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MVSA Bylaws

As Amended November 4, 2011

1) Purpose:

The Mounds View Softball Association (MVSA) is organized exclusively for educational purposes within the meaning of section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.  The organization shall promote the education, training, and skills development of fastpitch softball for girls ages 7 to 18 living or attending school in the Mounds View 621 School District.

2) Affiliations

The MVSA is affiliated with the Tri-County league and Minnesota Softball.

3) Membership:

A.  Participation in the MVSA is open to all girls aged 7 to 18 living or attending school in the Mounds View 621 School District and shall not be restricted on the basis of race, creed, or national origin.

B.  The organization may allow a girl living outside the Mounds View 621 School District to participate, provided a majority of the Board of Directors approves the exception and participation meets league guidelines.

C.  Participation in MVSA will be determined by the player’s age on December 31 of the previous year unless otherwise prescribed by the Tri-County league.

D.  Teams will be limited to the maximum number of players as required by the Tri-County during regular league games. Teams may, at the discretion of the team’s head coach, be expanded to play in tournaments to the limits set by tournament organizers.

4) Participation Fees:

A.  Participation fees shall be determined annually by the Board of Directors. Fees may vary based on age groups, number of tournaments scheduled, and other factors.

B.  Each participant may also be required to purchase uniforms and other equipment as specified by the Board of Directors for the participant’s age group.

C.  No player shall be denied the right to participate due to financial hardship. Any parent claiming financial hardship may present their situation to the President and Treasurer for review. The President and Treasurer, after a review of the facts, may agree to reduce or waive participation fees for specific individuals based on hardship. Each situation shall be reviewed on its own merit. The President and Treasurer shall have the sole discretion to make this decision. All decisions shall be confidential.

D.  All registration fees must be paid at the time of registration and are considered non-refundable. Late registrations are subject to team availability and subject to the approval of the Board. The President and Treasurer may review refund requests and approve or deny the requests based on the merits of the situation. If the request is denied, the participant’s parents may appeal to the Board of Directors for further review.

E.  Payment of fees is required at registration, unless previously waived under the provisions of financial hardship. All participants must be in good standing with the organization to be eligible for team tryouts or placement on team rosters.

5) Board of Directors:

A.  The Mounds View Softball Association’s Board of Directors shall be comprised of the following positions:
    I.  President
    II.  Secretary
    III.  Treasurer
    IV.  Vice President of Traveling Teams
    V.  Vice President of In-House Programs
    VI.  Ex Officio Director
    VII.  Seven (7) Members at Large

B. (i) The term of office for each officer shall be two years.  Terms shall be staggered to provide for continuity of the management of the organization.  The President, Secretary, and Vice President of In-House Programs shall be elected in each even numbered year.  The Treasurer and Vice President of Traveling Teams shall be elected in each odd numbered year.
(ii) The position of Ex Officio Director is a non-elected position and has no voting rights.  The outgoing President shall hold the position.  If the outgoing President declines to serve in the position, then the office shall remain unfilled until the current President completes his/her term.
(iii) The term of office for each Member at Large shall be one year.

C.  Each Officer and Member at Large shall be a voting member of the Board of Directors.

D.  Each elected term of office shall commence on January 1st following election.

6) Annual Meeting:

The Board of Directors shall select a day in the month of October for the Annual Meeting.  This date must be communicated to all participating families at least 30 days prior to the meeting via membership email and posted on the website.  Nominees for office may address the attendees at the Annual Meeting.  Any player or player’s parent may request the President include an item for the agenda of the Annual meeting prior to the meeting.  Players and parents may also address issues to the Board of Directors at the meeting.

7) Voting Rights:

The family of each child participating in the softball program shall be granted one vote per participating child. (This specifically means one vote per child per family, not one vote per parent per child.)  Voting rights are suspended if participation fees are not paid, unless previously waived due to financial hardship.

8) Elections:

A. Nominations to fill offices of the MVSA Board of Directors must be made in writing or via email to the Secretary.  Nominees must be a parent(s) or legal guardian(s) of current MVSA players or former MVSA players .  Nominees must also be at least 18 years of age, and in good standing with the association.  All membership fees, if applicable, must be paid in full in order to be placed on the ballot for consideration.  In addition, a candidate who does not meet the eligibility requirements previously stated may become an eligible nominee by receiving "Board Endorsement."  A candidate requesting "Board Endorsement" must do so in writing to the President of the Association at least 14 days prior to the annual board meeting. The Board of Directors may "endorse" any candidate by a 2/3 affirmative vote. A written response will be provided to candidates seeking endorsement prior to the annual meeting. The secretary shall make a membership address and phone list available to any eligible nominee upon request.

B. The Secretary and Treasurer shall prepare ballots listing all nominees for each office.  Each family may vote at the Annual Meeting or by absentee ballot.  Absentee ballots must be requested within 14 days of the Notice of the Annual Meeting and returned to the Secretary prior to the Annual Meeting.  All other ballots will be distributed at the Annual Meeting.  All nominees must be listed on the official ballot.  There are no provisions under the current bylaws for write in votes.

C. The Board of Directors shall select election judges from among their members.  The election judges shall count votes cast at the Annual Meeting and the results announced at the Annual Meeting.  The election judges will pass out ballots to each valid voter in attendance at the Annual Meeting (one vote per participating child per family).  The nominees receiving the most votes as a result of the election will fill the open positions.

D. Should a director resign from office before the end of the term, the Board of Directors will select a replacement to serve the balance of the term.

E. The Board of Directors may remove any current board member from office for failure to perform their duties by a 2/3 affirmative vote.

9) Board Meetings:

A. After the Annual Meeting, the President will set the date for the first meeting of the Board of Directors.  At the first meeting of the Board of Directors, the Board shall agree upon a schedule for regular Board Meetings.  This schedule shall be communicated to all participating families.

B. Regularly scheduled Board Meetings are open to all parents and players who are in good standing with the Association.

10) Board Committees:

A.  The President may create committees as needed to meet the needs of the Association.

B.  The President shall appoint the leader of each committee, subject to approval from the Board of Directors.

11) Amendments to Bylaws:

The Bylaws of the MVSA may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the Board of Directors.


RESOLUTIONS:

Resolution #97-04 COACH SELECTION AND OBLIGATIONS
Head Coaches will be selected from a pool of volunteers. Committee selected by the President, if necessary will recommend final selections. Final selections will be approved by 2/3 majority vote of the Board members present at the team formation meeting.

Coaches will be required to teach and develop all players and support the entire MVSA program.

Development of players, particularly at the younger age levels and lower tiers, is valued over a winning record. Each girl is to learn and play several positions. Balanced (not necessarily equal) playing time, particularly at the younger age levels and lower tiers, is to be dictated as much by commitment and attendance as skill level.

Coaches are obligated to honor tryout results at 14u, 16u & 18u regarding pitchers. Barring injury, the #1 and #2 rated pitchers assigned to each team as a result of tryouts will get:
A) a minimum of 1/3 of the total team innings
B) start every other league game (split double-header starts)
C) start 1 of 3 tournament games
The use of other players as pitchers for remaining innings will be subject to the sole discretion of the coaches for that team.

Coaches who fail to meet these obligations may be removed by majority vote of the Board. Parents with a grievance against a coach or the Mounds View Softball Association are encouraged to follow the processes outlined in Resolution 02-02.

Resolution #97-06 ROSTER SIZES
The board recognizes that MVSA has an obligation to our players to keep roster sizes to a manageable level, thereby providing maximum playing time for all participants. Tri-County rosters will be limited to twelve (12) players per team for 14U, 16U, and 18U and thirteen (13) players per team at 10U & 12U. Expansion of these rosters must be approved by majority vote of the board members present at the team formation meeting.

Resolution #98-01 - Repealed 10/01/03


Resolution #01-01 - repealed 4/5/07 (see Resolution #07-02)


Resolution #02-01 CONFLICT MANAGEMENT
Mounds View Softball Association coaches are volunteers. They are not expected to tolerate disruptive or disrespectful behavior by players or parents. Profanity, verbal abuse, or physical abuse will not be tolerated. Discipline for detrimental behavior conducted during any MVSA sponsored event, or events where MVSA is a participant, is the responsibility of the head coach.

If a player does not respond to a coach’s verbal warning(s), the MVSA Board of Directors grants its coaches the right to dismiss a player from practice or a game for conduct deemed detrimental to the team. The interpretation as to what constitutes insubordinate or otherwise inappropriate behavior at the time of the incident will rest on the judgment of the coach.

First Offense – Suspension from current practice or game. The coach shall inform the player’s parents of the incident and the player will return to the next scheduled practice or game, but must first meet with the coach prior to the start of the next practice or game.

Second Offense – Suspension from practice or game. A mandatory telephone conference or meeting between the coach, the player and her parent(s) must take place before the player can resume participation with the team.

Third Offense – The player is automatically suspended from further participation until a mandatory meeting can be scheduled with the player, the player’s parents, coach, MVSA President, age group Vice President and Secretary of the Association.

The coach may recommend disciplinary action above and beyond these guidelines to the MVSA President and appropriate age group Vice President, if the severity of the situation warrants. Any deviation from the recommendations stated above is subject to the approval of the MVSA Board of Directors. In all cases, notice of suspensions will be communicated to the player’s parent(s), the age group director (VP Traveling for all traveling teams or VP Player Development for all In-House Teams), and the MVSA President.

A player, parent, coach, manager, or Association official (hereafter “person”) who violates any federal, state, local statute, code, ordinance, regulation or guideline during any MVSA sponsored event or events in which MVSA is a participant, may be temporarily suspended by the Board from further participation and will not be reinstated until being heard before the MVSA Board of Directors and may face additional sanctions as deemed appropriate by the Board.

Resolution #02-02 GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES
While MVSA works diligently to address issues before they become problems, we recognize that parents and players need to know how to proceed should they wish to seek resolution to an unresolved problem. If there is a complaint, the following steps may be taken:

Whenever possible parents and players are encouraged to work with coaches to resolve their differences. Parents and players should wait to address their concerns until they can approach the coach in a private setting where other parents and players are not around.

If the problem remains unresolved after discussing the matter with the coach, contact the MVSA President. The President will facilitate an informal meeting between the parents and /or player, the coach, the age group Vice President and one at-large Board member. At this meeting the participants will discuss possible resolutions of the problem short of a formal complaint to the Board. If a resolution is reached which is satisfactory to both parties, a summary of the outcome will be presented to the Board for approval, if deemed necessary by any Board member present at the meeting.

If the matter is not resolved at the informal meeting and someone wishes to pursue the matter further, a written complaint or question should be directed to the attention of the MVSA President. The letter must be signed, contain a return address and a phone number. The coach or other individual(s) involved will be given an opportunity to respond, in writing, to the statement. The complaint and response will then be brought before the MVSA Board of Directors as soon as possible. If deemed necessary by the Board, the parties involved may be requested to appear before the Board to answer questions. Written correspondence stating the final decision and action taken by the Board of Directors, if any, will be mailed to both parties within 30 days.

It is anticipated that the majority of problems should be resolved without Board involvement. Submitting a concern to the Board of Directors should only be considered when all other means of resolving the complaint or issue have failed.

RESOLUTION #07-02 (replaces Resolution #01-01) TEAM FORMATION POLICY

AGE REQUIREMENTS

MVSA forms teams based on USA's age regulations. The age brackets are as follows:

10U: girls 9 or 10 years of age on December 31 of the previous year.

12U: girls 12 years of age or younger on December 31 of the previous year.

14U: girls 14 years of age or younger on December 31 of the previous year.

16U: girls 16 years of age or younger on December 31 of the previous year.

18U: girls 18 years of age or younger on December 31 of the previous year.

Example: if you are 12 years old or younger on December 31,  you will play at the 12U-age level the following season.

ELIGIBILITY
Players must be properly registered, fees paid, and in good standing with MVSA to be eligible for tryouts and placement on an MVSA roster.  Late registrations and/or fee payments (after the formal registration dates) are subject to roster availability and will be assigned to teams at the discretion of the selection committee.  Returning players are subject to board approval.

TEAM FORMATION

10U In-house:  Teams will be formed on a balanced basis.  There will not be a try-out but rather a skill clinic will be held before the season starts, and coaches and Board members shall form equitable teams.  Efforts will be made to place friends on the same team.

10U and 12U: At 10U and 12U teams are formed based on an evaluation process.  Pitchers and catchers will be distributed equitably among the available team rosters.  Additional 10U & 12U pitchers who participate in the evaluations will be assigned to teams as pitchers and position players.  Coaches will be encouraged to develop them as pitchers and use them during the games when appropriate.  The remaining players will also be distributed equitably among team rosters based on evaluation results and a modified draft by coaches and a Board selection committee.  Teams will be seeded in the summer and fall leagues based on the anticipated skill level of the teams’ year to year.

14U, 16U & 18U:  The board recognizes that MVSA has an obligation to our players and to our opponents, to form teams with skill levels commensurate to age and competitive ability.  Therefore, teams at these age levels will be formed on the basis of try-out evaluations.  The highest tier level team(s) at each age level will include the top seven position players, the top two pitchers and the top catcher as determined by tryout evaluations. The top seven position players shall not include the top pitchers or catcher.  The remaining 2 players (for a 12-person roster) shall be selected by the team coach from the remaining pool of eligible players.  Once the top team(s) is formed, if it is deemed that all remaining players will play at the same tier level, a selection committee appointed by the MVSA Board of Directors will place players on equitable rosters using a modified draft.  If the players remaining play at different tier levels, the higher tier level team(s) will include the next highest rated pitcher and catcher, and the next eight highest rated players as determined by tryout evaluations.  The coach of this team shall make 2 at large selections (for a 12-person roster) from the remaining eligible players to fill the roster.

Players may request to play down to a lower tier team subject to board approval.  Specifically, this allows a pitcher or catcher not rated high enough to play on the higher level team an opportunity to play down in order to pitch/catch on a lower tier team.

Tryouts are waived if enrollment at a particular level is less than or equal to the number of players needed to form a team.
Registration fees are not refundable except under extraordinary circumstances, i.e. injury, illness, etc.  A committee of the President, Treasurer, and VP Traveling will review refund requests.

PLAYING UP
The Minnesota Softball follows the USA's guidelines for age grouping.  The association exists to provide opportunities for girls to perform at the best of their ability and the board recognizes that there may be athletes with exceptional ability who are best served by playing at a more competitive level.  A player may play at a level above her specified playing age if either of the following conditions is met:
A. If she is rated as the number one or two position player on the top tryout team at the higher age level based on the results of the tryout for that age group.  The player cannot be a coach’s selection player.
B. If she is rated as the number one pitcher or number one catcher of the top tryout team based on the results of the pitching and catching tryouts for that age group.
C. The MVSA Board of Directors must approve all exceptions.  The MVSA Board of Directors also reserves the right to request a player(s) to move up to a higher age level in order to fill out rosters to maintain the interests of the program.

TRYOUT PROCESS
Within the limits of a volunteer organization, MVSA strives to make the tryout process as impartial as possible.  During tryouts, two judges evaluate each player at each skill level including:  hitting, bunting, fielding grounders, fielding fly balls, sliding and base running.  A committee consisting of the President, Treasurer and VP of Traveling are responsible for the selection of Judges.  No adjustments to the tryout tests or procedures are to be made once the tryout begins.

TRYOUT ATTENDANCE
Players are required to attend the full tryout process.  Illness, injury, or extraordinary personal circumstances may cause players to request an exemption from tryouts.  Requests must be made prior to the start of tryouts unless an injury or illness occurs during the tryouts. Submission of supporting documents, including doctors reports, etc. are highly recommended and should be submitted prior to the end of tryouts for anyone requesting a waiver from tryouts. The MVSA Softball Board will review the request for exemption and determine the appropriate course of action based on the best interest of the program. Anyone choosing not to participate in tryouts will be placed on rosters at the discretion of the selection committee and the best interests of the program.

SUMMER POST-SEASON ROSTERS
MVSA teams advancing to post-season play will be allowed to add players to their roster in accordance with rules of the governing body. Currently, USA's allows up to 3 “pick up” players for teams advancing beyond the State Tournament. Post-season roster additions are intended to maximize the depth and quality of the team and will be at the sole discretion of the team coach.

FALL TEAM ROSTERS
Fall coaches and a Board appointed selection committee will form teams (rosters) based on a modified draft from available registrations.
 

Resolution #11-01 National Tournaments

MVSA encourages that all players at all levels should have an opportunity to attend a National Tournament if their team earns a berth.  However, these National tournaments carry extra expenses that MVSA does not budget for but may be able to assis with.  In no particular order, priority will be given to the following team levels; 12U select, 14U A & B, 16U A &B and 18 U, and if the following conditions are met;  Team wins either 1st or 2nd place in a qualifying tournament regardless if its an A or B level qualifier. If any other level of team places high enough to "qualify" for a National Tournament can have the ability to help fund their expenses by working a weekend tournament or do other fund raising activities.