SUMMARY OF THE IDEA
- A low cost way to enable new teams to develop skills and gain experience in a formal league environment, thus helping them to receive financial support from the authorities in order to prepare for games in the First League or Extra League in the following years.
- Less strict rules of participation so that it is easier to find players and avoid forfeits (maintaining low costs).
- Benefits: Easy introduction of teams to "league games," increasing the number of member teams and registered players, thus strengthening the club's position during talks with local and national sponsors. By submitting their participation in the league, the teams will receive a formal confirmation letter from PZBall. The letter will refer to baseball and softball as Olympic sports and official recognition of PZBall by the Ministry of Sport and Tourism. This letter can help clubs receive support from local authorities. In many cases, being a member of PZBall can also help if the club approaches local authorities for funding youth programs.
- The club must become a member of PZBall. We waive the membership fee in year 1 if the club becomes a member of PZBall for the first time.
- The club has to pay a one-off fee for participation in the League (the amount will be less than PLN 1,000), but there will be no additional costs for using the fields, umpires, balls, and player licenses (see below).
- The club has to pay for its travel, accommodations, uniforms and equipment, and the starting fee, but otherwise the league will be organized in such a way that the clubs will not bear any additional
- Some uniforms may come from PNYBF donations and can be used as an inexpensive alternative to teams who can not afford their own uniforms.
- The league will be organized in the form of tournaments. The specific number of tournaments and the specific game system to be used is still to be determined. There will be some flexibility in how many tournaments teams must participate in, and there will exist an opportunity to opt not to play in one or more tournaments.
- Players must have a player's license. However, PZBall will not charge a license fee for the II League (or it will include these license costs in the one-off initial payment). We will also handle the licenses online, with players applying for the license via e-mail sent by the club to PZBall. Before each tournament, PZBall will send a list of competitors of each team via e-mail. These lists will serve as the "presentation of licenses." Specifically, the team's Starting List will also serve as its list of player licenses. Thus, theoretically, a team could add new players the day before the tournament. There will not be any penalties or additional fees for adding a player during the season. [Regarding the "electronic license" issue above, we are working on an online program which may be tested in the 2nd League before being used in other PZBall leagues, but the goal is to eventually use it in all leagues at the same time.]
- The team must have at least one person with a valid PZBall trainer's license during their II League games. In the first year of participation in the Participation League, the team may receive their coaching licenses for a lower fee, however these licenses will not be valid outside this league. For the trainer's licenses accepted in other leagues, the trainer will have to pay the normal fee. All other formal requirements necessary to obtain a Participation League training license (e.g., certification) remain the same as for other coaches.
- The league will have a very loose dress code, again to minimize participation difficulties and to allow players to be added at the last minute, thereby ensuring that the team can participate in its games without undue burden.
- Participation League players will need to have valid medical approvals, but we research if there is a legal way to circumvent this requirement (so far it looks like
the approvals are required).
- More flexible rules for the lineup. For example, we can allow the "re-entry rule" (as in fastpitch softball), and/or we can allow additional batters in the lineup (beyond the traditional 9). There will be no minimum number of players required on the Starting List, but of course the team will have to have 9 players on the field during the game.
- There will not be a limit on foreign players. The minimum age of players will be 15, just like in the I League, so that it will be easier to form teams.
- In the event of injury (or other unforeseen circumstances), a team can start the match with 9 players and continue playing with 8. In this situation, the team plays 8 players in defense, and the 9th position in the offensive lineup is automatically counted as an out.
- Teams must arrange for their own insurance for players for games.
- All rules of the game remain the same, although some of the rules from the "new team tournaments of prior years will have to be implemented in the II League as well. We plan to use the rule of "maximum runs for a team in one inning", and we may also use time limits for the games.
- Loose rules will apply as well as to which bats can be used in the league. For example, all wooden bats and maybe even metal bats.
- The league can also be open to teams from current clubs and/or clubs that have teams in other leagues, so that their newest players can gain in-game experience in preparation for potential promotion to higher leagues in the future. In such cases, there are many options on how to solve the situation of players who want to play in both the Participation League and in other PZBall leagues. Subject to be discussed.
- We can treat the II League as a training ground for new umpires, so that they can also gain experience before taking on the responsibility of the higher leagues. Another option is the participation of only one umpire during II League games, and/or a player from another team taking part in the tournament as the second umpire. Assuming that the idea of the Participation League will be attractive to new teams, all umpiring issues must be discussed and approved by Kolegium Sędziów.
- One of the ideas is to ask clubs that have fields for voluntary lending of their field for one weekend a year for free or for a nominal fee. We can move the tournaments from city to city to make it easier for clubs to participate, especially in those tournaments that will take place closer to their home.
- We can also significantly reduce the requirements for the boundaries of the field - allowing a smaller fence or lack of fencing, removing requirements for dugouts, etc. In this way, the tournaments can be carried out on a makeshift field created from a soccer pitch. The intention is that some or all of the teams in the 2nd League could host their own tournament and allow their fans and sponsors to watch games in their home towns. In a situation where a team participating in the Participation League has the opportunity and willingness to host a tournament, we will choose this option instead of using one of the baseball fields of the Extra League or I League clubs.
- If the Participation League concept will be implemented to a significant extent, we can organize more than one league and place them in geographical regions (either now or in the future).
- A team will be allowed to participate in the 2nd League for a period of up to 3 years, after which it will have to move to the First League or the Extra League.
- We can also add a requirement that every new team must participate in the 2nd League at least one year before moving to one of the higher leagues.
- This has been written primarily with the idea of baseball in mind, but we can apply the same model to softball if there will be enough interested softball teams.