I think you would be better with bullet points. Here is the link to ours which everyone ignores:
It's the time of year when parents and coaches both are surveying the softball landscape. I've been asked on several occasions about the agreement we put in writing which the parents sign before their child officially joins our organization. I've finally gotten around to creating a generic version that might give you an idea on how to craft yours. We choose to keep ours rather gentle in tone, but it includes just about all the critical points.
Let me know what you think or if you have any ideas on how to make it more useful.
Note: My work computer will not allow the attachment, so I've copy and pasted the document. Hopefully the admins will allow.
Itís our pleasure to welcome you to the *** family. Our coaches are committed to making this experience as fun and meaningful as possible for you and your daughter. The following is designed to help you easily understand what being a member of the *** organization is all about.
A COMMITMENT TO TEACHING:
Our coaches believe that the process takes care of the outcome. Sure we want to win, but by teaching the game we believe our players will not only develop the ability to play softball properly but at a high level, with a foundation that will serve them throughout their softball career. Our practices will be structured and focused, with clear objectives. We do not believe in shortcuts or breaking rules.
We also believe champions are built on the practice field, and expect our players to approach practice on time and prepared.
What our coaches will not do is promise your player a certain amount of playing time, that sheíll play a certain position or that sheíll bat at a certain part of the batting order. We will promise to play your player where the coaches believe she will best benefit the team. We will promise to work with your child as much as any other team member, regardless of the talent level or on-the-field production. Our coaches will promise to coach and at times challenge, your child, but not bully her.
THE TEAM CONCEPT
Building and maintaining a successful organization is a difficult task made easier when everyone realizes that regardless of their talent level, they are important to the coaches and their teammates. In addition to the on-the-field instruction and participation, weíll have occasional activities designed to draw our families (players and parents alike) closer together. Ice cream parties, mother-daughter softball games, even fun competitions that have nothing to do with softball.
We ask all our families to make this personal investment into our team. Itís all about team building, kids and adults alike.
WHATíS REQUIRED OF ME?
Thatís a common question. The answer-the same level of commitment we give you. Be at practice and games on time or before. Your child should have everything she needs before stepping onto the field. You are required to participate in all fundraising activities and encouraged to brainstorm on innovative ways to generate funds for our team.
WHATíS IT COST AND WHEN IS IT DUE?
Our team fee is $*** and can be paid at once or in installments. $*** is due by January 31st.
TOTAL AMOUNT IS DUE BY March 1st.
100 % of all monies collected stay with the team.
THE RULES AND OTHER STUFF!
Unfortunately, you gotta have rules. Not too many, but important just the same.
*Your child will not disrespect a coach, player or game official, verbally or otherwise.
The same goes for the parents. Parents are also responsible for whomever they bring to the game; inlaws and outlaws, kinfolk and friends.
Temper tantrums will land a player on the bench or in the stands.
*Be on time or before.
*Parents and siblings are not allowed in the dugout unless there is an injury or another concern.
Check with the coaches first!
*Food (not drink) is discouraged in the dugout. Itís often a distraction. Certainly there are exceptions, especially when a player is feeling weak.
DEALING WITH ISSUES
You may find it necessary to discuss a situation with the coach.
Hereís the protocol:
A 24 hour rule is in place on all game related issues. No discussions will take place if kids are present.
The head coach will be your point of contact.
No cursing or threats will be tolerated on either side.
You will be treated with respect and courtesy and the same is expected from you.
LEAVING THE TEAM / REFUNDS
Occasionally, something will happen where a player will have to leave the team. A parentís transfer, player injury, a disagreement. Do you get your money back? Depends.
If a player is removed from the team with cause, there is no refund. After the team has participated in 4 tournaments there is no refund. Anything before that will be pro-rated. Team fees and fundraising monies are used to buy equipment, balls, uniforms, etc. and is budgeted to fund the team. Withdrawing team funds affects the entire team.
WHAT ABOUT NEXT YEAR?
Our end-of-the-year tournament (usually in late June or early July) marks the end of our fall/summer season. Tryouts (if necessary) will likely be held in August or early September.
No player is guaranteed a spot from one year to the next although continuity is something we coaches prize very highly. When we get great players with great parents we tend to latch on like hungry bulldogs!
THE BOTTOM LINEÖ.
Itís a pleasure and an honor for us as coaches to be allowed to work with your most prized possession-your child! We take that responsibility very seriously and will work diligently to bring the very best out of her, and keep things fun. If this sounds like a commitment youíre willing to take, sign on! Please fill out the attached form and return to us, and keep all of the above to refer to in case you have any questions.
PLEASE RETURN THIS SIGNED FORM
I have read and understand the terms of team membership and agree to abide by the conditions listed.
Parent or Guardian Signature
This is a tender subject with us right now. We have a rule in our contract about players picking up with other teams on weekend that we're not playing. HC has strictly forbidden it. DD was asked to go to Panama City all expenses paid minus gas, and we had to turn it down. Which, we were fine with, cause we put the pen to paper and agreed we wouldn't. Found out this weekend that our #3 pitcher picked up with another team this weekend after the HC specifically told her mother that she wasn't allowed to. Good luck. make sure everyone understand what they're signing up for.
Quincy-Just a clarification regarding the format of the agreement: Ours is done complete with artwork, bullet points and a variety of related fonts. The above is just the text so that you may have a foundation to re-invent in your own image.
Cobra: I think if playing with another team is a big issue or concern it definitely needs to be spelled out, along with consequences. We've talked about checking within the organization first (example: if you have another team within 12-U) to see if they have a need. Nothing worse than helping a team defeat your sister team. Bad for organizational relations! At our parent meeting we read over this together so that we can take questions or comments. Better to get it all out up front!
I am allowed to cuss!
I would break this into 2 forms, 1 black and white rules the other the philosophy of the Team.
I wish we had the forms before the season. DD is a 14 YO pitcher not blazing fast, but has a really nice screwball. HC allowed us to pick up for a team down a pitcher and said as long as we ask first and he approves, no problem. HC is awesome with his rotation in that all 4 pitchers get equal time on Sat, as long as they are not getting rocked or having a walk-a-thon. However with 4 pitchers, some weekends dd is off and doesn't get many innings.
We will take a month or so off after states and so instead, another team asked us to pick up with them as they only have 1 pitcher. We had agreed over a month ago. Now HC changes his mind and will not allow, I think he is afraid of team shopping. My issue is whenever my dd can get mound time and she wants to play, let her. Really frustrating as, IMHO, if the kid has the desire and does not want to wait over a month to see live batters again, let her.
I have a problem with the "no filling in on another team" rule. I understand clubs are afraid of losing players to
other teams or risking injury. DD is basically a 1 sport girl. She has a 4 week rec basketball league through school,
but is most likely done with that after this year. Her club only plays 5 tournys and 12 weeknight league double
headers a year. She practices her tail off Sept-March pitching and batting 5 days a week.
Come April-May, she gets to watch half of her team play HS ball, while she is unable to get playing time filling
in on a team that starts tournys in April or May. Then her season lasts from June to early August.
From an unbiased opinion, what is the difference between HS ball and picking up a few tournys with another
team before your season starts or on your weekends off??
If you run your club correctly, players should want to come back. You shouldn't have to worry about other
team's stealing your players. If good players are leaving, it is most likely a coaching or organization problem.
And as far as injuries, the players in DD's club have had more injuries playing volleyball, basketball, cheerleading
and getting in car accident's than playing softball.
Sorry about hijacking the thread, but I'm sure many people here, (especially ones that are in weather challenged areas),
would agree with this. I give DD a lot of credit for sticking with the 9 months of practice for a 9 week season.
Just my .02
The 24 hour rule is the best part. Last season, we nearly had a parent mutiny
when trying to enforce 24 hour rule
Make sure these are really things you believe in and are willing to enforce. Probably good to envision who and how to enforce them before they go in, because the coach will be too busy to be a cop most of the time.
I signed a 4 page document, agreed with 90% of it. If I lined out the sections that are summarily ignored without sanction, it would fit on one page.
"A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week."
-- Gen. George S. Patton
"Dumb loses more games than smart wins."
-- Bobby Knight