The Bucks County GENERALS
The GENERALS Constitution
Bucks County Baseball offers GENERALS academy teams for players ages 9-High School. Please see the specific team's website for more information.Registration Form: GENERALS TEAM registration form
The GENERALS Teams strive to create a culture that offers mentorship, developmental instruction, and guidance as baseball players and their families more from the little diamond, transition to the big diamond, prepare for high school, and reach the collegiate and professional levels. While doing this, the coaches and the players of The GENERALS often talk about character, integrity, respect (for the game, teammates, coaches, parents, umpires, and the opposition) self-discipline, grit, and resiliency.
Mike Methany, the manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, sent a letter home to the parents of his son’s travel team. The five-page, 2,556-word letter that has come to be called the "Matheny Manifesto" was written in a flash of inspiration and frustration during a flight from New York to St. Louis in 2009. Several years before the Cardinals hired Mike Matheny to be their manager, friends pursued the longtime catcher to coach their sons' St. Louis-area youth baseball team. A veteran of 13 years in the major leagues and a witness to countless moments in youth sports that disturbed him, including overbearing coaches and conflict with aggressive parents, Matheny resisted their repeated invitations. On that flight home, he reconsidered, under certain conditions. Matheny pulled out his laptop, clicked open a blank page and started writing the terms of his participation. Here is the link http://www.mac-n-seitz.com/teams/mike-matheny-letter.html.
We will never claim to be as knowledgeable as Coach Matheny, we were not as talented a player as he, and we may not coach at the MLB level. Nonetheless, we have great respect for Mike’s message, and as educators and mentors of young people, we are impressed by how well he composed his constitution.
GENERALS Coaches are expected to be teachers and mentors. Also, coaches are to represent the players well and to respect the game by being in uniform, never using foul language, and never chewing tobacco. Communication with both parents and players is essential. Coaches are asked to build into their practice sessions time at the end to speak with 2-5 players about goals and developing skills. Also, coaches will email parents and players information regarding schedules, meeting times, locations, or other items.
The GENERALS pride ourselves in organizing a very efficient and effective practice. There is an adage that says "You don't rise to the occasion, you sink to the level of your training." We feel that players deserve a genuine experience to prepare them for the games. One of our objectives is to make practice challenging and fast-paced so that games slow down and become less stressful. Many well-intending coaches organize things so that the inverse is true – practice is easy and games are overwhelming. The GENERALS coaches are expected to do most of our coaching in practice to develop each player’s skills and Baseball IQ. Come game time, the coaches are expected to talk strategy and Baseball IQ, but you will not see us yelling at our players. The games are for the kids to play, execute, and perform. It is their time. GENERALS coaches are expected to encourage and support their players. Since we are limited in time outside for practices, there are elements of the game that we have not yet covered especially early in the season. Coaches will be taking notes as to the skills that we need to either refine or instruct, and this will be our game plan for the upcoming practices. Also, we stress aggressive baseball that is intelligent and focused. Winning is often a by-product of the process and preparation.
GENERALS Teams will practice a minimum of 4 times prior to the first scheduled game or tournament. Once game/tournament play begins, GENERALS Teams will practice a minimum of 1 day a week. With rainouts or inclement weather, practices may move indoors. If a practice is cancelled, all attempts will be made to reschedule, but all practices may not be made up.
Regarding winning, coaches will never compromise a young athlete’s career and well-being in order to bring home the hardware in a tournament. Coaches keep pitch counts and use the information below as a guide when using pitchers. Also, coaches will speak with parents directly to get approval if using a pitcher more than usual. The following is the Pitch Count Guidelines from USA Baseball and the American Sports Medicine.
Recommended limits for 9-10 year old pitchers: 50 pitches per game, 75 pitches per week, 1000 pitches per season
Recommended limits for 11-12 year old pitchers: 75 pitches per game, 100 pitches per week, 1000 pitches per season
Recommended limits for 13-14 year old pitchers: 75 pitches per game, 125 pitches per week, 1000 pitches per season
Recommended limits for 15-16 year old pitchers: 95 game
As Coach Methany stated, the umpiring at our tournaments will often be less than perfect. This is a given. We expect GENERALS coaches and the players to be respectful of the umpires by not arguing balls, strikes, and calls on the field. We expect the same of the GENERALS parents fans in attendance as well.
The dugout is for the players and coaches only. Parents are not permitted in or around the dugout. The parents’ area is in the bleachers or in the area designated for spectators. We have seen parents participate from the stands at in-house and with travel baseball. This is not permitted with The GENERALS. We, as a coaching staff, discuss this with the players often. Parents are expected not to be in or near the dugout to poke their heads in to say hi or see how their son is doing. Parents are not to drop off drinks or snacks in the dugout. At several tournament venues, there are often no physical dugouts, so please respect the area that is outlined as the dugout. Also, players are not to have any food in the dugout except seeds, a food bar, a very small snack, or a drink. Anything that a player needs should be with him prior to the game, yet we do understand that some players have specific needs because of medical reasons. Please discuss this with the coach first. However, hot dogs, soft pretzels, hoagies, pizza, cheese fries, etc... are not permitted in the dugout. Further, GENERALS parents are not to be coaching their child during the game, nor are they to make comments directed to opposing team's players, coaches, or parents.
Early on in the season and throughout year, coaches stress to the players about respecting the game, the umpires, the other team, their teammates and coaches. Challenging umpires, disrespecting players on the other teams, being condescending to teammates and talking back to coaches will not be tolerated. Throwing gloves, bats, and helmets in frustration will have consequences. Players will be removed from the game if they are disrespectful or throw objects. We just want to be clear on this topic. Players will be removed from a game if they are disrespectful or throw objects.
Further, players are expected to hustle at all times and to sprint on and off the field. If teams are waiting for their next game to start, players are to be respectful. Any time a player is wearing his GENERALS uniform or gear, he is expected to conduct himself appropriately.
Coaches have organized their team’s batting lineup and have outlined a strategy regarding pitching and defensive positions for games. With this in mind, games are fluid and they do not always unfold according to the outline. By this, we mean that a pitcher scheduled to pitch only one inning may go two innings if he has a 6 or 10 pitch innings. Also, players are scheduled to play a minimum of half the game, but if a game is stopped early because of the mercy rule, or because the game's time limit has expired, balanced playing time may not result. Also, if a GENERALS Team is starting one of their more dominant pitchers on a Saturday morning, and the team they are playing is found to be weaker, a coach may elect to remove his better pitcher to strategically utilize him more effectively against a more competitive team.
One of our goals for defense is to put players in a position and situation where he can succeed. For example, a player who is a lefty may not do as well at third as he would in the Outfield. An athlete who has developing hand-eye coordination may not succeed as Catcher but might do fine elsewhere. One who is still evolving regarding lateral movement will not do as well playing Short Stop or Second Base as he would at 3rd. Further, we may move players around until we find the chemistry for the team. Players will not play every position as they might in in-house or travel baseball.
Parents, please do not approach any of the GENERALS coaches regarding playing time and positions. Frequently, this happens after in-house and travel ball, but is not tolerated with The GENERALS. We have heard parental influence on a coach’s line-up or defensive positions frequently referred to as “Daddy Ball.” We do not operate that way. Kindly, any questions or inquiries regarding positioning are to be directed solely to the Directors. We request that any inquiries be made 36 hours after the final out of the last game. Thank you for honoring this request. Families who do not honor this request will be asked to leave The GENERALS.
Depending on tournament rules and considering team needs, Pool Round game day philosophy will be one of the following where all athletes are scheduled to play a minimum of half the game on defense: a lineup with all players batting allowing for unlimited substitution in the field; a lineup of nine or ten with the non-starting players entering the game on defense and in the batting order halfway through the game. Also, players will have an opportunity to start approximately half of the Pool Round games. During the Seeding Round, Medal Rounds, or Championship Game (which normally occur on Sundays), line-ups may be constructed more strategically depending on team needs and player's skills and abilities. All attempts will be made to get all athletes in these games to contribute for defensive purposes, at-bats, and baserunning, but all players may not play half the game in the final rounds. On occasion, a player might not make an appearance in the final round game. The coaching staff is selected for The GENERALS because they are empathetic individuals who operate and make decisions with each player’s well-being in mind. Please know that when a GENERALS coach looks down the bench in a game, in the event where a players has not had a chance to play, he is analyzing how and when he can have a player contribute and participate.
Regarding tuition, a check is required at tryouts. Checks are to be made out to BCBA. If an athlete is not selected for the team, his deposit check will be shredded. Checks remitted by players are non-refundable once an athlete commits to The GENERALS team. If a player chooses or elects to discontinue participation with The GENERALS for any reason, tuition reimbursement will not be offered. In the event that a tournament or event is rained out or cancelled completely, all attempts will be made to schedule another event; however, reimbursement may not be offered if a new make-up event is not organized or if the published fees of the new tournament or event does not parallel the published fees for the cancelled tournament or event. Also, if an athlete is unable to attend the tournament or event that replaces a rained out or cancelled tournament or event, tuition reimbursement is not offered. Tuition is not prorated if a player misses any tournaments, games, practices, showcases, or other GENERALS event. This includes if a player makes a high school varsity or JV team, or is called up to a JV or varsity team at any part of the season. Prorated tuition may be offered for Guest Players or part-time players.