League By-LawsUpdated Sunday December 3, 2017 by Sam Farnsworth.
West Marin Little League Bylaws Last Updated: November 30, 2017
The primary objective of West Marin Little League (“WMLL”) is to provide the children of our community with an opportunity not only to have fun and develop good fundamental baseball skills, but to develop the skills of sportsmanship, teamwork, and, commitment. Towards this end, WMLL will provide a supervised program of developmental baseball games and instruction under the rules and regulations of Little League Baseball, Incorporated. All WMLL directors, managers, coaches, officers, agents and other volunteers shall bear in mind that the attainment of exceptional athletic skill or the winning of games is secondary, and the molding of happy, healthy, productive future citizens is of prime importance.
The rules described herein are intended to supplement, not replace, the rules and regulations of Little League Baseball, Incorporated and the WMLL Constitution. These rules may be amended by a majority vote of the Board.
WMLL strives to offer a comprehensive, articulated instructional program to all players from 5 to 15. Players can expect to spend one or two years at each level, and progress to the next division when it best serves their developmental needs. Because Little League’s “League Age” is determined using a different date than California schools use to determine grade placement, it is sometimes the case that children in the same class will be playing in different Little League divisions. A player’s age or grade will not always be the sole indication of his/her most suitable Little League division placement. If a player has exceptional baseball skills and maturity, or a clear need for additional skills development, and would, in the opinion of the WMLL Player Agent, benefit from playing in a different division than his/her age or grade would seem to indicate, WMLL reserves the right to place the player in the Division deemed most appropriate. The goal is to create the narrowest possible range of ages and skills within each division.
In general, with the above-mentioned exceptions, the divisions tend to break down like this:
All player fees are due at the time of registration unless a designated WMLL representative approves an alternative arrangement. Financial aid will be provided for any player whose family is unable to contribute financially, but this must be arranged in advance of season starting.
A full refund will be granted up to three days after tryouts for Minors, Majors, and Juniors Divisions, and until February 7th for Rookie, Farm, and Tee Ball. Any refunds after this point will need the Board of Directors’ approval and will be at a reduced rate.
West Marin Little League is an entirely volunteer-run organization. All adults are expected to contribute some of their time and resources to put back into the program for the benefit of each and every player in our League. Without the constructive involvement of parents and community-minded individuals, the opportunity for an enjoyable and beneficial youth sports experience will have limited success.
All managers, coaches, Board of Directors members, and any/all other volunteers who provide regular services to the league and/or have repetitive access to, or contact with players or teams, must annually complete and submit the official “Little League Volunteer Application” to the local league president. Annual background screenings must be completed prior to the applicant assuming his/her duties for the current season. Refusal to annually submit a fully completed “Little League Volunteer Application” will result in the immediate removal of the individual from coaching in the local league games or practices.
The WMLL Manager/Coach Selection Process shall govern the requirements for and process by which managers/coaches are reviewed, approved and assigned to each division.
All players with a League Age from 5 to 14 who register in advance of the cut-off date are guaranteed a spot on an appropriate team.
Players who are League-aged 9-14 (and any 8 year-olds desiring to play AA Minors) are required to participate in all appropriate assessments in order to allow for the most suitable player placement, and the best possible balancing of teams by age and current ability.
The Player Agent and Baseball Operations Committee oversee and manage all Player Assignment activity.
The goal of the draft is to create teams within each division that are as equally balanced as possible. It is the sincere hope of WMLL that no team will be substantially stronger or weaker than any other.
The Draft Committee will be made up of Player Agent, WMLL President, WMLL Vice President and the VP’s of the AA, AAA, and Majors Divisions.
Following the Assessments/Try-outs, the Draft Committee will determine the draft pools for Majors, AAA, and AA based on player performance, current skill level, League age, pitching/catching/position ability, past recommendations from coaches, and roster spaces available at each level of play.
Once Player Draft Pools have been determined, individual player evaluation scores and assessment scores will be made available to the VP of each Division and the draft will be scheduled by the Player Agent at a time when all or most Division Managers are able to attend.
If one or more managers are unable to attend the agreed-upon draft event, (s)he may send a proxy. All draft choices made by that proxy will be considered officially approved by the manager for whom (s)he is standing in.
In advance of each Division’s draft, the Draft Committee will rank players within that pool, based on their assessment scores and any additional factors deemed by the Draft Committee to be worthy of consideration.
Each Division’s managers will draft players ONLY from the pool provided by the Draft Committee, but managers are not obligated to draft in the order set out by the committee.
Each team may designate one Manager and one “Attached Coach” (if desired) whose child(ren) will be guaranteed spots on the team managed/coached by their parents. Prior to the draft, players whose parent(s) is(are) “attached” to each team will be assigned a draft round based on the ranking determined by the Draft Committee.
1) Johnny is ranked the #2 player in the Majors draft. Johnny’s mother is managing the Giants. Johnny is the automatic 1st round draft pick for the Giants.
2) Jimmy is ranked 30th in the AAA pool. There are 10 teams to be drafted. Jimmy’s dad is the “attached coach” for the Reds. Jimmy is the automatic 3rd round draft pick for the Reds.)
Under no circumstance shall two parent-coaches of exceptionally strong or exceptionally weak players be allowed to coach together if, in the opinion of the Draft Committee or WMLL President, this would result in a skill imbalance within the division.
Prior to the draft, the Player Agent randomly draws lots to determine the “draft order” to be followed.
Traditional drafting will follow a “snake” format by which first-round players are selected by managers in the order determined by this random draw; second round players are selected in reverse order; third round in draft order; fourth round in reverse order; etc. (with all managers’ and coaches’ children placed during appropriate draft round as outlined above).
The Draft Committee may (at their sole discretion) assign a certain number of players to each team, prior to the start of the draft and then complete the draft by way of traditional draft to facilitate creating teams that are as equally balanced as possible.
Because the draft pools are established by the Draft Committee, and all players designated for each Division will be guaranteed a spot on a roster and cannot be “bumped”, all players will be drafted together, regardless of status as “returners”, in order to ensure the most even distribution of skills regardless of previous year’s placement.
Every effort will be made to ensure that every team includes an equitable number of proficient pitchers and catchers. During the draft, players selected are identified as having pitched or caught in the previous season.
Every effort will be made to ensure that, whatever the outcome suggested by the “draft order”/”reverse draft order” procedure, no team ends up with a disproportionate number of “bottom of the lineup” players. The Player Agent, in conjunction with the Draft Committee, may also reserve the right to better balance the teams by assigning the final round of players. This action would ideally be supported by all managers in attendance, along with the Division VP.
No Majors team may have more than 8 players who are league-age 12.
The goal is for every team to eventually have 12 players, but spaces may be reserved during the initial draft process to allow for late registrants. During seasons with exceptionally high enrollment, it may not be possible to accommodate late registration.
Trades: After the draft is completed, one-for-one in-Division trades may be conducted up until the time the teams are announced. All trades shall be approved by the Player Agent and VP of Division. If the VP and/or PA have a potential conflict, trades will be approved/not approved at the discretion of the WMLL President (or WMLL Vice President in the event of a potential conflict with the WMLL President).
Should players register after the registration deadline, every effort will be made to facilitate their inclusion, if possible, on a space-available basis. Late registrants are required to attend assessment days and will be considered equally with players who registered on time.
Should players register after the assessments have taken place, but before the Draft, members of the Draft Committee or their designee(s) will make every attempt to assess these players in order to place each in the most appropriate draft pool on a space-available basis.
Should additional players register after the drafts have taken place, they will be assessed and placed into the appropriate “reserve pool”. If there are available roster slots, and/or the League agrees to increase roster size to 13 to accommodate additional players, the “reserve pool” players will be assigned to teams one week before opening day with the intent of better balancing the existing teams.
Should a team lose enough players during the season to drop their roster below 11 players (to 10 or fewer), replacements may be sought from the division below with Player Agent approval. Every attempt to avoid this will be made so as to incur minimal disruption to any affected WMLL programs. Every attempt will be made to limit the replacement of Majors levels players with 10 year old players. As noted above in section 7, 10 year olds in Majors should be a rare occurrence and limited to truly exceptional players who could pose a safety risk to other players by remaining in AAA.
Practices are scheduled by each team’s Manager and will be held on Division-appropriate WMLL fields. The allocation of practice fields will be overseen by the WMLL Registrar, and teams will be assigned practice times and venues based on manager preference in “reverse draft order”.
Playoff Pitching Equalization: During the playoffs, all players (regardless of age) will be subject to the daily pitch limit of the youngest player currently in the AA division.
Note: Exact time of sundown will be confirmed by Managers and Plate Umpire in advance of every early-season game, and the exact time restriction for “final inning” will be agreed upon.
In accordance with Little League Rule 4.19 (a), protests shall be considered only based on the violation or interpretation of a playing rule, the use of an ineligible pitcher, or the use of an ineligible player. No protest shall be considered on a decision involving an umpire’s judgment.
Right to Protest
In accordance with Little League Rule 4.19(b), only the managers (or in the managers’ absence, the coaches) of contesting teams have the right to protest or speak with an umpire during a game. Should a Manager choose to speak with an umpire during a game, time out shall be called and the Manager for the other team will be included in the conversation.
WMLL follows Little League rule 4.19 in its entirety.
The home team is responsible for field preparation and clean up before each regular-season game and the visitors are responsible for clean-up of their own dugout.
Every effort will be made to schedule “home” games for Pt. Reyes, Bolinas, and Valley teams at their “home” fields.). Field representatives from each area shall be required to maintain the local home fields in play-able condition throughout the season.
The Snack Shack is both an important source of revenue for WMLL and a service to the baseball community, allowing fans and players to access refreshments during games.
Although we do not anticipate unsportsmanlike behavior from our players, coaches, managers, parents, or spectators, the presiding umpires and/or any WMLL Board member in attendance will immediately address any inappropriate actions that may take place at any game played on WMLL fields. Inappropriate actions/behaviors include:
Player safety is an imperative. League, district and Little League policies and rules must be followed at all times.
In divisions where score is kept, the home team scorebook and pitch count will be the official game score-keeping book and pitch count. Pitch count and score will be confirmed with both sides at the end of every inning and any discrepancy will be settled before the start of the next inning. Scorekeeping shall be done in accordance with Little League rules. The League Information Manager will keep records of the game scores.
No uniforms, other than those approved by the WMLL, are acceptable. WMLL will provide hats and jerseys/game shirts to all divisions of play. Socks, belts and baseball pants will be provided by each player’s family. The Majors and Minors Division jerseys are the property of WMLL and must be returned at the end of the season. Any jersey that is not returned or is damaged beyond normal wear and tear will have to be paid for in full by the player’s family. Tee-Ball, Entering Farm and Returning Farm players may keep their game shirts. All players may keep their hats.
WMLL will provide baseball equipment for each team, with the exception of individual player equipment (gloves, cleats, pants, batting gloves, etc.). Should players prefer to use personal bats, catcher’s gear, helmets, and/or pitching protection, they are free to do so, provided that the gear is approved for play by Little League International.
Managers shall be personally and financially responsible for returning all equipment and uniforms at the conclusion of the season only by the process prescribed by the VP of Equipment and/or the Division VP.
The Board will make decisions regarding the playability of our fields. The procedure for determining rainout games is as follows:
Regardless, all games will be stopped immediately if, in the opinion of the umpires and/or any member of the Board, play has become unsafe due to darkness or weather conditions.
The rescheduling of rainouts, suspended or incomplete games is the responsibility of the impacted managers, using the following process:
All games will be scheduled, in advance of Opening Day, by the Registrar and/or his/her assigns. Every effort will be made to make schedules available to the public at the earliest possible time.
The player pool is a supply of players who are ready and able to temporarily fill out the lineup of a team that is unable to field the minimum number of players required for a game during the regular season. For AA, AAA, Majors, and Juniors, the minimum number of players required for a game is eight (8). Should a team be unable to field 8 players, the manager may request a player from the pool. Should a team that is only able to field 8 players prefer to field a full 9, the manager may request a player from the pool.
The pool is made up of players drawn, on a volunteer basis, from all teams in the league, by division. A list of players interested in becoming pool players will be collected from each manager and assembled by the Division VP and/or Player Agent.
If a team finds itself short on players at the time of the game, and the opposing team has more than 9, managers may agree to place one or more players from the team with ‘extra” players on the team with too few players in order to allow the game to be played. Every effort will be made to ensure that temporarily “traded” or “borrowed” players will do their best to play with full commitment for the team to which they are assigned.
Disciplinary action may be commenced against any person involved in the WMLL program,
including but not limited to WMLL officers, directors, umpires, managers, coaches, parents, players, and those desiring to attend games and/or functions.
Activities that may be subject to disciplinary action shall include any violation of the guidelines contained in the Little League Operating Manual, official Little League Rules and Regulations, WMLL Bylaws, or WMLL Constitution.
Any individual who is in involved in any way with WMLL may also be subject to disciplinary action for any activity or conduct which the WMLL Disciplinary Committee or the WMLL Board determines to be detrimental to the best interest of WMLL and/or Little League Baseball.
Any violation of Little League or WMLL pitching or catching restrictions, regardless of intent or other factors, may result in the suspension or removal of the team Manager and/or Coaches in addition to any further disciplinary action determined by the WMLL Disciplinary Committee and/or the WMLL Board.
A Disciplinary Committee consisting of the League President, Vice President, Umpire-in-Chief, Player Agent and relevant League Commissioner shall investigate and determine the merit of allegations that may require disciplinary action.
Filing of Charges
To initiate an investigation by the Disciplinary Committee, the following steps shall be followed:
The WMLL Disciplinary Committee may, of its own accord, initiate an investigation absent a formal written complaint if the Disciplinary Committee becomes aware of conduct or activity which it regards as potentially detrimental to the best interest of WMLL and/or Little League Baseball.
Notification of Charges
If the Disciplinary Committee finds merit in the allegation or otherwise finds evidence of conduct or activity that is detrimental to the interests of WMLL or Little League Baseball, the President or other designated Board member shall, within three (3) days of receipt of the complaint alleging the need for disciplinary action or, within three (3) days of the Disciplinary Committee’s initiating its own investigation, give written notice to the alleged violator stating the substance of the charge in concise terms and requesting that the alleged violator appear at a hearing before the Disciplinary Committee or the Board. Based on the nature of the allegation, the Disciplinary Committee shall make the determination regarding whether the hearing should occur before the Disciplinary Committee or the Board. Such a hearing should be held no later than ten (10) days from the date of the notice. The notice shall contain a statement that failure to appear at the hearing shall constitute default and an admission of the conduct alleged in the complaint. The notice also shall state that such a default shall allow the WMLL Board or Disciplinary Committee to discipline the alleged violator as it deems appropriate, including suspension or removal from the WMLL program. In no event shall any hearing member have any direct involvement with the alleged violation.
Decision of the Board
If the hearing is before the Board, then the Board must be represented by a valid quorum as stated in the WMLL Constitution. If the hearing is before the Disciplinary Committee, then three quarters of the Committee members must be present at the hearing. At the conclusion of the fact-finding hearing, the Board or Disciplinary Committee shall adjourn for deliberation. If a minimum of two-thirds of the Board members present at the hearing or a minimum of two-thirds of the members of the Disciplinary Committee present at the hearing find that adequate grounds exist for disciplinary action, then the President or designated Board member shall issue a written decision setting forth the rule, regulation or policy violated, and the sanction ordered as a result of the violation. Sanctions may include, but are not limited to, reprimand or censure, or dismissal or suspension from any further WMLL activities.
Emergency Disciplinary Action
Under emergency circumstances, when immediate action must be taken to protect the welfare of any individual involved in any WMLL program, the President or any person specifically designated by the President may suspend an individual from further participation in WMLL activities. Following emergency suspension, a complaint shall be made as set forth above and a hearing shall take place in the usual manner.
All-Stars are selected, based on current skills, performance during the season, attitude, commitment, current skills at specific positions, pitching performance, and manager/peer recommendations and nominations.
All final selections will be made by the All-Stars Selection Committee. The All-Stars Selection Committee will be made up of the WMLL President, WMLL Vice President, Player Agent, and appropriate Division VP.
If sufficient players are available, WMLL will name All Star teams in each of four divisions: 9/10; 10/11; Little League (11/12); and Juniors. All Star Rosters are comprised of a minimum of twelve (12) and a maximum of twenty (20) players. These selected players will be made public on the announcement date designated by Little League International. All selected All-Stars will practice together and be considered full and equal members of their respective teams. From this group of honored players, a smaller “roster squad” (not to exceed 14, per LLI) is selected in each division to represent WMLL in the appropriate District 3 All Star Tournament.
In advance of the selection process, team managers will check the availability of all players who, in the manager’s estimation, is a potential nominee. Players who will be available for most practices and all games will be given priority consideration. In rare instances, players with personal or family commitments which preclude their full involvement will also be considered.
Player Selection Process
All Star eligibility is limited to qualified athletes who:
No Mandatory All-Stars
No players will be granted “Mandatory All-Star” status. All eligible ten (10) year old players who successfully make a Majors team and play as a Majors player for the entire regular season are automatically placed upon the 9/10 Division nomination list.
Manager and Coach Selection Process
Selection of all managers and coaches for All-Stars will be made by the All Star Committee in the following way:
Dave Geoffrion Award
This award is given annually at the Opening Day ceremony. It is awarded by the previous year’s winner. The award recognizes and individuals commitment and dedication to WMLL. All are eligible and past awardees have been coaches, managers, snack shack coordinators, and Board Members.
The Phil Torres Award
This award recognizes one of our outstanding youth umpires. The award is in memory of Phil Torres who was a both a WMLL and District 3 umpire. Phil was know for taking a keen interest in the kids playing and he was passionate about his umpiring responsibilities.
The Gerry Gomez Scholarship Fund
This award recognizes a former longtime member of the WMLL Board who not only volunteered his time but also made generous financial contributions to WMLL. To honor Gerry’s legacy, we have named our scholarship fund after him. These funds, which are available through the generosity of our sponsors and participant families, will be to assist those families who want to participate in our league but are facing financial difficulties.