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Franklin Girls Softball Association

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Franklin Softball Association Organizational By-Laws
revised February 2022


Article I. NAME

The name of this organization shall be the Franklin Girls Softball Association, referred to herein as FGSA.

Article II. PURPOSE

The purpose of this organization shall be to provide a safe, fun, and challenging environment for Franklin girls to participate in both recreational and competitive softball.

Article III. PARTICIPATION AND MEMBERSHIP

Participation shall be open to all girls living in Franklin that meet age and grade requirements specified for each Division. FGSA may invite girls from surrounding towns to participate, as needed, to form more balanced Divisions or Teams.

Article IV. REGISTRATION

FGSA has programs running year-round. Each has different registration times and processes.

Spring League - Registration for Spring League players shall take place every year in the November through January timeframe. Registration Fees are to be determined by the Board of Directors. A limited number of hardship waivers are available for families that meet the criteria set forth by FGSA. The FGSA President will approve all hardship waivers.

Travel/Summer Teams - see attached Addendum A


Article V. OFFICERS & COMMITTEES

The FGSA Board of Directors will consist of the following members:

Executive Committee (3 voting members)
President (only votes in a stalemate), Vice President Softball Operations, Treasurer, Secretary

FGSA Division & Player Development (10 voting members)
Directors of Seniors, Juniors, Minors, Intermediates, and Instructional Director of Fury, Assistant Director of Fury, Director of Tournaments, Director of Softball Development/Training and Assistant Director of Softball Development/Training

League Operations (9 voting members)
Director of Registration, Director of Communications/Website, Director of Field Scheduling, Director of Fundraising/Sponsorship, Director of Snack Stand, Director of Field Operations, Assistant Director of Field Operations, Director of Uniforms, Director of Student Volunteer Board

Division & League Support (non-voting members)
Assistant Directors - Instructional, Intermediates, Minors, Juniors, Seniors;Tournament Committee, Fundraising/Sponsorship Committee

Additional positions may be appointed at the discretion of the Board of Directors, such as for Concession Committee, Scheduling, and additional Division support.

Program Directors may appoint additional persons to help support the Division but they are not considered FGSA Board Members.

All Board Members & Committee Members will be required to complete & process a CORI Request Form (see attached Addendum B) and attend any training as required by the Board.Board Members will adhere to the FGSA Code of Conduct- see attached Addendum C.

Article VI. ELECTIONS

Election of Board Members shall be held at the Annual Summer meeting, which is open to the public, held in July. Nominations will begin in May or June. Board membership shall be open to all parents of girls currently eligible to play in the League, as well as to persons in the Franklin community at large, who are willing to serve as Board Members or volunteers. Anyone suspended from League activities due to Code of Conduct violations, will be prohibited from voting or being elected to a Board position. Election shall be a simple majority. If a resignation occurs, the Board of Directors will elect a replacement following the same procedure. Board Members will be elected for a one (1) year term (August-August).

The Election Process will be as follows:

Current League Secretary and/or Treasurer will request nominations for President.

The Election will take place via ballot by current voting board members.

League/Division Assistants will be appointed by each Director and approved by a general vote of the new Board of Directors.


Article VII. MEETINGS

Board Meetings will follow Roberts Rules of Order.

The Annual Summer Board Meeting shall be open to all members of FGSA, and any interested parties approved in advance by the Executive Committee.

Monthly Board meetings are open to Board members and player families and coaches affiliated with FGSA but NOT to the general public. 

Guests attending will be expected to sign the FGSA Code of Conduct upon arrival. Coaches meetings, Evaluations, Drafts, and any other meeting deemed necessary by the Board of Directors, are considered closed to the general public. This is to ensure the safety of all players in FGSA.

Voting Process: A topic is presented to the Board for discussion. Opinions for and against the topic are noted. A motion to vote on the item is requested and seconded. The motion is voted on by each member present. In the case of a tie, the President shall be the deciding vote.

Note: A quorum will consist of 12 voting members who must be present to vote on an item. Changes to by-laws must be submitted in writing to Board, prior to voting., at least 5 days before a vote. There will be no proxy votes on changes to by-laws.

An Assistant Division Director may vote in the absence of Division Director on matters that affect their particular Division only. The Division Director needs to email the Secretary stating their Assistant will be their proxy for that meeting.


Article VIII. SCHEDULE

FGSA Softball is conducted year-round. It includes Spring Season, Summer Travel teams, Fall Ball and Winter Training.

Teams are formed and schedules are created to best meet the needs of each Division and utilize available fields.


Article IX. COACHES

The Division Directors will nominate Head Coaches for each of their respective League teams, to be approved by the Board of Directors.

Head Coaches may be required to complete a written coaching application (based on large number of coaches) and may be required to enroll in an FGSA approved certification program. Development and implementation of Coach’s certification process will be the responsibility of the Director of Training & Development.

For the Junior and Senior Divisions, the Vice President will work with Coaches to form teams of balanced skill levels. Assistant Coaches and Team Parents will be assigned after team selection has taken place.

All applicants for Coaches positions must complete a background check with USA Softball. FGSA will provide instructions for Coaches to complete and purchase this directly through the USA Softball website. FGSA will reimburse Coaches for the background check fee. Background checks must be completed each season for new and returning Coaches. 


Article X. RULES AND REGULATIONS

The Rules governing day-to-day operations of the FGSA are provided in the Home Rules and/or Operations Manual. Home Rules will be reviewed annually by the Rules Committee and any recommended changes will be submitted to and approved by the Board of Directors, prior to the start of the Season skills session. Approved Rules will be given to each Coach, before the start of season. The Rules Committee consists of the Vice President as Chairman, President, as Co-chairman, and includes all Division Directors.

1.The Committee shall be responsible for determination of all playing Rules and regulations. They will handle all regular season play, procedures, guidelines, and team set up.

2.All Rules, regulations, and procedures etc. shall be documented by the Committee and presented to the Board of Directors for approval, before they are adopted. For the Seniors Division, rules will also be submitted for approval to the USA Softball Umpire Assignor. 

3.Changes will be handled in the same manner. Rule changes after the start of the Season are discouraged and require unanimous approval by Rules Committee and Executive Board.


Article XI. LEAGUE FORMAT(S)/ AGE RANGES

The Program will consist of the following leagues with the age ranges specified.

Note: The Board of Directors reserves the right to review the league format and age ranges, prior to each playing season. Any exceptions to league formats or age ranges, must be approved prior to start of season by Board.

Spring League
(School Grade, as of January 1st of Playing Year)
Instructional: Pre-K & Kindergarten
Intermediate: Grades 1 & 2
Minors: Grades 3 & 4
Juniors: Grades 5 & 6
Seniors: Grades 7 & Up

*Players may request to “play-up or down” by a parent or a recommendation from a Divisional Director. This needs to be requested, in writing, to Division Director of higher Division and approved by FGSA Board.

Travel Teams- see attached Addendum A


Article XIII. LEAGUE FUNDS

1. A bank account with Bank of America is used to process funds for FGSA, including the Fury program.

Authorized signers on each account must be disclosed and will be approved by a vote of the Board of Directors during the January board meeting each year.

2. Fury Director must provide a breakdown of proposed expenses and player fees to the Executive Committee by August 31st of each year for the upcoming season.

3. Expenditures over $500 must be approved at a meeting of the Board of Directors, following the voting procedures described above in Section VII, Meetings.

4. ALL banking transactions are to be reported monthly to the FGSA Treasurer.

5. A written report of all activity will be presented at all Board meetings.

The format will be determined by the FGSA Treasurer.

6. All FGSA fundraising activities (to include Travel Teams) must be approved in advance by the FGSA Board. A written plan must be submitted to the FGSA Executive Committee, prior to January 31st of the playing year. The plan should outline any anticipated events and details such as estimated expenditures, projected income, sponsors participating, etc. A follow up report should be provided to FGSA Board at the next meeting following completion of the event.

7. Any fundraising activities or events that are not included/approved in the initial plan must be submitted, discussed, and approved in advance by the FGSA Board.


Article XIV: MISCELLANEOUS

1. Anything not covered in these by-laws, or in the FGSA operating manual, will be resolved by a discussion and vote of the Board of Directors.

2. In the event of a stalemate of an official voting quorum, the FGSA President will cast the deciding vote (refer back to Article VII)

3. Certain decisions of a sensitive nature involving a Coach, parent, player, umpire or Board member, where time is of the essence to avoid disruption of play, can be voted on and approved by a unanimous vote of the FGSA Executive Committee.


Article XV: Addendum A
Franklin FURY Travel Program Operating Manual
Revised February 2022

Travel Program

Fury is a competitive summer softball program that is part of FGSA. It is designed to give girls under the age of 18 an opportunity to play fast pitch softball at a more competitive level than the in-town spring recreation league. Fury teams compete in both local and regional travel leagues as well regional softball tournaments. Fury teams are made up of players from ages 7 to 18. Age qualifications are based on the players’ age as of January 1st of the playing year. Teams are designated as 10U, 12U, 14U, 16U and 18U. Fury teams are registered and classified through American Softball Association (“ASA”) as “Class C” teams. 

Franklin Fury’s mission is to offer girls the opportunity to play at a competitive level consistent with their ability and skill set. Teams will be formed and will compete at three (3) levels (number of teams will be dependent on the number of girls that come out as well as skill sets):

A-Team – Focus of this team will be to play against other top town level teams within New England and regionally. Regional travel and 3-4 tournaments should be expected. Team will compete in Hockomock Summer League A Division.

B-Team(s) - Focus of these teams will be to play against Town-League teams. Minimal Regional travel and 3- tournaments should be expected. Team will compete in Hockomock or Twin Valley B Division

C-Team(s) – Focus of these teams will be to play against Town only teams as well as player development. Team will play in Franklin tournament and may play in other local tournaments based on Fury Director and coach’s decision. Team will compete in Hockomock or Twin Valley B Division.

Tryouts/Evaluation Session – Fury

Try-outs will be held for all Fury Teams prior to the start of the Season. Players will be invited to join a team based on several factors to include, but not limited to: tryout results, prior Coaches’ evaluation, general knowledge of player’s ability and the number of spots available on each particular Team.

Player participation in at least one try-out is MANDATORY to be selected for an A or B level Travel team. Exceptions to this requirement must be submitted prior to tryouts and approved by the Fury Board

Players may request to “play up or down” by a parent or a recommendation from a Head Coach. This needs to be requested in writing to the Fury Director and approved by the Fury Board.

Participation in the FGSA Spring league is required to be eligible for Fury. Exceptions are made on a case-by-case basis for girls playing in a competitive level sport that conflicts with spring season. Examples include, but are not limited to, AAU Basketball, Travel Soccer, and FHS teams. A written request must be sent to the Fury Director prior to end of registration period requesting a waiver and will be voted on by Fury Board and FGSA Board of Directors.

Team Selection Process

Teams will be determined following the tryout session(s). Each age level will have 2-3 non-coach evaluators that will assess skills during these sessions.

Team selection utilizes a combination of inputs to include the evaluation session and prior season’s coach input (if any). For each age group last year’s head coach, if in good standing, along with this year’s final coaching candidates, Fury Director, Assistant Fury Director, and either FGSA President or VP will be involved in the team selection.  The first eight girls for “A” team will be selected based on tryout and coaches’ evaluations. The Head Coach will then be selected and final three to four girls will be selected by coach.  This process will then be repeated for “B” and “C” teams. The number of registered girls for tryouts will be one factor in determining how many competitive teams the Fury program can accommodate and support. Please note that every effort will be made, but not guaranteed, not to cut any players at the 14U and below level. At the 16U and 18U level, cuts may be necessary and should be expected depending on the number of participants. After selections are complete the “A” team coach will then notify his team, requesting acceptance within 24 hrs. Once all “A” team girls have accepted spot, then “B” and “C” will notify respectively. 

Franklin girls playing on a Club team are not eligible, per MA ASA rules, to play on two separate travel teams, i.e., Franklin Fury Travel. (Rules state they are not eligible to play in ASA sanctioned travel tournaments while playing on two travel teams. They may be eligible to “back fill” a position later in the season if the need arises for league play only, after exhausting the pool of Fury players. This will need to be brought to the FGSA Board for discussion/vote. The exclusion of club players is all encompassing of club players, including ASA, NSA, USSSA, Pony etc.

Once Team Rosters are finalized, fees will be established and collected based on league play, tournament selection, training schedules and uniform/equipment requirements. Once a player has accepted a roster spot a non-refundable deposit of $100 will be due within 1 week to guarantee that spot.

Fury Player/Parent Commitment

Each player is expected to be fully committed to training, developing an understanding of the game, and supporting teammates for the good of the team. With the understanding that over a 7-month period, conflicts will arise, Fury players are expected to be dedicated to their teams and make each practice and game a priority. Commitment is the most important component of earning the right to play. Time away during the June and July months is discouraged, as games will take place during this time. Also, time away during the Memorial Day weekend is discouraged due to potential tournament involvement. Parent volunteers during our Franklin hosted tournaments and throughout the season (ex. snack stand, field maintenance, scoreboard operation etc.) is expected.

Summer Season – Town Leagues

Historically, Fury teams have participated in either the Hockomock or Twin Valley Leagues. League play is approximately 10 weeknight games followed by league playoffs over a 6-week period (Mid-June to end of July). Fury teams have practiced on average once per week, typically on Sunday.

Tournaments

Fury teams typically play between 3-6 local weekend tournaments during the Summer Season (June/July) although some teams do elect to travel to other states for more competitive regional tournaments. This may vary by age group and team. Tournaments are selected by each head coach and need to be approved by the Fury Director and Assistant Fury Director.

Playing Time/Positions/Batting Line-Up

As a competitive team, Fury players are expected to earn the right to play through practice and development. Fury teams strive for a balance between equal playing time and designated positions. This will vary based on the following factors at the coach’s discretion:

• Player’s commitment to practicing and developing in a particular position
• Age group
• Level of competition
• Summer season – league games and playoff games
• Tournaments – pool play games and single elimination games

Coaches

Each year, coaches will submit interest and be selected and approved by the Fury Board. After team selection the FGSA Board of Directors will confirm selection. Factors in the decision process include ability to provide age-appropriate training, past experience, past coaches’ evaluations, and commitment. Coaches’ evaluations are to be conducted annually by the Fury Director and utilized in the selection process. All coaches must meet same qualifications as an FGSA coach and submit a CORI Request Form, coach’s application and ASA Background Check; additional qualifications may be required as set forth by Director of Training & Development and approved by FGSA Board.

Code of Conduct

Fury players, parents, and coaches are all under a strict zero tolerance policy regarding the Code of Conduct as adopted by Franklin Girls Softball Association. Any coach, player, or spectator ejected from a game will face disciplinary action. Each incident will be reported to the Fury Director and FGSA President and reviewed by the Fury Board along with FGSA Executive Board as appropriate.

Cost Structure

Cost per player will include winter training, summer league play, and tournaments. Costs will vary by age bracket and team based on quantity of winter training, type of winter training and quantity of tournaments. Past teams have averaged between $250 and $550 per player. These costs may be supplemented with fundraising events. In addition, Fury uniforms are required for all players. The cost for new or replacement uniforms may be up to $125 and additional (optional) equipment (i.e. bat bags and helmets) may cost up to $100.

Fall Season

FGSA participates in a few different Fall Ball Leagues. These are usually a 5 game/5-week program playing games on Saturdays or Sundays. Although this is open to any FGSA player, participation tends to be Fury players. Depending on the quantity of girls participating, summer teams may stay intact or may be newly formed. Team selections will be approved by Fury Director, Assistant Fury Director and FGSA President or VP.

Winter Training

The winter training sessions are an integral component of the Fury program. These are essential to building the skills necessary to adequately compete in the league and tournaments. Each player is expected to attend winter training sessions as part of their commitment to the team. Fury teams practice indoors throughout January-March. The amount and content of the winter training may vary by each age group and team. Teams have generally practiced 2-4 times per month and have included batting instruction with professional instructors, open indoor field space, batting cages, etc.

ASA/USA SOFTBALL MA CLASSIFICATION METHOD:
Definitions: Per 2019 Team Handbook
ASA Spring Recreational Softball League: An organized league approved and sanctioned by the ASA/USA SOFTBALL MA for a minimum of one season, associated with a recognized community, and open to any interested youth. Some type of draft, draw or other acceptable method is to be utilized to ensure distribution of talent among the teams.

Club Softball Organization: An organization that holds tryouts, actively recruits players and does extensive traveling.

Surrounding City/ Town: A city/town that geographically touches the city/town a majority of players reside

Class A: This level of competition is highly competitive with most players having consistent ability and pitchers being capable of controlling the game. Example of teams that WILL be classified as ‘A’ are: A travel team that meets the requirements of Class C or Class B, but wishes to play up in classification. A travel team that was classified as ‘B’ the previous season and won that year’s State Championship or other Championship Event (Regionals or Nationals) and was denied an appeal by the USA Softball MA JO Staff A travel team that was classified as ‘B’ the previous season and dominated play in that classification Teams classified as Class A may play unlimited Class A USA SOFTBALL sanctioned events and other softball organization’s events Teams classified as Class A CANNOT play in any Class B or Class C USA SOFTBALL sanctioned event

Class B: Teams can classify themselves as B with no restrictions. However, should they dominate 2 or more Class B tournaments, they will automatically be reclassified as A with no regard for future Class B tournaments the team is registered for. Teams classified as Class B CANNOT play in any Class C USA SOFTBALL sanctioned event

Class C: In order to be approved for Class C, a travel team MUST have 100% of its players all play within the same USA Softball Spring Recreational League as defined by USA Softball of Massachusetts. A minimum of 51% of the players MUST reside from the same town and the remainder of the players can come from surrounding towns as defined by USA Softball of Massachusetts so long as 100% of the players play within the same USA Softball Spring Recreational League as defined by USA Softball of Massachusetts. Teams must submit proof of residence when they submit their registration paperwork. Proof of residence includes report cards or utility bills. If the surrounding town or towns also have a USA Softball Spring Recreational League as defined by USA Softball of Massachusetts, that town’s Board of Directors will be contacted by USA Softball MA to see if these players will affect the surrounding town’s ability to form their own Class C travel team. If it will, the team will be denied Class C status. Teams classified as Class C may play in any classification


Article XVI: Addendum B
CORI Request Form

Available in the Document Library on the FGSA website.


Article XVII: Addendum C
Parental Code of Conduct

Please reference this in the Document Library on the FGSA website. 





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FRANKLIN GIRLS SOFTBALL ASSOCIATION

FGSA, PO Box 706
Franklin, Massachusetts 02038

Email Us: [email protected]
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