HELD AT Sioux Falls, SD

ON SUNDAY, January 15, 2017.

The annual meeting of the VFW Baseball Committee of the Department of South Dakota, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, was called to order by State VFW Chairman Rob Lind at 10:06 A.M. Central Standard Time, Sunday, January 17, 2017 at Post 628 Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  The meeting was opened in due form with everyone present joining in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.  

Motion was made by Ferman Harter, Jr. and Vince Thieman seconded to approve the minutes of the 2016 meeting held in Mitchell on January 17, 2016. Motion was presented and carried.  

The Income and Expenses for the 2016 season was presented by Rick W. Barg he stated there was $4.995.28 in the account and there was a computer update expense of $7,200.

Discussion was open to discuss a proposal for communities like Canova that have a local program but no school in the community and students attend more than one school and when the towns that the schools are in, already have teams. The proposal didn’t have a formal motion.

Discussion on the eligibility date of VFW Baseball changing from May 1 to January 1. After much discussion how teams may keep players in the younger age group because they would have older players on their team. For example 12 and under could keep players who turn 13 on or after May 1st which may result two or three players turning 13 during the season. If you drop the date back to January 1st it could result in more kids turning 13 during the season. There was concern about doing it only to the lower age groups because you could have seventeen year olds pitching to thirteen year olds in the varsity division. Motion by Terry Downing, Lead/Deadwood to table the age change, seconded by Ferman Harter Jr., Colome. Motion was presented and carried.

There was concern of the number teams in some regions for class “A” teams. Some regions have four teams and some have three teams and when a three team region has a team drop out that leaves them with two teams. The two team region may only play two games in a double elimination tournament and the region with four teams may have to play more games, which could affect their pitching rotation in the state tournament. Motion by Terry Downing, Lead/Deadwood to move the “A” class regions from seven regions to four regions and each region sending the champion and runner-up to the state tournament. When the state tournament is in the region the team within the region that is selected to host the tournament they will have an automatic bid to the tournament, seconded by Vern Lind, State VFW. Motion was presented and carried.

Chad Hesla, Webster, moved that we seed teams for region tournaments and don’t start region tournaments before Wednesday of that week, seconded by Scott Hoeke, Milbank. After there was a considerable amount of discussion, a vote was taken and failed due to a lack 2/3 vote required to pass the motion.

They were a long discussion about the American Legion starting a Jr. Legion program for their “B” Varsity teams. This would make a conflict with VFW A and B Varsity teams. No Varsity A VFW teams commit either way, but some Varsity B VFW teams were wanting to stay with the VFW program. One of main complaints was that the VFW was late in getting out the region pairings where the legion pairings were out much earlier. The different is that the Legion B Varsity teams are all in one class. The VFW Varsity teams are in two classes and they are not decided after the deadline date for teams to get their information. Then the rosters have to be check to see if there is more than two players from a different school on the team, which could increase their ADM and they may be place in a different class. This takes time and slows down the selection of teams for regions in the VFW program. Some teams could be an A team and the next season be put in the B team group. So it is hard to set regions early in the year. Dan Sudbeck the Legion State Chairman stated that several teams asked the legion to start a Jr. Legion program for their B Varsity teams. When asked how many teams had showed an interest in having a Jr. Legion team he gave no answer. No team came forward in stating they were interest in Jr. Legion Team. Statement was said that both programs would not survive if they split the teams up. There were 23 A teams and 26 B teams in the VFW programs in 2016. The Legion had 15 Varsity A teams and 38 Varsity B teams for a total of 53 varsity teams. They had 16 A Jr. Varsity Teams. Comparing the Legion B Varsity teams with the VFW Varsity A and B teams the VFW had 11 more teams in 2016. There was a concern that B Varsity wouldn’t be able to complete with the A teams or would have go with another town to complete. Also very few B towns play in the State Legion tournament unless they are hosting the tournament. The Legion will have their meeting in two weeks to make a final decision.

There was much discussion on deadline dates and many suggestions were made such as registration on May 1st, then June 1st, regions must be out by June 10th, then June 25th deadline for no changes on rosters. This would give more work to the region  commissioners and there was more discussion and Vince Thieman, Colome moved that the final registration and rooster date be June 15th, seconded by Ferman Harter Jr. Motion was presented and carried.

Motion by Wesley Grantham, Hamlin that we change the age edibility date from May 1st to January 1st starting in 2018 seconded by Mick Kirwan, Motion was presented and carried.


By Order of:

Signed/DF-G                                                                                     Signed/RL

Danny Frisby-Griffin,                                                                        Rob Lind,

Baseball Chairman                                                                             Director of VFW Baseball Operations

Department of South Dakota                                                             Department of South Dakota

Veterans of Foreign Wars                                                                  Veterans of Foreign Wars

of the United States                                                                            of the United States