GUAM BASEBALL LEAGUE BANNED FROM PACIFIC COMPETITION

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By Alex J. Rhowunio'ng

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Mar. 7) - Guam's major league players are banned from regional and international competition, according to the Baseball Confederation of Oceania and the Guam National Olympic Committee.

The organizations jointly announced yesterday the official suspension of the Guam Baseball Federation for failure to meet national and international obligations.

Some of the deficiencies include US$4,000 owed by GBF to BCO since March 2005, failure by GBF to attend monthly GNOC meetings, failure to participate in the Baseball World Cup hosted by the Cuban Baseball Federation in October of 2003, failure to participate at the BCO Triple A Oceania Regional Championships hosted by the Palau Baseball Federation in January of 2004 and failure to participate at the BCO Olympic qualifier for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, according to a GNOC press release.

The GBF is banned from such competitions as the upcoming Pacific Games on August 25 to September 8 in Apia, Samoa, until 2009. The GBF will now have to reapply for membership and recognition during the next Olympiad in 2009.

"After thoroughly considering its options, GNOC, in consultation with the Baseball Confederation of Oceania, have agreed to formally announce the suspension of the GBF," said Rick Blas, GNOC president. "It is unfortunate that GBF has left the GNOC with no other option on this matter."

The decision could also have impact with Guam's Little League players, if Little League Inc. recognizes the Baseball Confederation of Oceania and the Guam National Olympic Committee's sanction.

John C. Ostermeyer, BCO president, added: "It is extremely disappointing that Guam Baseball has decided by its own actions to place itself outside of the international baseball family, which in return means that the international baseball family will not have any relations with Guam Baseball."

According to a BOC press release: "Any baseball member federation of the BCO/International Baseball Federation (IBAF) is expressly prohibited" to compete with any Guam teams "including friendly or junior games."

In practical terms, said Blas, Guam will not be able to play in the Micronesian Games or even with any visiting Japanese team at the LeoPalace Resort. "That means (Guam) cannot play anywhere (outside of Guam), period," he said.

Blas added that all he has to do is write to BCO to notify the Japanese that they are competing with a non-compliant and suspended organization. "That's the seriousness of Mark's (Charfauros, GBF commissioner,) inability to understand this," Blas said.

According to Ostermeyer, there is also a possibility that the Guam Little League might be affected by GBF's suspension.

He added that in a March 2 to 3 IBAF Congress in Beijing, China, "it was announced that IBAF was in negotiation with Little League Inc. and other similar bodies to develop a united worldwide approach to the development of baseball whereby the IBAF and organizations such as Little League would recognize the authority and role each ... played and that, accordingly, any sanction imposed by one would be honored by the other."

Frank Camacho, president of Guam Central Little League who was attending a Guam Little League meeting last night with other Little League presidents and the district administrator, Steve Guerrero, said he would not start worrying until they hear from Little League Inc. in Williamsport, Pa.

Shon Muna, head coach for the 2005 Central East Little League representing the region, said should Guam Little League be affected, "There's going to be chaos."

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