vs. Sunday.  The manager will make every attempt to get each kid half the game in scrimmage/ league games.  We will also strive to play competitive softball and there may be times when the Manager and coaches will be “unfair” with playing time in the interest of competition.  As stated above, playing time and positioning is earned.
  • Playing time will be addressed in the aggregate and not on a week to week basis.  Games are timed and in many cases Viper teams may get less/ more at bats, less/ more field time.
  • Pitching.  Many of our athletes will take up pitching as their career evolves.  The Viper rosters are often set with pitchers when entering the season.  There is an old saying of “you never have enough pitching”, so if a player is excelling with pitching outside of Vipers, the coach and player will see if there is a way to get innings here.  Coaches are under no obligation to let players “try” pitching during Viper games, however roster make up and availability will allow coaches to use discretion.
  • Lineups.  The most important batter is the one who is up to bat.  Lineups are made by the coaching staff and balance a number of factors.  The Vipers will set and tinker with lineups often with the goal to produce the most amount of runs.  Coaches see practices and games.  They see what is being worked on.  48 hours must elapse after games to even approach.
  • This is worth repeating.  I acknowledge that this team is my primary softball team and is my priority.  I will not forego Vipers games or tournaments for softball games at the Rec, Town or Town Travel Level unless given permission by my head coach or the organization.  I ALSO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT I WILL NOT PLAY FOR OR GUEST WITH ANY OTHER CLUB ORGANIZATION AND THAT DOING SO CAN RESULT IN SUSPENSION OR TERMINATION FROM THE VIPERS.
  • High School Players.  Some high school programs have fall & summer schedules.  The Vipers will have conflicts with these events from time to time and as stated herein, we expect you to be at our events as your priority.  We do schedule our events where they will not conflict every week and you should have more than advance notice 99% of the time.  You and your coach must ensure a balance is struck and event rosters managed.
  • I also acknowledge that if I try out for another Softball Club organization during the Viper season, I may be subject to restricted and/ or significant forfeiture of playing time.  2020 with CoVid and season extensions were exempted into August, 2020.
  • The Vipers do support and encourage multi-sport athletes.  We ask that the Primary Sport/Primary season approach be applied…Soccer/field hockey/volleyball in the fall, Track, Hockey, Basketball in the Winter.  In the Spring/Summer, Vipers is your priority and #1 commitment.  

I cannot overstate the pride and excitement I have to welcome you to the Vipers for 2020/21.  I believe this will be one of the best years we have ever had.  Our players and parents are what make us great.  I look forward to witnessing your (ongoing) success with the Vipers and seeing and/ or meeting you all soon.

Yours in softball.

Bob Germano

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