Westchester Hebrew Softball League

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WHSL General Rules and Bylaws


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Purpose of League: The WHSL is a recreational softball league that strives to strengthen brotherhood among Jewish men and women in Westchester County.

Mensch Rule: All teams are responsible for their members' actions on the field of play, and all players are to be instructed of the importance of proper conduct on the field. Violations of the Mensch Rule may be referred to the Rules Committee.

Team Affiliation: Each team shall be sponsored by a Jewish membership organization, such as a Westchester synagogue, its Men's Club, or a Jewish service organization. Any new teams seeking admission to the league will be admitted based upon a majority vote of the team managers at the annual winter meeting.

Player Eligibility: All players must be Jewish and members of the sponsoring organization. A spouse of a member of the organization is deemed to be a member. Those certain non-Jews "grandfathered" into the league as of 1999 may continue to play in the WHSL, provided they do not switch teams. The minimum age for player eligibility is 16. A player aged 16 or 17 may play in a game only if a family member is also a team member and such family member is present at the game.

It is the responsibility of each sponsoring organization to determine whether an individual is a member of its organization (the Mensch Rule particularly applies here). The league expects all managers to adhere to this rule in recruiting new players.

Once the season begins, a player who has appeared in a game for one WHSL team may not switch to another WHSL team without consent from the first team's manager.

Voting, Meetings and Committees: League business, rules discussions, and scheduling are the subject of an annual Winter Meeting, typically held in January or February. Notice of the Winter Meeting, and the proposed agenda, will be circulated at least 14 days in advance of the Winter Meeting. Each sponsoring organization that fields a team shall have one vote on all topics that are voted upon at the Winter Meeting. The primary matter of League business at each Winter Meeting are elections of the League Board (consisting of the Commissioner, Treasurer, and Vice-Commissioner) and Rules Committee, members of which shall each serve a one-year term until the next Winter Meeting.

Duties of the League Board: The officers elected to the league board are responsible for the week-to-week running of the league and the ordinary business of the league. The Commissioner is empowered to interpret all administrative and governing issues that arise after the Winter Meeting concludes, including but not limited to the issue of whether a dispute should be sent to the Rules Committee.

League Board Composition: The current officers on the WHSL board are: Scott D. Simon, Commissioner; Dan Portnoy, Treasurer; and Rich Kavy, Vice-Commissioner.

Rules Committee: A Rules Committee, comprised of three team managers, will serve a one-year term. The league board will appoint members of the committee if volunteers are not available. The 2017 Rules Committee is Marc Berman (TIC-WP), Dan Portnoy (TBE-NR) and Lenny Meshberg (TBE-Chappaqua). Any properly filed protest of an umpire's decision will be brought to the Rules Committee. Any member of the Rules Committee that is on a team involved in a protest will not vote. The Commissioner will cast a tie-breaking vote, if necessary.

Ejections: Any player ejected from a game by a league umpire is automatically suspended from his team's next game. The Commissioner shall determine whether to ask the Rules Committee if an additional suspension is warranted.

Fighting: Any player ejected for fighting will be suspended for the following two played games -- at a minimum. The umpire shall report to the Supervisor of Umpires any ejection due to fighting. Such player will be brought in front of the Rules Committee for reinstatement and/or extension of the suspension. If the same player is ejected for fighting a second time during the season such player will be suspended for the balance of the season, including the playoffs. The player must appear at the annual league meeting to apply to be reinstated into the league.

Team Roster: All teams are to submit a roster through the league website prior to week one of the season. The roster can be updated at any time during the season by updating the team's page on the league website, except that a team's roster may not be changed between sundown on Friday and sundown on Sunday.

Playoff Eligibility: For players to be eligible for the playoffs, they must be part of the team's official roster on the league website and play a minimum of three regular season games. Extenuating circumstances will be at the Commissioner's discretion.

Team Ineligibility: At any time in the season that a team forfeits its third game of the season, that team will be immediately deemed to have forfeited all of its remaining scheduled games, and will be suspended from league play for the succeeding year's season. All prior games' results will remain as played. A team can request reinstatement after the conclusion of the subsequent season. The request for reinstatement must be received by the Commissioner prior to December 1 of that calendar year. A majority vote of the current teams' managers at the next winter meeting will confirm reinstatement.

The term "forfeit" means both a "no show" and not having the minimum number of players (8) required at game time. Any game requested to be postponed to a later date and not played by the end of the regular season will be deemed a forfeit for the team that requested the postponement. Any dispute in determining a day to play a postponed game will be decided by the league board.

Non-Jewish players may not participate in an official WHSL game. Should a team need a non-Jewish player to avoid forfeiting because it has fewer than eight available players, the team's manager may so inform its opponent. The game may then be played as scheduled. The team using the non-Jewish player will take a 9-0 forfeit that does not count against the team-suspension rule discussed above.

Playing Dates: Games will not be played on Jewish holidays that do not permit work. All such holidays which fall on Sunday will be observed. No games will be played on the Sabbath. The relevant holidays that take place during the season are as follows:

  • Passover
  • Shavu'ot
  • Rosh Hashanah
  • Yom Kippur
  • Sukkot
  • Shemini Atzeret
  • Simchat Torah

League Dues: Annual league dues, which are $870 for the 2017 season (cases of softballs purchased through the league are an additional $82 each), should be paid by check made payable to "Dan Portnoy" and sent to him at 138 Berrian Road New Rochelle, NY 10804. If a team's dues are not received by March 10, 2017, that team will be deemed to have forfeited its right to play in the 2017 season. Returning teams that pay dues by February 28, 2017 will pay $100 less in dues.The league's Treasurer is to provide the league board with an accounting at the end of the season.

League Insurance: Each team must provide proof of insurance on a $1 million general liability policy naming "The Town of Greenburgh" and "City of White Plains" as additional insureds. (Most sponsoring organizations can add these entities to a policy maintained by the organization.) Valid insurance certificates must be provided to the League Treasurer by email prior to the season. A team scheduled to play on a Greenburgh or White Plains field that has not provided proof of insurance will forfeit such game. Teams shall consult the League Treasurer for more specific information and deadlines.

Divisions and Schedule: The 2017 regular season consists of 16 games, starting on April 16. No games will be scheduled for Memorial Day weekend; Independence Day weekend; the last weekend in August, and Labor Day weekend. Teams may use those weekends for "rain-out makeup" games, as needed. September 10, 2017 will be the first round of the playoffs.

Teams may have up to two scheduled byes during the regular season. Thus the 2017 schedule comprises 16 games played over 18 weeks.

For 2017, the WHSL will be split into three divisions, as follows:

Division I: B'nai; WJC; Larchmont; Chappaqua; TINR; Harrison

Division II: TBE-New Rochelle; First Hebrew; Woodlands; Tarrytown; CSI; Scarsdale

Division III: TIC-WP; TBA; Shaarei Tikvah; Bet Torah; Bet Am Shalom; TINW

Division I teams will play each other twice and play each Division II team once.

Division II teams will play one game against every other WHSL team (except one random Division II team).

Division III teams will play each other twice and play each Division II team once.

All scheduled WHSL games must be made up unless at least six games in the week such games were scheduled are rained out. Any rained out game (aside from those scheduled for a week in which six games were rained out) not played for any reason will result in a forfeit for both teams. Thus, any game required to be played that is not completed by Tuesday, September 5, 2017, will count as forfeits for both teams involved.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, in the event that a game must be made up and one team believes that its opponent has not made a good-faith effort to schedule the make-up game, the Rules Committee has discretion to award a forfeit win to one team and a forfeit loss to the other. Teams that wish to demonstrate their effort to make up a game can copy makeupswhsl@gmail.com on their communications with an opponent. The Rules Committee may take such emails into account when awarding a forfeit.

Playoffs: There will be a 16-team playoff tournament following the regular season. The first official week of the playoffs is September 10, 2017. Teams will be seeded for the playoffs based upon, first, the division they play in, and, second, by their standing within their division. Stated differently, all Division I teams will be seeded first, then Division II teams, then Division III teams.

Playoff seeding within divisions will be determined by (1) wins; (2) head-to-head record; (3) runs allowed; (4) coin flip.

The playoff tournament will be single-elimination in the first two rounds. The semifinals and finals will consist of best-of-three series. The first week of the semifinals will be a *single* game, with the second week of the semis a doubleheader, if necessary. The first week of the finals will be a doubleheader, with the tiebreaker, if necessary, the following week

Field Assignments: It is the responsibility of each team's manager to notify the league board of its home field and directions to such field prior to the start of the season. If the home team fails to notify the league board and the visiting team of an in-season field change prior to 9:00 AM on the Friday before the scheduled game, the visiting team will be awarded a victory by forfeit.

The Commissioner may schedule any game at a neutral field, if necessary in the Commissioner's discretion to avoid field conflicts. The cost, if any, of a game scheduled at a neutral field, shall be borne by the "home team" for that game.

Copies of all field permits must be provided to the Commissioner as soon as they are obtained by a team.

Playoff Field Assignments: The higher-seeded team must advise the Commissioner and the visiting team of the location and start time for the upcoming week's playoff game by 5:00 p.m. on the Wednesday before the game. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Commissioner may schedule any playoff game at a neutral field independently of a team's regular season home field.

Playoff doubleheaders may commence at any time between 8:45 a.m. and 9:15 a.m., at the home team's discretion, provided that written notice of the start time is provided to the visiting team's manager and the Commissioner one week in advance. A start time prior to 8:45 a.m. requires both teams' consent.

The home team for a playoff doubleheader must ensure that its field is conflict-free for four hours and 15 minutes. That is, the first game should start at 9:15 a.m. if there will be a field conflict at 1:30 p.m., and at 8:45 a.m. if the field has a conflict at 1 p.m. If the field has a conflict before 1 p.m., the home team must find another field without a conflict or consent to play at the visiting team's conflict-free field for both games. It is the home team's responsibility to ensure that there is no conflict during WHSL games, at risk of forfeiting both games in the doubleheader. For purposes of this rule, "conflict" shall mean "any reduced use of the playing field, in-play foul territory, and bench area."

In the event of inclement weather for playoff games, the team located closest to the field (regardless of who is home team) will be responsible for checking the field, making it playable, and contacting the other manager and the Umpire Supervisor to advise of any cancellation.






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