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North Zone Meeting Minutes

2019 North Zone Meeting
PONY Baseball and Softball
9:00 a.m. – Saturday, November 2, 2019 
Holiday Inn Express, Marion, Illinois

Vice President Steve Miller called the meeting to Order at 9:06 a.m. He introduced the Headquarters Staff and the International Board Members from our North Zone.

Headquarters Staff Present:
Abe Key, President, and CEO
Brent Liberatore, Director of Information Technology

International Board Members Present:
Ritchie Clayton, East Division Director, North Zone
Randy Crompton, South Division Director, North Zone
Matt Miller, North Division Director, North Zone
Stephanie Allen, Softball Director, North Zone

Report from Abe Key, President, and CEO

Abe Key discussed the end of the season. From the Season-ending, then the Audit of the company, the International Board Meeting, and the Zone Meetings.

He discussed changes and growth within the Corporation. The surge of growth in the International Zones has seen the addition of new Countries, New Leagues, and new Tournaments and Tournament Teams. 

Also the addition of New Board members introduced at this year’s Board Meeting. We need to continue to grow PONY in our younger Leagues. With the addition of the new FOAL League beginning in 2020, there are more opportunities to increase both League and Team count. The League is designed for three and four-year-olds. Three and four-year-olds will still be eligible for Shetland Play but a league can split them off their own into their own age division if they want to. Three and Four-year-olds will then be able to participate in Pinto as currently legally can.

Next, he discussed the 2019 International Board Meeting new and highlighting the Committee duties. One big change was to PONY Scholarship being increased to $3,000 to the winner.

He then discussed our ties to our Corporate Sponsors and their commitment to PONY Baseball and Softball. Also, he stated the importance of maintaining these partnerships.

Gagliardi Insurance Information

Gagliardi Insurance Services is again the recommended Insurance provider for PONY Baseball & Softball for the 2020 season.  Rates will remain the same in 2019. They’ve also added some coverage additions for Leagues. Little things but each League needs to discuss with the company.

Steve Miller: North Zone Vice-President’s Report

2019 Season Report – Steve discussed the RED BOOK HANDBOOK. We are down in most cases in every area and age group. The issue of the Age Change is a dead issue and we need to advance into the 2020 season on a high note.

We need to grow our Leagues and the Age Divisions along with Tournament Team count. Tournament Team is very important since the Tournament Team Fees are used to run the North Zone. He also asked ALL Divisions to look at adding the Champions Division. There is NO cost to have a League and the benefits of seeing the players play to make the strongest need for Pony Baseball and Softball.

Baseball – Main Rule Changes for 2020

2020 Mercy Rule – 

• Rule 11G - change “10 run rule” to mercy rule.

• Rule 11G1 should read: “Shetland-Mustang – if the visiting team is leading by at least 15 runs at the end of 3 or 10 runs and the end of 5 or more complete innings the game shall be declared complete and the visiting team shall be declared the winner. If the home team is leading by at least 15 runs at the end of 3 or 10 runs and the end of 4 or more complete innings after the visiting team has completed batting the game shall be declared complete and the home team shall be declared the winner.”

• Rule 11G2 should read: “Bronco - Thorobred – if the visiting team is leading by at least 15 runs at the end of 3 or 10 runs and the end of 5 or more complete innings the game shall be declared complete and the visiting team shall be declared the winner. If the home team is leading by at least 15 runs at the end of 3 or 10 runs and the end of 4 or more complete innings after the visiting team has completed batting the game shall be declared complete and the home team shall be declared the winner.”

• T9 changed “10 run rule” to “mercy rule” and removed the last sentence.

2020 Pitch Count Rest Threshold –

• 10-D & T-8-A: The pitcher will only be required to observe the calendar day(s) of rest for the threshold he/she reached during the start of that at-bat, provided that the pitcher is removed before delivering a pitch to the next batter.

2020 Volunteer Background Checks –

• 2018-R-19: All organizations will be required to do annual background checks on all officials, managers, coaches, umpires, volunteers and staff (or any other individuals that may come into contact with the minors of the organization (Background checks a MINIMUM must be a search from the national sex offender database but additional checks such as ID Search and National Criminal Search are recommended.

Baseball – Main Rule Changes for 2021

2021 Courtesy Runners –

• Rule 9Q: Courtesy Runners will be allowed for PINTO 8U (Player Pitch only) through Thorobred 23U.
1. 
At any time, the team at bat may use courtesy runners for the pitcher and/or catcher. In the event that offensive bats around, the pitcher and/or catcher who had a courtesy runner inserted on their behalf may bat in their normal position in the batting order.
2. 
The same individual runner may not be used for both positions (pitcher and catcher) during the game.
3. 
Neither the pitcher nor the catcher will be required to leave the game under such circumstances.
4. Players who have participated in the game in any other capacity are ineligible to serve as courtesy runners.
5. 
A Player may not run as a courtesy runner for the pitcher or catcher and as a substitute for another player in the half-inning. If an injury, illness or ejection occurs and no other runners are available, the courtesy runner may be used as a substitute.
6. 
The umpire-in-chief shall record the courtesy runner participation and also announce as a substitute.
7. 
A player who violates the courtesy-runner rules is disqualified for the rest of the game.
    7
a) Should an injury, illness or ejection occur to the courtesy runner, another courtesy
           
runner for the pitcher or catcher may run.

2021 – Increase Palomino age from 18U to 19U

• 3-B should now read:

COLT 16U team shall consist of not more than 18, or less than 12 players.

PALOMINO 19U teams shall consist of not more than 25, or less than 12 players during the regular season, and shall not exceed more than 3 players of age 19. Palomino teams shall consist of not more than 18, or less than 12 players during tournament play and shall not exceed more than 3 players of age 19.

THOROBRED 23U teams may consist of not more than 25, or less than 12 players during regular season play. Thorobred teams shall consist of not more than 18, or less than 12 players during tournament play.

Pitch Smart – Pony Baseball is continuing to use Pitch Smart in 2020. Calendar Days for days rest. Pitching change a Pitcher can finish the batter at each level. (PROVIDING THE PITCHER IS REMOVED RIGHT AFTER THE BATTER IS FINISHED) Days rest will be required for the level they were at. Whatever Level he is at with the last batter determines the day(s) rest. (If a Pitcher pitch on Tuesday and is required to have a 2-day rest the pitcher cannot pitch again until Friday)

LEAGUE AGE instead of Division Age for Pitch Smart – 9-year old pitchers in the older division will pitch based on the Pitch Smart numbers for the 9-year old numbers. NO LONGER HOW OLD THE PLAYER IS ON GAME DAY YOU WILL USE LEAGUE AGE.

2020 Baseball World Series Dates:

MUSTANG-9 – Walnut, California
July 24-27, 2020 – Report Day, July 23

MUSTANG LEAGUE – Youngsville, Louisiana
July 31-August 3, 2020 – Report Day, July 30

BRONCO-11 – Harry G. Daniel Park at Iron Bridge, Chesterfield, Virginia
July 24-27, 2020 – Report Day, July 23

BRONCO LEAGUE – Laredo, Texas
July 31 – August 3, 2020 – Report Day, July 30

PONY-13 – Whittier, California
July 24-27, 2020 – Report, July 23

PONY LEAGUE – Lew Hays Pony Field, Washington, Pennsylvania
August 7-12, 2020 – Report Day, August 6

COLT LEAGUE – Marion, Illinois
July 31-August 5, 2020 – Report Day, July 30

PALOMINO LEAGUE – Laredo, Texas
July-August 3, 2020 – Report Day, July 30

2020 North Zone Tournament Dates:

MUSTANG-9 – Location to be determined
Report Date, July 16, 2020 

MUSTANG LEAGUE – Location to be determined
Report Date, July 23, 2020

BRONCO-11 – Location to be determined
Report Date, July 16, 2020

BRONCO LEAGUE – Location to be determined
Report Date, July 23, 2020 

 PONY-13 – Location to be determined
Report Date, July 16, 2020

PONY LEAGUE – Bay City, Michigan
Report Date, July 23, 2020

COLT LEAGUE – Location to be determined - Southern, Illinois
Report Date, July 23, 2020

PALOMINO LEAGUE – Kankakee, Illinois
Report Date, July 23, 2020

Baseball Tournament Fee for 2020:

The Baseball Tournament Team Fee will increase to $250 per team for the 2020 season. 

Applications are required to be sent in by June 15th. Team entries after June 15 will require an additional late fee of $25.00 per team. After June 30the the late fee is $50.00. NO TOURNAMENT APPLICATIONS will be accepted after July 5, 2020. If the late fee is not received, the tournament application will not be processed and will keep your tournament team from playing in the PONY postseason tournaments this season.

SOFTBALL – Main Rule Changes for 2020:

Page 6: League Regulation 10 – Coach/Manager

Deleted: ”Effect: If proper supervision of use and care of equipment is not
demonstrated, or there is a lack of cooperation in the collection and return of equipment, the coach/manager may be removed by league officers.”

Page 17: The Official Bat

Rule 3 Sec.1 Replace any “ASA” WITH USA/ASA Softball

Page 34: Pitching (Fast Pitch) – Foot placement

Rule 7 Sec.1a Change to read: She shall take a position with pivot foot on the pitcher’s plate and non-pivot foot on or behind the pitcher’s plate. Both feet must be on the ground within the 34-inch length of the pitcher’s plate. Her shoulder shall be in line with the first and third bases. The hand shall be separated. The ball can be in the glove or pitching hand.

Deleted: Note

Page 34: Pitching (Fast Pitch) - Preliminaries

Rule 7 Sec.1b Combined b & c

Reworded: While in the position described above, she shall hold the ball in both hands for not less than one second and not more than 10 seconds before releasing the ball.

Page 35: Pitching (Fast Pitch)

Rule 7 Sec.16 Added: “Dirt is not a foreign substance.”

Page 36: Pitching (Fast Pitch) – No Pitch Shall Be Declared When:

Rule 3 Sec.10b Deleted “b. The pitcher attempts a quick return of the ball before the batter has taken a position or is off-balance as a result of a previous pitch”.

2020 Girls Softball World Series Dates:

SOUTH ZONE – Youngsville, Louisiana (6U – 18U)
July 14 - 19, 2020 

EAST ZONE – Sterling, Virginia (10U – 18U)
July 18 - 22, 2020

WEST ZONE – Hemet, California  (8U – 23U)
July 26 - August 2, 2020 – Report Day, July 23

PONY Girls Softball International World Series – Deer Park, Texas
July 33 – 26, 2020

Softball Tournament Fee for 2020:

The Softball Tournament Team Fee will be $200 per team for the 2020 season. 

Applications are required to be sent in by June 15th. Team entries after June 15 will require an additional late fee of $25.00 per team. After June 30th the late fee is $50.00. NO TOURNAMENT APPLICATIONS will be accepted after July 5, 2020. If the late fee is not received, the tournament application will not be processed and will keep your tournament team from playing in the PONY postseason tournaments this season.

Zone Reports:

The Division Directors discussed their Division and the issues they faced and the successes they had in 2019. In almost all cases the tournaments held in each Division went smoothly.

Ritchie Clayton – Corporate Affairs, East Division Report
Randy Crompton – Rules Committee, South Division Report
Matt Miller – Finance Committee, North Division Report
Stephanie Allen – Softball Report, Champions Report
Dan Ernst – Board Observer, North Division 

Bat Testing – Steve Miller

Steve asked Abe Key to discuss the issue behind BAT TESTING. The testing is used to help the Bat Manufactures create a better bat and a safer bat. Bat failures are happening all over the scale. Not one manufacturer has a model that consistently fails. All Bats will be tested at the ZONE level and above. The results are emailed to Headquarters right after the testing is completed.

CHAMPIONS PROGRAM – Steve Miller and Abe Key

The CHAMPIONS PROGRAM is a huge part of PONY Baseball and Softball. Through the years it has continued to grow but we need to expand even more. There is NO Cost to any League to be created. There are special needs kids in every city, town, and state. Reach out to anybody that may need a League. Remember that 40 kids can create 4-teams of 10-players each. There is a need to reach out to your Leagues and see if we can’t create more interest in Champions.

SPONSORS – Companies recommended by PONY BASEBALL AND SOFTBALL
HOTELPLANNER.COM
NEW ERA HAT
GAGLIARDI INSURANCE

UMPIRE REGISTRATION – The PONY Baseball and Softball Umpire registration is a great deal for all Umpires. The fee has been increased to $30 for the 2020 season. This includes the mandatory Background Check.

*Remember that for PONY TOURNAMENTS you must use PONY Registered Umpires.

PONY Alumni Scholarships – Now at $3000. This is a great opportunity for all former players in both baseball and softball. 

Informational Technology Committee Report & Updates:

Brent Liberatore – Headquarters IT Person discussed the success of the 2019 Tournament Affidavit. The number of issues was quite small and in all cases were handled quickly. The organization will be using the Affidavit system again in the 2020 season.

PHOTO RELEASES: An issue that has become an item is the use of Photos on websites. You will need to have a release to use the photo. Options are to hang a sign on all field entrances/fences stating that your image may be taken and used. Leagues need to discuss the issue and come up with their own protections.

Ritchie Clayton – North Zone Technology Committee Representative also discussed the Affidavit system from 2019. He stated that most of our Zone issues were simply the fact that in a lot of cases the Tournament Team Manager doesn’t know the person who actually registers the League, and is the primary contact. This goes the other way also since some leagues are spread out in the Divisions.

Old Business – There was NO old business.

New Business – There was NO new business.

Adjournment – The meeting was adjourned at 4:15 p.m.


PONY Baseball and Softball

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Washington, Pennsylvania 15301
PHONE : 724-225-1060
FAX: 724-225-9852
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