Last Updated: August 15, 2017

GWBA Operations Manual

Greater Whiteland Baseball Association (GWBA)
2016 Season
Operations Manual
www.gwbaonline.com

This operations manual is a supplement to the GWBA By-Laws, the Babe Ruth League, Inc. Baseball Rules and Regulations and Official Playing Rules which is distributed to all GWBA board members and coach’s. GWBA is a chartered Babe Ruth League and operates under Babe Ruth League, Inc. Baseball Rules and Regulations and Official Playing Rules.

INDEX:

I. Mission Statement, Sportsmanship Code and General Guidelines

II. Coach’s Guidelines

III. Parent Guidelines

IV. Bambino Division Rules Overview (league age 4)

V. Junior Rookie Division Rules Overview (league ages 5 and 6)

VI. Rookie Division Rules Overview (league ages 7 and 8)

VII. Minor and Major Division Rules Overview (league ages 9, 10, 11 and 12)

VIII. All-Star Coach’s and Teams Selection (all divisions)


MISSION STATEMENT AND OBJECTIVE OF GWBA AND BABE RUTH LEAGUE, INC.
The Greater Whiteland Baseball Association and Babe Ruth League, Inc., using regulation competitive baseball rules, teaches skills, mental and physical development, a respect for the rules of the game, and basic ideals of sportsmanship and fair play. In all aspects, Babe Ruth League, Inc. and GWBA are committed to providing our participants the very best educational and sports experience possible. It is our fundamental belief that every child with a desire to play baseball be afforded that opportunity.
The objective of the corporation shall be to implant firmly in the boys and girls of the community the ideas of good sportsmanship, honesty, loyalty, courage and respect for authority so that they may be well-adjusted, stronger, happier boys and girls and will grow to be good, decent, healthy, and trustworthy men and women.
To achieve this objective, GWBA will provide a supervised program of competitive baseball games. All Directors, Officers, and Members shall bear in mind that the attainment of exceptional athletic skill or the winning of games is secondary, and that molding of future men and women is of primary importance.

Note: Cal Ripken Baseball (ages 4-12) is a Division of Babe Ruth League, Inc. GWBA is a member of the Southern Indiana Babe Ruth Leagues and we are chartered within District #1.

ALWAYS KEEP IN MIND “THE SPORTSMANSHIP CODE OF BABE RUTH LEAGUE, INC.”
• Develop a strong, clean, healthy body, mind and soul.
• Develop a strong urge for sportsman-like conduct.
• Develop understanding of and respect for the RULES.
• Develop courage in defeat, tolerance and modesty in victory.
• Develop control over emotions and speech.
• Develop spirit of cooperation and team play.
• Develop into real, true CITIZENS.

GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR GWBA PARTICIPATION
• Put kids first! Help our youth achieve their full potential in a safe and enjoyable environment.
• Keep it fun! Regardless of whether it is a game or practice, we should adopt fun methods to keep it enjoyable for all.
• Emphasize the basic FUNdamentals – hitting, catching and throwing. Once a child masters these FUNdamentals, they will truly enjoy the Association.
• Provide our children with the opportunity to learn and grow, to realize their strengths and achieve their potential. This can be accomplished by teaching every participant every position and by allowing every child to participate in the game.
• Show our players we care about them. Consistently demonstrate respect by being a good listener and showing appreciation.
• Keep it positive! Scream out encouragement and whisper constructive criticism.
• Stress that winning isn’t everything. At all times, remember learning and growing are more important than finishing in first place. We need to help our players set goals and make sure they realize they can improve their skills both on and off the field of play. Instill in them a desire to learn and they will accomplish much!
• Remember to “Play it Safe”. GWBA and Babe Ruth Baseball Inc. are concerned with the safety and wellbeing of young players and coaches. This is why we stress the following essential components of effective accident prevention:
I. Sound Conditioning
II. Immediate attention to injuries, however small
III. Development of sportsmanship
IV. Proper execution of fundamentals
V. Selection and care of equipment
VI. Proper field maintenance

COACHES GUIDELINES
• All first year coaches are probationary.
• All coaches should have a meeting w/ the parents to explain the parent guidelines.
• Let parents know that player attendance is important.
• Attempt to practice at least two times a week until games begin.
• You must have filled out a code of conduct (on the sign-up form) and background check or you will not be able to coach.
• You must attend 2 out of 5 diamond days (this can be a representative of your team as well).
• Work with your parents to organize concession stand duties (you must secure at least four people on those days you are scheduled and you must turn in your list of volunteers to the Concession Stand Director at week prior). If you do not turn in your list of volunteers and/or don’t secure volunteers to work, your team will forfeit, by record, the next scheduled game.
• Encourage each and every child playing the game.
• For all Divisions, coaches are assigned to umpire w/I the Rookie Division. If you cannot umpire during your assigned date/time, please find a replacement (penalty is a one game forfeit by record).
• Enforce the “NO TOBACCO AND ALCOHOL POLICY”. This is a school policy on all grounds.
• Enforce the “NO PETS POLICY”.
• Visiting team empties the trash and picks up around the dugouts and the field.
• Home team takes care of bases, lines the field and rakes the field after the game (please be sure to fill in holes around the bases and at home plate).
• No “running up the score”. Rotate young players if winning big.
• Please keep your players in the dugout.
• For issues, problems, rule discrepancies, etc. please see your division director. If your division director is not available, please find a board member.
• If you have equipment from last year, please return to the equipment director immediately.
• Player uniforms will be held until fundraiser money is returned.
• Please suggest to your kids the importance of wearing a cup. We are not mandating a cup but would prefer each kid wear one.
• Please suggest to those kids that might pitch (or play pitcher’s helper) to purchase a heart guard. We are considering purchasing mandatory heart guards for use during the games (ages 7 thru 12).
• For insurance reasons, we require copies of birth certificates for each participant. Make sure you turn in all birth certificates for your team before the first game. You can give them to any Executive Board member.
• IF YOU HAVE AN INTEREST IN COACHING DURING BABE RUTH/CAL RIPKEN TOURNAMENT PLAY (ALL-STARS), PER BABE RUTH HEADQUARTERS, YOU MUST HAVE TAKEN AND PASSED THE BABE RUTH LEAGUE CAL RIPKEN BASEBALL COACHING EDUCATION AND CERTIFICATION PROGRAM. THERE IS A LINK TO THE PROGRAM ON OUR WEBSITE, WWW.GWBAONLINE.COM.
• Division Directors will establish pre-season practice schedules.
• If you are short a player(s) for a game, you CANNOT pull players from the same Division. You can “pull up” players from a Division of younger players, but only if you do not have enough players to begin the game without taking an out. If players show up late for the game, the pulled up players must then sit more than the official player.
• In game play situations if you are short a player(s), you CANNOT pull up a player unless you are in forfeit position you must take an out. (you must have 8 players to start a game) You may pull up a player from the immediate division below if in a forfeit position but the substitute player must bat last and play the outfield. (Any outfield position)
• Turn in equipment to equipment director only at the end of the season.
• Sunday League – GWBA will allow use of the facilities, but it is each coach’s responsibility to get uniforms, umpires, secure the bathroom facilities thru an Executive Board member and clean-up the diamond and facility when finished.

PARENT GUIDELINES (to be shared w/ all parents thru the coach’s)
• Let the coach do the coaching.
• If you are a parent that has a concern, suggestion, complaint, etc, please make sure to do it constructively and not violently. It would be preferable to pull the coach aside.
• Refrain from arguing with or yelling at umpires, the other team, other parents, etc.
• Obey and respect your coach’s team rules.
• Be on time to practices and games.
• Player attendance is VERY important.
• Absolutely NO SMOKING, CHEWING TOBACCO OR ALCOHOL!
• Absolutely NO PETS!
• Someone should volunteer as “Team Mom” or “Team Dad”.
• During the regular season, you will be asked to work the concession stand on your team’s scheduled date(s). If your team does not show up when you are scheduled to work your child team will be given a forfeit by record.
• Absolutely NO PARKING in the shaded areas (end of rows) in the parking lot. THIS CAN BE DANGEROUS! Others cannot see people walking, especially our young players!
• Work with your young players at home. There is limited practice and game time and this is where they will see the most improvement.

BAMBINO DIVISION RULES OVERVIEW (league age 4/5)
• All players will play 100% of the time. No player sits out.
• The tee will be the only tool used for hitting (as season progresses the coach may begin pitching to players if they choose).
• A game consists of three full innings or one hour, whichever comes first.
• A team will bat their entire roster before switching to defense.
• The batter will get five swings to put the ball in play.
• There will be no scorebooks or any other methods to keep score. Keep track of batting order only. The purpose of this division is to begin teaching the fundamentals of the game.
• “Soft” baseballs will be the only type of ball used in this division.
• Players will play in the “normal” baseball positions.
• The pitcher’s helper will be required to wear a helmet with a face shield and a heart guard.
• Parents are allowed on the playing field if given OK from the coach’s.
• There will be no year-end tournament.

JUNIOR ROOKIE DIVISION RULES OVERVIEW (league ages 5/6)
• You must stop the lead runner.
• A coach (18 years or older) will pitch five pitches either over-hand or under-hand.
• The coach must release each pitch with a foot on or behind the pitching rubber.
• After each pitch, the coach must make a valid attempt to leave the field of play by quickly moving to foul territory.
• If a player fouls the fifth pitch or any other consecutive pitch following, the young player will continue to bat until he/she puts the ball in play or strikes out.
• You get three outs or seven batters per inning, whichever comes first. The only exception to this rule is the last inning where you get three outs or the entire roster bats, whichever comes first.
• If a coach is struck by a batted ball, it is a “no pitch”.
• Use the safety bag at first base.
• Play ten players in the field with only one coach in the outfield to give instruction and one behind home plate helping catcher.
• You may only have six infielders on defense. This includes the catcher.
• You must bat your entire roster.
• Pitcher’s helper is required to wear a helmet and heart guard.
• While your team is on defense, it is your responsibility of the coaches helping in the field to umpire.
• No one player sits out twice before everyone sits once.
• A game consists of six full innings or one hour and forty-five minutes, whichever comes first.
• You must have at least 8 players to start the game. Otherwise you will forfeit the game. For every player under ten players, the coach will need to slot outs into the line-up. This is at the coach’s discretion. For example, if you have eight players then two outs will need to be slotted in the line-up.
• The year-end tournament will be a single elimination tournament (blind draw).

ROOKIE DIVISION RULES OVERVIEW (league ages 7 and 8)
• Play ten players on defense.
• Only six players are allowed in the infield on defense. This includes the catcher.
• Games will last 6 innings or one hour and forty-five minutes (a new inning can’t start after one hour and forty-five minutes). During league play a game is finished after 6 innings or time limit even in the event of a tie. Tournament games will play until a winner is decided.
• Ten run rule after three and a half innings.
• You must bat your entire roster.
• Each player gets five pitches or three strikes. If a player fouls the fifth pitch or any other consecutive pitch following, the young player will continue to bat until he/she puts the ball in play or strikes out.
• The coach must release each pitch with a foot on or behind the pitching rubber and the pitch must be over-hand.
• After each pitch, the coach must make a valid attempt to leave the field of play by quickly moving to foul territory.
• You must stop the lead runner.
• If a player does not reach the “half-way point” between two bases, he/she must return to the previous base when the lead runner is stopped. If the defensive player makes a decision to make a play on a runner rather than the lead runner, the play is still “alive”. Wait for the umpire(s) to call time.
• Pitcher’s helper is required to wear a helmet and a heart guard and must have one foot inside the pitching circle.
• No one sits out twice before everyone sits once.
• Use the safety bag at first base.
• If a coach is struck by a batted ball, it is a “no pitch”.
• An inning is over after six runs or three outs. The last inning is unlimited runs. You bat until the defensive team gets three outs.
• You must have at least 8 players to start the game. Otherwise you will forfeit the game. For every player under ten players, the coach will need to slot outs into the line-up. This is at the coach’s discretion. For example, if you have eight players then two outs will need to be slotted in the line-up.
• The year-end tournament will be a seeded, single elimination tournament (seeded based on regular season record).

MINOR AND MAJOR DIVISION RULES OVERVIEW (league ages 9, 10, 11 and 12)
• You must bat your entire roster.
• After each game, turn in to the concession stand and/or your division director the number of pitches thrown by your pitchers and the opposing team’s pitchers. The Division Director will monitor pitch count and make the final decision concerning conflicts.
• GWBA will follow a pitch count system and use the guidelines established by the Little League organization.
• No player should sit two innings in a row and all players must play in the field at least two innings per game. The division does realize that this may not be attainable if a game is called early because of weather, ten run rule, etc.
• Games will last 6 innings or one hour and forty-five minutes (a new inning can’t start after one hour and forty-five minutes). During league play a game is finished after 6 innings or time limit even in the event of a tie. Tournament games will play until a winner is decided.
• Ten run rule after three and a half innings.
• You must have at least eight players to start the game. Otherwise you will forfeit the game. If you start the game w/ eight players, prior to the game an out will be slotted into the line-up at the coach’s discretion.
• Runners attempting to steal a base cannot leave the base until the pitched ball has crossed the plate (9-10 only). For 11-12, we are playing real baseball rules. This means you can lead-off, call balks, dropped third strike, etc.
• No player can slide head first going to any base. A player may slide head first going back to any base. If a player slides head first going to any base the player shall be called out upon the umpires discretion.
• There is no “dropped third strike” rule. If the batter swings and misses strike three, then he/she is out. (9-10 only)
• The year-end tournament will be a seeded, single elimination tournament (seeded based on regular season record).
• No slash bunting is permitted.

ALL-STAR COACH’S AND TEAM SELECTIONS (all divisions)
• All-star coaches will be chosen by the vote of the head coach’s within his/her respective division.
• Each coach will vote within the division he/she coached (no absentee voting).
• Division standings will have no bearing w/ respect to the coach chosen.
• The chosen all-star coach should be a head coach in the division they are representing.
• The chosen all-star coach will select his/her coaching team.
• The head coach of each team in a Division can nominate players from their team (by age) for all-star selection. This means a Minor Division coach will nominate nine year old players and ten year old players.
• The head coach of each team must provide a list of players to the league director in order to nominate players.
• If the chosen all-star coach determines that a “try-out” is more feasible than each coach picking 12 players, the all-star coach can exercise that option. The all-star coach must make this determination before 12 players are chosen.
• If the all star coach chooses the coach selection route, each head coach will be given a list of nominated players within their Division, by age group.
• Each head coach will select 12 players from the nomination list (no absentee voting).
• The lists will be collected and totaled by 3 board members along w/ the Division’s director.
• The 12 players receiving the most votes will be on the all-star team, representing a particular age group.
• GWBA will only fund one all-star team per age group. With this said, there is no limitation on the number of all-star teams per age group. The first team chosen will be the “funded” team. Any additional teams will not be “funded” but must go thru the above process to select coaches and players.
• If for some reason there is not a team for a particular age group, then GWBA will fund two all-star teams per division. For example, if there isn't a 9 year old team, GWBA would fund two 10 year old teams in the minor division with 9 year old players being allowed to play on the teams.
• All-Star players have the right to play on any team in which they meet the age requirements. This means an 8 year old can play on a 9U team. This also means that a 10 year old cannot play on a 9U team.
• No young player can play on a GWBA All-Star team unless they are a member of GWBA.