March 13, 2020

MINUTES MVUDSS BOARD MEETING 3/13/20

IN ATTENDANCE:  S. Baranick(SB); R. Barnhart(RB); J. Hansell(JH); T. Jadwin(TJ); R. Schemp(RS); G. Stevenson(GS)
GUEST:  J. Buss (JB)

1. Action Items
a. Assignments
    (1) SB – Did not contact Brian Wright as 3rd league umpire needed.  Instead, he spoke to Larry Robertson,
          Valley-wide umpire, who is 70 years old and lives in Hemet.
          SB will contact Robertson to have him trial umpire one game the next time we play.
          (Subsequent to the Board meeting, SB contacted Robertson.)
         Remains an open item.

    (2) RS – has not yet contacted the graphic artist to design and produce the Monday league banner.
          He was unable to locate the e-mail sent to him from SB which contained the league logo and words
          to go on the banner.  SB will resend that information to RS.
          (Subsequent to the Board meeting, SB e-mailed the information to RS.)
         Remains an open item.

    (3) TJ – $110 owed MVUDSS from “Toys for Kids” 2019 tournament.  After brief discussion, TJ acknowledged
          that the $110 was the correct amount that was due the Monday league from this tournament.
         This remains an open item until a method for reconciling is determined.  

b. Discussion Items/Announcements – no items discussed

2. MVUDSS-hosted tournaments
a. BKMT4, Wednesday,  2/26/20
    (1) 22 teams participated/paid.

    (2) Two teams, Top Gun Olde Dawgs (70AA) and Top Gun 6 Bits (75AAA), were on the waiting list
          and not able to participate in the tournament.  

    (3) Net Profit: $4,396.50 – team fee increased last year (after BKMT3) from $10/team to $25/team.
          The Board extends its thanks and appreciation to the Tuesday/Thursday league players who,
          voluntarily, contributed $327 of the net profit, and a special thank you to Tuesday/Thursday player
          John Sennett for coordinating that effort.  SB gave a check to 4 Paws 4 Patriots (4P4P) on 3/11/20.

    (4) A brick will be placed at the foot of the flag pole at the new 4P4P facility in Menifee.
           It will read: “MENIFEE VALLEY UPPER DIV SENIOR SOFTBALL VALUED SUPPORTER”. 

    (5) Lessons Learned:
           a) Need to balance the teams in the top division. 2 of the 3 teams left before elimination games.
                 We were not charged for the forfeits. 
           b) Recommend an alternative to having a 60 division. 

          Some alternatives/recommendations were discussed by the Board, with agreement to table
          any decisions regarding change when we begin discussions later in the year regarding
          the 2021 tournament.  

     (6) JH discussed, and gave the Board a write-up of a complaint made by a female spectator at the
           tournament in which an umpire, allegedly, made inappropriate/suggestive remarks to her
           during a game.
          While the names of the individuals involved were discussed in the Board meeting,
          their names and the details of the incident, while included as part of the official minutes,
          will be redacted, as this is a personnel matter.

b. Charity Tournament (TBD) 2020
     RB reserved BLD/Perris for Thu, 12/3 – Fri, 12/4/20 for 65-70-75 teams.
     Item not discussed.  Remains an open item.

3. 2020 Spring Season 
a. SB projects a +$411.45 balance.  Additional savings resulting from SB umpiring 3 games: 1 on 2/24, 2 on 3/2.
    An additional cost is reflected in this balance based on the $45 league fee refunded to Juan Guerrero,
    who dropped out of the league.

b. Coronavirus Implications/Game Schedule
    (1) Coronavirus Implications
          a)  Although SSUSA has canceled the 65-80 Spring Worlds scheduled for 3/24-26, they are still planning
               on holding tournaments.
               Their website contains precautions/procedures they are implementing, including
               a “no handshake policy”.
          b) The Board discussed the implications of the coronavirus and, at least for the time being,
               will allow Monday league games to continue pending positions taken by BLD
               or guiding governmental organizations.  
          c)  Subsequent to the Board meeting, JH forwarded a copy of BLD’s policy/procedures
               regarding the coronavirus.  It is similar to that adopted by SSUSA.  

    (2)  Game Schedule
          a) Our current game schedule shows 4 “dark” dates during the next 6 weeks, with the Spring Worlds
               accounting for 2 of those dates.
          b) Because of the above mentioned cancellation of the Spring Worlds for the 65-80 age group,
               3/23 now becomes an available date to play.            
          c) By unanimous consensus, without vote, the Board agreed that regularly scheduled games on 3/16
              will be played, weather permitting.
          d) By unanimous consensus, without vote, the Board agreed that rainout games that had been moved
               to 6/1, will be moved to 3/23.
               However, if the 3/16 games are rained out, those games will be moved to 3/23,
               and the rainout games that had been moved to 6/1 will remain on 6/1.  
          e)  Subsequent to the Board meeting on 3/14, SB received the following text message from
               Adrian Williams/BLD Perris:
              “We are good for Mondays as long as we stay under the 250 number per County.
              So now it will depend on the weather.”
              SB sent an e-mail to all Monday league players on 3/14 which included that text message
              and explained the above game schedule implications and coronavirus situation.

          f)  Subsequent to the Board meeting on 3/15, SB received a text indicating games on 3/16 were canceled.
              Fields not playable.
  SB e-mailed all players on the same date.
          g)  Subsequent to the Board meeting, after receiving notice from SSUSA on 3/16 that they were canceling
               all tournaments for 60 days, the Board, via text, agreed, by consensus, to suspend Monday league
               until further notice.  SB sent an e-mail to all players, on same date, notifying them of this change.

c. Rule 16. Injury Rule 
Question about this rule arose from an incident in a game on 3/2/20 on Pawtucket, in which batter, Al Shelley   (AS), hit a hard ball that hit pitcher, Charles Pickett (CP), and caromed away from CP.  AS immediately abandoned any attempt to achieve first base, which he could have easily achieved.  The defensive team picked up the ball and tagged AS, for the apparent putout.  SB, acting manager for absent manager RS and co-umpire in chief, corrected the call, citing a portion of Rule 16, indicated below.  Rob Hellman, was a substitute umpire, replacing absent regular umpire, Dennis Morehouse, and was not familiar with this rule.  Opposing manager, A. Bullington (AB), took exception to this revised ruling.  He wasn’t aware of the existence of the rule, and also felt that SB as a Board member, and acting manager, even if he is co-umpire in chief has a conflict of interest and should not have inserted himself in the play.  JH arrived at Pawtucket, shortly after the incident and was asked for his interpretation by SB.  JH confirmed the revised ruling, and so indicated to AB who was standing within hearing distance.  AB said he wanted to see the rule.  JH indicated that he would send to him (which was done on 3/4).  After completion of the game, AB spoke to JH and reiterated his same concerns.  JH said it is not inappropriate for either SB, or JH, who is the other co-umpire in chief, to make a ruling on the field, irrespective of whether playing or not.  

RS commented that many of our Monday league pitchers are not standing behind the screen after making the pitch, but are positioning themselves as defensive players.  A brief discussion centered around as to whether we could make mandatory, for a pitcher to get behind the screen.  That was not deemed practical.

RS also commented that the pitching screen continues to be placed in incorrect positions, primarily to be used by pitchers as an “extra” fielder.  He further stated that the umpires are not checking for proper placement, either before or during the game.  Although he has done this on numerous occasions, the Board has directed SB to speak to, and show, all umpires about the proper positioning of the screen both at the start, as well as during, the game.  

SB reminded the Board that this rule was included in Monday league rules strictly for safety reasons.
After reviewing the incident in question, the Board unanimously, without vote, affirmed that the objective is to ensure player safety, enforce existing rules, and getting the call right.  The Board also affirmed that SB/JH, in their co-umpire in chief roles, are not a conflict of interest when weighing in on a play, irrespective of being a Board member, player, or manager.  The Board also asserted that a manager, even an acting manager, has the responsibility to ensure the proper interpretation of a rule, if he knows such a rule.  

Injury Rule – If, in the umpire’s sole judgment, a player appears to be seriously injured during a play, whether or not timeout had been called on the play, timeout will be assumed to have been called in order to permit attendance to the injured player. When play is resumed the umpire may, at his own discretion, award bases which, in his judgment, would have occurred had a timeout not been called. 

For clarification of the above Injury Rule, JH proposed an example be included as part of the rule for clarification.  The proposed language is:  An example would be a batter striking a ball that hits the pitcher, and the batter forsakes advancing to first base, and, instead, rushes to the aid of the pitcher. The Board agreed, without vote, but with unanimous consensus, to add such language to Rule 16 above.
(Subsequent to the Board meeting, SB modified the rule accordingly.)
SB needs to discuss this rule with league umpires.  

d. Professional Umpire Designation
SB proposed to the Board that he and, possibly, JH become “professional” umpires via such a designation through SSUSA.  He also proposed that the Monday league pay the $35 filing fee for this.  RB stated that he believes that to achieve this designation through SSUSA, the individual must umpire one game at an SSUSA qualifier and be witnessed by the Tournament Director and/or umpire in chief  (UIC) for that tournament.  However, RB will contact Donnie Reddig, UIC for SSUSA’s western region, to see whether RB can make a recommendation to SSUSA that SB and JH be designated as professional umpires.
No decision was made by the Board on this item at this time. Item remains open.

e. Rule 26. Ejections revisit
In light of a recent player ejection, it became clear that our existing Monday rule (identified in italics below) does not completely cover all possible situations relative to which game(s) should an ejected player miss.
SSUSA’s rule on ejected players is even more vague.  The essence of the rule, as stated below, that a player will, at a minimum, not be able to play for the remainder of the game in which he’s ejected plus his next regularly scheduled game, will remain intact.  

Guest JB feels that our rule needs to be more stringent to strongly discourage players from exhibiting behavior that would cause an ejection.  JH feels that because it is so difficult for managers to pick up players when missing a player(s), that to not allow an ejected player to play for another team on the day of ejection, places these teams in a very difficult position.  

To clarify, and offer more specifics, the following motions were made and voted on.  

JH motioned, and SB seconded, that a player ejected from a game can play any game for another team(s) that he had been previously picked up as a pickup player on the date of ejection.  Motion failed 2 (SB/JH) – 4.  

JH motioned, and TJ seconded, that a player ejected from a game can play the second game, if his team is playing a doubleheader, on the day of his ejection.  Motion failed 1 (JH) – 5.  

JH motioned, and TJ seconded, that a player cannot play any remaining games on the day of the ejection, nor any games, either for his team, or as a pickup player, during the week of his next regularly scheduled game.
Motion passed 5-1 (JH).

(Subsequent (3/14) to the Board meeting, by text to the Board, JH motioned, and SB seconded that  “An ejected player, scheduled to be absent for his next regularly scheduled game, will have that game count as his “suspended” game.   Motion passed 4-3 (TJ/RS/GS).)

Ejections: A player ejected from a game for violating the SSUSA Players’ Code of Ethics will, at a minimum, not be eligible to play for the remainder of the game in question and his team’s next regularly scheduled game.  

(Subsequent (3/22) to the Board meeting, JH sent an e-mail to the Board, in which he provided detailed examples of potential negative effects of the approved rule change on the ejected player, on managers and on teams.  He asked for the Board to vote yes/no to rescind the approved rule change, and offered a proposed new rule which covers the issues he raised.  While the Board agreed 5-2 (RB/TJ) to rescind the approved rule, there was not consensus as to the revisions JH offered.  As a result, the approved rule change will be rescinded, and the item will remain an open agenda item to be resolved at a future Board meeting.)

f.  Player Discipline Policy
In light of the vague language in Rule 26 relative to ejections/missing games, JH pointed out that our existing Player Discipline Policy is also vague regarding application of the suspension.  JH recommended, and the Board agreed unanimously, without vote, that a suspended player will not be eligible to play in any games, either for his team, or as a pickup player during the length of his suspension.
(Subsequent to the Board meeting, JH provided SB with language to include in the subject policy.)   

g. Single Elimination Playoff 
    (1)  Because of the 16-game schedule, SB recommended the reinstatement of the following under Rule 20
           Tournaments in order to have a clearcut champion: 

    (2) Tournaments …  
          Playoffs: Will occur ONLY in the event of a 1st place tie.
          The tied teams will be seeded using the following SSUSA tiebreaker criteria
          for a single-elimination playoff: 
          a) Head-to-head 
          b) Least runs allowed in games played between the tied teams 
          c) Run differential in games played between the tied teams 
          d) Coin flip
          The higher seed will have its choice of home or visitor. 

          SB motioned, and JH seconded that in the event of a tie, a single-elimination playoff will take place,
          using the SSUSA seeding criteria.
          Motion passed 5-1(JH).  SB will modify league rule as appropriate.

4. League Players 
a. Kyle Lucas – potential Bobby Seaton “2”replacement on Sammy’s Cafe (SC).
    Two Board members have seen him play.
    GS sees him as a “1” and RB sees him as a “1” or “2”.
    By policy, at least one more Board member needs to see him play before a final rating can be determined.
    Item remains open.

b. Tony Walker – wants to be on the WL/pool; 951-285-7590 (C); tony_walker25@hotmail.com; DOB 5/19/60.
    Any position but pitcher.  Emergency contact: Bryan Walker/son, 951-285-1749 (C).
    SB met him at BKMT4 on 2/26.
    SB needs to call and he needs to be rated.  Item remains open.

5.  Obliterating Batter’s Box
JH informed the Board that in reviewing past Board minutes relative to some current topics, he ran across the motion below which was passed in our 1/4/19 Board meeting.  Because we did not adopt the SSUSA changes on this rule, the “old” SSUSA rule needed to be placed in our rules.  That got missed.

From 1/4/19 Board meeting minutes.  
§7.3(1) • OBLITERATING THE BATTER’S BOX – Removes the “out” for first offense, with an automatic ejection for first offense, to read:
Any player A batter, in the umpire’s judgment, deliberately erasing any portion of the batter’s box will be called out. A second offense by the same player will result in the player’s ejection ejected from the game. • PASSED: 10‐1‐1.  The Board felt that while this rule change was somewhat understandable, the penalty was too harsh.  JH motioned and TJ seconded that MVUDSS retain the SSUSA rule on this matter that existed just prior to this change.  Motion passed 5-0. 

The rule to be placed in the Monday league rules should read as follows:
OBLITERATING THE BATTER’S BOX 
A batter, or any player, who in the umpire’s judgment, deliberately erases any portion of the batter’s box will be called out. A second offense by the same batter/player, in the same game, will result in the player’s ejection  from the game.
SB to place in Monday league rules.

6. League Website
a. GS indicated that he paid $42 for the league domain name.
    By unanimous agreement, without vote, the Board agreed to reimburse GS the $42.
    GS to provide SB the supporting documentation for the payment.

b. GS also recommended to the Board that we obtain a security certificate to help secure our website.
    He believes this will cost, in the range, $65-$70 for 2-3 years of coverage.
    He will check the price and inform the Board. 

7. 7th Board Member
TJ stated that he would like to see a 7th Board member added because: an additional Board member can help balance assignments; having an odd number of Board members is ideal; and he was not comfortable with current situation where the President’s position has a tiebreaker vote in the event of a 3-3 tie on a motion. 

TJ motioned that the Board appoint JB to the 7th Board position.  JH stated that the Board should first approve a 7th position.  Because of this, and the fact there was no second to the original motion, that motion did not come before the Board.

JH continues to be opposed to a 7-member Board.  He indicated that the Board has had 7 members in the past.  With 7 members has resulted in typically longer Board meetings; not adding any efficiency to the Board’s functioning, not resulting in any broader/greater distribution of work, and greater difficulty in scheduling meetings because of more people.  

TJ motioned, and JH seconded that the Monday league Board approve adding a 7th position to the Board.
Motion passed 4-2 (SB/JH).

RS motioned, and JH seconded,  to nominate Jack Buss to fill the 7th Monday league Board position.
Motion passed 6-0.  

8. Mandatory Flip-Flop
RB suggested that the Board consider making the flip-flop rule mandatory for all games.  Our current rule is that for regular season games both managers must agree to a flip-flop and it’s mandatory for playoff/tournament games.  SSUSA now has it mandatory for seeding and bracket games.  RB feels it will move games along and will take any bickering/ill feelings out of the managers involvement.
SB will modify league rule as appropriate.

RB motioned, and JH seconded, that the flip-flop rule be mandatory for all Monday league games, irrespective of season length (14, 16 or other length.).  Motion passed 7-0.  (This was JB’s first vote as a Board member.)

9.  Monday League Pitching Screen
RS indicated that one Monday league screen (with large rubber front section) is missing.  It was determined that this screen was known to have been at BLD on 3/2.
SB will contact Adrian Williams, at BLD, to see if they have the screen. 
(Subsequent to the Board meeting, the screen was located in the BLD office.)