Practice, Sightseeing & Meeting
VALENCIA (Spain) - The Dutch National Softball Team on Sunday was back on the field for another 2-hour practice session.
This was held today on the main field of the playing site in the Turia Dry River.
The fields were off-limit a day before due to work on the accomodations.
In the meantime, more family-members and friends of the players are arriving in Valencia to attend the European Championships, which starts on Monday-morning with two 9:00 AM games.
After the practice session, the team returned to the hotel and then was off for the remainder of the day.
As today was the lone possibility to do some sightseeing, look around, do some shopping or simply relax, this all was on the agendas of the players and staff-members.
It was known that some players were planning on renting a bicycle, others would remain in the hotel to rest, but a lot went off to the futuristic Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias (City of Arts and Sciences).
Also going there were Team Manager Paul Boonstra and Media Officer Marco Stoovelaar, who opted to go to the Oceanográfico, the home to more different species than any other aquarium in the world and has one of the longest tunnels (70 metres) of its kind in Europe.
The Oceanográfico is the second largest of its kind in Europe.
The main aim of the Oceanográfico is to encourage the conservation of the world's seas and the creatures that live within them.
There are more than 45.000 specimens of 500 different species living in nine underwater towers, including the beluga, but also the unique and weirdlooking sea dragons.
Paul and Marco had to return in time to the hotel to attend the Techical Meeting with Head Coach Craig Montvidas.
The meeting was scheduled to start at 8:00 PM and was listed to last one hour, to be followed by an umpire meeting.
While all team-representatives were on time in the Galileo Galilei University Hotel, the meeting didn't start before 8:45 PM, as the Chief Technical Commissioner Bob Milosavljevic and Umpire-in-Chief Marlies Struyvé were not on time.
They went to the playing fields around 6:00 PM to check them (and bring back much-needed information), but then got stuck in the traffic, as today the annual flower festivity was going on in the city, which by the way we already knew was going to happen earlier in the morning...
In the end, Craig, Paul and Marco left the meeting around 11:00 PM, but at that moment, the passport-control was still going on...
But because of all this later than scheduled activities, the trio still hadn't had time to have dinner, which they finally had around 11:30 PM.
OK, back to the meeting.
ESF-President André van Overbeek (who was elected in February of this year) opened the meeting and apologized for the late arrival of the TC-members.
Hereafter, Bob Milosavljevic, the Chief Technical Commissioner, addressed the teams, but also got some questions to answer asked by several team-representatives about the playing fields, the safety of them and for the players and more.
Well, what can you say about a meeting that starts 45 minutes too late, runs almost two hours longer than scheduled and had only a few bottles of water available for the representatives?
Maybe the best way is to say nothing about it at all.
The bat-control also took place during the meeting and since the ESF has a different list with non-approved bats than the ISF or ASA, several bats were rejected, including five for the Dutch team.
Also during the meeting, the official game ball (Mizuno) was presented (less than 11 hours before the start of the first games of the event...) and it also was announced that the starting times for the late afternoon/evening games were pushed back to a later time.
This because of the current heat in Valencia (the city is known for its hot summers...).
As a result, the opening game of the Dutch Team on Monday-evening against France now starts at 7:00 PM (instead of 6:00 PM), following the Opening Ceremony (which was moved from 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM).
Also, Tuesday's game against Austria has been pushed back from 4:30 PM to 6:00 PM and Wednesday's game against Germany was moved from 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM.
The message was simple: This is how it is.
Schedule European Championships
The Team returned to the field on Sunday-morning
No, this is not Russia, but simply a Russian supermarket in Valencia
After arrival on the field, an unscheduled photo-session took place,
as all players and staffmembers had to be photographed for their tournament passes
Here, Britt Vonk poses for her ID-card
But then, the practice started
Here, coaches Tiffany McDonald and Nancy Evans look on during the warm-up
Head Coach Craig Montvidas addresses the team
...then hits grounders to the infielders
Coach Nancy Evans works with the pitchers
And Coach Tiffany McDonald throws for the bunting-session
Also being photographed was Business Manager Rich Hooff, who arrived later in the morning
A shot of the intersquad-game, which was played during the practice
And then, it was time for the cooling down after practice
Some of the futuristic buildings of the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias
And some shots of the animals that live in the Oceanográfico,
like the seahound...
...the strange looking sea dragons...
...another sea dragon...
...a giant white shark...
...and a group of dolphins
The Opera House of the city of Valencia
The Technical Meeting
ESF-President André van Overbeek addresses the team-representatives
The umpires are being introduced
Team Manager Paul Boonstra waits for the conclusion of the passport-control
by Bob Milosavljevic (Chief Tehnical Commissioner) and Marlies Struyvé (Umpire-in-Chief)