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Roseville Area Fastpitch

Roseville Area Fastpitch Association, hereafter called the Association or RAF, is an independent, nonprofit, volunteer organization that works cooperatively with the City of Roseville and the City of Little Canada Parks and Recreation Department to provide a competitive recreational fastpitch softball program for the youth in the Roseville area. All players, parents and coaches are encouraged to thoroughly read the information below as it outlines how the program is run.

Purpose of Policies

These Policies govern the activities of the Association.

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is responsible for overseeing the Association and following these Policies. The Board is comprised of no less than five members. The Board elects officers including President, Secretary, and Treasurer and determines whether additional officer positions are needed each year.

The Board shall create committees responsible for carrying out Board functions and appoint Board members to serve as committee chairs (e.g., tryouts, registration, coaching coordinator, publicity, fields/umpires, uniforms, and equipment). The Board may also create subcommittees as necessary (e.g. property, pitching clinic, fundraising, and conflict resolution). Board members will be responsible for directing these subcommittees and recruiting volunteers.

Each Board member has one vote on all matters relating to the activities of the Association. A quorum of half the Board members, plus one is necessary to take formal Board action. A majority vote will prevail with the exception that a two-thirds majority vote is required to make additions or changes to these Policies.

Board Eligibility

Any person, who has a conflict of interest, as determined by the Board, will not be allowed to serve on the Board.

Board Meetings

RAF Board Meetings are held throughout the year as necessary. No compensation will be paid to any Board member or any parent of any player involved in the Association.

All Association Board of Directors meetings are open to Association parents and players. RAF members are encouraged to attend these meetings to maintain communication between themselves and the Board and to provide input and ideas for the benefit of RAF. Information about Board meeting is available at www.rosevillefastpitch.org or by contacting any Board member for dates, times and location. Current Board members along with their contact information is listed on the Association's website.

Parents and players will be given the opportunity to provide feedback and ask questions to the Board at the beginning of each meeting. After that, no discussion with parents and players will take place during the meeting. A response may be needed after the meeting if appropriate. The Board reserves the right to limit the amount of time for discussion on any issue and the Board also reserves the right to limit certain discussion only to Board members.

BOARD COMMUNICATIONS

The Roseville Area Fastpitch Association (RAF) Board seeks to provide those participating in the Association with a quality softball program responsive to the needs and desires of the members it serves. In keeping with that goal, the Board invites comments, suggestions, and questions from any players, coaches, parents, or other interested parties on the program as feedback. Much of this feedback consists of informal discussions between Board members and the individuals involved in the softball program, as a practical reality, and the Board encourages this practice to continue as appropriate. Please be advised, however, that only the Board, in its official capacity and after proper discussion and a vote, is authorized to speak for the Board and the program. Individual Board members are not so authorized and no person may take something other than an official Board decision as such. Discussions with individual Board members do not constitute discussions with the Board as a whole and representations from individual Board members are not to be taken as representations of the Board. This notice is not provided to discourage individuals from having discussions with and posing questions and directing comments to individual Board members about items of concern for the Association, as the Board believes those exchanges of information is important to the Board's ability to function effectively. Instead, this notice is to clear up any potential confusion regarding how the Board must operate when making official decisions affecting the Association.

Any person interested in serving on the Board should contact any current Board member.

Board Member Retention

Each member of the Board sits on the Board at the discretion and pleasure of the Board as a whole. Members do not sit for any specified term or duration. Just as any Board member is free to resign a Board position at any time, the Board has the discretion to decide not to retain any Board member for continuing Board membership at any time. Such a Board decision must be preceded by a motion with a second, and the motion must receive at least a 2/3 majority of the members of the Board eligible to vote. The member about whom the motion is made is not eligible to vote on the motion. The motion may include the reasons that the motion is being made, but it is not required to do so. The member about whom the motion is made might be allowed an opportunity to respond and/or explain why he or she believes the membership should be retained, but neither is this strictly required. The Board has the discretion to conduct the motion and voting process as it deems necessary and desirable under the given circumstances involved, provided that the minimum 2/3 of the eligible voting members concur with the decision not to extend the retention of the Board member involved.

Policy for Addressing Board

The Roseville Area Fastpitch Association (RAF) Board values open communication and feedback from the players, parents, coaches, and all interested individuals it strives to serve, in an ongoing effort to better fulfill it purposes and objectives. Accordingly, the Board welcomes comments, questions, and concerns from any player, parent, coach, or other interested party. Informal discussions with individual Board members are certainly an integral part of the Board receiving feedback from the interested individuals it serves. As volunteers, the Board members do ask that the informal discussions comply with practical reason as to time and place, and that such discussions remain civil and constructive. Please be aware, also, that any such individual discussions, while useful and necessary, do not replace or constitute addressing the actual Board, as a decision-making entity, and any representations made by individual Board members do not constitute actual representations of the Board as a whole.

If an interested party wishes to address the Board, as the Board, and/or receive a Board determination or policy statement from the Board, the interested party may do so according to the following set of guidelines:

1) the interested party should set forth the issue, question, concern, or dispute about which a Board determination or statement is sought, in writing, in as clear and concise a manner as practical and present that writing to an individual Board member.

2) the Board member will then alert the Board President and other Board members that the issue has been presented to the Board for a determination. The Board will then schedule a meeting for as soon as practicable thereafter, taking in to account the circumstances involved, the timeliness of the presentation of the question to the Board, the urgency of the matter involved, the availability of Board members and of the individual who posed the question or concern to the Board, and whatever other considerations the President and the Board members believe, in their discretion, to warrant consideration. The Board may decide to schedule a special meeting for the issue, or the Board may

decide to add the issue to the agenda of a regularly scheduled Board meeting. The Board will notify the individual who presented the matter to the Board of the meeting time and place, and the Board will post the issue and the meeting time and place on the RAGFSA website.

3) at the scheduled time and place, the issue will be presented to the Board for discussion, potential motion, and possible determination according to the following process:
a) the individual posing the issue or concern to the Board will have 5 minutes to make a presentation to the Board regarding the question or concern
b) following that presentation, an additional 5 minutes will be allotted, if and as needed, for other interested parties to speak to the Board on the issue
c) a discussion period involving the Board and any and all interested parties will then take place, for up to 10 minutes as needed and as warranted. At that time, the precise wording of any motion or specific question to be put to vote will be finalized and agreed upon by the individual presenting the matter to the Board and the Board
d) the Board will then be allowed 10 additional minutes to discuss the issue or concern, as a Board, without non-Board members present, and to make a determination as to how the issue will be handled. The Board may decide to table the motion before it, or approve or deny the motion/request, again on properly seconded motion and simple majority vote of members present, unless the matter is of a nature requiring a greater than simple majority as per existing, established Board policy.

The Board may decided, by motion seconded and carried by majority vote of those present, to enlarge any of the times set forth herein as the Board deems warranted and advisable. Any decisions to enlarge, or not to enlarge, are at the Board's discretion.

4) any determination the Board makes regarding the matter presented will then be announced to any interested parties and posted on the RAGFSA web-site.

Recreation Department Review

The Association operates independently of the City of Roseville and City of Little Canada Parks and Recreation Department. However, either or both may review the Association's actions and work with the Board to change any such actions that they deem are grossly biased, hazardous or otherwise detrimental to players.

League

Each year the Board will determine what summer league the players will participate in. The Association will then follow the league bylaws, in addition to MMFL/ASA rules. [1]

Registration and Uniforms

The Board establishes the annual registration fee. Fees are based on projected operating costs for the upcoming year. These fees include the cost to cover the league fee, umpires, fields, a T-shirt/jersey, socks, team first aid kit, state qualifier, state tournament (if a team qualifies), two weekend tournaments, softballs/equipment, regional/national tournament (if a team qualifies), and miscellaneous expenses incurred by the coaching staff and Board (e.g. copying, postage). All registration fees must be paid at time of registration. A player will not be allowed to tryout or be assigned to a team unless the fee has been paid or arrangements for payment have been made with the treasurer.

Scholarships are available in an amount up to one-half of the registration fee and up to a maximum of $250 per season. Scholarships do not include equipment or additional clothing. If requests for scholarships exceed the funds available, the scholarship fund will be divided among the eligible applicants, up to the stated maximums. For example, if 5 requests have been submitted and there is $250 in scholarship money available, each will get a $50 reduction, which is less than one-half of the registration fee. Any questions regarding availability of financial assistance should be directed to the President or Treasurer of RAGFSA. Confidentiality is assured.

Each year the Board will establish a registration deadline (determined by the deadline dates established by the league we play in), which will be communicated to all returning players and on all publicity information.

Registration will be conducted through advanced mailings for returning players, in-house registration on two different dates during the month of January for new/returning players and through the website www.rosevillefastpitch.org. Specific dates and times will be publicized through school postings, local newspapers, the cable channel, community newsletters and our website. New players are encouraged to be at registration for the fitting of uniforms. Registration is the only time uniform items may be ordered. Exchanges are not available. A fee of $5 will be assessed for all checks returned for non- sufficient funds.

Players will be accepted after this deadline on a space available basis, first come, first serve, with special consideration given to pitchers and catchers. Prior to tryouts, refunds will be granted to those players who choose to withdraw from the RAGFSA program. A $25 processing fee will be charged.

REGISTRATION DEADLINE

In keeping with the objectives and mission statement of the Roseville Area Fastpitch (RAF), it is the intent of the Board to include as many girls as possible on the sponsored teams. To further that goal, every reasonable effort will be made to accommodate the maximum number of girls at the various age- level groupings. Depending on the number of girls committed to playing at a particular age-level, try- outs and cuts may become necessary, and/or multiple teams may be formed at a particular age level. Accordingly, the Board has set a registration deadline in order to determine how many players would like to be accommodated at a particular age level, and to make scheduling and planning decisions and arrangements based on those numbers. For this reason, we ask that everyone make every effort to have the registration and fee to the Board as of the registration deadline. Please note that the registration is not considered complete until the appropriate fee accompanies the registration form. The Board will consider allowing late registrations, however. The decision whether or not to allow a late registration rests solely in the discretion of the Board, and will be made only by a vote of the Board as a whole. The Board may consider a variety of factors in deciding whether or not to allow a late registration, including: 1) the number of players already registered at a particular age-level; 2) injury or other exigent circumstances involving either the player seeking the late registration and/or her family; and 3) other circumstances explaining the late registration the player wishes to offer. The Board will then determine whether or not to allow the late registration and participation in RAF for that player.

If a player qualifies for a team and the uniform order has been placed, all fees will be non-refundable. The only time a refund will be granted is when a player is cut from the program because there are more players than can be accommodated or not enough players to form a team. If a player is unable to play due to a verified medical reason, a refund will be granted, pro-rated for the amount of the season remaining. A doctor's note may be required.

A copy of the player's birth certificate and a photo of the player are required with the registration form if one is not on file with the Association (if the player has a valid drivers license this is not required). These are required as proof of age for the state tournament as well as most weekend tournaments. All new players are required to attend registration to get properly fitted for their uniform. The Association will have samples of all uniform items at in-house registration, this is the only opportunity to order and try on uniforms. The Association is a non-profit organization and does not carry an inventory of uniform items. Returning players should try on last year's uniform to be sure it fits. The Association encourages all players to purchase uniform items from the Association (our prices are significantly reduced from what you will find at a local sporting goods store).

The Association uniform consists of black shorts, white sliders, ash color shirts and black/white stirrup socks. These uniform items, in addition to other clothing (e.g., sweatshirt, knee pads, visor, helmets) may be purchased from the Association. Each player must wear the Association's colors (i.e., black, ash and white). Approved helmets with facemask are required and can be ordered at registration.

Additional Team Expenses

The registration fee charged each player is set by the Board and covers certain team expenses, as determined by the Board. If a coach of a team believes additional funds are needed for certain team expenditures, that coach may make a proposal to the players and parents on the respective team to collect additional funds, on an equal per player basis, from the team members. Such request shall not exceed $100 per player absent prior Board approval. Such request must also be unanimously accepted by each player/parent before the assessment will be made. Each parent will have 24 hours to inform the coach of an objection, should the parent want to raise the objection privately. The coach will keep any such objection confidential and only inform the team members and parents that the proposed assessment will not be made. A team may also engage in fundraising activities to raise additional money for additional team expenditures. A head coach does not need unanimous support of the players and parents to propose fundraising efforts, but the coach does need a majority of players and parents to support the fundraising proposed. The coach must make clear that the fundraising activities and efforts are voluntary and the coach is not allowed to take punitive action against any player for that player and/or the player's parent(s) deciding not to participate in fundraising activity and/or voting against a fundraising proposal. Such fundraising efforts - both the proposed fundraiser and the proposed expenditure - must get pre-approval from the Board and all funds must be collected by the Board on behalf of Roseville Area Fastpitch Association. All such fundraising dollars collected shall be specified in the Association budget, and the Treasurer shall prepare and provide an accounting detailing the expenses to be paid for prior Board approval. Upon approval by a majority of the Board, the Treasurer shall disburse the funds directly to the outside entity or merchant. The Treasurer shall then provide an accounting of the disbursements to the Board, to the head coach of the team involved, and any parent of the team who requests the accounting.

Pitchers, Catchers and Pitching Clinic

On the registration form there will be a space to indicate if players are interested in trying out for pitching and catching. If a player qualifies to be on a team as a pitcher or catcher, they are expected to finish the season in that capacity and to share these duties with another player. The Association will strive to have two pitchers and two catchers per team. If a player decides not to pitch or catch after making a team in that capacity, and if their skill set does not warrant them to stay on the team as a position player, the player may be asked to transfer to a lower level team to allow a replacement player to take the pitching or catching position. If a player wishes to pitch or catch and would be willing to play at the lower level in order to have more opportunity to do so, that player will be given the option of playing on the lower-level team if she desires. No player who qualifies for the upper-tier team irrespective of pitching or catching evaluations will be forced to play on a lower-level team against her wishes, however.

The Association will do everything possible to arrange for a pitching clinic and to have it equally represented by all age brackets. Priority will be given to returning players to the Association (first come, first serve), then to new players (first come, first serve) and finally to players outside of the Association.

Eligibility

The Association is open to players who live in the Roseville Area, or who attend a school located in district 623. Players who are eligible to participate in two programs (e.g., live in another community and go to RAHS) will be asked to decide which program they want to play for. Players who do not reside or attend school District 623 will be accepted on a space-available basis, subject to Board approval.

Playing Up An Age Bracket

Players in their second year of play in an age bracket may play up one age bracket provided there is a need and they have the skills as deemed by the Board and/or tryout committee. After tryouts, players will not be allowed to change age brackets. Special consideration will be given to pitchers and catchers. The space on the registration form must be marked if there is an interest in playing up a bracket.

Coach Selection

The RAF Board is accountable for the selection of all coaches. The Coaches Selection Policy can be reviewed on the site www.rosevillefastpitch.org for full details.

Anyone interested in being a head coach needs to complete the coaching application form and submit it to the coaching coordinator by the deadline established. Head coaches will be selected based on their past experience, knowledge of the game, attitude, commitment to the organization, coaching philosophy (which most closely aligns with that of the Association), and, interview (if needed). Head coaches will select their assistant coaches. Priority for assistant coaches should be given to parents of players playing on the team, and using non-parents as assistants requires the approval of the coaching coordinator.

Team Selection

There are six ages of play- 8 & under, 10 & under, 12 & under, 14 & under, 16 & under and 18 & under. A players age as of January 1 of each year determines what age bracket they fall into. There are multiple tiers of play at each age bracket (except 18 & under). If there is only one team in an age bracket, the head coach, along with the tryout coordinator will determine the tier the team will play in; this decision is subject to Board approval.

If there are multiple teams at any age level, the goal will be to have a top tiered team and a second tiered team. If there are more than two teams, the Board will decide the tiers of play. All games in the traveling program are competitive; teaching fundamentals and rules of the game, and attempting to utilize and accentuate each player's abilities and skills as best suited to the player while still allowing diversification in playing opportunities will be balanced with the competitive goal, on a sliding scale as appropriate at the various age levels.

In the event there are teams at multiple tiers within an age bracket (namely 14 & under and 16 & under), the following system will be used to decide the players for the teams.

Tryouts will be held. All players will be given prior announcement of the date and location of tryouts. Each player will be rated on a variety of skills (e.g., throwing, fielding, hitting, and running) by two or more independent, player fastpitch softball knowledgeable judges. The top eight rated players will be placed on the highest-level team. The Board will then fill out the team(s) by choosing the rest of the players, with consultation as needed from the coach or coaches of the team(s) involved, and/or from other sources as deemed advisable and helpful, to finalize the team roster(s). Other sources will be consulted if a majority of the Board members present vote for such consult. The second level team will be chosen similarly until all teams are filled. If there are multiple teams of the same level, again, the Board will determine what policy should be followed to fill these teams. At the older ages, there are typically teams at different levels of play, all of which are competitive. The tryout judges will also evaluate the pitchers and catchers determining their ranking.

The only time tryouts are not needed is if just enough players sign up for an age bracket.

The Association encourages all players to play on the team they qualify for. In the event a player doesn't want to play at the level they qualify for, and wants to play for the lower-level team, they must notify the tryout coordinator prior to or at tryouts, outlining why they want to play at a lower level (for example, they do not want to play on a competitive A team). The Board will provide direction to the player as to their decision on the player's request. Players may request to play on the same team as a friend; however, the Association can't guarantee that. This is a traveling league and tryouts are used to place players on the most appropriate team for their skill level. If a player who does not provide the notice set forth above wishes to move down after tryouts are completed, that player may do so only with Board approval; the Board will make an effort to accommodate such requests if and as space on, and composition of, the various teams allows.

Roster Size

Teams will consist of 11 or 12 players. Additional players can be added to a team at the discretion of the head coach or Board. In the event that there are more players than can be accommodated at any age bracket, it will be the decision of the tryout judges to determine who gets cut. Their decision is final. All players not participating will receive a full refund. It is not the responsibility of the Association to find players released from the program another place to play.

Regular Season and Tournament Play

The regular season begins the first week in May for the 10 & under and 12 & under age brackets. It begins in mid-May for 14 & under, and the first week in June for the 16 & under and 18 and under age brackets. Season game schedules will be given out as soon as RAGFSA receives them, typically early May. Tri-County works with all of the communities in the league to put together the master game schedule. Roseville Area Girls Fastpitch Softball Association has no control over when schedules are received.

Coaches will determine when practices will be held. For the younger ages, most teams will begin practice when they can get outdoors, and will hold practices once or twice per week. For the older ages, since most players are playing middle or high school softball, few practices may be held before the season begins. Some teams like to practice on Sunday evenings after the season begins. Please remember this is a traveling, competitive sport. It does require a time commitment.

Regular season games are played on Monday/Wednesday (12 & under, 16 & under) and on Tuesday/Thursday (10 & under, 14 & under and 18 & under). Games start at 6:00 p.m. Doubleheaders are played, five innings per game, with no new inning starting after 65 minutes of play. Approximately half the games will be played in Roseville and Little Canada, with the remaining games in other communities. Home games and practices are held at Langton Lake Park, Concordia High School and Victoria #2 in Roseville. They are also held at Pioneer Park in Little Canada.

Weekend Tournaments

In addition to the regular season games, there are weekend tournaments (which can run from Friday night to late Sunday afternoon). The Association supports teams playing in weekend tournaments and players are expected to be at those games in addition to the regular season, playoffs and State Tournament. Weekend tournaments are sponsored by other fastpitch organizations, and give the players the opportunity to play more softball. The state qualifier and State Tournament are also held on a weekend. The Association registration fee covers two tournaments, the state qualifier and State Tournament. Additional tournaments may be played at the team's discretion with the parents/players absorbing the costs.

Playing Time

Each player in the program will receive significant playing time, especially at the lower age levels. Equal playing time is not guaranteed. All coaches should communicate their policy on playing time to the players and parents prior to the season opener and make every effort to follow their policy during the season. The head coach will determine positions and the batting order. Parents/players who disagree with a head coach's policy on playing time may request to be heard by the Board. The head coach of every team will determine positions and the batting order; at the younger age levels, coaches should strive to make decisions regarding positions with reference to providing as diverse an experience for each player as is feasible.

Differences of Opinion

Differences of opinion between coaches and parents/players are first to be addressed between the coach and parent/player on a non-game day. If the issue is not resolved, the parent/player/coach should contact the Association's coaching coordinator and describe the issue and propose a possible solution. The coaching coordinator will inform the Board of disputes, bring issues to the Board for resolution when necessary and attempt to mediate a solution when possible. Failure of the coach to meet and discuss the issue, or failure of the coach to follow the direction provided, will result in immediate dismissal of the coach.

Any other concerns parents/players have should be directed to any Board officers (President, Secretary and/or Treasurer). The parent/player should describe the concern and propose a possible solution. The officer will report to the Board and convey the decision of the Board to the parent/player.

Commitment and Sportsmanship

It is the responsibility of the parents to support the Association and the coaches. Parents should ensure that their daughters are on time for practices and games. Parents should attend games when possible and be a good fan.

Coaches are required to help all players learn the fundamentals of softball and develop all players to their fullest potential. Coaches must act responsible and carry on the tradition of good sportsmanship.

Players are expected to show up to all practices and games on time, and give their best effort. Players are reminded that they represent our community and should do so with pride and good sportsmanship.

The Association has a zero tolerance policy for inappropriate behavior, both verbal and physical. The Association has the right to remove a coach, player or fan from a practice, game or for the season for inappropriate behavior. No refund of monies will be provided.

Insurance

Insurance coverage is the responsibility of the player's parents/guardians.

Fundraising

Parents, players, coaches and/or teams can do fundraising (e.g., to pay for an additional tournament, to pay for travel for a non-Metro tournament) provided they receive the approval of the Board in advance of the fundraising event. The Board will review the fundraising activity, the facility where the funds will be raised, the method of publicity to be used for the fundraising and the estimated profit that will be gained in making its decision.

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[1] The Association is not involved in fall ball. Any parent can put together a team and participate in the program, provided they pay the fees. The fall ball starts in late August and runs through September. Participants play for five weeks on Sundays and on one or two Saturdays. Their playoffs and state tournament are held on a weekend. The Association will lend the team the needed equipment at no charge provided that 50% of the players are from the Association.

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