Jump to content


Photo

Travel Teams and Little League POE


39 replies to this topic

#1 B_Hanlon

B_Hanlon

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • 623 posts
  • LocationPomfret Center, CT

Posted 02 March 2017 - 03:14 PM

Preparing for a District Meeting this evening and reviewing the 2017 Rule Updates. Unfortunately, Little League has a tendency to roll out some of these POE's (Points of Emphasis) without giving DA's a whole lot of insight or direction. Going back several years LL players were not allowed to participate in other programs during the Tournament, now they are allowed but it seems like there is a reverse trend as most WPort Teams are also travel teams. I also know that it seems many Little League programs have seemed to homogenize travel ball programs/teams into their Little League programs.

 

I guess we are starting to see The Hill looking to tighten up a bit but not sure how effective this will be. I have to imagine that its a bit of egg in the face of LL when ESPN talks about how the kids play together all year long as travel teams..

 

 

 

 

Divisions: All Baseball and Softball Divisions

Provides additional clarification regarding a local league’s limitations with non-Little League individuals, teams, events, and/or programs. (Page 28 in Baseball; 27-28 in Softball).

Summary:

A local Little League is not permitted to sponsor, administer, underwrite, advertise, pay any fees, or otherwise support in any manner, any team or teams, any individual or group of individuals, for the purpose of participating in a non-Little League Baseball or Softball program, event or game. Any violation of this regulation by the local Little League may result in revocation of charter and/or suspension of tournament privileges. While Little League does not recommend or endorse participation in more than one baseball program, this does not prohibit an individual who plays in a chartered Little League, or a group of such individuals, from participation in a non-Little League program, event, or game, subject to the provisions of this Regulation, Regulation IV(a) Note 2, and the provisions of the Tournament Rules and Guidelines regarding “player participation in other programs;” however, such participation may not take place in uniforms by the local Little League, with equipment provided by the local Little League, or as a representative of the local Little League.

 

 

 



#2 Plesh

Plesh

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 967 posts
  • LocationNorthern New Jersey

Posted 02 March 2017 - 04:01 PM

2017 changes/ additions bolded for clarity:
 
A local Little League is not permitted to sponsor, administer, underwrite, advertise, pay any fees, or otherwise support in any manner, any team or teams, any individual or group of individuals, for the purpose of participating in a non-Little League Baseball or Softball program, event or game. Any violation of this regulation by the local Little League may result in revocation of charter and/or suspension of tournament privileges. While Little League does not recommend or endorse participation in more than one baseball program, this does not prohibit an individual who plays in a chartered Little League, or a group of such individuals, from participation in a non-Little League program, event, or game, subject to the provisions of this Regulation, Regulation IV(a) Note 2, and the provisions of the Tournament Rules and Guidelines regarding “player participation in other programs;” however, such participation may not take place in uniforms by the local Little League, with equipment provided by the local Little League, or as a representative of the local Little League.


#3 Mike_Hirschman

Mike_Hirschman

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • 1,325 posts
  • LocationWinston-Salem, NC

Posted 02 March 2017 - 06:01 PM

#StatenIsland 



#4 Plesh

Plesh

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 967 posts
  • LocationNorthern New Jersey

Posted 02 March 2017 - 09:01 PM

Doesn't matter how long that paragraph gets, as long as finances and equipment are separate, LL isn't going to bother anyone with a "partnership" with a travel ball organization (not like they have any choice anyway).


  • amutz and Lou Barbieri like this

#5 Guest_Well We have a travel team_*

Guest_Well We have a travel team_*
  • Guests

Posted 03 March 2017 - 12:33 AM

What if the field is owned by the local Little League.  Then they let their 12U travel team (separate uniforms, equipment, insurance) play there.  Is that support in any manner?

 

What if said travel team pays to sublease the Little Little Field.  Is that support?

 



#6 Lou Barbieri

Lou Barbieri

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • 2,951 posts
  • LocationThe Villages, Florida

Posted 03 March 2017 - 01:15 AM

Would you let anyone else use your field(s) for free?

Play it safe, charge the Travel Team for the use of your field the same as you would charge anyone else who might want to use it.
Make sure they have insurance and have them sign an agreement to hold the league harmless for any injuries, etc...

Heck, you can even make a little extra money for the league.

#7 RB56

RB56

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 60 posts

Posted 03 March 2017 - 11:51 AM

Doesn't matter how long that paragraph gets, as long as finances and equipment are separate, LL isn't going to bother anyone with a "partnership" with a travel ball organization (not like they have any choice anyway).

 

Agree with Plesh.  Which begs the question, why doesn't LLI modify its rules and regulations to what it is willing to enforce?  If separate finances, insurance and equipment is all LLI cares to enforce, then say that.
 
This rule clarification adds nothing to what was already written.  Previous version already said, ". . . not permitted to sponsor, administer, underwrite, or otherwise support . . ."  The phrase "or otherwise support" encompasses EVERYTHING.  Moreover, the Sample Constitution already says, "The Local League shall devote its entire energies to the activities authorized by such charter and it shall not be affiliated with any other program or organization or operate any other program."
 
In our area, baseball field availability can be a challenge given Little League needs, independent travel program needs, and other organization's needs.  Spoke with numerous local leagues that participate in the Chicagoland Sunday Baseball League, and field permits for games are not available Sunday morning without Little League affiliation.  If you start a truly independent travel program, you are placed in the back of the queue for field availability and would likely end up on a men's softball field (dirt infield, 300' fences and no pitching mound).  City or Park District own the fields in our area, so to secure the "nice" fields you lean on your Little League affiliation.  Field permit is technically in the local Little League's name, which is a separate legal discussion regarding insurance.
 
Maybe a "bucket list" of rules and regulations would help.  One bucket with rules and regulations that LLI enforces as written.  One bucket with rules and regulations that LLI does not enforce as written.  And a third bucket of rules and regulations that the local leagues make up on their own.


#8 Mike_Hirschman

Mike_Hirschman

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • 1,325 posts
  • LocationWinston-Salem, NC

Posted 03 March 2017 - 08:53 PM

Here is where the whole field rental issue gets tricky...

 

League A's field is owned by the city... it is the city's call. But there is a question of liability insurance coverage. Someone else (city, travel ball, etc.) better be covering the league's rear end. 

 

League B's field is leased from the city and said lease declares it only for LL use... no one else can use the field. But then where that gets tricky is if the city is the one pushing for other usage. They own the land. So could they force the LL to let someone use the property? A very big maybe. 

 

League C's field is owned by the league with no binding ties in an agreement... a league "could" do what it wants up until HQ decides to get involved. 

 

League D's field is owned by the league, but the sale agreement from a benefactor family states the field can only be used for LL... anyone else using the field would cause a legal challenge and a lot of headaches.

 

 

Again, a lot of what this rule is covering is the growing trend for a league to "start" a travel team that requires the players to be registered in the Little League. What leagues forget is that you can't use funds, equipment, etc. to play in another organization. Not one single baseball (or softball). That isn't a new policy. 

 

The other part that it is covering is where these tournaments are looking for field space. LL's have been turning to this as a revenue generator. Host a dozen tournaments a year for a few years and suddenly that field can afford lights on four new fields. Is that right? No.... but if LL would help control some of those kinds of costs, that wouldn't be as tempting. (Musco might be the official lighting company, but their prices aren't Little League level.)

 

Little League is putting in writing the full intent of the policy so that everyone is 1000% clear on what their expectation is. If you break it, don't expect mea culpa to be a viable option. 



#9 Plesh

Plesh

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 967 posts
  • LocationNorthern New Jersey

Posted 04 March 2017 - 06:03 AM

Funny that you mentioned hosting tournaments.
We were just talking about that at a recent meeting.

Why can't a LL host a Travel Tournament strictly as a fundraiser?

#10 Lou Barbieri

Lou Barbieri

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • 2,951 posts
  • LocationThe Villages, Florida

Posted 04 March 2017 - 01:34 PM

Many years ago I was the President of a league in the St. Pete area.
Every year we would "rent out" our fields for a Memorial Day Weekend Tournament.
We would charge for parking and we ran the concession stand.
We generally made a profit of $8,000 or more.
That was a major fundraiser for us.

In my opinion, that's not "supporting Travel Ball", that's supporting the local LL.

I guess an e:Mail or phone call to Williamsport is in order!

#11 RB56

RB56

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 60 posts

Posted 04 March 2017 - 02:55 PM

Funny that you mentioned hosting tournaments.
We were just talking about that at a recent meeting.

Why can't a LL host a Travel Tournament strictly as a fundraiser?

 

Depending on who owns the baseball fields, you may be using Little League assets for non-Little League activities.  From LLI's Website, "Uniforms, equipment, and any assets belonging to the local Little League (to include any uniform bearing the required Little League shoulder patch), cannot be used for non-Little League activities, or in any game or tournament not specifically approved by Little League International."  If the baseball fields show up on your Balance Sheet as an asset (land owned or leased), they likely cannot be used for non-Little League activities.  Link to website:  http://www.littlelea...TravelTeams.htm
 
Personally believe LLI has made its published rules and regulations way too burdensome, but then chose not to enforce its published rules and regulations (call that mixed messages).  Like Lou suggested, contact Williamsport for feedback/permission.


#12 Plesh

Plesh

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 967 posts
  • LocationNorthern New Jersey

Posted 04 March 2017 - 04:07 PM

We have a lease from the town for our fields which states we can do whatever we want for fundraising. Hosting a tournament would technically be a fundraiser, not a travel baseball event that the LL is sponsoring and supporting.

Unfortunately the other board members canceled the whole thing since they were afraid we would lose our charter. I made a sweet flyer. Oh well.

#13 RB56

RB56

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 60 posts

Posted 04 March 2017 - 04:57 PM

We have a lease from the town for our fields which states we can do whatever we want for fundraising. Hosting a tournament would technically be a fundraiser, not a travel baseball event that the LL is sponsoring and supporting.

Unfortunately the other board members canceled the whole thing since they were afraid we would lose our charter. I made a sweet flyer. Oh well.

 

Hosting the travel tournament would have been a violation.  Using Little League asset (leased field) for non-Little League activity (travel tournament).

 

LLI would not care what the lease between the town and local Little League states.  Each local league must "adhere scrupulously to all rules and regulations established by Little League" (Rule Book).  Would need waiver/permission from the Charter Committee to deviate.

 

In my opinion, LLI has "over-lawyered" its rules, regulations and policies, but falls short on enforcing them.



#14 Plesh

Plesh

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 967 posts
  • LocationNorthern New Jersey

Posted 05 March 2017 - 05:44 AM

Why is it a violation though?
It's strictly a fundraiser.
It just so happens to involve baseballs and bats.
A home run derby involves baseballs and bats too, but if we held that as a fundraiser on our fields would that be against the rules too?

#15 Lou Barbieri

Lou Barbieri

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • 2,951 posts
  • LocationThe Villages, Florida

Posted 05 March 2017 - 01:34 PM

RB56: the local league is not "hosting" the Tournament.
The organization that is renting the fields is hosting.
As previously stated,you make sure they have insurance and they sign an agreement to hold the league harmless for any accidents/injuries, ...

The local league has "nothing to do" with running the Tournament, the are just "making money" by renting the fields, charging for parking and running the concession stand.
Calling that "supporting" Travel Ball is a "stretch" in my opinion.

But, who knows what the Janitor would say? ;o)
As I said above, an e:mail/phone call to Williamsport is probably the safest way to proceed.

Plesh: e:mail/call Williamsport and see what the Janitor says before you trash the idea.

#16 Mike_Hirschman

Mike_Hirschman

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • 1,325 posts
  • LocationWinston-Salem, NC

Posted 05 March 2017 - 06:10 PM

There are a few pieces in the hosting outside events issue...

 

There has to be a facility liability tie in. If the backstop collapsed on a kid, who has that insurance coverage? It can't be LL's policy. You would need something independent. 

 

What in your complex is considered to be a Little League purchased asset? Your concession stand? Because I wouldn't think that would be different than using equipment in a playing capacity. 

 

Again, it begins with who owns your complex. Example: city owns the park and sponsors tournaments. City gives you concessions rights to those tournaments. Is that ok? Maybe yes. Maybe no. 



#17 stan.staziak

stan.staziak

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 606 posts
  • Locationsterling, va

Posted 06 March 2017 - 11:58 AM

What about having a reference to the travel team on its website

In the drop down where you can find all the info from registration, FAQ, BoD etc there is one called Travel Baseball

Our league has (and always has) shown the following right from our LL webistie:

*insert team name* Travel Baseball
By *xxx* | January 24, 2017

The *team name* Travel Program is designed for those *league name* athletes who, in addition to participating in the League’s regular spring and fall seasons, want to experience extra baseball in a more competitive environment. The Travel Program addresses the needs of those athletes who possess above average baseball skill, and provides an opportunity for them to play baseball at the highest level for their age group. *Team name* teams range from 8U-13U with tryouts held each spring and fall prior to the start of the season.

The seasons have a timeframe similar to the Little League season (Spring: April-June, Fall: Sept-October) with off-season practices.

For the tryouts listed below, no need to register ahead of time – just show up.

*Chart with Ages - i.e., 8U thru 13U* & *POC's and tryout times*



#18 amutz

amutz

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 847 posts
  • LocationNorCal

Posted 06 March 2017 - 03:25 PM

A disclaimer around affiliation would be prudent.

Our league website provides links to non-LL baseball camps/resources as a service to parents including a disclaimer:
"Our Little League does not endorse these camp providers and is posting the information for the convenience of our families interested in exploring opportunities for additional youth baseball instruction."

#19 Mike_Hirschman

Mike_Hirschman

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • 1,325 posts
  • LocationWinston-Salem, NC

Posted 06 March 2017 - 05:48 PM

Stan... this is where those leagues who are set up as an athletic association have an advantage.
They aren't collecting funds in the name of Little League.
So they can do a lot more when it comes to that.

Has been a huge loophole for many years.

#20 RB56

RB56

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 60 posts

Posted 07 March 2017 - 02:01 AM

RB56: the local league is not "hosting" the Tournament.
The organization that is renting the fields is hosting.
As previously stated,you make sure they have insurance and they sign an agreement to hold the league harmless for any accidents/injuries, ...

The local league has "nothing to do" with running the Tournament, the are just "making money" by renting the fields, charging for parking and running the concession stand.
Calling that "supporting" Travel Ball is a "stretch" in my opinion.

But, who knows what the Janitor would say? ;o)
As I said above, an e:mail/phone call to Williamsport is probably the safest way to proceed.

Plesh: e:mail/call Williamsport and see what the Janitor says before you trash the idea.

 

Whether "hosting" a travel tournament (Plesh's Post #9), or "renting out" fields (Lou's Post #10), aren't the underlying facts the same?  Use of Little League assets (baseball fields) for a non-Little League activity (travel tournament).

 

From Post #11 above, "Uniforms, equipment and any assets belonging to the local Little League (to include any uniform bearing the required Little League shoulder patch), cannot be used for non-Little League activities, or in any game or tournament not specifically approved by Little League International."  This says, ". . . any assets belonging to the local Little League . . . cannot be used for non-Little League activities . . ."  Baseball fields, fences, bases, scoreboards, concession stands, quick-dry mix, rakes, tractors, chalk, etc., are all assets of the local Little League.  Reads very restrictive to me in that it covers any assets, and says cannot be used as opposed to should not be used.  Don't think calling it a Little League Fundraiser holds up all that well, when the underlying activity is a non-Little League travel tournament.

 

Presumably the focus is on "similar activities" like a competitive baseball game or tournament, as opposed to a home run derby or the like.  Rule Book does say, under Principles of Conduct, "To the extent that the time and energies of its members are diverted to other similar activities, the more limited will be its prospects for continuing success."  Hosting a travel tournament, for example, inevitably diverts "time and energies of its members" in terms of planning, organizing, advertising, and running a successful tournament.  Field prep and maintenance alone takes a lot of time and energy, especially if Mother Nature does not cooperate.

 

Either way, best bet is to check with Williamsport.





Reply to this topic



  


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users