Athlete Eligibility Policy (Minor)

Softball NL Athlete Eligibility Policy (Minor)

Minor Softball is crucial to the furtherance of our game and it is imperative that all athletes in this category are provided every opportunity to develop properly within our system while keeping “Fair Play” as our ultimate goal. Generally, the processes in place to ensure this goal are pretty straightforward with normal activity taking up the majority of the time and effort, however; there are exceptions such as player eligibility/movement and these matters need to be dealt with in a sensitive and timely manner. Softball Newfoundland and Labrador’s (Softball NL) Athlete Eligibility Policy (Minor) provides the framework to ensure that all minor softball players in Newfoundland and Labrador are afforded the opportunity to participate in Softball NL sanctioned events.

Local Participation
1. Eligibility for participation in any Softball NL Minor Provincial tournament is primarily based on athletes representing their local Association or Club Team.

2. If there is no registered Softball NL Association or Club team in an athlete’s community the athlete may choose to register elsewhere for house league play. However, it is the responsibility of the Association or Club team to advise the athlete and parents that the final decision regarding participation in any Softball NL Minor tournament (ie. Provincials) is the responsibility of Softball NL. The decision by Softball NL will be determined by keeping in mind the best interests of the athlete and other teams that may be accessible to that athlete in the
respective category.

Family Relocation
If an athlete registered within the Softball NL Minor system relocates before the beginning of a new season that athlete will have the option to:

(a) Remain with current Association or Club team or;
(b) Register with an Association or Club team in the new residency area.

Historical Attachment
A Softball NL registered athlete who resides in a community where there is a newly formed Association or Club team will have the option to:

(a) Continue playing with their current Association or Club team or;
(b) Register with the newly formed Association or Club team.

Special Circumstances
In situations where an athlete requests to register with another Association or Club team due to special circumstances, the issues leading to such requests should be discussed with the affected Association or Club team prior to consultation or appeal with Softball NL.

All information related to player movement due to special circumstances should be treated in a sensitive manner and, in the best interests of the player, remain confidential.

Guidelines for Athletes, Parents, Associations, and Club Teams
1. To be eligible for Softball NL Provincial competition, athletes register with their local Association or Club Team;

2. If there is no opportunity for an athlete to represent their local Association or Club Team in their designated category at the Softball NL Provincial tournament, the parents must first contact Softball NL to request they be placed on a team for Provincial competition based on the guidelines in the Athlete Eligibility Policy (Minor);

3. If an Association or Club Team does not have the minimum number of athletes required to enter their designated Softball NL Provincial tournament they have the following options:

a. Request through Softball NL that they be granted permission to call up athletes from the age category immediately below from within their own Association/Club. NOTE: Under no circumstances may athletes from a lower division displace athletes who meet the age requirements for participation (ie. athletes from a lower division will not replace athletes from the respective category through team selection or playing time);

b. Request that Softball NL facilitate the addition of available athletes as per the guidelines of the Athlete Eligibility Policy (Minor);

c. Where there are no available athletes to field a team (3a & 3b), encourage the parents of the available athletes to contact Softball NL and seek placement on another team as per the guidelines of the Athlete Eligibility Policy (Minor);

d. At Softball NL’s discretion a draft placement of available athletes may be conducted to ensure that fair play is maintained during Provincial competition. Softball NL will determine how the draft will be conducted on a case by case basis;

4. Important Notes:

i. Softball NL will attempt to place an athlete(s) based on the best interests of the athletes/teams in the division and in keeping with the philosophy of fair play and the LTAD model. Athletes are not automatically placed with the Association or Club Team in the nearest proximity nor will Softball NL automatically permit teams without the minimum number of athletes to combine;

ii. Teams/coaches that are found to be in violation of the Athlete Eligibility Policy (Minor) will face disciplinary action by Softball NL, not limited to forfeiture of all games played using ineligible athletes and/or removal of the team from the Provincial tournament.

We believe that by using “Fair Play” as a guideline, circumstances requiring Softball NL intervention will be few in number.