skip navigation


2020 VFW Annual Baseball Meeting



2020 MEETING WILL BE HELD AT: Ronald Westby VFW Post 2638 510 S. Washington Ave, Madison, SD

ON SUNDAY, January 19, 2020 at 1000 AM. Coffee and pastries will be available provided by Second Street Diner.


Department of South Dakota

Minutes of Annual VFW Baseball Meeting 2019

Held at Madison, South Dakota

January 20, 2019


The meeting was opened in due form at 10 AM with the Pledge of Allegiance by baseball Chairman Danny Frisby-Griffin. 

Introductions I am the Commander of the VFW and the Baseball Chairman for the VFW.  Quartermaster /Adjutant of the VFW Darwin Tolzin, representative from the Council of Administration and our current At-Large Baseball Committee, Grant Committee and Judge Advocate Barbara McKean, Director of Baseball Operations Rob Lind, Class B Representative Wesley Grantham out of Hamlin, Class A Representative Keith Karpinski (absent).  And that is our current baseball structure. 

I need to do a quick roll call of the teams present that will help us determine the vote structure as it is each team that registered and played in a baseball tournament will get a vote each community has a maximum of 4 votes depending on the number of teams that participated in 2018 SD VFW Baseball.

Roll call of teams:

Alcester/Hudson Absent, Alexandria Absent, Artesian/Letcher/Woonsocket Absent,  Baltic Absent, Beresford Present & one vote, Burke Present & one vote, Canistota/Freeman Present one & one vote, Canova Present 3 & 3 votes, Castlewood 1 Present 2 votes, Chamberlain Absent, Clark Absent, Clear Lake/Deuel Absent, Colome Absent, Corsica Present, Dakota Valley Absent, Dell Rapids 3 Present & 4 votes, DeSmet Absent, Elk Point Jefferson Absent, Elkton 1 Present & 1 Vote, Emery Absent, Faulkton Absent, Flandreau 1 Present & 3 votes, Garretson 1 present & 2 votes, Gregory 1 present & 3 votes, Groton absent, Hamlin two present 4 votes, Kimball/ White Lake absent, Lake Norden absent, Lennox absent, Madison present 4 votes, Milbank absent, Mobridge absent, Mount Vernon/Plankinton absent, Onida absent, Parker absent, Parkston present 4 votes, Platte absent, Redfield absent, Salem 3 present 4 votes, Scotland 2 present 2 votes, Selby 1 present 2 votes, Sisseton absent, Spearfish absent, Tea absent, Tripp absent, Tri-Valley absent, Tyndall/Bon Homme absent, Vermillion absent, Volga 2 present 2 votes, Wagner absent, Webster 3 present 3 votes, Wessington Springs absent, West Central 2 present 4 votes, W-I-N  Absent, Winner absent, Worthing absent, 34 votes present.

Any changes or additions to the minutes from January 2018.  Hearing no changes or additions the minutes from January 2018 meeting stand approved as published.


Financially we are solvent and because of this we will be able to continue the grant program and will talk about the financial situation later on.  We have approximately $2500-$3000 in the grant program that will be available for this year.  All money that comes into the baseball program stays in the baseball program.

2018 versus 2017 teams by age groups we have +3 in the 16U age group, down 2 teams across the 14U, down one team across the 12U, and up 3 in the 10U.  The consensus of opinion is that we should see minor increase in teams for the 2019 season.  The hard part is to get the West River teams a place to play.  There are so few teams out West that is hard to put a West region together.  Belle Fourche is a league that is actively getting formed and probably will be asking some of your teams East River for games.


Registration for 2019 will see some minor changes but overall nothing significant.  David Grantham will take us through the changes. 

There will be a team registration and a player registration.  So we are asking that every player register individually.  We are trying to put a program in place to somehow reward all of the players that once they became eligible for VFW baseball played every season until they graduated out.  We are able to track that now so the process would be rather simple.  Each parent will have to create a sports engine account if they do not have one.  The registration process is very similar to any registration process with the information required.  A birth certificate will be an optional upload if they’re able to do that, then they will never have to load the birth certificate again.  If you have any questions on any of the particular information on the registration form please just give us a call.  Early bird registration is $125 from February 1 to May 1, regular registration $150 May 2 to June 15, and late registration is $175.  There is a process in place that if you have registered prior that information is available in the system.  For team registration, what we are asking you to do this year is to create a spreadsheet with the players’ names, date of birth & other information and just upload that spreadsheet into the team registration form.  If you are associated with a VFW post there is a spot where we want you to identify who that post is.  If you are not associated with a VFW post we’re going to ask what town you associated with.  The next step will be the team insurance.  Bohen and Associates to expedite the insurance process it can be done online and the cost remains about the same as previous years.  So it can be done through their website.  The insurance is a required item so make sure you have your required documentation.

The question was asked, because the information on birth date is included will we have to show birth certificates when checking in at tournament sites?  And the answer to that was the old method of verifying birthdates works faster at this point.  That does not mean that down the road the sports engine will be used for birthdate verification.  The rules state that birth certificates or state issued ID will be presented when verifying teams. They can use a valid identification example driver’s license in place of a birth certificate for registration at the tournament.

Question was asked on the size of rosters and there is not limit.  The team that is submitted on the roster the start of each tournament is the team that you are required to play with.  There are several things that are being considered to make the process of creating this roster more of a coach’s responsibility than it currently is and giving the coaches the authority to generate these rosters.  Is it in place at this point? No, it is not, but it is in the future thinking.  What will be available this year is on the VFW website each coach will have the opportunity to create their own webpage to get the information about their team out on Facebook.

Use a game changer on 10’s and 12’s for championship Sunday.  The upper division they should be able to make game changer work out for all of the games.  If questions please just give the baseball Chairman a call.

An incident occurred last year where a team signed up after the brackets were published.  We don’t have a problem with that because it’s all about teams playing but with the late request we are going to have to make registration $200 and then you have to get a vote of the teams participating to let them in the tournament.  And the team that is requesting late registration may have to play in a spot that they would rather not.  When you sign up late, your time is at the discretion of the VFW Baseball Chairman as to where you will be assigned to play.

Late registration for the younger kids will go to June 30.

July 2 is the cutoff date for all new roster changes.  And everything beyond that date is handled on a case-by-case basis.

The season starts for the 14U and 16U on the day of the 1st regional tournament game.  That may not be your region but that date remains the same.  This is put into place as kind of a safety precaution as well as establishing a date.  The days of the start of these region tournaments are going to be known well in advance.  The day will be posted as soon as we know the earliest start date of any of these regional tournaments.


This is an item that will be voted on today.

The Canova rule is that they use the Howard school but because they don’t have a team in Howard the field is in Canova they’re allowed to have players 15 miles radius of Canova.  Not all of those with the Canova address go to Howard school.  But because they do have a Canova address they’re allowed to play on the Canova team.  The consensus of the coaches present was to leave this item as is.


A discussion was presented to what to do when people forfeit in the finals are regional tournament because they’re saving players for the next turn.  Officials have been hired and snack bars are in place to accommodate that game so how should that be handled.  One of the instances that happened was that the 12U and 14U regional tournaments overlapped and that caused the team to forfeit.  So a request was made make sure that this overlap doesn’t happen.  In the discussion that this should have been a one-time incident.  The statement was made by one of the coaches and that teams should not have the option to forfeit that is not in the best interest of VFW baseball and is not what the program is all about.  So the option of forfeiting should not be an option.  The recommendation by the coach was that if you forfeit the finals of the region tournament the 1st and 2nd place teams would not be participating in the state tournament the third-place team would go in their stead.  We have a proposal that the teams that forfeit in the regional tournament would forfeit their position at the state tournament.  That proposal was seconded.  Discussion followed.  The motion was approved by majority of coaches present as amended in the amendment being that on a case-by-case basis it would be proposed to the tournament director and the regional coordinator in concert with the baseball Chairman and baseball field manager to deviate as deemed necessary for the betterment of VFW baseball.

If teams need patches for uniforms please get the request to the baseball Chairman and he will fulfill your needs.  And the patches are $2 each.


We hope to simplify the bat standard to make it easy to purchase bats and determine approved equipment.  The USA standard does not cover all age groups at this point.  The BB core standard will be the standard for 16U and if the bat does not make that standard it will be removed from the game.  The bottom line, bats will be BB core or USA Bat for the 14U age group to be authorized.  The 12U and 10U age divisions will be required to use the USA Bat standards approved for 2019. This will be published in the updated rules for 2019.  See the 2019 rules.

Modifications/new proposed to rules for 2019.

(please check final rules)

  • Substitute for a catcher at any point in the game.
  • 12U leaves the base when the ball leaves the pitchers hand.
  • 10U leaves base when the ball crosses the plate.
  • Question was, are the changes that are going to place, I would like to have them stay in place and be part of the new rules.
  • Teams participating in 12U are allowed one extra hitter.
  • The extra hitter can hit for anyone during the game.  But he remains in that spot in the lineup.
  • Currently this rule applies to 13 and 14-year-old.
  • Initially the pitch count was established for teams that play one game per day they were not established thinking there would be more than one game per day as happens in the VFW baseball.
  • The maximum daily pitch count will not change, while we looked at was increasing by 5 pitches per day.  So in the rules we are putting in the pitch count that we want not necessarily following the published pitch count taking into account the fact that we play more than one game per day.  Please check the published rules to make sure you understand this.  And the pitch count is per day not per game.  When the pitcher reaches a maximum daily pitch count he can continue facing the batter that he currently is pitching to.  The pitcher if he throws more than the published amount can play any place other than catcher.  It was a rather lengthy discussion about what to do and make sure to catch the changes in rules as they affect this item.

Motion to accept the rules as presented/amended Jeff Holm and seconded.  Motion presented and carried.

If you’re using a pitcher in a three-day tournament make sure that you check with the latest rules published.  It varies a little based on age group.  A motion was made to remove the 3 day pitching requirement.  Motioned died on the floor for lack of a 2nd.  A motion to amend this paragraph to allow a pitcher to appear in a game in 3 consecutive days if they do not exceed the pitch count for any particular day.  Motion was seconded.  Motion presented and carried.

*There is a proposal for 10U rule that all players bat through the lineup.

*From VFW baseball is there an interest in change in the upper age bracket from 16 to 17?  The current consensus is that the 17-year-olds should be playing American Legion baseball.

The chairman asked that all coaches look at these 2 rules to possibly implement in 2020.

On pool play you do not have to play the bottom of any inning if the home team is ahead as the game is basically over, IAW with rules of baseball.

There are no significant changes to the tournament check list.

We have dates for all tournaments out through 2023 so please check your calendars.

  • 2019 Class AA (tentative)
    • Class AA 12U: 7/12-14/2019
    • Class AA 10U: 7/12-14/2019
  • 2019 Class A
    • Class A 16U: 8/2-4/2019: Dakota Valley (Regions should be completed by 7/26)
    • Class A 14U: 7/19-21/2019: Madison (Regions should be completed by 7/11)
    • Class A 12U: 7/12-14/2019: Webster
    • Class A 10U: 7/12-14/2019: Webster
  • 2019 Class B
    • Class B 16U: 8/2-4/2019: Garretson (Regions should be completed by 7/26)
    • Class B 14U: 7/19-21/2019: Elkton (Regions should be completed by 7/11)
    • Class B 12U: 7/12-14/2019: Hayti/Hazel/Bryant/Lake Norden
    • Class B 10U: 7/12-14/2019: Castlewood/Estelline
  • 2020 Tournament Dates
    • Class AA, A and B 10U and 12U: 7/10-12/2020
    • Class A and B 14U: 7/17-19/2020 (Regions should be completed by 7/9)
    • Class A and B 16U: 7/31-8/2/2020 (Regions should be completed by 7/24)
  • 2021 Tournament Dates
    • Class AA, A and B 10U and 12U: 7/16-18/2021
    • Class A and B 14U: 7/23-25/2021 (Regions should be completed by 7/15)
    • Class A and B 16U: 8/6-8/2021 (Regions should be completed by 7/30)
  • 2022 Tournament Dates
    • Class AA, A and B 10U and 12U: 7/15-17/2022
    • Class A and B 14U: 7/22-24/2022 (Regions should be completed by 7/14)
    • Class A and B 16U: 8/5-7/2022 (Regions should be completed by 7/29)
  • 2023 Tournament Dates
    • Class AA, A and B 10U and 12U: 7/14-16/2023
    • Class A and B 14U: 7/21-23/2023 (Regions should be completed by 7/13)
    • Class A and B 16U: 8/4-6/2023 (Regions should be completed by 7/28)

The 2019 Baseball Grant program is alive and waiting for request from teams.  2018 Grant recipients: Webster, Selby and Dell Rapids. You don’t have a VFW post in your city that is not a problem.  We are accepting donations for the grant program.

Community of the Year last year for VFW baseball was Madison.

Friends of VFW Baseball; Recognized Chamberlain for helping, Volga stepped up to the plate when needed, Salem stepped up the plate on rainouts.

On behalf of the youth, SD VFW Baseball donated to veterans program; $1000 to the Veterans Cemetery in Eastern South Dakota from the baseball program.  And VFW Baseball donated $500 to the National VFW Disaster Relief Fund for veterans covering all the major disasters from floods to fires etc.

Unfinished business: None

New business

We have shirts available for baseball program and all the proceeds of this will go back into the grant program.

Comments from the VFW Commander: I can’t believe that the year has come to an end so rapidly and I will plan on doing whatever I can do to make this program more successful.  I will be giving up the Commander part of my job but I will remain as the Chairman of VFW Baseball.  Reminder that this is the 60th year of VFW baseball.

  • The minutes should be posted approximately the middle of February.
  • The rules should be updated and posted by February 1.
  • January 19, 2020 is the next annual meeting starting at 10 AM, Madison VFW Post.

Meeting adjourned at 12:33 PM.


Danny Frisby-Griffin,
Department of South Dakota Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States


Rob Lind,
Director of VFW Baseball Operations
Department of South Dakota Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States

South Dakota VFW Baseball Sponsors

 Interested in becoming a sponsor of South Dakota VFW Baseball?

17522980 1442203576078148 1788798313282455062 n element view

Frisby-Griffin Family

Initial Partner VFW Youth Baseball Grant Program and VFW Youth Baseball Veterans Programs Donation Program.

Sponsored by Become a sponsor

Become a sponsor

Visit Website

Want to participate in your local community? Become a  sponsor for South Dakota VFW Baseball and support youth in your area.

Sponsored by Become a sponsor

Become a sponsor

Visit Website

Want to participate in your local community? Become a  sponsor for South Dakota VFW Baseball and support youth in your area.