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Team Travel Rules and Bylaws

Agawam Baseball and Softball Association (ABSA)


Revised October 2019

I. Team Structure

Teams are encouraged to play in the highest division allowed if coach feels it is appropriate.

Age groupings are as follows:

Baseball: 

8U                        Consists of players that are not older than 8 as of May 1st (1st-2nd Grade)

10U                      Consists of players that are not older than 10 as of May 1st (3rd-4th Grade)

12U                      Consists of players that are not older than 12 as of May 1st (5th-6th Grade)

14U                      Consists of players that are not older than 14 as of May 1st (7th-8th Grade)

Jr Legion               Consists of players that are in high school for Freshmen and Sophomore years

Sr Legion              Consists of players that are in high school and post grad freshmen

 

Softball:

8U                        Consists of players that are not older than 8 as of May 1st

10U                      Consists of players that are not older than 10 as of May 1st

12U                      Consists of players that are not older than 12 as of May 1st

14U                      Consists of players that are not older than 14 as of May 1st

Jr Legion               Consists of players that are in high school for Freshmen and Sophomore years

Sr Legion              Consists of players that are in high school and post grad freshmen

 

  1. Players that are eligible to play on a younger team but are grade appropriate to play up with their classmates, will be allowed to play grade appropriate.
  2. If sufficient numbers dictate, the ABSA Executive Committee may create extra teams for any division. In order to be eligible for this, team players must first try out for their particular age division, when applicable. Additional teams will be formed from players unable to be included on the select age group team.
  3. Out of town players are allowed by ABSA.  Out of town players may not take the place of an eligible Agawam player.  No Agawam player will be cut from the program to make room for an out of town player.  
  4. Players may not refuse a position on the select team unless previously played for that coach for one season.
  5. NO guaranteed spots on any teams. Coaches and assistant coaches’ children will be rated according to their ability and will not automatically receive a roster spot because their parent is the coach.
  6. All players assigned to a travel team are expected to fulfil the time frame of the season the team is playing in. 

     

No child may play outside their age/grade appropriate bracket unless:

  1. An opening exists in the next bracket up. No age/grade appropriate player, who is duly signed up, may be cut to make room for the underage player.
  2. Subject to tryouts this player is grand fathered only if additional age/grade appropriate players do not tryout. 
  3. Any player that may play outside their division for any reason must be approved by 2/3 majority vote of the ABSA Executive Council.

 

II. ABSA TRY OUT PROCEDURES

 

1. Tryouts

Tryouts will be held on two separate days, a third if necessary upon coach’s request. Players must attend one day mandatory, two days at coach request. It is highly recommended to attend all tryouts for the best opportunity to be rated accordingly.

Players must be registered in the online system before tryouts. 

All players wishing to play for any travel team MUST attend a tryout to be eligible.  Exceptions to include: injury, other medical condition, and personal family matters.  Any player wishing to play, that cannot attend a try out, must send letter or email to ABSA prior to the try out.

In the event a player is unable to try out, previous coach may grade the player based on his/her history and judgment of the player.  A player who misses tryouts and has no previous league experience will go to the bottom of the list for eligible players.

 

2. Try Out Format:     

All players will be given a number to wear on body.  Numbers will correspond to list that evaluators will have.    

Players will be broken up into as many groups of 4 players and into even groups. 3, 4, or 5 players can be in group to even out if necessary.

Players will be evaluated by three people, one being head coach, others being independent from team.

 

3. Try Out Exercises:

Players will all do 15 minutes of foundation exercises, followed by three 15 minute mini-games and a 45 minute full field game, rotating teams as necessary.

Final 15 minutes will be head coach discretion.

 

 

4. Evaluators:

Evaluators will be three people minimum, one being head coach and two being other coach with the third being Executive Council member or appointed person by Baseball or Softball Director. Asst, coaches will not be evaluating. This is mock model, and can be modified to fit schedules, but another travel coach must be second evaluator.

Coaches will ideally stay with their own gender, boy’s coaches stay with boys and girl coaches stay with girl’s. If there is a situation that requires overlapping of genders, Travel Director(s) may ask girls and boys coaches to rate other teams.

5.     Rating Players:

Each evaluator will have a sheet with all players listed next to number on jersey they are given.

Evaluators will use sheets to rate each player within the group they are put in, each evaluator will rate each player during the mini games, from 1-4 (if there are 4 players) 1 being the lowest rating, 4 being the last highest rating. Each evaluator will look at each group and rating the players in each group as they see necessary. We will use a rating between 1 and 4 so no middle number can be picked. Head coach's children and or assistant coach’s children are not automatically given spots on rosters due to coach positions or board positions. 

ABSA reserves the right, if the situation permits and with E-council approval, to employ outside organizations for the tryout and selection of a given team. This would take the selection process away from ABSA and allow outside organizations full authority to pick the roster. This will only be done when there major issues with team selection between coaches and parents and will not be done without majority E-council approval. This may be determined before try out date or after depending on circumstances.

 Final Roster: The final roster decision will be voted on by the ABSA board for approval. The head coach’s discretion on the roster will be weighed heavily during the process but final decision will be ABSA Board of Directors. The two other evaluators will give their input and ratings prior to the full field breakdown. The ABSA Boarddecision should be made in agreement with evaluators.  Baseball and Softball Directors may also decide to modify numbers on a team to allow for second team (or to raise the roster number in the spring to avoid issues with other sports) if necessary. These decisions will be made with best interest of ABSA and the concerning team, and will not be done without ABSA E-council approval. Head coaches are not to notify players of spots on the team until ABSA Board has approved the roster. Roster size will be determined with input from the head coach.

Age groups that do not turn in three evaluation sheets  that are effectively cutting players or assigning to separate teams (“Division 1” or “Division 2”) will not be valid for finalizing rosters.

In the event that a team has just enough registrations to field a team and there will not be cuts or player movement between teams, evaluation sheets will not be necessary.  Although all players are asked to pre-register on the web site, it is probable that players will show up for try outs without registering.  Coaches will be asked to still attend the try out and be available for un-registered players to attend.  Coach can have player attend another try out that is going on to evaluate player.

Tryout records: Grading sheets done by evaluators will be collected after team has been selected and will be kept on file with ABSA for one season.  Records are not made available to anyone other than head coaches and evaluators and Travel Directors. If a certain age group does not have the numbers for an evaluated try out, an evaluation sheet for that age group should still be filed by Travel Directors to document the team’s non-evaluated try-out.
 

The ABSA board reserves the right to modify rosters, coach positions, and all other aspects of the team(s) during any point of the season or in between seasons that the Board feels is in the best interest of the team.

 

III. Uniforms

Uniforms will be supplied by ABSA as a separate fee to the player. The uniform is the player’s and is not owned by ABSA. Uniforms will be replaced to each team every season. Lost or damaged uniforms will be purchased by individual player.

 

IV.  Coach Licensing (effective 12/2006)

All Travel coaches must possess certifications from USA Baseball - TBD

If a coach does not meet the requirements of ABSA for licensing, they will be classified as an "intern" coach and will have to re-interview for the position each season after the team is posted for coaching applicants.

 

V.  Selection of Coaches

  1. A coach requesting to coach a Travel Team should have prior baseball coaching experience.
  2. Each team will be headed by one coach who will pick his/her assistants. All assistants must be approved by ABSA Board during final roster approvals.
  3. The selection of coaches for all seasons will be approved by the Executive Committee of the ABSA and may be removed by the Executive Committee with a 2/3 vote.
  4. Coaches will move up with their respective teams when those teams advance to an older age group.
  5. The Travel Team Coach’s Body will be composed of the head coach of each team. Meetings will be called by the directors.
  6. Coaches will be renewed with their perspective teams at the end of each spring season, prior to tryouts.  Coaches being renewed will be renewed from a 2/3 vote of the ABSA Board.
  7. Any coach inserted into a season for any reason will be considered an “interim” coach until end of spring season.  At that time refer to Section V. Line 6.
  8. Any person wanting to coach a team must submit a written request to the ABSA board, specifically the Baseball or Softball Director.  Requests will be brought to the ABSA board and a interview may be required prior to final vote.  All coaches must be voted in by majority vote of the ABSA board. 

 

VI. Coaches’ Responsibilities

  1. Coach will be provided with Travel Team rules, regulations and protest procedures by the boys and girls directors of Travel Teams.
  2. Coaches must familiarize themselves and their teams with all of these rules.
  3. Coaches must familiarize parents with the rules governing parents, uniforms, and players.
  4. Coaches must submit team rosters and player passes in accordance with the rules and regulations of the participating league.
  5. Coaches will be responsible to be represented at all meetings as directed by the ABSA Board
  6. Coaches are required at the end of each spring season to submit an evaluation of each player from the previous Fall and Spring season.  These evaluations will be used as part of the tryout process in June.  Coaches will not be renewed for the following seasons without handing in their evaluation sheets from the previous year.

 

VII. Disciplinary Action - Coaches/Assistants

Warning - the coach/assistant is given a verbal warning explaining the behavior that was deemed inappropriate and against the governing body's "Coaches Code of Conduct". This warning will be documented in the ABSA minutes.

Suspension - the coach/assistant may be suspended from coaching his/her team for a period of time as deemed appropriate by the Executive Board.

The Executive Board will then appoint an interim coach for the time.

The suspended coach/assistant MAY NOT participate in any practices or games with the team and MUST be on the parents side of the field during any league games during the suspension.

Any violation of rule 2 may result in the permanent removal of that coach/assistant.

Removal - The coach/assistant can be permanently removed from coaching and ABSA sponsored team or in any ABSA sponsored event.

Two warnings within the same season (Fall and Spring constitute separate seasons) will result in an immediate 1 year suspension.

Any Coach/Assistant has the right to appeal the ABSA’s decision to the ABSA Board or the governing body that issued the suspension. All appeals must follow the governing organizations rules for appeals.

ABSA coaches are expected to represent ABSA, players, parents, and themselves appropriately at all times.  This includes:  regular season, practices, away tournaments, and any other team event.  The ABSA Board can take appropriate action against coaches that do not represent themselves appropriately at any event with ABSA

 

PARENTS

Parents and fans will be required to follow all spectator rules for the league or governing body that the team is participating in.

No alcoholic beverage will be permitted on the field at any time.

If a team forfeits a game due to the conduct of an Agawam parent, the Executive Committee will take appropriate disciplinary action

PLAYERS

 The position of a player and his/her playing time is left to the coaches’ discretion.

The ABSA Executive Board strongly recommends participation by all players and by a 2/3 vote may require a coach/assistant to play certain players a minimum amount of time per game. At any time during the season, a coach may request to drop a player from his roster if there’s an attitude or discipline problem. That coach must provide a written statement of the issues with the player to the respective Baseball or Softball Director.   Coach must notify the Travel Teams Directors within 24 hours.  Player can only be removed from the team by a 2/3 vote of the ABSA Board.

Other reasons which may cause a coach to drop a child from his roster or not play a player in a game are absenteeism, inability to play as a team member and negative parent involvement. Coach must notify the Directors within 24 hours.

FUND RAISING

If a team desires to raise money for any appropriate reason, by means of a fund raising activity, the ABSA Executive Committee must first approve it.  The coach shall coach contact their respective Travel Director with the details of the fundraiser in writing, who will the present it to the ABSA Executive Committee.   That specific fundraiser, if approved, is good for one season (spring or fall)

 

TEAM FUNDS

Every travel team will have its own team account.  A team can add to this fund through fundraisers (see Fundraising. 

A coach can use team funds for, but not limited to the following: training items, indoor fees, camp fees, warm-up gear, gear bags, and training videos/books

Team funds may only be used for a team party at the U-14 level.

If a coach decides to use his/her team funds, the coach shall contact (via e-mail or telephone) their respective Travel Team Director with the reason for the use of team funds for approval.  If approved, the Director shall contact (via e-mail or telephone) the coach and the ABSA Treasurer.  If not approved the Director shall contact (via e-mail or telephone) the coach and explain the reason for the non-approval

The coach shall provide a receipt to the ABSA Treasurer

The ABSA Treasurer will keep a detailed report of each team account and will present a report of each team account to the Executive Vice President at the beginning and at the conclusion of each season.

 

AMENDMENTS

These Rules and Regulations may be amended by a majority vote of the Agawam Baseball and Softball Association Executive Committee

 

Coaches Code of Conduct

We want to ensure that games are fair, positive and enjoyable experiences for all of the children and adults involved. A baseball and/or softball game should be friendly and unifying - a spirited social and athletic occasion for players, coaches, officials and spectators.

To clarify expectations of coach conduct, we jointly expect all coaches to conform to this code of conduct.

  • Before, during and after the game, be an example of dignity, patience and positive spirit.
  • Before a game, introduce yourself to the opposing coach and to the umpires.
  • During the game, you are responsible for the sportsmanship of your players. If one of your players is disrespectful, irresponsible or overly aggressive, take the player out of the game at least long enough for him/her to calm down.
  • During the game, you are also responsible for the conduct of the parents of your players. It is imperative to explain acceptable player and parent behavior in a preseason meeting.
  • Encourage them to applaud and cheer for good plays by either team. Discourage them and you may need to be forceful and direct from yelling at players and the referee.
  • During the game, you are also responsible for the conduct of spectators rooting for your team.
  • During the game, do not address the umpire at all. If you have a small issue, discuss it with the umpire calmly and patiently after the game.
  • If you have a major complaint, or if you think the umpire was unfair, biased, unfit or incompetent, report your opinion to your League. Your reactions will be taken seriously if they are presented objectively and formally.
  • After the game, thank the umpire and ask your players to do the same.

  

We stress two points:

1.      Umpires - especially young and inexperienced ones - are like your players and yourself, in that they need time to develop. You can play an important role in helping them to improve by letting them concentrate on the game.  You can help by encouraging them, by accepting their inevitable, occasional mistakes and by offering constructive post-game comments. On the other hand, you could discourage and demoralize the umpires by criticizing their decisions, by verbally abusing them and inciting - or even accepting - your own players' overly aggressive behavior.

2.      Your example is powerful, for better or worse. If you insist on fair play, if you concentrate on your players' enjoyment of the game and their overall, long term development, and if you support the umpire, your players and their parents will notice. If you encourage (or allow) your players to play outside the rules, if you're overly concerned about results, and if you criticize the umpire harshly, your players and their parents will also notice.  Think about what you're doing during a game! Uphold the Spirit of the Game! If you follow the expectations described above, the spirit of the game will be alive and well in Massachusetts and will grow, along with the enjoyment of all.

Coaches who don't follow the expectations described above will be disciplined or removed