The Front Office!

By the fall of 1942, many minor league teams disbanded due to the war. Young men, 18 years of age and over, were being drafted into the armed services. The fear that this pattern would continue and that Major League Baseball Parks across the country were in danger of collapse is what prompted Philip K. Wrigley, the chewing-gum mogul who had inherited the Chicago Cubs' Major League Baseball franchise from his father, to search for a possible solution to this dilemma. Wrigley asked Ken Sells, assistant to the Chicago Cubs' General Manager to head a committee to come up with ideas. The committee recommended a girls' softball league be established to be prepared to go into Major League parks should attendance fall due to franchises losing too many quality players to attract crowds.

 Phillip Wrigley
Philip Wrigley

With the dedication of a group of Midwestern businessmen and the financial support of Mr. Wrigley, the All-American Girls Softball League emerged in the spring of 1943. The League was formed as a non-profit organization. (*AAGPBL Official Website League History)


"The WWII girls Baseball
Living History League"

Organizational Structure and Charter

Mission Statement
The Members of the WWII Girls Baseball Living History League (WGBLHL) honor the women of the All-American Girls Baseball League (AAGBBL) by cheerfully educating the public about women’s baseball heritage during WW2 by playing recreational competitive and exhibition softball games at various historical reenactments, museums, special events, and other appropriate venues.

League Description
The WGBLHL is a competitive recreational softball league. The league is organized into softball teams representing the years from 1943-1945; initially representing the 1943 teams: Kenosha Comets, Racine Belles, Rockford Peaches, and South Bend Blue Sox. The league plays in reproduction vintage uniforms and by similar rules used by the AAGBBL during World War 2 with regards to safety and practicality.

League Management
Prairie Star Productions© founded The WWII Girls Baseball Living History League in 2009, and manages the league as a non-profit community outreach program to benefit the community and continue the legacy of women's baseball heritage by keeping alive the game as it was played by the women of the All-American Girls Baseball League during World War Two.

The league's Front Office is led by Prairie Star Productions with the assistance of the League Council comprised of the Team General Managers who represent each of the Charter Teams of the League.  Each charter team is a sole and independent entity from Prairie Star Productions©. The League Front Office is responsible for leading and organizing the League Council, contracting the league insurance, setting league structure and policy, issuing team charters, managing the Rockford Peaches, and developing and managing fledging teams. Team charters are assigned and with drawn by the League Front Office at the League Manager's discretion.

League Play, Season Structure, and Home Teams Responsibilities
The WGBLHL requires each team to play a home game and away game with each team in the league. The league currently portrays four teams and therefore each team is required to play 6 regular season games each season to be considered a Chartered Team in the league association.  The top two teams at the end of the regular season shall play a single championship game to determine the league champion for the year.  Each team shall commit to play these 6 regular season games and a championship game in order to maintain their team charter in the league.

Additional scrimmages, exhibition games, recruiting events, and practices are optional and are played at the discretion and determination of team management and their players.

Home Team Games

 

 

 

Peaches

Comets

Belles

Blue Sox

Comets

Peaches

Belles

Blue Sox

Belles

Peaches

Comets

Blue Sox

Blue Sox

Peaches

Comets

Belles

Teams with less than 9 players may augment their roster with players from other league member teams; however, participation by augmenting team members is completely at their individual option and not a requirement.  If a team still is not able to field enough players for a regulation game, accommodations such as closing a field can be made with the agreement of the attending officials and the participating team coaches, team general managers, and team captains; that would allow a game to still be played. If a team arrives on the field with so few players that a game can still not be played even with reasonable accommodations, then the team shall forfeit the game.

Games shall be hosted by the selected Home Team for a particular venue. Venues and Home Teams shall be agreed to by the League Council at the beginning of the season.  The Home Team shall provide the necessary ball playing equipment to play a regulation league game.

Member Responsibilities
All members of the league shall represent the AAGBBL with proper decorum, treat all league members respectfully, and cheerfully interact with the public at all times.  Furthermore all members shall agree to abide by the League Charter, League Council Policies, and Teams Policies.  Failure to follow any of these requirements can result in dismissal from the league.

Membership and Eligibility
Membership shall be open to all adult individuals interested in supporting WGBLHL’s mission and purpose. Members must meet the following criteria:

  1. A minimum of 18 years of age;
  2. Minors aged 16-17, if a parent or legal guardian is an active member of the league and is present during all games and league events when said minor participates.  Failure to comply with this requirement will result in said minor’s ability to participate in that day’s game or activity. A parent or legal guardian does not need to be a player, but may also portray a team chaperon, umpire, coach, league fan or other period appropriate impression; however, must be on site during the event.
  3. Players are expected to purchase a uniform from the league approved supplier within a year and be willing to adhere to rules of dress and professional conduct;
  4. Some softball playing experience is strongly suggested for ball players; for your safety and the safety of your teammates and the fans. Rookies and Players who are observed lacking basic softball skills and knowledge may be asked to be coached individually until their skill level has come up to a fundamental skill level to enable them to play safely on the field during games and appearances. Fundamental skill level shall primarily be determined by a team's coaching staff and the team General Manager; and if necessary, by the League Head Office.

Membership Dues
Membership dues and team fees shall be payable to the league and team by February 28th annually.  The membership dues are divided into to two separate fees. The League Front Office Membership Fee and the Team Fee; both are to be paid to the League Front Office with team fees to be dispersed to each of the Chartered Team. The League dues are used to pay for the league insurance, league association affiliations, miscellaneous equipment purchases and various administrative costs. Team fees are used to cover the cost of team equipment and other team purchases and activities as determined by team management.  The team fees are determined by the teams, but should generally not exceed 10 to 20 dollars per year. New recruits may play two games before making a commitment to the league, after which a recruit shall join as a member.  Membership dues may also be prorated for new members joining after the midpoint in the season at a rate of half the annual membership rate.  Team fees may also be prorated at the discretion of team management.

League Insurance
The league home office shall negotiate an insurance policy for the league to provide liability insurance coverage to its members for mishaps that may occur causing damage to life and property during League official game play and other official League exhibitions and events.  Appearances and games other than those listed as official games or events may not be covered by the league insurance policy unless prior pre-authorization is granted by the home office who will consult with the league insurance agent regarding coverage for such an event.  In some cases, such as securing additional insurance for a practice venue or special event can be added at a minimal charge to the team.

The League Council
The WGBLHL League shall be managed by the League General Manager (LGM) and WGBLHL League Council. Each chartered team shall be represented on the League Council by the team general manager (TGM) with the authority to cast a single team vote on the council. The Team GM shall be selected by the members of each charted team with the exception of the Rockford Peaches which shall be considered a League Non-Charter Team and managed by the League General Manager; however, a Team Captain shall be elected by members of the Peaches to represent the team on the Council. All non-chartered teams may be represented on the Council by a Team GM until Chartered status is achieved. The League Front Office shall be represented on the council by a League General Manager who also shall have a single vote on the council.  The League GM shall preside over the League Council meetings. The League General Manager is selected by Prairie Star Productions.

The League Council shall meet at least annually at the beginning of each calendar year to discuss and agree to the details regarding league play, safety, authenticity, scheduling, and other appropriate league association topics for each season of play.  The league GM has the authority to mediate, resolve, or veto League Council agreements, disagreements, split votes, tie votes, and other issues raised by the council deemed detrimental, inappropriate, or incongruent with the spirit of the mission statement of the league; or may compromise the safety of the public, league fans and players; may cause loss or damage to league property, equipments, and venues; or may be detrimental to the reputation of the league and its membership; and any other issues yet to be identified at this time that may be in some way be detrimental to the league association as deemed by the League Manager.

While the League Council shall guide League Play, the League Manager shall be the principle league representative of the WGBLHL to the public. The League Manager shall have primary authority over the following responsibilities for the league association including, but not limited to: principle league representative; league press releases and statements, liaison with the AAGPBL; liaison with the Vintage Base Ball Association (VBBA); agreements with league vendors; league liaison with game day venues; league web site; distribution of the official league directory; league association membership fee; collection; and account management; game schedule frame work; and the selection of and purchasing of the league insurance policy. The League Manager has the authority to delegate any of the Front Office responsibilities at the League Manager’s discretion.

It is the League Manager’s primary responsibility to protect the integrity and reputation of the league and to ensure that all games are played in safe manner for the public and league members and in an atmosphere of faire play for all.

League Association Proprietorship, Team Charters, and Team Organization
The WGBLHL, and all agreements and copyrights assumed under the WGBLHL are the intellectual properties of the sole proprietorship, Prairie Star Productions.  Each chartered team shall be granted permission to operate as a solely independent member team of the WGBLHL league association. There shall be no legal relationship between the individual charter team organization and the WGBLHL league association beyond the limited relationship described in this League Charter. A Team Charter issued under this league relationship may be granted and revoked at the discretion of the League Front Office.  Teams operating under this charter have the authority to manage their own team affairs independent of the WGBLHL league association in accordance with privileges and limitations prescribed here in.  Additionally, all league members shall adhere to the policies and guidelines as prescribed herein, the League Council, Team Management, and the League Manager.

Team Operating Charters
The league is organized into teams representing the years from 1943-1945; initially representing the 1943 teams: Kenosha Comets, Racine Belles, Rockford Peaches, and South Bend Blue Sox.  Ideally each team should field a roster of 16 players as was the number of players per team in 1943; after this milestone has been achieved for each of the four 1943 teams; additional historical league teams may be added per the years 1944 and 1945.

Chartered teams have the authority to manage their own team affairs independent of the WGBLHL league association in accordance with privileges and limitations prescribed herein.   New and growing fledging teams will not be granted a Team Charter until a member team has the members and ability to be self managed. Until such a request is made by a member team, the management of a fledging team will be assumed per the discretion of the League Manager. Fledgling teams may still be represented on the League Council by a Team General Manager, elected by the team membership, or appointed by the League Front Office, and assisted by an optional Team Captain. Once a fledging team has grown to a membership of 5 or more players, Charter Team status may be enacted by the League Front Office at the League Manager's discretion.

A Team operating under a Charter must first be in compliance with all governances and policies of the league. Chartered teams must provide the following to be considered a Chartered Team in the League: a descriptive document outlining the team’s management structure; a Team GM to sit on the League Council, a Team Field Manager or “Coach” (the coach can be a player, but ideally for historical accuracy there should be a Gentleman member of the team to represent that role on the field if a player is the coach); a list of ball playing equipment available for hosting home games which include bases and game balls at a minimum. It is suggested that the roles of Team General Manager, Manager, and Captain be filled by three separate members; however, they may be filled by one member if necessary.

A policy regarding the acceptance of new team members shall also be outlined in the team management document. Acceptance of new members shall be at the discretion of the chartered team but should not be in conflict with the member qualifications outlined here in this League Charter. The dismissal of a team member shall also be at the discretion of each chartered team; however, a courtesy notification should be sent to the League Manager prior to informing the affected member.  Every consideration should be given to the affected member prior to dismissal from the team and league which may include a League Council Hearing should the affected members request such a hearing. Trading such a player to another member team with the approval of the new team and League Manager sometimes may also be an option depending on circumstances.  If the affected member has displayed an unsafe or inappropriate behavior, immediate expulsion from the league maybe approved by the Team Management with the agreement of the League Manager. The League Manager shall also hold the authority to dismiss any member of the league not in compliance with any of the policies described here in; in particular, for safety and inappropriate behavior violations. In all such cases, membership fees are not returned.

Each team granted a league team charter, shall be at liberty to organize additional team policies.  The scope of the team policies may include but are not limited to the following: creating team officers, scheduling activities outside the league schedule such as local public appearances, setting a practice schedule, collecting team fees and/or dues and managing the dispersal of such monies for the purchase of team equipment and expenses, the selection of a team field manager and coaching staff, managing team equipment, team recruiting events, and any additional policies and procedures that are deemed necessary by the team, but are not in conflict with League Charter and policies.  Chartered Teams shall be responsible for providing field equipment and game balls for all home games.  The monies necessary for providing this equipment shall derive from the team’s collection of team fees from their team members.

Non-Player Opportunities
The league is also in need of non-player members who are willing to officiate ball games as period umpires, portray team chaperones, press corps, game announcers, fans, and any other type of period impression you might be willing to interpret base in historical documentation.  Membership as a non-player shall be approved by the League Front Office and may not need to pay Team Fees as non-team impression as determined by the league front office.

Issues. Procedures and Questions Not Covered Here in
This charter maybe by updated at any time at  the discretion of the League Front office and upon the recommendations of the League Council.  All questions, clarifications and recommendations should be directed to the League Head Office League General Manager for Consideration.

Charter Activation
The WWII Girls Baseball Living History League Organizational Structure and Charter shall be enacted for the 2012 Softball Season per Prairie Star Productions© and the WGBLHL League Manager as of January 1, 2012.

This Charter was revised on March 31st, 2013 to update member positions and descriptions, correct grammatical errors, and improve the charter’s operational structure descriptions to better reflect the actual operation of the league as observed during the 2012 season.