Every youth tournament baseball team needs rules. Even better, teams need these rules in writing. Better yet, these rules need to be acknowledged and signed by the players (you should have parent contracts, too!).
Without a contract, it’s far more difficult to enforce your rules. And if things truly get out of hand, you may need a written contract if it gets to the point of needing to remove a player from your team.
That’s a worst case scenario, and it’s good to plan for that just in case. But the main reason for this is so that you have something you can show a player or parent when they aren’t enjoying the role they prefer.
I’ve crafted my own player contract for the Spiders, but I figured that this may be useful to other coaches as well. So I’ve created a sample contract that you can use for your teams. I’ve included the points of the contract below, but you can also download a generic version of the player, parent and coaching contracts by filling out this form…
I have agreed to become a member of the _________________. As a member of this team, I will do my best to obey these rules and regulations:
1. I will always hustle. I will hustle on and off the field, on every ball I hit, on the bases and in the field.
2. I will respect my coaches and parents and do as they ask. I understand that they come from a place of experience and want to help me become the best I can be.
3. I will not use profanity, drugs, alcohol or tobacco. I will always set a good example and represent my team with class.
4. I will practice good sportsmanship before, during and after games. I will appreciate the good play of our opponents and remain humble during my shining moments.
5. I will treat all opposing players, coaches and fans with respect. The only difference between us is that they are pulling for the other side.
6. I will respect decisions made by the umpires. I cannot change their decisions, and I recognize my reaction may reflect poorly on both me and my team.
7. I will handle winning with class and losing with grace. A player’s true character is shown in handling both winning and losing with similar reflection and appreciation.
8. I will never quit. No matter the score, inning or number of outs, I will always give my best. My teammates deserve nothing less.
9. I will work hard when no one is watching. My work ethic is based on the hard work I put in during games and practices as well as at home.
10. I will never throw a bat or other equipment in anger. Not only is this unsafe, but it is a selfish display of poor self-control and bad sportsmanship.
11. I will always prioritize safety of myself and others around me. I will be properly equipped and aware of my surroundings when throwing a ball or swinging a bat.
12. I will treat practices seriously as an opportunity to become the best player I can be. Practice is my time to polish my tools while the game is my time to shine.
13. I will practice self-control, setting a positive example for others. I will not get down on myself when things aren’t going my way.
14. I will always support and encourage my teammates. I will be helpful and courteous, treating my teammates the way I would want to be treated.
15. I will respect the facilities we are provided for practices and games. I will not damage equipment, I will clean up when we’re done and I will treat it as I would my home.
16. I will represent my team with class. I understand that how I behave and present myself will reflect either positively or negatively on my teammates and coaches.
17. I will remain in the dugout during games at all times, unless approved by a coach. My focus needs to be between the lines.
18. I understand my grades in school and behavior at home and outside of baseball may impact my position on the team. There is more to life than baseball.
19. I will embrace my role, position on the field and in the lineup, and I will not complain or feel sorry for myself. This is a team, and I will always do what is necessary for the team to be successful.
20. I will learn from my mistakes. I will make mistakes, but I will use them as opportunities to learn.
I will always do my best to follow these rules. My coaches, parents and I understand that I am not perfect, but repeated violations can and will impact my standing on this team. Depending on the severity and frequency of my infractions, I may see less playing time, a diminished role or complete removal from the team.
These rules aren’t meant to scare me. These are rules I embrace to help me become a better player, teammate and person.
I understand these rules, and I will do my best to always represent my teammates well.