The Anne Arundel Baseball Cooperative is a league of independent youth baseball organizations that operate in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Teams entered from the various organizations are INTRAMURAL or REC-BALL teams that would otherwise play wholly within their own community organization, and are participating in this league solely to have more teams to play during the season. This is NOT A TRAVEL OR SELECT TEAM LEAGUE!
The Ground Rules
1. PURPOSE. The purpose of the Ground Rules of the Anne Arundel Baseball Cooperative (AABC, or Co-op) is to help ensure all participating organizations have a common expectation prior to participating in the AABC. Participation in any Co-op games or other activities implies consent to these ground rules. Please understand and follow the SPIRIT of a Cooperative.
2. ORGANIZATIONS. The AABC is for community-based organizations that each usually form “little league”, “intramural”, “in-house”, or “rec ball” divisions with multiple teams on their own, and are joining the Co-op solely to have a larger field of teams to play during the regular season. The Co-Op is NOT for an organization's “travel teams” that are formed to play more competitively against other similarly formed “all-star” or “select” teams.
3. TEAMS. The AABC is for organizations that held open registration in each age division for all players meeting the maximum age on April 30 of this year.
A. Registration ended due to the end of a sign-up period, and players were not “cut” or wait-listed because of skill or ability.
B. Players were evaluated prior to assignment to a team, or some similar method was used in an attempt to form equally competitive teams within the organization. We do understand that all teams are not perfectly equal.
C. Players are not to play any games for more than one Co-op team, nor to play on any organization's “select” or “travel” teams during the regular season. However, Co-op players are permitted to be selected to their organization's “all-star” type team that is typically selected after the start of the season, but generally not playing games or tournaments until near or after the end of the regular season.
4. SCHEDULES. Each AABC division game schedule is provided by a designated scheduler from one of the participating organizations, who shall attempt to accommodate each organization's scheduling requests, but ultimately has final authority to schedule all games in that division.
A. “COMPLETE” schedules, or “ALL-IN”, are for organizations that want their Co-op schedule to be their complete regular season game schedule. A Co-op complete schedule is typically 12 regular season games, and potentially includes a season-ending tournament. Teams in a complete schedule are not to play in other leagues or tournaments during the regular season.
B. “CROSSOVER” schedules are for organizations that want to schedule their own internal regular season games, and only want a few games to add to that schedule. The Co-op scheduler will designate the week(s) for crossover games, and typically provides 2 to 4 games. Teams in a crossover schedule are to only play in the crossover games and their organization's internal "rec" schedule during the regular season. The Co-op league does not schedule a tournament for the crossover teams - their own organization would do that.
5. PLAYING RULES. All AABC games, whether part of a COMPLETE or CROSSOVER schedule are played ONLY by the approved Co-op Playing Rules. There are no "home field rules" for any Co-op games. Each team manager brings a copy of the Co-op Playing Rules to every game, and discusses them with the umpire and opposing manager before each game. The umpire has final authority to interpret the rules during a game, and the Co-op Directors or Governors will typically only address rule or interpretation issues for future games. There is no formal protest process - PLAY THE GAME.
6. UMPIRES. Each organization identifies the umpire group they use for their internal games. A third party umpire group is preferred, but in-house umpires will be accepted as long as they act and are perceived as unbiased toward all teams. The home team's organization is responsible for scheduling and paying for the umpire for each home game. In 15U and 18U, each team pays for one of the two umpires at each game, home or away.
7. SPORTSMANSHIP. The AABC expects each organization to promote and enforce good sportsmanship of all its managers, coaches, players, spectators, and officials. The Co-op recommends consideration of Rec and Parks’ suspension rule on ejections: 2 games for adults, and 1 game for players.
8. GOVERNANCE. The AABC is managed by a Board of Governors, which has established these ground rules, and may change them as needed. The Governors expect each organization to promote the SPIRIT of a Cooperative, and enforce all Co-op rules.
A. Each Organization resolves internal issues between its own players, managers, coaches, spectators, teams, and other officials. Each Organization Representative elevates any issue involving a second organization to an appropriate Co-op official.
B. The Co-op Schedulers resolve issues related to scheduling, postponements, makeups, score reporting, and standings. Appeals may be made to the Co-op Director or a Co-op Governor.
C. The Co-op Directors resolve issues related to rules and umpires. Appeals may be made to a Co-op Governor.
D. The Co-op Governors resolve any related to player or team eligibility, sportsmanship, or suspension of any player, manager, coach, spectator, official, team, or organization, and any other.
1. PURPOSE. The purpose of this Scheduling Policy of the Anne Arundel Baseball Cooperative (AABC, or Co-op) is to explain how the Co-op game schedules are created, and the role of each individual organization throughout the season.
2. PLANNING MEETING. The AABC holds a meeting 1-2 months before each season.
A. Each organization will provide:
1. At least one representative, ideally a Baseball Commissioner or other director who can speak on behalf of their organization. Each organization's Field Scheduler is also recommended to attend. Others may attend too, but individual team managers are NOT expected to attend.
2. The estimated number of teams in each division, and whether playing a Complete/All-in schedule, or just Crossover games. These numbers must be updated by each organization when registration ends, asap, to give the Co-op Schedulers time to finalize schedules 1-2 weeks before the start of games.
3. The name of their umpire group used for each division.
B. The group will determine:
1. The number of COMPLETE/ALL-IN games to play (typically 12 games total, including crossover games), Opening Day, CLOSING Day, and if there will be a post season tournament (format, dates, etc.).
2. The number of CROSSOVER games to play, and the dates within the season that they will be played (usually 4 games played over two full weeks in the middle of the season).
3. The playing rules for each division.
4. The Co-op Game Scheduler for each division, for both Compete/All-in and Crossovers schedules.
3. INITIAL SCHEDULES. To make the initial schedule, the Co-op Game Scheduler follows whatever reasonable process assigns each team an equal number of games as the home team and as the visiting team. Depending on each organization's field availability, some teams may be the official “home team” at the visitor's field, or a neutral field. A typical process would be:
A. The Co-op Game Scheduler creates a draft schedule with an equal number of home and away games for each team, and groups the games into weeks without specific dates/times/fields.
B. Each organization's representative or field scheduler then assigns dates/times/fields to each of their home games only, based on their organization’s field availability for each week.
C. When an organization does not have the space to host a home game, the Co-op Game Scheduler checks to see if the visiting org can host the game, or next a neutral org.
D. Last resort is to treat the Game as a rain-out, and leave it to the two teams/orgs involved to work out a new date/time/field after the schedule is published.
E. Once the schedule is considered final, it is made available to all teams, and any changes follow the Postponements and Reschedules policies below.
A. Prior to the start of a game, the hosting organization is responsible for preparing the field for play, and postponing a game due to poor field conditions. If postponing a game, the hosting organization MUST contact the opposing team's manager, preferably in time to prevent a wasted trip to the away field (it is understood that not all decisions can be made in time to prevent this).
B. The hosting organization also cancels the umpire, typically at least 90 minutes before start time to avoid paying show-up fees, AND notifies the Co-op Game Scheduler about the postponement.
B. Once a game begins, the umpire has the exclusive responsibility to stop and restart play due to weather, field conditions, darkness, etc. Games meeting the completion requirement are considered finished (win, lose, or tie), and all others are to be re-played in their entirety. Tournament rules may override completion/suspension/replay rules.
A. When a game needs to be rescheduled, the home organization is responsible for coordinating the a new date/time/field, working directly with the home org’s field scheduler and the two team managers. If the home org cannot provide a field, the visiting team or a neutral field should be checked to host the game - make every reasonable effort to play the game.
B. Once a new date/time/field is agreed upon, the home organization schedules an umpire AND notifies the Co-op Game Scheduler to update the schedule.
C. If either team/org is having trouble coordinating with the other team/org, then either side may contact the Co-op Game Scheduler for help. It is understood that not all games will be able to be made up, particularly those near the end of the season.
D. If a Co-op post season tournament is being played, exceptions to these policies will be provided to all participants, but the Co-op Tournament Scheduler makes any and all reasonable decisions necessary in order to complete the tournament in a timely manner.