Coaches 2021

The largest group of participants ever to graduate from an Israel Association of Baseball coaches course have received their certification. Nineteen candidates, aged 16 and up, successfully completed the course which was run in collaboration with the Israel College of Sports, headed by Dr. Eli Sadres. The Israel Sports Authority is the certifying body. 

The 19 newly minted certified coaches are: Leeor Kronik, Harel Kronik, Yaara Kronik, Uri Shani, Amitai Eli and Itai Goldner from Tel Aviv; Shaked Baruch and Ido Peled from Tel Mond; Judah Rosenthal from Bat Hefer; Oren Bobrov, David Kayman and Ivri Margolin from Misgav; Eagle Solomon from Ginegar; Zev Moore from Jerusalem; Danielle Salber, Gabriel Salber and David Edery from Modiin; Avinoam Sachs from Hashmonaim and Aryeh Klein from Bet Shemesh. 

The participants had to complete an intensive few months of scientific studies (psychology, physiology, anatomy, coaching theory and sports injuries), on-field work, baseball coaching training, as well as a 28-hour first aid certification course. The course was run by senior coach Ophir Katz, who was responsible for training the students in baseball theory and on-field instruction. 

The course began in September 2020 and much of it took place during the COVID-19 lockdown. As a result, all the theoretical sessions were conducted via Zoom. The upside of this format was that several lectures were given by members of Team Israel's Olympic squad, which added tremendous value. The Olympians who shared their expertise with the students were Ian Kinsler, Ryan Lavarnway, Josh Zeid, Blake Gailen, Simon Rosenbaum, Shlomo Lipetz, Mitch Glasser, Zach Penprase and Assaf Lowengart. In addition, Team Israel coach Eric Holtz lectured, as well as IAB Head Umpire Leon Klarfeld and former IAB President Haim Katz. 

"We have run a few coaches courses in the past, but never with this many participants," noted Ophir Katz. "These coaches now have a deep knowledge of what it takes to be a professional coach and are well-positioned to significantly elevate the level of all their players. They also have the accreditation that allows them to coach in schools and community centers."

"The course was challenging, and we all had to put in a lot of hours," said Harel Kronik, 18, who participated in the course along with his sister, Ya’ara, 16, and his father Leeor. "But now I have far more tools and knowledge to be a better coach on a much higher level than before."

Jordy Alter, IAB President, added: "As part of the IAB’s goal to increase the professional level of our coaching, and consequently our baseball standards, we made a major effort to increase participation in this course. The course was a great success, and we hope to see many more participants in the courses that we will run every year from now on."

The next course is scheduled to begin in the fall and will be open to players over the age of 16 who have at least three years of competitive baseball experience. For registration or more information please contact Margo Sugarman ().


Israel's national baseball team will visit Dunkin Donuts Park during its pre-Olympic camp

TEL AVIV – Israel's national baseball team will play two games at Dunkin Donuts Park in Hartford, Connecticut, this summer as part of its pre-Olympic training camp. Team Israel will face the Bristol Blues on Wednesday, July 14, and the Ocean State Waves on Thursday, July 15. Both games will be early starts with the first pitch set for 10:30 a.m. The Blues and Waves are members of the New England Collegiate Baseball League.

Josh Solomon, the owner of the Hartford Yard Goats, who call Dunkin Donuts Park home, has partnered with Team Israel to help make these games happen. The Yard Goats are the AA-affiliate of the Colorado Rockies.

"We're delighted to be able to spend some time in Hartford during our Olympic preparations," Team Israel GM Peter Kurz said. "I want to thank Josh Solomon for helping make this happen. Josh has been a true friend of Israel Baseball and has donated generously to our cause. I know he was planning to be in Tokyo to cheer us on in person and since that can't happen, playing two games on his turf is the next best thing."

The games in Hartford will be a homecoming of sorts for several Team Israel players, including infielder Scott Burcham, who played for the Yard Goats during the 2018 and 2019 seasons.

 "I’ve been extremely fortunate to be able to play in Hartford in the minor leagues," Burcham said of his time with the Yard Goats. "Dunkin Donuts Park is one of the nicest facilities in the country, from the playing surface to the locker rooms. Not to mention the fans bring the electricity every single night."

There have also been several Team Israel players who competed in the New England Collegiate Baseball League. Josh Zeid played for the Torrington Twisters in 2006, Ryan Lavarnway for the Manchester Silkworms in 2007, Alex Katz for the Danbury Westerners in 2014, Jeremy Wolf for the Newport Gulls and Simon Rosenbaum for the Vermont Mountaineers in 2015, and Ben Wanger for the Valley Blue Sox in 2018.

Team Israel will have as many as 28 players in total plus some of the top local talents of the next generation to expose them to a training camp atmosphere. The roster is ripe with players known to baseball fans in the United States; there are seven players with previous Major League Baseball experience plus several current minor league players.

Team Israel will compete in baseball at the Olympic Games for the first time. It is the first team to represent Israel at the Olympic Games since 1976 when Israel's national soccer team played in Montreal. The six-team Olympic Baseball Tournament will run from July 28 through August 7.

LAVARNWAY Shirsey 12, the official online shop of Israel Baseball, is releasing a new line of individual player and coach t-shirts and hoodies! The launch of the "shirseys" and hoodies was designed to commemorate Israel's 73rd Independence Day.

"We are thrilled that Israel will be one of six countries competing for the gold medal in the upcoming Olympics," said Peter Kurz, General Manager of Team Israel. “Now we are excited that fans, old and new, can proudly display their support by wearing this awesome new gear."

The new short-sleeve t-shirts and Nike pullover hoodies are available in men’s, women’s, and youth sizes in the colors of Israel’s flag - blue and white. This official product line features Israel Baseball’s extended Olympics team roster, including eight players with Major League Baseball experience, as well as select members of the Olympic coaching staff.

"My teammates, coaches, and I are pumped that Israel Baseball fans around the world will now be able to show their support by proudly representing their favorite player or coach. The support means a lot to us, and we're looking forward to seeing lots of awesome photos from the fans," added former Major Leaguer and Team Israel pitcher Jon Moscot.

A large portion of sale proceeds will help fund Israel Baseball’s journey to the Olympics and help build and renovate baseball fields in Israel. So this is your chance to look great and support a great cause!


TEL AVIV – Team Israel General Manager Peter Kurz has submitted an expanded roster of 44 players to the World Baseball Softball Confederation from which the 24-man traveling roster for the Olympic Games will be selected. The WBSC is baseball's global governing body and the organizer of the baseball competition at the Olympic Games.  

Israel's roster includes all 24 players from the team that clinched Israel’s Olympic berth by winning the WBSC Baseball Europe/Africa Olympic Qualifier in September 2019 in Italy. There are 12 players who return from Israel's entry at the 2017 World Baseball Classic, which reached the quarterfinals. The next generation of Israeli baseball players is also represented with six players who helped Israel finish in first place at the European Championship U18 Qualifier in 2019 in Sweden.

Alongside nine players who have played in the Major Leagues are four players who are currently serving in the Israel Defense Forces under the distinguished athlete designation and three more who will be drafted in the same class in the coming year.

Team Israel will have its first training camp in May in Arizona and will then meet again in early July in New York, where it will play a series of exhibition games before flying to Tokyo for the Olympics.

Team Israel's expanded roster for the 2021 Olympic Games:  

Pitchers (21): Jeremy Bleich (Major League Analyst, Pittsburgh Pirates) , Eric Brodkowitz (Idaho Falls Chukars), Gabe Cramer (free agent), Jonathan deMarte (free agent), Jake Fishman (Miami Marlins),  Alex Katz (free agent), Dean Kremer (Baltimore Orioles), Jared Lakind (Lancaster Barnstormers), Alon Leichman (coach, Seattle Mariners), Shlomo Lipetz (free agent), Shlomo Lipman (Jerusalem Lions), Ivri Margolin (Team Misgav), Jon Moscot (free agent), Ido Peled (Ra'anana Raiders), Dean Pelman (free agent), David Sharabi (Sioux Falls Canaries), Matt Soren (free agent), Joey Wagman (Temp Praha), Ben Wanger (University of Miami), Zack Weiss (Kansas City Monarchs), Josh Zeid (coach, Chicago Cubs).

Catchers (3): Tal Erel (Lynn University), Ryan Lavarnway (Cleveland Indians), Nick Rickles (free agent).

Infielders (12): Shaked Baruch (Ra'anana Raiders), Scott Burcham (Colorado Rockies), Mitch Glasser (free agent), Itai Goldner (Tel Aviv Comrades), Kai Friesem (Ra'anana Raiders), Ty Kelly (Long Island Ducks), Ian Kinsler (free agent), Assaf Lowengart (Mansfield University), Zev Moore (Jerusalem Lions), Zach Penprase (New York Boulders), Simon Rosenbaum (coach, Tampa Bay Rays), Danny Valencia (free agent).

Outfielders (8): Natan Bash (Ra'anana Raiders), Noam Calisar (Ryukyu Blue Ocean), Blake Gailen (Lancaster Barnstormers), David Ibn Ezra (Bay College), Robb Paller (Lake Erie Crushers), Jake Rosenberg (Narbeth), Uri Shani (Tel Aviv Comrades), Jeremy Wolf (Lake Erie Crushers).   


Dubai, UAE January 19, 2021 – The Dubai Little League and Israel Association of Baseball are proud to announce the establishment of the Field of Peace Tournament. 

The baseball tournament will feature the 12-and-under National Teams of Israel and the United Arab Emirates competing in events in both Dubai and Israel in 2021. Invitations have also been extended to teams from other Gulf countries to participate. The teams will play for the Unity Cup. 

The first series of games will take place on March 21-25 at the Dubai Little League Park next to Al Quoz Pond Park. The teams will meet again in the fall of 2021 in Tel Aviv.  

"We are excited to enter a new era of cooperation between our organizations and countries," Dubai Little League President Roger Duthie and his IAB counterpart Jordy Alter said in a joint statement. "We strive together to develop the game of baseball in Israel and Dubai as a basis for peace and cooperation between our countries. We see this as a major step forward in both areas and are excited to jointly hold the first team sports tournament between our countries. We hope these games lead to further regional cooperation."

HE Saeed Mohammad Hareb, the Secretary General​ of the Dubai Sports Council said: "To have children play sports at their innocent level which represents more than sport is something that should be cherished. This event will help bound our two nations and I cannot think of anything better than to have children represent the bright future that we look forward to growing together. The Dubai Sports Council is proud to support this initiative which is a testament to the wonderful volunteers of the Dubai Little League and the Israel Association of Baseball." 

About Dubai Little League 

Dubai Little League has over 400 players playing baseball and softball in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It is a volunteer-run, not-for-profit organization recognized by the Community Development Authority of Dubai. Founded in 1998, Dubai Little League has 7 age divisions ranging from ages 4 to 18. For further information about the Dubai Little league please contact 

About Israel Baseball

The Israel Association of Baseball was founded in 1986 and has overseen the growth of the sport in the country ever since, culminating with Team Israel's historic qualification for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. The IAB is a member of The Israel Olympic Committee, The Confederation of European‎Baseball (CEB), World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC), Major League Baseball International (MLBI), and Little League.‎

As part of the expansion of baseball activities in Israel, the IAB is building new fields and looks forward to the completion of the new Bet Shemesh complex, which will host international tournaments, as well as the Raanana field, which will be a joint baseball-soccer facility, both slated for 2021. There are also plans to expand the Sportek Tel Aviv field and to add lighting.  

For further information about the tournament, please contact the General Manager, Peter Kurz at  or


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