About The Signalfan
The Signalfan idea came to me when I was in my kitchen one day. I was coaching softball with 2 men using traditional hand signals. We all loved to run our offense but the girls had trouble picking up our signs because of our different styles of giving the signals. A color system came to mind and I thought of paddles shaped like bats. There were quite a few cutouts made and It took a lot of work and time to figure out the attachments and what material to make it out of.
Fortunately, plastic companies I emailed helped me to figure out a material that would do well in extreme temps, had texture for rainy days, and had a variety of colors available yet you could order in small batches. These people were very generous with their knowledge and I am grateful. It took a while to find and decide on the two attachments. The Signalfan is sent attached with a screw but I use the stainless steel ring to give my signs. ( My husband likes the screw attachment and thinks others would as well so I include both.)
The Signalfan is not rocket science and that is it's beauty...it was a way to de-stress my players and make me a more effective coach! It is used for offense, defense, calling pitches, pick off plays, and moving fielders. Field hockey embraced it immediately and it has crossed over into baseball, some basketball and some football including Arena football and most recently into Rugby. It has been used at the middle school level up to professional level.
I am so flattered that Chip Kelly of The Philadelphia Eagles thought The Signalfan a worthwhile tool. I have such respect for him as a great coach, an innovator, and a good guy! Go Eagles!
Articles in the Press
- Eagles draft her signaling system into the NFL (Philly.com)
- Philadelphia Eagles using dental hygienist's $25 invention to call plays (DailyMail.co.uk)
- Kelly Notes: Boykin 'Good To Go' (PhillyMag.com)
- Dental hygienist's invention being used by the Philadelphia Eagles (FoxNews.com)
About The Inventor, Jill Cakert
Jill has been involved in softball since age 9 when she was the youngest recruit that year, for Little League Softball in Ventnor NJ. Softball has been a part of Jill's life ever since. As a player, Jill received a 4yr scholarship to Div 1, Temple University for softball where she played as an outfielder and pitcher, and batted third in the line up, playing varsity, for coach Ronnie Maurek. She has also played in various women's leagues in the Atlantic City area and in a National Slow Pitch Tournament as a recruit for a local team that won a birth to a National Tournament in Georgia. Jill has won various MVP awards, batting, and defensive awards along the way.
Her coaching career began more than 25 years ago in minor league baseball and then on to Little League softball coaching the "Fireman" team. While coaching all- stars in 2000 and in 2002 the girls won District 16 Championships.
Beginning in 2001 Jill coached at the high school varsity level at Holy Spirit High School and later at Atlantic City High School. While still being involved with travel teams. In 2012 Atlantic City High School softball won a Division title for the 1st time in the school's 35 yr softball history. ( Jill's 3rd yr as a full time coach, using The Signalfan for calling offense and defense).
Jill has also coached teams in USSSA/ASA/Pony/NSA tournaments. After winning births to various national tournaments our team decided on Pony Nationals in Sterling VA. In 2002 our team came in 37th in Pony Nationals. In 2003 we came in 5th Place (out of 167 teams) . The following year 2004, we followed up with a 17th place finish. Jill has stayed involved to a lesser degree with other successful teams and individuals. She teaches hitting, various styles of bunting, and also slapping.
"Softball has had a major impact on my life. I received my education through softball, I met my husband while playing , and I have gotten to know my children's friends as well. The parents and the children I have had the pleasure to have known have greatly enriched my life. I can never give back as much as I have gotten, and continue to get through this wonderful sport! The Signalfan was born out of my passion for softball. It enables easy transitions from one coach, to another, to the players."
The Signalfan is currently being used in softball, baseball, football, Arena football, field hockey, basketball and Rugby. It is applicable to any sport in which signs are given. Now in the US in at least 38 states, Canada, Japan, Italy and Ireland.
- Used by The Philadelphia Eagles
- Used by Hamilton Tiger Cats Canadian professional football team
- Endorsed by USSSA Florida State Softball Director Gordon Patterson after watching a tournament game for a National team at a "Stars and Stripes Sports event" in Orlando, FL.
- Used by Coach Cathy Weathered in ASA Nationals in Roanoke VA 2013, where her team finished in 5th place.
Portions of proceeds donated to Autism Foundations