CONSTITUTION - BY-LAWS - RULES
ARTICLE I – NAME & PURPOSE
Section 1 – The name of this organization is: St. Petersburg Half Century Softball Club.
Section 2 – This Club is a non-profit organization with the purpose and objective of playing a number of scheduled and exhibition games each season for the entertainment of the public, to promote physical fitness, and to hold special recreational affairs as may be determined by a majority of Club members for the benefit of the members their spouses and friends.
ARTICLE II – MEMBERSHIP
Section 1 – Membership in this Club consists of four forms: Active, Probationary, Inactive, and Honorary as defined below:
An Active member , who is able to play.
Players 74 years of age or older at the start of the season will be considered Probationary until voted on (annually) in accordance with the By-Laws.
A Probationary member is one who has been accepted into the Club as a player on probation.
An Inactive member is one who is unable to play for some reason acceptable to the Club but wishes to maintain his affiliation.
An Honorary member is one who has been incapacitated by age or otherwise, or is serving the Club in some essential capacity, or any person who has performed some meritorious service for the Club.
Section 2 – Application for membership shall be made in writing under the regulations as prescribed in the By-Laws of this Club.
ARTICLE III – OFFICERS
Section 1 – The Officers (Board of Directors) shall be: President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Assistant Secretary/Treasurer and an Executive Committee of three members. These Officers shall be nominated and elected at a regular meeting in accordance with the By-Laws.
Section 2 – Only Active and Inactive members are eligible to hold elected office.
ARTICLE IV – FINANCES
Section 1 – The revenue of the Club shall be derived from dues, donations, and any other fund raising projects approved by the Club.
ARTICLE V – AMENDMENTS
Section 1 – This Constitution may be amended at any regular meeting of the Club by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members attending (presuming a quorum is present) provided that the amendment shall be submitted in writing to the Board of Directors and read at a preceding meeting.
ARTICLE VI – DUES
Section 1 – Annual dues shall consist of two elements, dues and a playing fee, both of which shall be set each year by the Board of Directors. Active members are required to pay both elements. Inactive members are required to pay dues only. First time probationary members are required to pay both elements plus a charge for uniforms.
ARTICLE VII – ENABLING ACT
Section 1 – This Constitution and the accompanying By-Laws and Rules shall supersede any and all previous Constitution, By-Laws, Rules and Amendments heretofore adopted by the Club.
Approved by the Board and Membership March 2008
Revised and Approved November 2010
Revised and Approved October 2014
ARTICLE I – ORGANIZATION
Section 1 – The Active and Inactive members of the Club constitute the final ruling body of the Club with the right to vote on any and all matter brought before it by the Board of Directors.
Section 2 – Probationary and Honorary members have the right to vote only on social activities.
ARTICLE II – MEMBERSHIP
Section 1 – Any person desiring to become a member shall submit an application with a copy of acceptable proof of birth date (to be retained by the Club) on proper form to the Treasurer or designated Board member.
Section 2 – After the receipt of applicable fees, each applicant and Probationary player may be approved or denied by the Board. New applicants approved by the Board may temporarily play pending final approval by the membership.
Section 3 – No application for membership will be accepted until the applicant has reached his 49th birthday.
Section 4 – After one or more season’s absence, unless on paid inactive status; any former member must reapply the same as a new member. If accepted, in accordance with the procedures of Section 2, he is not required to serve as a Probationary member, and his prior service will be credited. A former member suspended for misconduct or similar reasons shall again serve a probationary period.
Section 5 – An Active member is from age 49 to 74 who is able to play or a player 74 years of age or older who has been voted in from Probationary status. Any player who is unable to play because of illness or injury and has been incapacitated for nine consecutive games or more during the season will be placed on the Disabled List and will be removed from the team’s roster. Upon his readiness to play, he will report to the President or Vice-President. The Board of Directors, after recommendation from the Competition Committee, will determine assignment. A player may remain on the Disabled List for no longer than one year.
Section 6 – A member desiring a leave of absence shall submit a request in writing to the President who will evaluate the request and make a recommendation to the Board of Directors who will approve or disapprove the request. The limit of the leave will be one year, but may be extended upon reapplication by the member. This member shall be considered an Inactive member.
Section 7 – A new Probationary member shall be admitted to the Club for a period of one or more years. If accepted on probation before January 1, the member will be eligible to be voted upon for Active membership at the first regular meeting in March upon completion of the probationary period following his acceptance. If the probationary member is accepted after January 1, the probationary member will not be eligible to be voted upon until the following January. Members who are Probationary by virtue being of being 74 years of age or older shall be voted upon at the last meeting in March or the April meeting. No application Probationary or Active membership will be voted upon between the April meeting and the first regular meeting in October. Voting will be conducted in accordance with the procedure contained in Article II, Section 2.
Section 8 – An Inactive Member is one who is unable to play for some reason acceptable to the Club but wishes to maintain his affiliation. This member remains eligible to vote on all matters and to hold elected office.
Section 9 – An Honorary Member is one who has been incapacitated by age or otherwise, is serving the Club in some essential capacity, or a person who has performed some meritorious service for the Club and is approved by the Board of Directors. An Active member who has served 10 or more years as a player may become an honorary member after he has retired from Active membership.
Section 10 – The Club shall have the right and authority to censure, suspend, or expel a member for reasons of unsportsmanlike conduct, for dishonorable conduct, or for actions or utterances inimical or detrimental to the aims, purposes or welfare of the Club. The President or any one Board member has the duty and authority as does the home plate umpire to act immediately on any matter that warrants a game ejection. Ejection offenses will be handled in a three-tier manner.
When a player is ejected from the game by an umpire or Board member, he will receive a one game suspension, excluding weather cancellation, and will be given a formal written warning of possible additional disciplinary action.
When a player is ejected from the game by an umpire or Board member and has previously received a formal warning, he will be suspended for the next two scheduled games, excluding weather cancellations, etc.
If a player is ejected from a game for the third time, he will be suspended from all subsequent games until a vote on his status by the membership at the next scheduled meeting. The member shall be given the chance to speak on his own behalf before the Board and membership before any vote is taken. Voting will be by secret ballot. The player may be suspended for the balance of the season by a simple majority vote. Expulsion will require a two-thirds majority vote of the membership.
Non-game conduct and other issues not involving ejections will be handled by petition to the Board. Any member is subject to recall by the membership upon a petition brought by any Active member and signed by five other Active members. The Board will consider the petition, and the President in accordance with Article VIII, Section 3, may call a special meeting. All sides will be heard before any vote is taken. Voting will be by secret ballot. Recall/expulsion will require a two-thirds majority of active and inactive members at the meeting.
All suspended or expelled players will be substituted for in accordance with existing substitution rules contained in the Club Rules and Responsibilities.
ARTICLE III – OFFICERS
Section 1 – The absence of any elected officer from three consecutive meetings of the Club or Board of Directors, without justification satisfactory to the Board of Directors, shall constitute sufficient reason for removal of the officer from office.
Section 2 – When, for any reason, an elective office becomes vacant, the Board of Directors shall appoint another eligible member to fill the vacancy, except for the office of President, which shall be filled by the Vice-President.
Section 3 – The election of officers will be as follows.
At the first meeting in March, a Nominating Committee will present a slate of candidates.
At the Second meeting in March, the floor will be open for other nominations. The offices will then be voted in the following order: President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Assistant Secretary/Treasurer and Executive Board members. Officers shall hold office for one year. In case of a vacancy, the successor shall remain in office for the unexpired term. The newly elected officers will be installed as the last order of business at the regular meeting in April.
ARTICLE IV – POWERS AND DUTIES OF OFFICERS
Section 1 – The Board of Directors shall assure that the Club is operated in a manner worthy of the Club’s objective; transact all routine business of the Club recommending any pertinent items at regular meetings; supervise all purchases and approve all expenses and present same to the Treasurer, arrange for an audit of the financial records within 30 days after the completion of the season each year; approve donations to outside organizations; report at each regular meeting; recommend Probationary members for Active status; receive recommendations from all committees, amending as appropriate and submitting them to membership.
Section 2 – The President shall preside at all meetings; preserve decorum at all times, both on and off the field; be responsible for the proper functioning of the elected officers and committees; appoint a chairman for the Rules Committee and Brochure Committee;
And be a co-signer on Club checks when required. The President will be an ex-officio member of all committees except the Nominating Committee.
Section 3 – The Vice-President shall be the Chairman of the Membership Committee; be a co-signer on Club checks when required; and in the absence of the President, assume all of his duties.
Section 4 – The Secretary shall carry on such correspondence as may be referred to him;
Act as Secretary for the Board; keep a master book of the Constitution, By-Laws, and Rules and Regulations posting all changes and amendments; prepare a list of all members with addresses and phone numbers and provide a copy to each member; take charge of all papers and documents belonging to the Club preserving same in a suitable container; maintain a bulletin board at the field; and be a co-signer on Club checks when required.
Section 5 – The Treasurer shall prepare a written report for each meeting. This report will include bank balance, unpaid bills and other data deemed to be of interest to the membership. He shall be prepared to answer any questions pertaining to the Club’s current financial status. He will draw all checks securing a co-signer when required. He will arrange for a newly signed signature cards to be filed at the bank after elections and will maintain all records of the Club’s finances in accordance with good accounting practices.
Section 6 – The Assistant Secretary/Treasurer shall assist the Secretary and Treasurer and assume the duties in the absence of either as well as perform other duties as assigned by the President.
Section 7 – The Executive Committee shall serve as the Rules Committee as well as perform those other duties as directed by the President and/or Board of Directors.
ARTICLE V - COMMITTEES
Section 1 – The President may appoint any committee deemed necessary to possibly include but not limited to the following: Membership, Grievance, Rules, Brochure and Competition. Establishment of any of the committees is at the sole discretion of the President with advice from the Board of Directors.
Section 2 – The Membership Committee may consist of the Vice-President and three members appointed by the President. They will evaluate and recommend approval or disapproval of all applicants and forward the applications to the Secretary.
Section 3 - The Grievance Committee may be comprised of one member from each team. They will take under advisement any serious disagreements among members, receive all protests and recommend action to the Board of Directors. The President will convene the first meeting and the Committee will then elect a Chairman.
Section 4 – The Rules Committee may consist of the members of the Executive Board. They shall interpret all rules, receive and evaluate any suggestions for changes, advise the full Board of their recommendations and ensure that each member is provided with a written copy of the rules as well as coordinating with the Secretary to insure that a complete current set of rules is available at all times. They will also perform other duties as directed by the President and/or Board of Directors.
Section 5 – The Brochure Committee may be appointed by the President with a Chairman selected from the Executive Board and as many volunteer members from the membership as may be necessary to publish the brochure.
Section 6 – The Competition Committee may be established and would be comprised of at least one active member from each team. They would evaluate player personnel and recommend to the Board any changes brought about loss of players through injury or departure.
ARTICLE VI - TEAMS
Section 1 – The Board of Directors will organize, select and balance teams. Selection of the teams shall be made in accordance with the existing Club Rules and Responsibilities.
Section 2 – Only members in good standing will be eligible to be picked for teams.
ARTICLE VII – ELECTIONS
Section 1 – Nominations for elective office shall occur at the first meeting in March. Final Nominations and elections shall be held at the second meeting in March.
Section 2 – Elections shall be conducted by secret ballot.
Section 3 – The President shall appoint two tellers who will pass out ballots, collect, count, and tally the vote and advise the President who will announce the results. Candidates receiving a plurality vote will be elected.
ARTICLE VIII – MEETINGS
Section 1 – Regular meetings of the Club shall be held on Monday in the first and third weeks of October and March and first week of November, December, January, February, and April of each year. The Board of Directors shall meet at any other times deemed necessary.
Section 2 – Fifty percent (50%) of Active and Inactive members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at a regular meeting or special meeting of the Club. This requirement may be waived by a plurality of attending Active and Inactive members.
Section 3 – The President may call A Special meeting at any time or upon written request of nine Active members. The Board of Directors must approve this request. The purpose of the meeting shall be stated and only those matters so stated shall be taken up at this meeting.
Section 4 – Normally no meeting will be held on the field. If it is absolutely necessary to hold a meeting on the field, it shall be held after the completion of the first game. Every effort will be made to notify all members as to dates and times of all meetings.
Section 5 – Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern all meetings not covered by the Constitution or By-Laws. A copy is to be kept by the President and it shall be available at all meetings.
Section 6 – The Order of Business for Regular Meetings:
Call to Order.
Minutes of Previous Meeting.
Report of Captains.
Board of Directors Report.
Good of the Order.
ARTICLE IX – UNIFORMS & EQUIPMENT
Section 1 – Uniforms and equipment used by the Club will be purchased as required with the Board of Directors approval.
Section 2 – The custodians of any equipment belonging to the Club shall report at the beginning and end of each season as to the quantity and condition of the equipment in their care. This report will be given to the Secretary.
ARTICLE X – FORFEITURE OF PLAY
Section 1 – When a player is physically fit and refuses a request of his Team Captain or Substitute Captain to play in any scheduled or make-up game or to perform his assigned duties, he will be suspended for three consecutive games, not including cancellations. The Vice-President will enforce this article.
ARTICLE XI – FUNDS
Section 1 – Control of funds shall be under the Board of Directors.
ARTICLE XII – AMENDMENTS
Section 1 – Amendments to the By-Laws may be proposed by any Active member and signed by five other Active members. Amendments shall be studied by the Executive Board who in turn will make recommendations to the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors will study the recommendations to the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors will study the recommendation(s), read them at the next general membership meeting preceding the vote, and present them to the membership for action or return them to the originator with their comments. This process must be completed within thirty days. A two-thirds vote of membership is necessary for the adoption of an amendment.
Section 1 – The Board of Directors will promulgate and revise Club Rules and Responsibilities. Rules shall be repealed if filed by a majority of the Membership within 90 days after notice of the rule is furnished to the members.
Original November 2003
Revised and Approved February 2009
Revised and Approved November 2010
Revised and Approved October 2014
RULES & RESPONSIBILITIES
1. GENERAL: ASA Modified Fast-Pitch rules apply in all situations not specifically modified herein. The Board of Directors has adopted these rules as specific changes or additions to the ASA rules. The Board has authority to deal with any infractions.
2. SCHEDULE AND FORMAT: The season will generally cover 21 or 22 weeks starting near the end of October or first of November and conclude usually around the end of the first week in April. Players who know they will be unable to fulfill this commitment must notify the Board ideally before the season begins or as soon as they know. Failure to consistently do so may result in penalties, including but not limited to, permanent assignment to the Pool at the discretion of the Board. The season consists of approximately sixty games. The season champion will be determined by a play-off as might be required at the end of the season. The Board will set the format and seeding for a post-season tournament.
The Board is responsible for the selection of teams and may use any method deemed appropriate to strive for competitive equality to include use of a Selection Committee. Each team will consist of a maximum of twelve players. The normal schedule will consist of nine-inning games each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday beginning at 9:30AM, 11:00AMThe second game will follow ten minutes after the first game, but no sooner than 11:00AMBatting practice will be from 8:30AM to 9:15AM each day, supervised by the Captains of the teams in the first game. Player Pool members are invited to participate. In order to expedite batting practice, each batter is limited to no more than seven (7) swings. In the event of rain or other inclement weather, the President/Vice President will decide whether conditions are suitable for play. If conditions are unsuitable, the team Captains will be notified, and they will notify each of their players. The cancelled games will be rescheduled at the Board's discretion.
All teams will qualify for the playoffs. Teams will be seeded from 1-4, based on their regular season win/loss record. The team with the best record will be seeded number one. The team with the second best record will be seeded number two and so on.
Seed number three will be home team and play team number four. The winner of that game will immediately play seed number two with seed number two being the home team. The winner of this game will face seed number one in a best two out of three game series for the league championship. There will be no mercy rule during the playoffs.
3. DUES AND ASSESSMENTS: The annual dues are $25.00 for Active, Inactive and Probationary members. Playing fees are reviewed annually and are announced in the spring for the succeeding season. Full payment must be made before October 1st each year in order to be eligible for assignment to a team. Players paying late may be assigned to the Player Pool. Board action will be taken to place Pool members on teams when roster conditions permit. Playing fees and dues are not refundable after the player participates in one game.
4. UNIFORM CODE: All players must wear complete, clean, current uniforms including caps with jerseys tucked in for each game. Pitchers may not wear long sleeved shirts the same color as the softballs. Socks will be solid white. Gray pants or shorts must be worn. Players not conforming are subject to a warning and subsequent penalties at the discretion of the Board.
5. ATTENDANCE/SUBSTITUTION: Any player unable to play when scheduled must notify his Captain and Pool Manager ASAP. This is not only a common courtesy, but also failure to notify the Pool Manager no later than 30 minutes prior to the game time may be cause in a one game suspension. A player who will miss more than one consecutive game must also notify the Pool Manager. A player who will miss 9 consecutive games will be removed from his regular team and placed on the Disabled List in accordance with the By-Laws, Article II, Section 5. All scheduled players are required to be at the field, in uniform, ready to play at least 15 minutes before their scheduled game time. Players who are not at the field and ready to play at the first pitch of their scheduled game, without prior notification of their team captain, will not be eligible to play in that game. Captains are required to submit lineups no less than ten minutes before game time. Any team short a player or players at that time will notify the Player Pool Manager/Scorer's Table. Required substitutes will be drawn from the Player Pool/Supplemental Pool l as appropriate.
6. PLAYER POOL: All eligible players not assigned to a regular team will be assigned to the Player Pool to provide temporary substitutes and/or roster replacements as needed. In addition, a Supplementary Pool will be developed consisting of players from the roster of each team who desire to play additional games in order to evenly distribute playing opportunities. Players from the Player Pool will be given the opportunity to be used first before Supplementary Pool players. A Pool Manager appointed by the Board will administer substitutes.
7. PLAYER EXCHANGES: Player exchanges may take place at any time during the season at the discretion of the Board of Directors for the purpose of maintaining even competition among teams. Captain initiated player approved trades may also be proposed to the club president or vice president who will inform the competition committee and solicit its recommendation. All trades and exchanges must be approved by a majority of the Board at a meeting called to address the trade/exchange, and do not become effective until 24 hours later. It is anticipated all required actions will be completed in time for players to play with their new teams as soon as possible.
8. DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF TEAM CAPTAINS:
Promote good sportsmanship and fair, safe play at all times.
Know and conform to all rules and ensure compliance by team members. Purposely ignoring the Rules, or misleading others about the Rules will not be tolerated, and could lead to loss of Captaincy.
Pass along all communications between the Club and team members.
Responsible for lineups, securing substitutes and player position assignments.
Team's sole voice for umpire discussions, appeals or protests.
Hold the best interests of the Club above the best interests of the team.
9. DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF TEAM MEMBERS:
Play with good sportsmanship, fairly and safely at all times.
Know and conform to all rules.
Notify team Captain ASAP of any absences from Club activities, especially games.
Play positions as assigned by Captain and perform other Club duties when requested. These may include grounds preparation, umpiring, and scorer’s table duties.
The use of profanity and other inappropriate language, and inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated. Subsequent Board action could result in warnings and/or suspensions.
No player will be allowed to approach the scorekeeper during the course of the game to inquire about their individual statistics (this includes standing and looking over his/her shoulder). It will be the responsibility of the club member assigned to scoreboard duty to enforce this rule.Only team captains will be allowed to approach the score keeper to inquire about game situations such as lineup changes, outs, etc.
10. PITCHING RULES:
Pitcher must address the batter with both feet in contact with the pitching rubber and his shoulders in line with first and third bases. In this position, he must hold the ball in both hands for not less than one second and not more than five.
When one hand is taken off the ball, the pitching motion begins with the arm going back, elbow locked, and then forward to the release point below the hip.
At the point of release, the arm must be locked at the elbow and continue forward with a smooth follow-through. Shoulders and hips must be square with home plate, the wrist not farther from the body than the elbow.
Only one step is allowed, forward, with simultaneous delivery of the ball. The pivot foot must remain in contact with the pitching rubber until the ball is released.
The ball may not be outside of the pitcher’s wrist during any part of the delivery but may be inside with the palm up or down. There is no limitation on the twisting of the wrist.
The ball may be swung behind the body so that it is not visible from home plate. The body may not be turned sideways during delivery.
No pitch may arc higher than six feet above the ground.
Any pitch delivered in violation of the rules will be declared illegal, and if not swung on shall be called a ball. If an illegal pitch is swung on and the batter and all runners do not advance safely, they shall be restored to their positions and a ball called as if there had been no swing. If an illegal pitch is swung on and the batter and all runners advance safely, the play shall stand.
Pitchers are allowed to return to pitching after being removed.
If the pitcher desires to walk a batter intentionally, the umpire must be notified. All pitches do not have to be legally delivered to the batter.
Pool players and fill-ins cannot pitch except at the discretion of a non-playing Board member.
11. MERCY RULE:
If one team is ahead by 10 runs or more after 7 complete innings, the game will be over. There is no mercy rule for a seven inning second game of a double header. There will be no mercy rule during the playoffs.
12. PLAYING RULES:
In nine inning games, except for extraordinary circumstances like illness or injury, each player will be required to play at least six (6) innings in a defensive position and, in the event of twelve man rosters, every player, except pitcher, will sit out at least one (1) inning defensively. The Captain will be responsible for enforcing this rule with scorekeeper assistance. Captains will notify each other when situations arise that preclude conformance with the six (6) inning requirement. Any player who feels this rule is not being complied with should first discuss the situation with his Captain. If the situation is not resolved between them, he should then discuss it with a Board member or the Grievance Committee.
13. BASE RUNNING:
A base runner clearly out must slide or peel off away from the fielder. For close plays the runner has a right to try to beat the play. If the runner does not slide, he must do everything possible to avoid contact with the fielder. It will be the umpire’s determination if the non-sliding runner did everything possible to avoid contact. Resulting calls will depend on the umpire’s judgment.
For plays at home plate, the runner is not allowed to make contact with the catcher who is attempting to field the ball. The runner must either slide or give themselves up to avoid contact. In addition, the catcher must not block home plate without having possession of the ball.
14. OTHER CHANGES TO ASA MODIFIED RULES:
Bats- An illegal bat is any multi-wall bat, composite bat, modified bat, or bat that fails to meet Board approval. Any member found knowingly using such a bat may be suspended from the Club. Expulsion from the Club is a possibility depending on the circumstances. This is a safety matter of great importance. All Board members are charged with enforcement of this rule.
Substitute runner- The correct substitute runner is the player who is the last recorded out. In the first inning, prior to the first out, he will be the last batter in the lineup. If a substitute runner is used and found to be the incorrect runner after the first pitch is thrown, he is automatically out. Only one substitute runner per inning is allowed.
Courtesy runner- A courtesy runner may be used after a team has used its substitute runner upon agreement by the Captains. The opposing Captain selects the courtesy runner and must not select a player whose turn at bat may come while on base. A runner who is replaced with a courtesy runner may not be used as a courtesy runner for the remainder of the inning.
Playing field- The distance to the home run fence will be 250 feet, distance between bases will be 65 feet, and the pitching distance will be 46 feet.
Helmets- Players may wear protective helmets at any time, but the rule requiring modified pitch offensive players to wear double ear flap batting helmets is waived.
Re-entry- Fielders may be substituted or replaced and re-entered an unlimited number of times, providing players occupy the same batting positions. The starting player and the substitute may be in the field at the same time.
Hit batter- Batters hit by a pitch are not awarded first base.
Injuries in the middle of a game will result in a fill-in replacement, if a fill-in is available. If a fill-in is not available, the lineup may be compressed.
15. CHANGES TO RULES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
Changes to the Rules and Responsibilities will be made in accordance with the provisions set forth in the By-Laws, Article V. Section 4. The Board will have the power to accept or reject the recommendations of the Rules Committee and implement any changes warranted.
Revision approved 10/2008
Revision approved 10/19/2009
Revision approved 11/01/2010
Revision approved 10/24/2011
Revision approved 10/15/2012
Revision approved 10/2014