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4086Re: [baseball-databank] Digest Number 1186

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  • F. X. Flinn
    Apr 1, 2011
      Peter, here is the entire section on Reseach committees, chapters and chartered communities from the SABR policy manual, which is available to SABR members on the members-only portion of www.sabr.org, specifically at http://sabr.org/about/organizational-files

      You know, in thinking about BDB, I realize now that the existence of BDB has allowed SABR to deprioritize discussions around making data downloads available. Oddly enough, if BDB had formed within SABR instead of outside of it this probably would have happened long ago -- 800 members clamoring for the functionality would have made an impression. Instead the board looks at the landscape of how baseball researchers needs are met and unmet and sees that BDB exists, so why replicate it? As was pointed out earlier, the fact that the Palmer data in BDB is circa 1993 and lacks a lot of corrections Pete's made since then just doesn't make that much difference to most BDB users.

      Anyway, from the policy manual:

      G. Committees

      2. Committee Chairs
      a) Committee Chairs shall make their required National Convention reports in concise written form by
      May 30 to be included in the registration materials.
      b) The Committee Chairs shall meet annually at the National Convention to receive updates from the
      Executive Director and President, and to discuss among themselves any issues they see as

      3. Committee Finances

      a) Research committee budgets shall be approved by the Executive Board and funds shall be provided for
      committee expenses in the annual budget of the Society.
      b) Committee chairs shall be authorized to expend these Society funds to facilitate carrying out the duties
      and functions assigned to the committee.
      c) Committee funds shall not be used for travel expenses, unless specifically authorized for that purpose
      by the Executive Director.
      d) Committee Chairs shall approve and submit to the Executive Director vouchers, invoices, and/or
      receipts for payment or reimbursement.
      e) Reimbursements for committee expenses are provided only upon submission and verification of
      receipts (originals or copies) documenting expenses.
      f) Committee chairs are encouraged to limit Society-related telephone calls for which they request
      g) Solicitations of donations or grants from foundations or other sources must be approved by the
      Executive Director.
      h) Committee projects requiring financial support beyond normal budgetary expenses or with significant
      income potential shall be outlined and submitted to the Executive Director at least one month prior to a
      regularly scheduled board meeting at which approval is requested. The submission shall provide
      details regarding the project and the financial requirements of the project. The Executive Director shall
      distribute the submission to members of the Executive Board at least one week prior to the Board
      4. Creation of Research Committees
      a) Proposals for the creation of research committees shall be submitted to the Executive Director at
      least one month prior to a regularly scheduled board meeting at which action is requested. The
      Executive Director shall distribute such proposals to members of the Executive Board in a timely
      b) Proposals shall include:
      1. a statement regarding the purpose and goals of the proposed committee, in accordance with the
      objectives set forth in Article II of the Constitution; and
      2. a statement or statements regarding the need for the proposed committee; and
      3. a list of at least ten SABR members who have expressed a willingness to join the proposed
      committee if formed; and
      4. the name of a willing and able SABR member to act as committee Chair as well as the name of
      one or more willing to serve as vice-chair;
      c) Upon review of research committee proposals as outlined above, the Executive Board shall, by
      majority vote, establish research committees and appoint committee Chairs.
      d) Research committees are required to:
      1) produce at least two newsletters each year; and
      2) have at all times a chairperson; and
      3) hold a meeting at the annual convention; and
      4) at all times have at least ten working members in good standing;
      5) if established after January 1, 1999, act in accordance with the statement or statements
      regarding that committee’s purpose and goals.
      6) distribute copies of newsletters to committee members, SABR Board members, SABR
      Committee chairs, the Executive Director, and other individuals or organizations as directed by
      the Executive Director.

      5. Ownership of Committee Work

      All committee files, research, research materials and other items, both in electronic and hard copy form are
      the property of the Society. All chairs must be prepared to pass along any such material promptly to their
      successor. If shipping costs are incurred, they will be reimbursed after submission of appropriate receipts to
      the Executive Director.
      If the committee embarks on a committee project, all volunteers should be informed in advance in writing
      that any product created is the property of SABR and the dispersion of any monetary benefits will be at the
      discretion of the Executive Board.
      6. SABR Research Committee Publications
      All research committee publications shall display the current SABR copyright notice.
      Research committee newsletters should serve both as a forum for the exchange of research information as well as
      an outlet for the publication of pertinent research articles.
      7. SABR Research Committee Membership

      Members of the Society have the right to serve on any research committee.

      8. Probation of SABR Research Committees

      A research committee may be placed on probation if the Executive Board, by majority vote, determines that:
      a) the actions and/or status of the Committee do not meet the requirements outlined in the SABR Policy
      Manual, or,
      b) the actions of the committee are not in the best interests of SABR.
      An appropriate period of probation shall be determined by the Executive Board in conjunction with the decision
      to place a Research Committee on probation. The decision to place a research committee on probation may be
      followed by the appointment of a new committee Chair and/or Vice-chair(s). The decision to place a research
      committee on probation shall not necessarily be construed as a sanction against the committee Chair and/or
      A research committee may, at any time, be removed from probation if the Executive Board, by the majority
      vote, determines that the actions and/or status of the committee that led to it being places on probation have
      been rectified.

      9. Dissolution of SABR Research Committees

      A research committee may be dissolved if the Executive Board, by majority vote, determines that:
      a) the actions (or lack thereof) of the Committee do not meet the requirement out lined in the SABR
      Policy Manual; or,
      b) the actions of the committee are not in the best interest of SABR.
      Research committees that have not been put on probation may not be considered for dissolution. The decision
      to dissolve a research committee shall not necessarily be construed as a sanction against the committee Chair
      and/or Vice-chair(s).

      10. Research Committee Reviews

      A. Process for Research Committee Reviews

      1) Executive Director contacts Research Committee Chair to:
      a) Provide an overview of the process, including its purpose, and what becomes of the review.
      b) Provide the number of members of the committee, growth/decline in membership numbers, any
      demographics about committee members, general demographics of all SABR members
      c) Ask for self-evaluation of the committee and the chair’s management of it. This self-evaluation
      will include the progress of all projects the committee has undertaken, report on the
      quantity/quality of communication with the committee (or individual members); this can include
      newsletters, e-groups, web sites, annual meeting and annual report. If there is an e-group, it
      should list the high and low number of messages per month over the past 12 months, and the
      total number of messages in the past 12 months.
      d) Ask any specific questions related to the committee, including what research assets the
      committee maintains. Discuss philosophy of research.
      e) Review succession plans
      f) Point out what staff can do to help the committee function better
      g) Set goals for the coming year

      The deadline for completion of this task will be 2 – 3 weeks.

      2) Staff will customize a survey for research committee members to provide feedback, tailoring it to the
      specific committee being reviewed (if no web site, don’t ask about a web site, etc.).
      3) Executive Director sends email to committee members asking them to complete the survey to provide
      feedback on the committee and the chair. (Deadline 2 weeks or less).
      4) After the Executive Director gets the self-evaluation back from the chair, he sends the chair the results
      of the committee members who were surveyed.
      5) Executive Director writes a report based on his perceptions of the committee, the data collected and
      exchanged, the feedback from the committee members, and the chair’s self-evaluation.
      6) Executive Director sends the chair a copy of the report and schedules a time to discuss by phone.
      7) If necessary, based on the conversation, the Executive Director amends/appends/clarifies his report and
      gets sign-off from research committee chair.
      8) Executive Director submits report to the executive board.

      11. Code of Conduct for Committee Chairs.

      All research committee chairs, project directors, chapter heads, and other volunteers holding any title within
      SABR shall be required to read and sign a letter annually that outlines their responsibilities as well as
      standards of comportment.
      That letter shall contain the following:

      a) Their position and title;
      b) Notice that they represent SABR in that position;
      c) Specification that they are expected at all times to represent themselves and the organization in a
      professional manner;
      d) An absolute prohibition against using profane or insulting language;
      e) An absolute prohibition against harassing members or non-members or engaging in ad hominem attacks;
      f) Acknowledgment that all information received in that position, including information compiled or edited
      by the undersigned, is the intellectual property of and belongs to SABR;
      g) If the committee chair has control over any SABR data sets, he/she will follow back-up and security
      policies as set by the Director of Knowledge Management;
      h) Notice that his/her tenure in that position is subject to termination at any time upon notification by the
      board of directors; and
      i) A clause stating that the undersigned has both read, understands, and accepts the provisions of the letter.

      12. Miscellaneous Guidelines relating to SABR Research Committees

      a) The SABR President shall appoint a Board member to act as Research Committee liaison.
      b) Only a research committee Chair may speak for the committee.
      c) Research committee chairs are encouraged to make their committee as active as possible.

      H. Regional Groups
      1. Philosophy and Objectives

      Most members of SABR are unable to attend the annual convention regularly, and therefore miss out on the
      research presentations, guest speakers, committee meetings and the chance to talk baseball with fellow
      members. SABR’s regional chapters promote the Society’s objectives by fostering increased contact among
      SABR members.

      Regional chapters extend the rewards of SABR membership through regular meetings—which typically
      feature research presentations, guest speakers and the opportunity to meet and chat informally with fellow
      SABRites—and through events like baseball-related community events, informal “hot-stove” meetings, and
      projects like assisting local media with baseball-related projects, and working with local professional
      baseball clubs on ballpark events and “FanFest” activities. Regional chapters provide a forum for presenting
      research on topics of local interest, and facilitate efforts by out-of-town SABR members to find and tap
      unique local research resources like historical societies and families of former ballplayers.
      Through their activities, regional chapters produce a stronger bond of membership in SABR and an
      opportunity for members to help achieve SABR’s objectives.

      The goals of SABR’s regional chapters are:

      a) to increase opportunities for SABR members to participate in SABR activities;
      b) to provide means for SABR members to establish and foster friendships and to exchange research;
      c) to promote interest in baseball and baseball research at the local level;
      d) to make SABR’s resources available to local community organizations and the media;
      e) to foster the use of local resources in baseball research;
      f) to enrich SABR by attracting into its membership people with a variety of backgrounds and

      2. Chapter Obligations and Expectations

      Because regional chapters represent SABR, they are governed by SABR’s constitution, by-laws, and policy
      manual. SABR respects and encourages the autonomy of its chapters in organizing and conducting regional
      programs and projects in accord with these requirements and guidelines:

      a) All chapter leaders and officers shall be members of SABR. Chapters shall supply the names of their
      leaders and/or officers, appointed and elected, to the SABR office, and shall notify the SABR office
      promptly of all changes in leadership.
      b) Because membership in SABR includes membership in its regional chapters, no chapter may charge
      dues for chapter membership.
      c) Each chapter shall hold at least one “regular” meeting per year. Regular meetings shall include
      baseball research and shall be open to SABR members and non-members alike.
      d) Chapters may charge for chapter activities and raise funds to cover chapter expenses.

      3. SABR Support for Regional Chapters

      SABR will list each chapter and its contact persons on the SABR website, and provide links to chapter
      Upon request from an authorized chapter representative to the SABR office, SABR will:

      a) Announce upcoming chapter meetings and events—upon timely notification—in The SABR Bulletin
      and on the SABR website, and publish summary accounts of chapter meetings and events in The
      SABR Bulletin and on the website. (Chapters are encouraged also to publicize and review their
      meetings and events on SABR-L.)
      b) Provide address labels for mailings announcing chapter meetings and events.
      c) Provide SABR publications and memberships to give to guest speakers, and publications for use in
      chapter fund-raising activities.
      d) Reimburse chapters for up to three mailings per calendar year, at 65¢ per person per mailing.
      e) Reimburse chapters for general expenses for regular meetings [see Sec. 2.c above], up to $350 per
      calendar year.
      f) Documentation must accompany reimbursement requests. Requests for reimbursement may be
      submitted to the SABR office at any time during the year in which they are incurred, but not later
      than January 31 of the following year.
      g) Provide grants of $100 to new chapters for start-up expenses.
      h) Provide—upon prior approval by SABR’s executive board—partial payment of the cost of special
      projects undertaken to achieve the objectives of SABR. Such projects may include the publication
      of chapter research projects, grave site and historical markers, re-creations of historic or symbolic
      events, and citations to local residents for their contributions to baseball. Proposals should be
      directed to the Executive Board through SABR’s Executive Director.

      4.SABR Chartered Communities

      Recognizing the impact of the internet and other technologies on the ways in which SABR members
      interact, SABR hereby establishes Chartered Communities (CC), which shall have all the rights and
      responsibilities that accrue to SABR Chapters.

      SABR CCs may be established upon petition by 15 members in good standing to the executive director. The
      petition shall include the name of the Chartered Community, its principal organizing tool (website, e-list,
      etc.), and identify one or more group leaders who shall be provided access to such committee and chapter
      management tools as SABR may provide. The executive director shall facilitate creation of these CCs
      without delay except when, in his/her judgment, the creation of a particular CC does not fit within SABR’s
      mission or is otherwise contrary to SABR policy and practice, in which case the SABR Executive Board
      shall review the petition at its next regularly scheduled meeting.

      On Fri, Apr 1, 2011 at 8:48 AM, Peter Kreutzer <askrotoman@...> wrote:

      I like the sound of what you're suggesting F.X., because it might improve the BDB data and give more access to more data to everyone, and because it seems like it might reduce work that would otherwise be duplicated.

      But as long as there is the potential for public free access to the SABR/Palmer dB to be withdrawn, for any reason no matter how apparently obscure, it seems prudent to keep the BDB dB alive (as newsgroup and annual release, at least) as a fallback. It doesn't sound like there's any reason for that not to happen.

      FX, can you point us to the definitions of a community of interest, the procedure to become one, and the obligations of such a community? 

      F. X. Flinn
      FXFlinn@gmail | 802-369-0069

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