Bylaws

BYLAWS

OF THE

BRAZOS VALLEY SOFTBALL UMPIRES ASSOCIATION

The Brazos Valley Softball Umpires Association (BVSUA) has contracted with the cities of Bryan and College Station since 1980 to provide umpires for their respective leagues. Since that time, the BVSUA has earned the reputation of providing proficient, well-trained umpires who are capable of officiating successfully at the state and national levels of competition.

  1. PURPOSE

The Bylaws of the BVSUA are established to provide expectations, procedures, and other relevant information to ensure that the Association’s outstanding reputation for high levels of excellence is maintained.

  1. MEMBER IN GOOD STANDING REQUIREMENTS

A BVSUA member shall be a member in good standing if s/he meets all of the requirements of (1) ASA umpire certification, (2) meeting attendance, (3) payment of dues; and (4) conduct.

    1. ASA Umpire Certification

      1. Rookie umpires shall complete his/her on-field clinic and achieve a score of at least 70% on the open-book rules exam.

      1. Veteran umpires shall complete his/her on-field clinic and achieve a score of 90% on the open-book rules exam.

      1. Veteran and rookie umpires will be given an opportunity to correct their answers on the rules exam if a passing grade is not achieved by researching the question in the rule book and noting the applicable rule and page number(s) on a separate page.

    1. Meeting Attendance

      1. Members must attend at least 70% of the scheduled BVSUA general membership meetings.

      1. A member may miss one (1) meeting without having that absence count against the 70% attendance total requirements.

      1. Members may request that an absence be excused from being counted against the 70% attendance requirement; absences found to be acceptable by the Board shall not be counted as an absence for meeting attendance purposes.

      1. An individual who is not an Association member may represent an Association member by proxy during a general membership meeting. The BVSUA member who seeks to be represented by proxy must be a member in good standing before representation will be allowed. Such representation will not count against a member’s attendance record and is limited to one (1) time per season. Exceptions to this limit may be approved by the Board on a case-by-case basis.

The representative:

  1. must introduce him/herself to a Board member before the general meeting and state who s/he is representing;

  2. must be 18 years of age or over;

  3. must be capable of taking notes and providing necessary information from the meeting to the Association member before the member’s next scheduled set of games; and

  4. will not be permitted to vote on Association matters in the member’s absence.

      1. New member attendance records shall begin on the first scheduled membership meeting after the member completes a BVSUA registration card.

      1. Returning member attendance records shall begin on the first scheduled general membership meeting of the new calendar year.

    1. Association Dues

      1. Full payment of annual dues are due upon registration unless payment arrangements have been made with the BVSUA Treasurer.

      1. Members who do not satisfy the arrangements of the payment agreement with the Treasurer shall not be a member in good standing until the dues are paid in full.

    1. Conduct

      1. All members shall conduct themselves in a professional manner while performing their assigned duties.

      1. Members who are found to be in violation of this section are subject to suspension, fines, and/or other action deemed appropriate by the Board. Examples of unacceptable conduct are, but are not limited to,

  1. displaying unprofessional on- or off-field behavior toward a team or other individual while in the performance or context of his/her BVSUA duties;

  2. acting in an insubordinate manner toward a BVSUA member who is performing duties within his/her scope of authority;

  3. using a cell phone or other hand-held communication device during a game (or in between innings) for reasons other than emergencies; and

  4. demonstrating other behavior deemed unprofessional or unacceptable by the Board.

      1. Association members who also play softball will be expected to maintain a high level of professional conduct while they participate in their games. An “off-duty” member playing softball who exhibits unprofessional conduct or displays contemptuous behavior toward an “on-duty” fellow BVSUA member will be subject to severe disciplinary actions deemed appropriate by the Board.

  1. UMPIRE PAY RATES

    1. New umpires with no experience will be compensated at a determined base pay rate for all beginners.

    1. Umpires who have previous ASA experience and are new to the BVSUA may have his/her prior experience considered for pay rate purposes with appropriate documentation from the former organization(s) in which s/he worked.

    1. Slow-Pitch pay rates effective January 1, 2011 are

$13 per game: New umpires (no experience)

$16 per game: Maximum pay rate for all umpires

    1. Paychecks are distributed at general membership meetings or at other assigned times.

  1. TRAINING AND EVALUATION

The Training and Evaluation Committee (T&E) is responsible for the training and evaluation of all rookie and veteran BVSUA umpires. A “rookie” is defined as an umpire who has less than two years of experience; a “veteran” is defined as an umpire who has two or more years of experience.

    1. The Umpire-in-Chief shall chair the T&E Committee. General responsibilities will include:

  1. scheduling and conducting annual training clinics;

  2. keeping a current log of the membership’s training attendance (i.e. National Schools, State Schools, local clinics, etc.);

  3. maintaining the membership’s current written test scores;

  4. recommending a member’s raise or cut in pay;

  5. maintaining T&E financial records;

  6. representing the T&E Committee at all BVSUA Board meetings; and

  7. performing other duties as required.

    1. The T&E Committee

Any member may express an interest in joining the T&E Committee. Interested individuals should contact the BVSUA UIC or a Board member.

      1. Committee Membership Requirements

Interested members must:

  1. be a member in good standing for three (3) or more years;

  2. score an excellent rating on local evaluations for the past year;

  3. agree to volunteer time to mentor first year officials; and

  4. attend at least one required training session per year (National School, State School, Region 7 UIC Clinic).

      1. Responsibilities

  1. Conduct training of returning BVSUA members at least once per season;

  2. Conduct training of new BVSUA members at least twice per season;

  3. Volunteer time to mentor new officials during games;

  4. Participate in bi-annual evaluations of all officials; and

  5. Perform other duties as assigned

      1. Payment Provisions

        1. No payment will be given to T&E members during training or mentoring.

        1. Payment will not exceed $40/night and will be issued upon receipt of evaluation paperwork to the local UIC.

      1. Training

        1. Registration, lodging, and gas will be paid to T&E members attending approved training provided by either Texas ASA or ASA National Office.

        1. Meals will be paid at the current state rate minus any meals provided by the training. Alcoholic beverages and tips are not included in this reimbursement.

    1. Field and Rules Clinics

      1. Clinics for returning and new umpires will be scheduled, if necessary, before the start of each season.

      1. An ASA rules clinic will be offered to all umpires wanting to attend at the beginning of the calendar year. The rules clinic is not mandatory, but is highly recommended.

      1. ASA field clinic attendance is MANDATORY for anyone (including returning rookie and veteran umpires) wanting to serve as a BVSUA umpire.

      1. Officials will not be allowed to umpire until s/he has attended a field clinic.

    1. Evaluations

      1. A beginning umpire will be evaluated at least once during each of his/her first two seasons.

      1. Umpires with more than one year of experience will be evaluated at least twice per calendar year.

    1. Pay Increases

      1. Beginning umpires may receive a pay increase of $1 per game after completing three (3) consecutive seasons if s/he:

  1. receives a rating of “good” or above on each of two evaluations;

  2. attends a field clinic;

  3. scores at least 70% on the annual rules test; AND

  4. is a member in good standing.

      1. Second-year umpires may receive a pay increase of $1 per game if s/he:

  1. calls at least 60 games the previous year;

  2. receives a rating of “good” or above on each of two evaluations;

  3. attends a rules and field clinic;

  4. scores at least 80% on the annual rules test; AND

  1. is a member in good standing.

      1. Umpires with more than two years of experience may receive a yearly pay increase of $1 per game if s/he:

  1. calls at least 60 games the previous year;

  2. receives a rating of “good” or above on each of two evaluations;

  3. attends a rules and field clinic;

  4. scores at least 80% on the rules test; AND

  5. is a member in good standing.

4.5.4 An umpire who earns the maximum pay rate and does not perform his/her duties in a satisfactory manner, despite sufficient training and feedback from the UIC and/or other T&E members, is subject to a reduction in pay.

4.5.4.1 A reduction of a member’s pay as described in this section must be approved by the Board.

4.5.4.2 An umpire who has had his/her pay reduced due to poor performance may receive a pay increase when the member meets the requirements listed in section 4.5.3.

  1. GAME ASSIGNMENTS

    1. Availability

      1. Umpires will be asked for his/her availability for the next scheduling period at each meeting or other appropriate time. Umpires who fail to complete the availability sheet may be excluded from the schedule.

      1. Factors that may determine a member’s number of games scheduled include, but are not limited to, (1) overall availability, (2) performance and scores on evaluations, and (3) available umpires for a particular night.

    1. Posted Schedules

      1. Schedules shall be posted during general membership meetings or at other appropriate times. The schedule will cover a two or three week time frame that will typically begin on the Monday following the meeting.

      1. Each umpire may accept the games s/he is scheduled, opt to trade games, or give up any of the games scheduled while attending the meeting

      1. The scheduler shall be notified by the umpires accepting, trading, or giving up the games regarding the changes made during the meeting.

    1. Saving Games

      1. An umpire may “save” his/her games on the schedule by informing a Board member (preferably the Scheduler) that s/he will not be present at the meeting. A member who saves his/her games is responsible for working the games scheduled.

      1. A member may save his/her games once per season; otherwise, general meeting attendance will be required to keep the assigned games.

      1. A member may ask the Board for an exemption to section 5.3.2 on a case-by-case basis if s/he wishes to save games. A member who misses a general meeting for reasons deemed appropriate by the Board will be allowed to save the games in question and will not have the absence count against him or her for purposes of saving games.

      1. An umpire who was not allowed to save his/her games or who was otherwise not placed on the schedule due to being absent at the general meeting may seek games given up by other members.

    1. Schedule Changes After the General Meeting

      1. An umpire who cannot fill an assignment after the schedule is finalized at the general membership meeting is responsible for finding his/her replacement.

      1. Rookie umpires may find a rookie or a veteran replacement; veteran umpires must find a veteran replacement.

      1. Umpires may use the BVSUA Listserv or the phone contact list to find his/her replacement.

      1. The Scheduler must be notified of such changes by the umpires accepting and giving up the game(s) in question. The umpire who accepts the game(s) will be responsible for working the new assignment.

    1. Game Responsibilities

      1. Reporting Time

        1. Umpires must report to their assigned fields NO LATER than 15 minutes prior to the start of an assigned game.

        1. Umpires who anticipate they may be late to an assignment must contact his or her partner or another umpire scheduled that night so that appropriate arrangements can be made to cover the fields.

      1. Penalties for Tardiness or Missed Assignments

        1. An umpire who misses an assignment without appropriately contacting a member, or who otherwise misses an assignment without good reason as determined by the Board, will be considered to be a “no show” and fined. The amount of the fine shall equal the amount of games missed at the umpire’s rate of pay.

        1. An umpire who arrives late to a game will be fined the amount of one game fee at the umpire’s rate of pay. “Late” is defined as arriving to a game after the game’s scheduled start time.

        1. An umpire who arrives to his/her assignment late will be sent home and fined as a “no show” as described above if a replacement was found prior to the member’s late arrival.

      1. Uniforms

        1. All umpires must report to their assigned fields in the proper uniform. A uniform shall be clean, pressed/ironed where needed, free from excessive wear, and consistent with uniform items approved by the Board and/or found on OfficialGear.com.

        1. Umpires must refrain from presenting an unprofessional appearance in public before, during, or immediately after an assignment. Examples of an unacceptable appearance are, but are not limited to, not tucking in a shirt, turning an umpire’s cap to the side or backwards, and leaving sunglasses on an umpire’s cap for an unreasonable period of time once the sun has set.

        1. Uniforms may be ordered through the BVSUA Treasurer (or other designated member) or may be ordered online at OfficialGear.com.

Hat

Shirt

Pants

Shorts

T-Shirt

    • Is not mandatory, but is recommended.

    • Must be white under ASA shirt or may be navy if worn under jacket.

    • Non-ASA lettering or logos must not be visible and may not otherwise show through the primary shirt.

    • Online example: http://www.officialgear.com/shop.asp?t=c&id=t333&pid=130

Belt

  • Must be black with a silver buckle.

Socks

    • With pants

    • With shorts

Shoes

Jacket

Gloves – must be navy blue or black.

        1. Penalties for Non-Compliance of Uniform Standards

          1. An umpire who is observed arriving to or working at an assignment out of proper uniform by a Board or T&E member is subject to appropriate action taken against him or her as determined by the Board. Such action may include, but is not limited to, being sent home by an authorized Association member, incurring a fine, or receiving a verbal warning.

          1. Umpires who violate uniform standards are expected to correct the noted deficiencies (purchase the necessary uniform item, refrain from wearing unapproved shorts or jacket, etc.) by their next assignment date. Special circumstances and exceptions may be considered by the Board.

          1. Repeated offenses may result in suspension or other action deemed appropriate by the Board.

    1. Rainouts

      1. Assignments are lost if games are cancelled due to weather or other reasons; umpires will be considered for the make-up games based on availability.

      1. Umpires should not assume that games have been postponed due to bad weather or other reasons and should check the field status at the following numbers:

Central Park and Veterans: 764-3732

BRAC: 209-5204

  1. ACCEPTING SOFTBALL ASSIGNMENTS FROM OUTSIDE THE ASSOCIATION

    1. Members shall consider the needs of the BVSUA before accepting softball games from other organizations, and shall first consult with the UIC or other appropriate Board members to ensure the needs of the BVSUA are satisfied before accepting games from outside the Association.

    1. The Association should recognize the needs or goals of its members who officiate in softball games outside the purview of the BVSUA. Accordingly, the Association shall, in good faith, allow as much scheduling flexibility as is possible to its members who umpire softball games for other organizations.

  1. APPEAL PANEL

    1. Any member shall have the right to appeal punitive action taken against him or her. Appeals shall be in writing (email, note, etc.) to the President within seven calendar days of his/her receipt of the notice of the punitive action from the Board.

    1. The President shall, upon written notice of an appeal allowed under the Constitution, promptly notify the District 30 Commissioner of the appeal and provide the Commissioner with all applicable files, documents, and statements pertaining to the original grievance.

    1. The Commissioner, upon notification of an appeal from the BVSUA President, shall promptly form an appeal panel. The appeal panel shall consist of the District 30 Commissioner (who shall also chair the panel) and at least one member from his/her District 30 staff.

    1. The panel shall investigate the circumstances of the complaint and appeal, will choose to uphold or modify the Board’s decision, and will promptly notify the President of its findings.

    1. The appeal panel’s decision must be made within fifteen (15) calendar days of the President’s written receipt of the appeal referenced in 7.2. The appeal panel’s decision shall be final.

BVSUA CODE OF ETHICS

The Association recognizes that only exceptional umpires perform above and beyond the expectations set forth in the BVSUA’s Constitution and Bylaws. To that end, the Association has established a Code of Ethics in which each umpire is encouraged to attain and measure against his/her own approach to officiating the game of softball.

        1. I will remember that I am here for the game and for the players; the players and the game are not here for me.

        1. I will not do or say anything that will bring public embarrassment to my partner or another Association member during the course or context of my duties.

        1. I will use my authority to eject a player only as a matter of last resort.

        1. I will always remember that the players, sponsors, or parents of our youth league participants are paying for my services; therefore, they deserve the best of my abilities at all times.

        1. I will not intentionally, and for my own benefit, perform my duties in such a manner that will shorten or end a game earlier than the contest would normally have been concluded.

        1. I will be firm but never overbearing, resolute but never rude, and confident but never arrogant.

        2. I will attend as many rule clinics and other training opportunities as possible.

        1. I will not make negative or derogatory comments concerning any umpire, player, or coach in public.

        1. I will be prepared mentally and physically to administer the games I am assigned.

        1. I will remember that a good umpire does not always have to have the last word.

RATIFICATION

The attached Bylaws were approved by the Board according to the provisions of the BVSUA Constitution, Article XIV: Bylaw Amendments on March 20, 2011. For that reason, the Board shall begin the enforcement of the approved Bylaws effective March 21, 2011.

_________________________________________________________________________

Tim Carda, President Date

Brazos Valley Softball Association

_________________________________________________________________________

Chris Ybarra, Vice President Date

Brazos Valley Softball Association

_________________________________________________________________________

LeRay Novacek, Secretary Date

Brazos Valley Softball Association

_________________________________________________________________________

Matt Stokes, Treasurer Date

Brazos Valley Softball Association

_________________________________________________________________________

Emmy Lewis, Member-At-Large Date

Brazos Valley Softball Association

_________________________________________________________________________

Robert Orozco, Member-At-Large Date

Brazos Valley Softball Association

_________________________________________________________________________

Jim Kuhlmann, Member-At-Large Date

Brazos Valley Softball Association

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