Herndon Optimist Youth Baseball League Constitution
We the people of Herndon, Virginia and the surrounding areas, in order to effectively establish and maintain a youth baseball league for the benefit of the greater community and common good, do establish this Constitution of the Herndon Optimist Youth Baseball League.
ARTICLE I — NAME
The name of the league is the Herndon Optimist Youth Baseball League. It may also be referred to as HOYB.
ARTICLE II — VISION AND MISSION
To be the youth baseball organization of choice for the greater Herndon area, by providing an appropriately competitive atmosphere for children that is inclusive for all levels of skill.
To provide a community based baseball experience that will allow for all skill levels to be developed, nourished, and encouraged. We will be the organization that people look to when searching for a family friendly environment, a competitive program and everything in between.
ARTICLE III — MEMBERSHIP & GOVERNANCE
Section 1: Membership Boundaries. Our leagues cover the geographic areas of: Herndon, Reston, Great Falls, Chantilly, Oak Hill (including surrounding western Fairfax County areas), the City of Fairfax, plus all of Loudoun County. All games take place on our Herndon baseball fields. The league boundaries are determined by the Virginia State Babe Ruth organization.
Membership in the league is open to all residents of these areas.
Section 2: Governing Body. The league is governed by the HOYB Board of Directors. The HOYB President is elected by a majority vote from the Board of Directors. His/her term of office is two-years unless a majority of the Board votes to extend his term.
The league President is the ultimate authority and decision maker on all HOYB matters. However, most league decisions of a non-trivial nature are voted on by the HOYB Board. Each Board member has one vote. The league President does not vote unless there is a tie vote that needs to be broken.
The President can create new board positions as he/she sees the need. Once all nominations for a Board position are made, the position will be filled by a majority Board vote. The term of all Board members is one year. Typically, all Board elections take place during the first Board meeting each November.
Section 3: Quorum. Two-thirds of the Board of Directors, represented in person, shall constitute a quorum at a meeting of the Board. If a quorum is present, the affirmative vote of the majority of the Board represented at the meeting and entitled to vote on the subject matter shall be the act of the entire Board.
Section 4: Board Positions. The number of Volunteer, non-Board positions may change as the needs of the organization changes. The President may create new Volunteer positions without voting privileges and nominate people to fill them at his/her discretion. All Board and Volunteer positions must be filled by a majority vote of the sitting Board. The number of Board positions with voting positions is restricted to: The President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Umpire Commissioner, Select Commissioner, Buddy Ball Commissioner, the Representative House League Commissioners (see “League Commissioners”, below), and the Volunteer Director. While any of these positions may remain vacant at a given time, the number and nature of these voting positions may only be changed by an approved change to the constitution.
The President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and the Representative House League Commissioners comprise the Appeals Committee. The role of the Appeals Committee is to settle any appeals brought forth by a team manager, parent, or Board member. Decisions of the Appeals Committee are final.
Typically, the Board is composed of the following positions.
President: Responsible for the overall operation of the league. Secures field permits, prepares annual budget, coordinates with national, state and local officials and is the official spokesman for the program. President is responsible for all off-field issues, including but not limited to sponsorship, treasurer, secretary, uniforms, equipment, webmaster, parent at large, registrar. The president will be our liaison to the town and county. The president will be expected to attend at least one game for each league to continue to recruit and promote our league.
Vice-President: Assists the President in all league matters including budgeting, approving invoices for payment, and acting on behalf of the President when he/she is not available. Vice President is responsible for oversight of all on field issues, including but not limited to fields, commissioners, umpires, coaches, and training. The VP will also report directly to the President. Vice President is responsible for attending at least 1 game for every league to help promote and recruit additional volunteers and board members.
Secretary: The league Secretary takes the minutes of all Board meetings and is responsible for league registrations. Secretary is responsible for scheduling and running the board meetings, including keeping the minutes, putting together the agenda, scheduling the venue, tracking votes.
Treasurer/Registrar: The Treasurer is responsible for paying all approved receipts, invoices and claims. He/she tracks all costs and revenues against the yearly budget and must present a Treasurers Report during each regular Board Meeting. This person coordinates with the webmaster and treasurer to make sure that registration marketing is getting done in a timely manner and that registrations are being paid. He/she handles all sensitive data, conducts background checks and other information. Works to get scholarships coded appropriately and collection of registration fees.
Select Commissioner: The Select commissioner will oversee all Select teams and the All Star program. This person recruits and mentors the managers, assists with tryouts, and helps interpret the rules and guidelines around the Select and All Star program. The Select Commissioner is expected to attend games throughout the year to take a pulse of the league and be aware of HOYB’s presence in the greater youth baseball community.
Buddy Ball Commissioner: The Buddy Ball commissioner will administer the Buddy Ball league, will communicate with families, will reach out to local schools and programs to recruit children and Buddies for the program, will work with the Buddies to provide training, and will provide advocacy for the program in general.
Representative House League Commissioners (RHLC) (2): There shall be a commissioner elected for each House league; the duties of a commissioner are described below under “Other Major, non-Board Volunteer Positions.”. Two of these commissioners will serve as members of the Board and will represent the other House League Commissioners at Board meetings with full voting privileges. Typically, one will represent the drafted leagues and the other will represent the non-drafted leagues. The Representative House League Commissioners will be nominated by a majority vote of the total elected House Commissioners, or may be appointed directly by the President at his/her discretion if the House Commissioners fail to do so in a timely manner. While the Board elects House League Commissioners it does not vote on representation of the House League on the Board. In addition to the normal House Commissioner duties (described below under Volunteer Positions), the RHLCs are expected to attend all board meetings and vote as appropriate on Board motions.
Umpire Commissioner: This person is responsible for training, scheduling, and selection of umpires for all appropriate league games. The umpire commissioner is also in charge of keeping track of games worked so that appropriate payment can be made at the end of the season.
Volunteer Director: This person is responsible for overseeing the volunteer roles that exist each season/year on behalf of the league. He/She is the primary recruiter, by soliciting help from Commissioners and others to staff and organize many of the League’s activities. Examples include Opening Day, Homecoming, and other league wide events, as well as provide direction to any school representatives.
Other Major non-Board Volunteer Positions
The HOYB organization has numerous sustainable roles that make the league run successfully and fully contribute to the overall smooth operations of the league. These roles are not required to be Board positions, but volunteers are encouraged to attend meetings and stay fully engaged with the Board so that two way input can remain in place and volunteer responsibilities can be fulfilled in a timely and relevant manner.
- House League Commissioners (number varies): The number of House Commissioners is determined by the President in consultation with the Vice President and is based on the needs of the leagues based on player registrations and availability of volunteer manager/coaches. The duties of the House Commissioners shall be to handle any and all assignments pertaining to their respective leagues as outlined by the President. Primary, seasonal duties include recruiting managers and coaches, running a draft (as appropriate), advising parents on player league placement, and manager/coach mentoring. Commissioners are expected to work together to ensure health of their leagues with respect to roster sizes and player ages, experience, and abilities. Commissioners also handle protests or grievances within the league, conduct of managers and coaches and may arbitrate league standings (for the competitive leagues). None of the league commissioner duties may supersede or overrule any league policy pertaining to the operation of the league, conduct of players, managers, coaches, league draft policy, player eligibility, or league activities. League commissioners act as a liaison between the board and their league. They are responsible for meeting with the coaches before the season to discuss the intricacies of their league and the specifics of the rules. Commissioners must strive to attend games within their leagues (at least 1-2) during the year to take a pulse check of their league.
- Equipment Coordinator: The person responsible for all league equipment matters. This includes purchasing, distributing, collecting and inventorying all equipment.
- Uniform Coordinator: This person is responsible for all uniform matters. This includes purchasing, distributing, collecting (if necessary) and inventorying all uniforms
- League Scheduler: League Scheduler: Person responsible for scheduling games, practice times and fields for all leagues
- Fields Coordinator. Fields Manager: Person responsible for securing field permits, ensuring that facilities are playable, recommending maintenance schedule and coordinating vendors, for determining and announcing field closings due to weather or other issues, and stocking all field boxes with proper field equipment and chalk/turface. Responsible for acquiring chalk and turface and training coaches on proper field maintenance.
- Sponsorship Director: This person is responsible for managing our sponsor relationships, getting banners and growing our sponsorships. Will work with other board members and league families to identify additional sponsorship opportunities and work with the sponsors to find ways for the league to patronize the sponsors. Tracks payments received and coordinates logo collection for websites.
- Training Coordinator: This person is responsible for coordinating all aspects of our training program. This includes training for coaches as well as for players. Training Coordinator sets benchmark guidelines for each league, manages Babe Ruth certification and any other training that is being tracked.
- Webmaster: This person is responsible for keeping our on-line presence up to date via website, and other social media. Handles all website issues, updates other related sites that are required and sets up each season with registration system and teams.
- Publicity and Marketing: This person works with any hired publicists to determine flyer and other printed content, advertising opportunities, online social media content and any other outreach to the public.
Section 5: Removal from Board. The President may remove a Board member for gross misconduct or gross negligence of duties subject to a majority vote by the Board of Directors. The President may also be removed from office due to gross misconduct or gross negligence subject to a two-thirds majority vote of the Board of Directors.
Section 6: Removal of Managers or Coaches: The Board has the authority to remove via majority vote, a manager or coach because of violations of the Coaches Code of Conduct, violations of league policy or gross negligence, as judged by the Board.
A manager or coach removed by the board may appeal the decision to the Appeals Committee provided the appeal is made to the league secretary or President within three
(3) days of the decision. A special meeting will be called and the removed manager may personally present his appeal before the Appeals Committee. The decision of the Appeals Committee is final.
Managers and coaches must be men and women of good character as their conduct influences the children on their team and within the league and they must agree to undergo a background check every two years.
Section 7: Removal of Players: The Board has the authority to remove via majority vote, a player because of violations of the Players Code of Conduct or violations of league policy, as judged by the Board.
A player removed by the board may appeal the decision (via the parent or legal guardian) to the Appeals Committee provided the appeal is made to the league secretary or President within three (3) days of the decision. A special meeting will be called and the parent or legal guardian may personally present his appeal before the Appeals Committee. The decision of the Appeals Committee is final.
ARTICLE IV — MEETINGS
Section 1: Regular Meetings. The HOYB Board typically meets at least once every month. The date, time and location of all meetings are listed on the league website.
Meetings are open to the adult public and league parents are encouraged to attend.
Meetings or portions of meetings that deal with Board, Manager or Player selections are closed to the public. Only Board members are allowed to be present for the discussions and subsequent vote. Player drafts are open to only Board members, managers and assistant coaches.
Section 2: Special Meetings. Special meetings of the Board may be called by or at the request of the President, Vice-President, Secretary or any two (2) Appeals Committee members.
ARTICLE V — FINANCIAL
Section 1: Compensation. The league is a non-profit, volunteer organization. No Board member shall receive compensation for his/her service in such capacity but may be reimbursed for expenses incurred on behalf of the HOYB league when approved by the President and/or Vice President.
Section 2: League Fees. The HOYB Board sets the fees and late fees for player participation each season. Scholarships are available for any family for which the league fee represents a financial hardship. The President is responsible for approving scholarship requests.
ARTICLE VI — LEAGUE STRUCTURE
Section 1: Seasons. There shall be two (2) seasons: a competitive spring season and a non-competitive fall instructional season. HOYB maintains an All-Star program that follows the affiliated tournament trail for the older competitive children that begins in March and typically ends in July or August. HOYB also supports a Select program which offers travel baseball experience outside of the house league. The house league always takes priority with regard to scheduling practices, games and tournaments and the Select managers are expected to respect the priority.
Section 2: Spring Season. The spring season is our regular baseball season. We typically has 7-10 leagues which are a mix of instructional only and competitive leagues at varying levels of skill and age. Players advance through the league as they hit benchmarks that are set by the Board of Directors. Current divisions and rules are available via our website.
Section 3: Fall Season. Our fall baseball leagues are all about player development and fun. There are no standings kept during our fall season and we consider it a chance to take an even more instructional approach compared to our spring season. We typically have fewer leagues in the fall, and skills vary more greatly within a league.
Section 4: All-Star and Select Programs. HOYB shall maintain a competitive All-Star program open to all children whom play in our regular “house” league. There will be an additional fee to participate in the All-Star program. All-Star managers are selected by the Board and serve a two (2) year term except the manager of the Eight and under (8U) team who serves for one year.
The Select program is an additional travel opportunity for house players ages 8-12. Managers are elected yearly, and structure varies across the different age ranges. Both the All Star and Select managers report to the Select commissioner. The “house league” games and practices have precedence over the All-Star and Select programs. Managers must consult with the respective house league managers before using players as pitchers.
ARTICLE VII — LEAGUE POLICY & OPERATIONS
In order to document the established policies and league operations, the board will maintain a HOYB League Policy & Operations Handbook.
The structure of the league enumerated within this constitution establishes the permanence of the HOYB league form and function. League policy and operational decisions that could conceivably change to meet changing requirements are maintained in the Policy & Operations Handbook so that they may be more easily modified compared to a constitutional amendment.
ARTICLE VIII — AMENDMENTS
This Constitution or any section thereof may be amended or repealed by a two-thirds vote of the Board of Directors.
WE THE UNDERSIGNED AFFIX OUR MARK AND RATIFY THIS CONSTITUTION ON THE 30th DAY OF October, 2016
Rod and Belinda Swain