Seven Changes (Other Than Ratings) At The 2015 NAGAAA Summer Meetings
The major player rating question changes that the international voting delegation of NAGAAA voted on at this year’s Summer Meetings in Columbus, Ohio took up most of the spotlight in a weekend jam-packed with happenings and events. In fact, so much was changed and accomplished at the international governing body’s latest meeting that we needed three different posts just to explain it all.
While most folks have probably already seen the adjustments that were made to the player rating guidelines, most specifically changes to base running questions (15-18) and to advanced hitting questions (23-26), that’s not all that was changed in Ohio this August.
We’ve highlighted the other changes in a Top Seven list for your enjoyment:
- 1-1 Count Beginning At 2016 GSWS
Yes, you saw that correctly. No longer will a 0-0 count be in effect at the GSWS beginning in Austin next year. Interestingly enough, the time limits did not change and were not up for debate. So, for next year we will see a 1-1 count with the same 55 minute time limits for pool play and 60 minute time limits for double elimination games. This should mean more opportunities to score runs and more innings overall. In 2016, we could see more games go to a complete seven innings within the time limit than ever before.
2. Clearer Definition On Using Wrong Courtesy Runner
While the Master’s Division is the only division that gets the use of a courtesy runner at the GSWS there have been many questions surrounding what happens if the last out isn’t used as the courtesy runner and an incorrect runner is then put in the game to run. The motion to make the following changes to the existing part of Softball Code 4.2 M was passed:
Current language in NAGAAA Softball Code 4.2 M –
Masters Division: One (1) courtesy runner per inning shall be allowed. Courtesy runner will be the last completed at-bat not already on base.
Added language in the motion that was passed at 2015 NAGAAA Summer Meetings –
If the wrong courtesy runner is placed on the base and
1. is discovered before the next pitch, legal or illegal, the incorrect runner will be called out.
2. is discovered after the next pitch, legal or not, the runner will remain and become the legal runner.
3. Change To GSWS Pool Play Forfeit Procedure
Previously before a motion to change it was passed, a team forfeiting its first game of the day in pool play would have to appeal to continue in the tournament with the protest committee. Protest committees do not meet at the fields during pool play meaning that the team would automatically forfeit its second game too. Softball Code has now been changed to allow the team that forfeited its first game of the day to appeal to the Athletic Director at the fields. This now gives the Athletic Director the opportunity to decide whether the team should be able to continue or not.
4. Eligibility To Play In Multiple Member City Associations Within The Same Season
This motion was penned by Phil Lagoy, Commissioner of the Renaissance City Softball League in Rhode Island. His argument was that leagues that are close in proximity to one another, like the RCSL and Boston for example, have leagues that end at different times of the Summer and some players would like to play in both leagues to play more softball. Softball Code section 7.5 part A, expressly stated that the same player cannot play in two different member organizations within the same GSWS qualifying season.
The motion to allow a player to play in multiple leagues in the same season as long as they declare which league will be their GSWS qualifying league prior to the start of both seasons, passed in a close vote. We urge all players that want to use this change to their advantage to contact your local NAGAAA member league board/commissioner to make sure all rules and regulations are followed properly.
5. GSWS Berth Addition
Kyle Miller, Commissioner of the Hotlanta Softball League and the NAGAAA Marketing & Communications Committee Chairman, brought a motion to give NAGAAA member cities with team participation between 30 to 34 teams an additional bid to the GSWS.
Prior to the motion passing, all cities with team membership between 25 – 34 were awarded just seven bids to the GSWS. Moving forward this change splits that. Now, cities with teams totaling 30-34 get an eighth bid. Cities with teams totaling 25-29 still get their seven bids.
6. Definition Revisions
In addition to the much hyped changes to the base running and advanced hitting questions within the NAGAAA Player Rating Guidelines, there were also changes made to definitions that are found in NAGAAA Softball Code 1.1. The below list has the current words/phrases that are found in NAGAAA Softball Code and what the changes are.
1.03 Amateur – added “a player who does not currently receive compensation – monetary or in kind – for playing softball.”
1.17 Hard Hit Ball – added “or a ground ball that would roll to a distance greater than 225 feet, if not impeded.”
1.22 In the Gap – added “(about 20-12 steps) after radius”
1.23 In the Hole – added “(about 4-5 steps) after radius”
1.29 Long Throw – added “in the air” at the end
1.31 Medium Hit Ball – added “or a ground ball that would roll to a distance of 125-225 feet, if not impeded.”
1.32 Medium Velocity – added “or a ground ball that would roll to a distance of 125-225 feet, if not impeded.”
1.36 No Repeat – “The exclusion of a team from being able to compete in a specified division because the team has 4 or more players who competed in that division the previous year on teams that finished in 1st or 2nd place.”
1.47 Rudimentary Knowledge – “Introductory knowledge of the rules of the game of slow pitch softball.”
1.49 Slow Hit Ball – added “or a ground ball that would roll to a distance of less than 125 feet, if not impeded.”
Great news, if you read the NAGAAA Summer Meetings – Wrap Up Part 1 post on our site you would probably be thrilled to know we now have a definition for rudimentary knowledge on the books. Defining definitions is usually the best way to go. The majority of these changes are actually additions to definitions regarding hitting that previously didn’t account for balls hit on the ground. It can still be pretty subjective and hard to tell if a hard hit ball or a medium hit ball by definition would be able to actually play out if someone tried to use the ground ball option within the new definition. Most of the time a player is going to stop a ground ball hit right to them and trying to decide whether that ball would have kept going a certain distance after it is stopped by the player could be interesting.
7. Removal of Non-LGBT Player Limit Per Team Fails
The motion to remove the limit per team of non-LGBT players was brought forth by Vincent Fuqua of San Francisco. Mr. Fuqua along with some other folks in the rooms spoke about how the landscape in our society and within our organization has changed. He and others didn’t feel that there was necessarily a need to have this in the organization’s bylaws anymore. There were many passionate responses against removing the non-LGBT player limit and ultimately that side won. There was a roll call vote taken and we have listed the cities/board members and how they voted. The motion failed 34 to 13 with 1 abstention. NOTE: This is an unofficial count of the votes.
AGAINST THE MOTION
Assistant Commissioner, Treasurer, Business Development, Secretary, Austin, Palm Springs, Fort Lauderdale, Philadelphia, Dallas, Denver, Nashville, Chicago, Washington DC, Kansas City, Southern New England, Long Beach, Birmingham, Madison, New York, Oklahoma City, New Orleans, Sacramento, Phoenix, Tulsa, Boston, Rhode Island, Memphis, Saint Louis, Columbus, Knoxville, Tampa, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Las Vegas
FOR THE MOTION
Member-at-Large, San Francisco, Houston, Orlando, Montreal, Milwaukee, Portland, San Diego, Seattle, San Jose, Toronto, Twin Cities, Vancouver
So, all in all there was a lot going on at the 2015 NAGAAA Summer Meetings. The delegates went nearly three hours over the planned meeting time on Sunday after a very long day on Saturday to try to implement real changes and get something done for the international membership. They certainly accomplished that and the membership in each city across North America will make it known if these changes and adjustments suit them or not. We at the Diamond Dish, strongly urge you to stay in contact with your local league’s NAGAAA delegate. Learn who that is and talk with them about what’s going on. In addition to what we’ve covered about the meetings in our three-part wrap up series, many other exciting things are going on surrounding the specific NAGAAA committees including the NAGAAA Archives headed up by Paul Falcone and the NAGAAA Hall of Fame, which his overseen by former NAGAAA Commissioner, Roy Melani.
We will be giving those two institutions and many other issues their just due on the site before the end of the year. As always, thanks for reading and happy trophy hunting to all players in their Fall tournaments.