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 September 1 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.