Below are a list of our governance documents, policies and information.

Member Protection Policy

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The law appropriately applies high standards to National Sporting Organisations, State and Member associations and clubs in relation to unlawful and improper behaviour that may occur within those groups, or at events staged by those organisations, or when those organisations or their members participate in a sporting event. However, the Member Protection Policy (MPP) is designed essentially to deal with conduct that occurs outside the field of sporting play, rather than ‘on-field’ incidents. The Rules of the sport usually cover on field conduct. The MPP is also generally not written to deal with trivial matters.

The MPP has been introduced to firstly act as a statement of standards of behaviour that apply within NSO’s or their affiliate bodies. It clearly confirms that the following types of behaviour will not be tolerated:

  • Child Abuse;
  • Sexual Assault, pornography;
  • Discrimination;
  • Bullying & Harassment;
  • Physical assault, verbal abuse, intimidation;
  • Actions that create a hostile environment;
  • Conduct that may cause psychological injury or distress;
  • Acting in a manner that brings or is likely to bring a sport into disrepute.

A range of steps have been set out in the policy for dealing with groups or individuals who engage in any of the inappropriate behaviour prohibited by the policy. Importantly, the policy provides persons who are aggrieved by the action(s) of another or others within their sport (complainant) with channels for raising concerns about the behaviour of other(s) complained about (respondent(s)). After the concerns have been raised with a person qualified and skilled in considering such complaints, the complainant is then offered a range of options for how the issue can be dealt with.

This includes informal discussions, mediation, a formal complaint, an investigation of the conduct of the person(s) being complained about (respondent), and possibly a disciplinary hearing before a Tribunal. A person found guilty of breaching the policy may be punished by a range of measures including a warning up to expulsion from the sport. A group/body found guilty of breaching the policy could be suspended or expelled from membership of an NSO.

However, the policy ensures that complaints are not arbitrarily dealt with. The process has the following features:

  • The process is fair and balanced;
  • A Respondent to an allegation is entitled to fully explain or defend her or himself (or themselves) after receiving full information of the improper conduct it is said that they/he/she engaged in;
  • Matters are treated confidentially;
  • The complainant is given substantial control over the process unless a law has been clearly breached (in which case an appropriate authority needs to be notified);
  • Complainants are to be dealt with sensitively;
  • Respondents are entitled to the presumption of innocence;
  • A fair disciplinary process will occur (in appropriate cases) which ensures an unbiased Tribunal, a full and proper consideration of all relevant facts in a timely manner;
  • Rights of appeal where a complainant or respondent is dissatisfied with the outcome of a complaint, investigation or Tribunal hearing.

Underlying the MPP is a range of laws which will vary from state to state. Despite some differences, there are some universal minimum standards that the law applies to persons involved in sporting activities. These include equal opportunity and discrimination laws, the criminal law and laws relating to who may or may not be granted permission to work (for example as a coach) with children, due to previous criminal records.

This policy provides assurances to parents, children, boards of sporting organisations, sponsors and all others involved in sport that improper conduct will not be tolerated and will be dealt with and punished appropriately.

It also encourages any person or group who feels that they may have been subject to improper or unlawful behaviour to come forward and discuss their concerns with the relevant Member Protection Information Officer, CEO or President of their sport. Over time, those that act in a manner contrary to this policy (or continue to breach it) will find that they are no longer welcome in their sport, and that they are banned from the sport.

Social Networking Policy
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1.0 Purpose

Social media (see 2.0 below for definition) offers the opportunity for people to gather in online communities of shared interest and create, share or consume content. As a member based organisation, Baseball Queensland (BQ) recognises the benefits of social media as an important tool of engagement and enrichment for its members.

BQ, its regions and clubs have long histories and are highly respected organisations. It is important that BQ’s reputation is not tarnished by anyone using social media tools inappropriately, particularly in relation to any content that might reference the organisation.

When someone clearly identifies their association with BQ and/or discusses their involvement in the organisation in this type of forum, they are expected to behave and express themselves and behave appropriately and in ways that are consistent with BQ’s stated values and policies.

This policy aims to provide some guiding principles to follow when using social media. This policy does NOT apply to the personal use of social media platforms by BQ members or staff where the BQ member makes no reference to BQ or related issues.

2.0 Scope

This policy applies to BQ members, staff or any individual representing them or passing themselves off as being a member of BQ.

  • Maintaining a profile page on social or business networking sites (such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Shutterfly, twitter or MySpace);
  • Content sharing including Flicker (photo sharing) and YouTube (video sharing);
  • Commenting on blogs for personal or business reasons;
  • Leaving product or service reviews on retailer sites or customer review sites;
  • Taking part in online votes and polls;
  • Taking part in conversations on public and private web forums (message boards); or
  • Editing a Wikipedia page

The intent of this policy is to include anything posted online where information is shared that might affect members, colleagues, clients, sponsors or Baseball Queensland as an organisation.

3.0 Guiding Principles

3.1 The web is not anonymous. BQ members and staff should assume that everything they write can be traced back to them.

3.2 Due to the unique nature of baseball in Queensland, the boundaries between a member’s profession, volunteer time and social life can often be blurred. It is therefore essential that members make a clear distinction between what they do in a professional capacity and what they do, think and say in their capacity as a volunteer for Baseball Queensland.

Baseball Queensland considers all members of BQ are its representatives.

3.3 Honesty is always the best policy, especially online. It is important that BQI members think of the web as a permanent record of online actions and opinions.

3.4 When using the internet for professional or personal pursuits, all members must respect the BQI brand and follow the guidelines in place to ensure BQI’s intellectual property or its relationships with sponsors and stakeholders is not compromised. (See 5.0 below) or the organisation is brought into disrepute.

4.0 Usage

4.1 For BQI members and staff using social media, such use:

  • Must not contain, or link to, libellous, defamatory or harassing content. This also applies to the use of illustrations or nicknames;
  • Must not comment on, or publish, information that is confidential or in any way sensitive to BQ, its affiliates, partners or sponsors;
  • Must not insult, denigrate, humiliate, or embarrass other BQ members, staff affiliates or people in the game of baseball.
  • Must not bring the organisation or baseball into disrepute.

For BQI staff using social media, such use:

  • Must not interfere with work commitments.

Furthermore, BQ members and staff may not use the BQI brand (see5.0 below) to endorse or promote any product, opinion, cause or political candidate; and it must be abundantly clear to all readers that any and all opinion shared are those of the individual, and do not represent the views of BQI.

5.0 Branding and Intellectual Property (IP)

It is important that any trademarks belonging to BQ or any region or club are not used in personal social media applications, except where such use can be considered incidental – (where incidental is taken to mean “happening in subordinate conjunction with something else”). Trademarks include:

BQ, Region and Club logos

Images depicting baseball volunteers, staff and/or equipment, except with the permission of those individuals;

Other BQ imagery including Baseball Queensland “Rams” uniforms and caps.

Official Baseball Queensland (BQ) blogs, social pages and online forums

When creating a new website, social networking page or forum for staff/club member use, care should be taken to ensure the appropriate person at a club/region/state level has given written consent to create the page or forum.

Similarly, appropriate permissions must be obtained for the use of logos and images. Images of minor children may not be replicated on any site without the written permission of the child’s parent and/or guardian.

For Official BQI blogs, social pages and online forums:

  • Posts must not contain, or link to, pornographic or indecent content or anything which could be deemed inappropriate;
  • Some hosted sites may sell the right to advertise on their sites through “pop up” content which may be of a questionable nature. This type of hosted site should not be used for online forums or social pages as the nature of the “pop up” content cannot be controlled;
  • BQI employees must not use BQI online pages to promote personal projects; and
  • All materials published or used must respect the copyright of the third parties.

Consideration towards others when using social networking sites

Social networking sites allow photographs, videos and comments to be shared with thousands of other users. BQ members and staff must recognise that it may not be appropriate to share photographs, videos and comments this way. For example, there may be an expectation that photographs taken at a private BQ event will not appear publicly on the internet. In certain situations BQI members or staff could potentially breach the privacy act or inadvertently make BQ liable for breach of copyright.

BQI members and staff should be considerate to others in such circumstances and should not post information when they have been asked not to or consent has not been sought and given. They must also remove information about another person if that person asks them to do so.

Under no circumstances should offensive comments be made about BQI members or staff online.

Breach of Policy

BQ, its regions and clubs continually monitor online activity in relation to the organisation and its members. Detected breaches of this policy should be reported to BQ.

If detected, a breach of this policy may result in disciplinary action from BQ. A breach of this policy may also amount to breaches of other BQ policies. This may involve a verbal or written warning or in serious cases, termination of your employment or engagement with BQ. BQ members may be disciplined in accordance with BQ disciplinary regulations.

Any post by any member is subject to the Code of Conduct and the Member Protection By law (Refer: Part D1 ABF Member Protection Policy-Specific Codes of Conduct/Behaviour) and that anything posted on a web site, blogs, social pages etc. which would if said be a breach of the Code of Conduct is similarly a breach of the Code of Conduct if published on the internet.

Consultation or Advice

This policy has been developed to provide guidance for BQ members and staff in a new area of social interaction. BQ members or staff who are unsure of their rights, liabilities or actions online and seek clarification should contact Baseball Queensland.

Baseball Rules

Baseball Queensland – Baseball Rules

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Baseball Australia Technical Norms

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Participation Plan
Little League Bat Rules

Little League Bat Rules

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Field Construction

The Basics of Home Plate and Basepath Construction

Generally, the construction and maintenance of the baselines should be the same as that of the infield clay area. The depth of the baseline clay material should be consistent with the infield material. Once again try to incorporate a blend of 60 percent sand and 40 percent clay. The baseball rule book states, the baseline should be six feet wide with three feet each side of the line. This varies throughout Major League Baseball. I prefer a baseline that is five feet wide with two feet on the fair side and three feet on the foul side. This reduces the amount of clay to maintain on the field and forces groundskeepers to hand work the baseline instead of driving equipment up the line.

Remember, the apex of home plate (the pointed end at the back of home plate) is the measuring point for the overall layout of the baseball field. When laying out the basepaths, use a string running from the apex of home plate to the foul pole to determine exactly where the foul/fair line will be placed. The string should slightly touch the first base edge as it proceeds to the foul pole. Make sure the foul pole is on the inside of the foul line and not the outside.

If you are using a cut out basepath of clay infield material in a turf field, stretch a string line first along the inside edges and then along the outside edges of the basepath to insure a straight edge as you cut away the existing turf. Remove enough soil to install the clay infield material. (A five-inch depth should be sufficient.) Use a level and the edge of a board to insure as flat a basepath surface as possible. Once installed, the top surface of the clay infield material should be even with the crown of the grass plants in the turf. This provides a smooth transition for the players from the basepath to the turf.

The first base line is used frequently during the game. Keeping it smooth is a challenge and will be discussed in future issues. The home plate construction and installation is similar to the mound construction in that it uses two different clays. The radius of the home plate area is measured at 13 feet out from the back tip of home plate. This results in a circle with 26-foot diameter that will be filled with clay material. The depth of the 60 percent sand and 40 percent clay material that is used around the perimeter of the batters box is roughly five inches. The depth of the harder clay – 40 percent sand, 20 percent silt and 40 percent clay – that will be used for the construction of the batters box will be five inches as well.

To find the location of the batters box (which is where you will place the hardest of the two clays) you need to locate home plate and have it available for installation. The batters box area is comprised of two six foot by four foot rectangles, one to the right, the other to the left of home plate, with the six foot edge parallel to it and each other. Each six foot by four foot rectangle is located six inches from the outside edge of home plate. The centre of the six foot side should be even with the point at each side of home plate where home plate angles back to form the triangle which ends at the apex.

You may decide to build wooden frames to set up the batters box area, or you may find it easier to stretch string around the perimeter of it. For construction, plan on extending each batters box rectangle by six inches on all four sides. You’ll want the harder clay in this extended area to stand up to the wear of play. This extension produces a rectangle five feet by seven feet and extends the inside edge of the hard clay area on both the left and right to the edge of home plate.

If you have been able to find an adequate clay source, you may prefer to extend the area for the harder clay into that extra “strip” of area behind and in front of home plate and equal to the length of the batters boxes. The rest of the area within the 26 foot circle will be filled with the “softer” clay material. In building the batters box area, start from the bottom up, adding clay in one inch layers at a time. Moisten and compact each layer as it is placed, gradually building up to the proper level. Prior to play, the six foot by four foot batters boxes should be outlined with white chalk or white field paint. The home plate area should be relatively flat, with home plate itself level with the surrounding clay material. Some groundskeepers have sloped the home plate about ½ a percent towards the backstop to help the water run off the tarp. Use a level and board to ensure that home plate and the batters box areas are as flat as possible.

When the home plate is not in use, it should remain covered to keep moisture at a consistent level. The actual batters box lines that are shown in the rulebook are boxed in and a catchers box is also installed. This practice is not commonly used today.

Author:  Murray Cook (Baseball Stadium Manager)

Original Publication: International Baseball Rundown – September 1997  

Field Maintenance

Maintaining What You Have

It’s amazing to see the ingenuity displayed by groundskeepers in the U.S. in coming up with ideas to meet the needs of the field on which their teams play. In Europe, it is difficult to find consistent materials to maintain. On the many excursions I have made to European countries, we have always ended up scouring the countryside for a consistent clay mix. Frankfurt (Germany) was the most difficult, in that most material was high in organic matter, which will not allow you to have good footing on the mound or at home plate. At a construction site near the stadium we found a vein of greyish type moulding clay that we chopped up and mixed with the organic soils. This worked for the one exhibition tournament, but I wouldn’t recommend it for a long season.

Even more difficult can be finding correct tools, or constructing them, to perform the maintenance necessary for safe playing surfaces. As discussed in previous articles, the game of baseball is played primarily in the infield. Sixty to seventy percent of that play takes place on the pitching mound and the home plate area. In previous articles we’ve covered the basics of how these areas are constructed. Equally important is maintaining them to retain the consistency so important to the game.

Consistency On The Mound

I have noticed that after repairing pitching mounds, it’s possible to know who the starting pitcher was without actually watching the game itself. In time, groundskeepers learn their team of pitchers and how they work on the mound. I have had major league scouts ask me how consistent the foot placement was for the pitchers who had thrown that particular day. The scouts are looking for consistency in the pitcher’s mechanics, just as I look for consistency in the mound’s playability. Left handers, right handers, hard throwers, sinkball, and junkball pitchers have distinctive styles, and thus create distinctive wear on the mound. After a pitcher has thrown from the mound, the wear areas are somewhat of a “fingerprint” of each pitcher’s throwing style. The landing area especially tells the story about that game’s pitchers. Some pitchers prefer hard mounds, and a few have asked for a pre-dug hole where their foot pushes of from the pitching rubber, or at their landing area. Maintaining the Atlanta Braves and Montreal Expos pitching mounds in spring training over the past several years has allowed me to try many different clay materials, along with different maintenance practices to determine what works the best.

This same type of attention to detail will allow groundskeepers to understand the importance of consistent footing on the most vital part of the field, whether it be for one pitcher or for a series of pitchers. Once they have mastered this level of consistency, the rest of the maintenance will fall into place.

The most important ingredients to the success of a good mound are moisture retention and the ability to keep the clay at a consistent level throughout the game. The mound clay must be pliable and yet hold its form. The same characteristics are needed in the clay material used for mound repairs. If there is no access to soil sample testing to determine the clay, silt, and sand content of the material, try the following:

The Right Material

Mix the material in a small wheelbarrow or bucket and remove all the stones and organic matter that may be present. (You may need to screen the material through a mesh of the desired size.) Moisten the material in the container. Then turn the material with a shovel. While working the material, pick up a handful and compress it in your hands. Try to form a baseball-sized ball. If you can do this without the material crumbling, you may be reaching the right consistency. You should be able to depress the tip of your fingers into the ball without having the ball fall apart. If not successful, try experimenting with small batches of different types of materials until reaching this type of consistency. This prepared material is the repair mix for the holes left on the mound after games. It needs to be somewhat compatible with the existing clay material to bond properly when repairs are made.

Making Repairs

Other tools needed to maintain the mound include a broom for sweeping away loose material, a tamper for the clay, a watering can for applying water, and a “finishing” drag.

Make all mound repairs immediately after the game. First, use the broom to sweep away any loose material from the holes. Then lightly dampen the areas with water. Place a small amount (a handful or two at a time) of the moist repair material into a hole and tamp or compress it. Gradually build up the layer of repair material until it becomes level with the existing contours of the mound. Sweep all the clay that was tracked into the grass back up onto the mound and remove any that is contaminated with organic material. After patching the holes, cover the remainder of the repair clay you recently mixed up in your wheelbarrow so it will be ready to use again.

Now smooth the rest of the mound with a commercially-purchased ballfield “finishing” drag, a cocoa mat or a section of carpet – something that can be pulled by hand. After this is completed, dampen the mound and COVER IT with a piece of plastic or tarpaulin. The mound should remain covered at all times when not in use. This will help in retaining consistent moisture and will keep rain from “washing out” the mound area. Use the same general principle to repair the home plate area.

Author: Murray Cook (Baseball Stadium Manager) – Original Publication: International Baseball Rundown – October/December 1997

Tribunal Process

Tribunal Process

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GBL Competition Committee Charter