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 > Little League Online > League Officers > Tips For Running A Successful League > 2012-2013 > Spring: Injured Player, Player Release, Discipline and Ejections

Spring: Injured Player, Player Release, Discipline and Ejections

An injured or ill player should be given basic first-aid treatment, and published procedures should be followed if bodily fluids are present. (Rulebooks - Communicable Disease Procedure)

At a well-run Little League, the circumstances of the injury (safety officer/league president) are documented. If the injury or illness occurs during a game, the umpire may require an opinion from a medical person before allowing player to re-enter the game.

If an accident insurance claim is needed, the safety officer prepares the paperwork. The president reviews and submits the paperwork through proper channels. The most common reason for delays in processing insurance claims is failure to complete all paperwork (particularly information on the parents’ primary insurance, or lack of it).

Following the injury or illness, the player agent determines how long the player will be unable to play. The board of directors of a well-run local Little League will have decided the previous Fall (in local rules/ground rules) the amount of time a player can miss before being replaced. (Regulation III d.)

If a player is replaced (properly released) from a Major Division team (any team other than Tee Ball or Minor League), the player must be notified of his/her release in writing. That player may not return to the league for the remainder of the season and is no longer a member of that team. As such, the player must attend tryouts next year if he/she wishes to play. (Operating Manual - Local League Maintenance of Rosters.)

A player called up from the Minor Leagues to a Major Division team at any time becomes a permanent member of that Major Division team. Such a player may refuse to become a member of a Major Division team. If so, he or she is not eligible to be placed on a Major Division team for the remainder of the season. (Regulation VIII.)

This is to help ensure that the Minor League is balanced, to help ensure that the players in the Major Division are of sufficient ability (in the opinion of the local Little League personnel) to compete in the Major Division, and to ensure that players in the Minor Division are not able to “pick and choose” the team for which they will play in the Major Division.

A local league should also have a policy in its local rules/ground rules regarding players who refuse to move up to a Major Division team. (Example: Such player must be transferred to another Minor League team.) At a well-run Little League, this policy is explained in writing to parents at the sign-ups so there is no question about the policy later on.

When releasing a player, the manager MUST make the board of directors aware of the situation immediately. Failure to do so may be cause for action against the manager for acting outside the best interests of the local league. Even so, the player agent must maintain strict observation of the league to prevent manipulation of the system. (Regulation III d.)

At the local Little League, the player agent first determines (in writing from the manager) why the manager wants to release the player. Playing ability cannot be a factor. (There also may be an underlying reason that should be addressed.)

The issue is then brought before the local league board of directors for a decision by majority vote. No release is valid without the board approving it.

If the board votes to release the player, he or she is notified of the release in writing.

Note: If the local league board feels the manager is releasing the player late in the season in an effort to obtain an “early draft choice,” it may opt not to release the player. Remember, a player MAY NOT be released from a Major Division team to play the balance of the season on a Minor Division team. If released, such a player must try out the following season. (Operating Manual - Draft, Duration of Title.)

In disciplining a Regular Member (not a player), a well-run local Little League’s procedure is for a committee to gather complaints, in writing if possible. The committee reports its findings to the board of directors. (Model Constitution - Article III, Section 4 a.)

At this point, the board could dismiss the case, or could send written notice to accused, stating the charges in general, as well as when and where to appear to answer the charges.

Disciplining a member should not be confused with NOT RE-APPOINTING a member to a specific position, such as manager, coach or umpire. If the local league president does not choose to re-appoint a person (annually), he or she SHOULD NOT give any reason for doing so.

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHALL ANY PERSON WHO IS A KNOWN CHILD-SEX OFFENDER BE PERMITTED TO HOLD ANY OFFICE OR POSITION IN THE LOCAL LEAGUE OR ANY OTHER LEVEL OF LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL AND SOFTBALL. ADDITIONALLY, ANY PERSON CONVICTED OF A CRIME INVOLVING OR AGAINST CHILDREN SHALL NOT BE ALLOWED TO HOLD ANY POSITION IN THE LOCAL LEAGUE. (REGULATION I (c) 9.)

At the disciplinary meeting for Regular Members, the league board:

  • Should re-state charges for the record.
  • Should give the accused ample opportunity to respond.
  • Could decide to take no further action.
  • Could decide to draft a warning or letter of reprimand.
  • Could decide on some other punishment, or to revoke all or part of the person’s Membership privileges for a specific period of time, but not longer than the remainder of the fiscal year.

Keep in mind, any punishment must be approved by two-thirds vote of the board (or a percentage listed in the approved Constitution).

In the case of a Player Member, a committee gathers complaints, in writing if possible, and reports its findings to the board of directors. The board could dismiss the case, or could send written notice to accused, stating the charges, as well as when and where to appear to answer the charges. The player’s manager should also be present. (Model Constitution - Article III, Section 4 b.) This process is detailed below.

At the disciplinary meeting for a Player Member (may be entire board or the committee), the league board:

  • Should re-state charges for the record.
  • Should give the accused ample opportunity to respond.
  • Could decide to take no further action.
  • Could decide to draft a warning or letter of reprimand.
  • Could decide on some other punishment, or to revoke all or part of the person’s player Membership privileges for a specific period of time, but not longer than the remainder of the season.

Keep in mind, as with the non-player member, any punishment must be approved by two-thirds vote of the board (or a percentage listed in the approved Constitution).

The type of discipline noted above should be considered separate from the simple ejection of a player, manager or coach from a game, under the provisions of Rule 4.07.

Rule 4.07 states: “When the manager, coach or a player is ejected from a game, they shall leave the field immediately and take no further part in that game. They may not sit in the stands and may not be recalled. A manager or coach ejected from a game must not be present at the games site for the remainder of that game. Any manager, coach or player ejected from a game is suspended for his or her team’s next physically played game and may not be in attendance at the game site from which they were suspended.”

For the purposes of this rule, Little League defines “game site” is any place where the person would be considered:

  1. A participant in the game in question (coach, umpire, player, etc.), or,
  2. A viewer/spectator of that game. The local league should take care, however, to ensure that any non-adult who is ejected from a game will not be unsupervised as a result of the ejection.

Additionally, a player, manager or coach who is ejected from a regular season game also may face further disciplinary action as noted earlier, if the local league Board of Directors believes such action is warranted. During the International Tournament, this additional discipline can only be imposed by the Little League International Tournament Committee.

A database of all of these Operations Tips can be found here: http://www.littleleague.org/leagueofficers/Tips_Successful_League

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