Babe Ruth's Role of a Commissioner

Many believe that the fall and winter is a slow time for baseball and softball; but if you are doing your job properly, it should be a very busy time for the effective Commissioner. 


Now is the time to review the responsibilities of your position, as well as to prepare and recruit.  Listed below is an overview of your responsibilities and highlights to help you prepare for the 2015 season. 


COMMISSIONER POSITIONS 


District Commissioner:  The District Commissioner is responsible for the territory and leagues assigned by the State Commissioner and operates the Babe Ruth program within his/her district according to the Babe Ruth League Rules and Regulations, as well as the State’s Constitution & By-Laws and its policies.    The District Commissioner, in most cases, will be the highest ranking Babe Ruth Official the local league will ever meet or know.  To them you are Babe Ruth League, and how you perform your duties is the impression they will have of the entire program.  Assists local leagues whenever needed or requested. Carry all concerns within your District to the State Organization in order for their recommendations to be properly presented and discussed at the next level of the chain of command.  Key person for league retention.  Works to keep existing leagues satisfied.    Promote and solicit new leagues.  Personally contact potential new league on inquiries received from Babe Ruth Headquarters.  To assign and operate District Tournaments.  Work with your League Presidents to make certain they follow rules and procedures in order for their program to be eligible for tournament play.  Examine all local league rosters to make sure they are accurate and complete.  Set up and hold District Meetings with League Presidents.    Responsible for personal meetings with new League Presidents.    Create and send out newsletters.  Support and promote the programs and products offered by Babe Ruth League, Inc.


The Role of the Babe Ruth League Commissioner:


State Commissioner:  The State Commissioner is responsible for the territory and leagues assigned by the Regional Commissioner and operates the Babe Ruth program within his/her state according to the Babe Ruth League Rules and Regulations, as well as the State’s Constitution & By-Laws and its policies.    The State Commissioner is responsible for the leagues in the state.  Assists local league officials when needed or requested.  Holds elections for District Commissioners elected by the local leagues within the respective District.  Holds several meetings per year, including an election meeting (during a certification year or when deemed necessary) where each District Commissioner votes for the State Commissioner; a meeting devoted to league eligibility for tournament play, as well as a complete review of Babe Ruth League Rules and Regulations for local league and tournament play; and meetings to address any District concerns and review possible policy and rules changes, as well as meetings to review the special programs and products offered by Babe Ruth Headquarters.  Assists with retention and recruitment of leagues.  Assigns and operates State Tournaments and works with District Commissioners to make sure leagues are eligible for tournament competition.  Carry all concerns within your State to the Regional Organization in order for their recommendations to be properly presented and discussed at the next level of the chain of command.  Create and send out newsletters.  Support and promote the programs and products offered by Babe Ruth League, Inc. 
Regional Commissioner  The Regional Commissioner operates the Babe Ruth program within his region according to the Babe Ruth League Rules and Regulations and the program’s policies and procedures.  Assists local league officials when needed or requested.  Holds one or two workshops per year where the operations of the region and the Babe Ruth program are thoroughly reviewed.  Assists with retention and recruitment.  Operates and administers Regional Tournaments in conjunction with his/her Assistant Regional Commissioners.  Carry all concerns within the Region to Babe Ruth Headquarters in order for their recommendations to be properly presented and discussed at the next level of the chain of command.  Create and send out newsletters.  Support and promote the programs and products offered by Babe Ruth League, Inc. 


PROSPECTS—RECRUITING NEW LEAGUES

 Fall and winter are great time to recruit new leagues.  Make sure your District, State or Region is set up to promote the entire program—Cal Ripken Baseball, Babe Ruth Baseball and Babe Ruth Softball.  Know what communities are included in your territory.  Be aware of every league within your District, State or Region.  Know who the League President of every league is, and let them know who you are.  Know what area from which they draw players and if that competes with an established league participating in Babe Ruth League.  For prospects, know what national program(s) they are affiliated with, if any.  If affiliated with another national program, make sure you are familiar with that program’s rules.  Make sure you are aware of which age groups participate.
Find out if the prospects are considering making a change.    Determine what they want from a new program—ask open-ended questions.  Determine potential league’s needs and demonstrate how Babe Ruth League can meet their needs and show what their benefits would be.  Be honest.  Overcome objections by explaining the benefits of the Babe Ruth program and show how these benefits can help potential leagues. Notify Headquarters of any new contacts you obtain so they may follow up with a letter of encouragement and an inquiry kit.  Babe Ruth Headquarters is challenging each District and State Commissioner to get at least one new league to join in 2015.

  
RETENTION OF EXISTING LEAGUES :

 Fall is a great time to work on 100% retention of your existing leagues.  We suggest you conduct an end-of-the-season survey with each league.  In person or over the phone, reach out to your League Presidents to evaluate the success of their season and identify any areas where we or the league can improve.  If they are having problems and/or have complaints, now is the best time to resolve their issues so we can keep them a part of the Babe Ruth family.  Stay in frequent contact with League Presidents in your area.  Have regular meetings.  Make sure each League President has an agenda for the meeting.  Make sure the agenda is interesting and informative.  Open group discussions should always be included.  Encourage leagues to register when the charter season opens for 2015, rather than in the spring.  Communication is key to success.  Retention is key to growth.  If we lose 5 leagues and gain 5 new leagues, we are not even.  We have still lost 5 leagues.  Growth cannot be accomplished without maintaining our existing leagues.
The role of the Babe Ruth League volunteer Commissioner increases each year, creating greater need for trained, qualified personnel at all levels.  The Babe Ruth League volunteer leaders of tomorrow must, of necessity, personify those standards of leadership, understanding and resourcefulness, which are implicit in the basic concept of Babe Ruth League.  In accepting the responsibilities of leadership, the Babe Ruth League Commissioner’s primary consideration must always be gauged towards the best interests of Babe Ruth League, Inc.   
In carrying forward all duties, Commissioners should be aware at all times that he or she is the representative of the local leagues to Headquarters.  The Babe Ruth League volunteer Commissioner must be knowledgeable of and support the principles of the program as adopted by the Board of Directors of Babe Ruth League.  They should be thoroughly acquainted with policies, rules and regulations and have the capacity for good judgment and common sense to provide counsel and assistance to local leagues.  An intimate knowledge of the social, geographic and community factors of their territory will not only assist the leagues effectively, but provide valuable information to Babe Ruth Headquarters for use in shaping the future course of the program. 


As you read this article, ask yourself, “Am I the very best Commissioner I can be?”  Do I possess all of the necessary traits?  Do I carry forth the responsibilities of my position?  If you can answer yes, then you are doing the best job you can for the Babe Ruth program.  Even if you cannot answer yes to all, you have at least identified an opportunity to be a more effective Commissioner.  Concentrate on the areas where you need work, and watch the territory for which you are responsible to solidify and grow. Remember, we at home plate are always here to assist you.