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Little League Team Expansion


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#1 RB56

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Posted 28 August 2015 - 11:34 PM

Our local little league is adding one additional team for the upcoming season -- drafting next week. The method to add the additional team seems at odds with the 2015 Rule Book and is not found in the 2015 Operating Manual. Instead, the method is found in a binder used for Player Agent training -- cover title says, "Little League Baseball and Softball 2015 Player Agent And Local League Resource Manual with Training Materials and Forms." From a graphic, typesetting, and general appearance it is easily one of the worst documents I have seen.

The following is the direct manner listed for adding a team -- described as the fourth method, with the other three methods found in the Operating Manual.
  • "The following process must be used:
  • The team to be added shall select four to seven players (not protected in the draft) before the draft begins and shall draft last in each draft round. The Board of Directors shall determine the number of pre-draft players to be selected. It is recommended that the new team manager and one or more coaches be approved and their children to be protected in the draft.
  • For draft purposes, the pre-selected players would be counted as returning players to determine if a "Bonus" selection would be made by expanding team at the end of the fourth round of the draft.
  • If a player trade is required, see "NOTES FOR TRADING PLAYERS"
  • It is NOT recommended that existing teams give up returning players -- see "Option Two" of the Draft Procedure -- Operations (sic) Manual."
Two issues pop-out in that (i) runs contrary to the 2015 Operating Manual (Page 63) in terms of assistant coaches -- "A NEW coach shall not be appointed nor approved until after the draft to avoid "Red Shirting" of players through selective coaching appointments", and (ii) would let a pre-assembled team enter the league together and runs contrary to the 2015 Rule Book (Page 37) -- "Teams are not permitted to enter the Little League program intact, or nearly intact, from non-Little League programs. Under no circumstances will any team or group of players, which did not play on the same team for the previous regular season in the same division of a chartered local Little League, be placed together onto a regular season team in the local Little League."

If a coach had a stud travel team, he could place nearly his entire team together for a run to Williamsport. Manager's and two assistant coaches' sons are protected, plus the first seven (7) selections in the pre-draft gives you ten (10) players, in effect, before any other team drafts.

Was the method found in this document ever approved by Little League International?
If ever approved, why is it not in the 2015 Operating Manual?
Regulation V, Selection of Players, states, "The selection of players for the various terms within a league shall be in compliance with the Little League Draft Selection System as detailed in the Operating Manual."
This method is not in the Operating Manual.

#2 Jeremy

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Posted 29 August 2015 - 03:29 AM

The age chart won't even be out next week.

#3 Lou Barbieri

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Posted 29 August 2015 - 04:00 AM

You're drafting next week for the 2016 spring season?
Can I assume you've already had your BOD elections for next year?
What about new kids that move in or kids that move away?
What are you going to do if LL changes the age cut-off date?

Do you always have registrations/try-outs/drafts this early?

Not sure about this "Book" you are talking about, is it an "official" LL publication?
Despite the "title" I'm not sure this isn't something your league wrote/put together.
If it is, you would need a Waiver for the draft/expansion plan you described.

#4 RB56

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Posted 29 August 2015 - 05:12 AM

The league is drafting next week for the 2016 season -- many unhappy coaches and parents.

 

The board elections are not held until November, so the new board will inherent this structure (thank you very little).

 

We are drafting up to ten (10) players on Monday, so can fit a couple more in on each team at a later time -- too many show up by February and we need another Majors team.

 

If Little League changes the age cut-off date, applicable for the 2016 season versus a phase-in, we may need a re-draft.

 

This is the first year, in my experience, trying this at the Little League level (League Age 11 and 12-year olds).

 

This book looks very "shady" for lack of a better term.  In 2012, did the Operating Manual contain a fourth method for expansion?  Concern is that this book contains an out-dated paragraph that Williamsport removed a few years back.  This method is certainly not in the 2015 Operating Manual.  If not in the 2015 Operating Manual, do we need a waiver????????



#5 Lou Barbieri

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Posted 29 August 2015 - 12:45 PM

The Operating Manual includes the "approved" Player Selection Methods (Draft Plans).
If you want to do something else, you need a Waiver.
I seriously doubt that LL would approve a Waiver for the plan you described, but you never know!

I've been around LL a long time and I don't recall the plan you described ever being in the OM.
That said, Options for EXPANSION wasn't something I generally looked at!

Ok, how about this, what "managers" are drafting the 2016 teams next week?
The 2015 managers are no longer managers, their job ended at the end of the 2015 season.

The 2016 managers are appointed/approved by the 2016 President/Board, what if they want different managers?
How can a 2016 manager not draft his/her team?

If you've talked to your PA/President and gotten nowhere then it's time to call your DA/Region!
If you haven't talked to your PA/President that's where you need to start.

#6 RJ Serpa

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Posted 29 August 2015 - 02:24 PM

You have my sympathies RB56.

What you have described is WRONG and contrary to LL Policy and Rules.

As Lou and others have suggested; contact the League Pres, & PA immediately.

Start by asking questions. Non confrontational questions. Let them know you want to be educated on how this draft policy came to be. 

Take written notes of their explanation. It should be in the BOD minutes if it was indeed approved. 

Most DA's or "higher ups" will ask you preliminary questions like; "have you talked to your league officials first", "what was their answer", etc.

If you have your notes of conversations and/or copy of minutes, your DA will be better prepared when approaching your Pres & PA.

Good Luck!



#7 RB56

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Posted 30 August 2015 - 01:03 AM

Our local league President contends the team expansion method found in this binder is a valid, fourth method for growing the league.  The President has been informed that this method is certainly not in the 2015 Rule Book, and not in the 2015 Operating Manual where the three (3) approved methods for team expansion are found.  Local league is using this fourth method so no returning players from the 2015 season are placed on a new team due to a re-draft or expansion draft.

 

The DA is "un-approachable" -- only the local league presidents are allowed to contact her directly, by her edict (common folk like board members, parents, other volunteers, etc. are not authorized).  People with concerns directly contact regional or Williamsport.

 

Included below is the actual page from this binder -- a "hodge-podge" of sheets assembled in a large binder over many years.  The quality is horrible from a graphics perspective and is totally un-organized (not anywhere near Little League publication standards).  Moreover, this page can not be found any place but this binder -- is not referenced or available from Little League's website that we have found.  

 

This particular page clearly states, at the bottom, "Not Available from Little League" -- the very next page is literally a photo-copied page from an Operating Manual and states, at the bottom, "Available from 'Little League Operations Manual'".   This fourth method for team expansion looks like some local league's method from sometime back, and not an "approved" method of Little League International.

 

11951869_10207588059408345_1012357822913



#8 Dave Poe

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Posted 30 August 2015 - 01:26 AM

I'm a DA.
While I understand your DAs reservations, a DA can not completely shut him/herself off from local league people.
Dear lord, if someone suspects foul play by a league official, how can anyone approach her about it?

My advice - try! Send an email. Make a phone call.
She may not be as unapproachable as you are being lead to believe.
Be direct. Offer facts not opinion. Attach your evidence.
If she doesn't respond within a few days or she flat out tells you she won't speak to you, then you go directly to Region and be very CLEAR as to the deadline you are up against.
At least you tried to follow the proper chain.
Sometimes, that is good enough.

#9 Lou Barbieri

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Posted 30 August 2015 - 01:27 AM

So, no luck with the President, at least you tried.
I'd probably try the DA anyway, you might get lucky.
If no help there the next stop is the Region.
I'm sure they'll be interested in the page you just posted.
They'll probably also be interested in drafting next year's team next week.

Good Luck

#10 Dave Poe

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Posted 30 August 2015 - 01:31 AM

To add to my first point. I told my presidents in the spring that they are my contacts.
My reasoning was that Local issues should be resolved locally and not just passed on to the DA because the president doesn't feel like dealing with it.
I didn't say that no one could contact me.
However, when I received a call from a coach asking me a rules question, he apologized for calling me because he was told he wasn't suppose to.

So communications sometimes get twisted.
She may not have laid done a directive that she can not be approached, but that is how it was interpreted.

Reach out to her ASAP.

#11 richives

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Posted 30 August 2015 - 03:29 AM

I've heard of the posted method.
It was in a LL context.
Can't remember where.
It was long ago though.

#12 Mike_Hirschman

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Posted 30 August 2015 - 09:34 PM

There is so much wrong with this thread that I don't really know where to start.
However, I will just reiterate what Lou pointed out.

The president for the 2016 season is responsible for appointing the 2016 managers.
The 2016 player agent is responsible for drafting the 2016 rosters.
What you are doing is not legal until the 2016 BOD assumes office.
  • Plesh likes this

#13 Lou Barbieri

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Posted 30 August 2015 - 10:53 PM

Mike, I totally agree that what they are doing is not legal, including the draft plan they are using.
Problem is, if no one says anything/complains up the chain then it is what it is.
Rules and Regulations are only as good as the people who follow/don't follow them.

I know that in a lot of cases people don't speak up for fear of retribution, especially against their children.
That's how a lot of "good-old-boys" get away with doing what they do.

How they generally "get caught" is someone from a neighboring league hears about it and turns them in!

#14 Plesh

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Posted 31 August 2015 - 01:16 AM

But that's the way we've always done it...



#15 Mike_Hirschman

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Posted 31 August 2015 - 12:10 PM

Yes, Lou...but with the recent trend from HQ to hand down penalties for draft-related infractions,
I do think more leagues are getting turned in for it.

#16 Plesh

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Posted 31 August 2015 - 12:23 PM

LL has definitely cracked down on leagues who draft illegally.
I'm sure we can all think of a couple of leagues that were punished (or told to cut it out, we know what you're doing).
I wouldn't take any chances.
Look at PTC Georgia last year.

#17 WhereisLLI

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Posted 22 September 2015 - 08:47 PM

Why doesn't  LLI step in and do something with our league board.  I was told that our managers had to draft with an unapproved method, similar to the one posted  at the beginning of this thread.  
 
The managers were told by the president that since  the fourth option from the 2015 PA Manual was selected and approved by the board members, the expansion draft will proceed using this method and the new expansion team manager would select four players not including his son and assistant coach's son. The president also said this was discussed with the district administrator who stated that her superiors at regional and beyond are comfortable with this approach.
 
Not only is it obvious to any logical mind this draft method is unfair, it isn't anywhere in the 2015 Operating Manual. The saddest side affect of the this boards uncontrolled agenda is if anyone speaks out against their decisions as a violation of LLI rules, and no matter how effective of a coach or member they are, they are removed as members in good standing, manager and/or coach without cause or due process.  Again, done outside of the (LLI) approved procedure listed in Local League's Constitution.  It is killing me to think these people are really convinced they are doing this for the kids when they have no idea what that really means.
 


#18 Lou Barbieri

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Posted 22 September 2015 - 08:59 PM

LLI doesn't step in and do anything because they probably have no idea what is going on in your local league!
There are thousands of local leagues and LLI can't possibly know what goes on in each of them.
They "assume" leagues are following their rules/regulations and only "act" when they are informed otherwise.

If, what the DA said was true, this was discussed with the Region and beyond then there should be an "Approved Waiver" for doing what the league is doing (doubtful there is one).

If there is no Waiver and someone complains later (to Williamsport) your league could be in real trouble.

#19 concerned

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Posted 22 September 2015 - 09:43 PM

Being familiar with that organization and assuming both Regional and International know, why haven't things changed.

#20 amutz

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Posted 22 September 2015 - 10:09 PM

I have seen this; before I joined my local LL board and before we adopted redraft, a team was added using essentially the method above.
They got a bunch of 'first picks' from the draft pool.
That team dominated the league the 3rd year after being formed, as their top-pick 10yos grew into very strong 12s.

BTW I found another reference to an expansion method existing in the "2015 Player Agent Binder" (what is that?) at https://www.quora.co...expansion-draft



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