CODES OF CONDUCT & PROTOCOLS
Regular and punctual attendance by all athletes, however, is closely correlated to individual and team growth and success. All practices, games and tournaments are considered mandatory. Each practice missed will result in the athlete sitting out a game (and may further detrimentally effect an athlete’s playing opportunities within TDR coach discretion).
TDR recognizes absences do occur. TDR further recognizes the importance of family, education, personal obligations, and that absences may be beyond an athlete’s control. To this end, legitimate verified matters are understood (e.g., family emergencies; illness; transportation issues; etc.). Accordingly, TDR coaches must be advised prior to practices, games and tournaments (or as soon as possible thereafter). It must be understood that “sitting out a game” is not “the end of the world” and isolated absences will not detrimentally affect an athlete’s standing on the team. An athlete missing practices, games or tournaments must be an “exception” rather than a “habit”—the success of the TDR program and this team is directly dependent on the dedication of all athletes, parents and coaches to each other and the “process” that necessitates the entire team working together at practices, games and tournaments.
We are concurrently providing a prospective schedule for this season. It is our goal to participate in top end/high profile tournaments and showcases to allow for maximum exposure for our athletes and program. Athletes and teams only maximize their potential by seeking out and playing the best available competition. The schedule is subject to change (e.g., multiple tournaments/showcases are “invitationals”; field availability; weather; etc.). Athletes are required to continuously review the schedule and advise of ALL conflicts or potential conflicts as soon as they become aware to allow the program to plan/prepare accordingly.
UNIFORMS & EQUIPMENT
It is important for TDR athletes to properly represent our program. This includes wearing the proper uniform at all practices and games—including properly wearing the required uniform (e.g., shirts are to be tucked in; hair is to be in a pony-tail or otherwise maintained in a manner ensuring the athlete can properly and safely perform; etc.)—and having/maintaining all required personal equipment (e.g., gloves; cleats; sunglasses; helmets; wristbands; etc.).
The required uniform (e.g., jersey; pants; socks) will be posted on the Team Snap app/site for all practices, games and team events. An athlete failing to be properly attired for a practice or game may be subject to disciplinary action within the discretion of coaches (including but not limited to suspension from practice(s) or game(s); additional required training/S&C; etc.).
TDR monthly dues are based on an estimated budget at the outset of each season (and corresponding actual costs) and may be subject to change. Dues are intended to be all-inclusive of team costs (e.g., practices facilities; tournament registration fees; friendly registration fees; personal S&C training with Fullrange Athletics 2X/week; Firecracker organizational fees; team equipment costs; etc.). There are no paid positions – all coaches/staff are voluntary positions – there are no profits. The costs in running a competitive organization are significant and continuing (e.g., field permits/rental; facility rental; tournaments; friendlies; etc.). A detailed estimated budget is always available for consideration.
Payments shall be made at the outset of each month “Stripe” integration system – e.g., utilizing credit card payments for each family. If there is a concern regarding credit card usage please IMMEDIATELY contact either the manager (Christopher Dunakin) or program treasurer (Danielle Nelson) to discuss and address. In the event matters beyond a family's control arise, immediate communication with TDR is required to assist in addressing potential delinquency, etc.
PRACTICES/GAMES & OUTSIDE TRAINING
TDR practices (or plays) every Saturday and Sunday during a season with the exception of off-days set forth on our calendar. Take advantage of the off-days! TDR must be a priority during a season requiring 100% commitment (including but not limited to attendance at all practices/games) to the team and each other.
TDR does not have scheduled mandatory practices during the week (Monday-Friday) during the school year - with the expection of our weekly "clinic" being mandatory on the week of tournaments. Strength & Conditioning training (when re-instated post-COVID) is mandatory at least 1X/week (and available up to 2X/week)...but designed in a manner to permit an athlete to attend a session from Monday-Thursday (for maximum flexibility). Academics are a priority for athletes requiring flexibility during the week. We are also by design a “geographically diverse” program, seeking the best athletes throughout Southern California with the location of “home fields” and games balanced to the extent possible to address the demands of travel softball for our families.
It is expected that athletes will skill train independently during the week (Monday-Friday) with personal coaches or otherwise focusing on foundational skills (strength/conditioning; fielding; hitting; pitching/catching; etc.). In the event an athlete needs any assistance finding a local coach, clinic, training opportunity, etc., TDR can and will assist.
TDR does not engage in traditional “fundraising” and/or disguised additional “out of pocket” payments for families (e.g., squares; raffles; etc.). Consequently, in order to keep dues at a minimum while concurrently addressing team costs, full participation and support of TDR fundraising efforts is expected and required.
For 2020-2021, we are currently requiring each athlete to raise/obtain a base MINIMUM in sponsorships no later than March 1, 2020. We will again have an annual sponsorship campaign January-March 2021. That being stated, it is requested that TDR families always consider and pursue sponsorships throughout the season – both for fundraising and to maximize exposure of our team and athletes within our local communities. To this end, we have an “Athlete Sponsorship Program” wherein each athlete will receive 20% credit toward team dues/costs owed to the program for every dollar raised in sponsorships above $350. Further, each athlete will receive a voucher on exceeding various “tiers” (e.g., $500; $750; $1000) for use at the Firecrackers Gear Team Store. Finally, TDR is again and uniquely a recognized charitable organization under IRS Code 501c(3) providing for tax-deductible donations/contributions [TDR has a “sponsorship letter” (see above link/page on this website) that may be used to invite these charitable donations/contributions from your own employers and/or local business, etc.].
TEAM SNAP APPLICATION/TEAM COMMUNICATIONS
All parents/families (and athletes with phones) must download and utilize the Team Snap site for team communications. This application provides: (1) updated schedule (incl. locations; times; uniforms; etc.); (2) roster (incl. athletes names; parents; contact information; etc.); (3) message/communications options within our program (e.g., Team Chat; Posts; Emails; etc.); (4) payment options/invoicing; (5) photos; etc. All team communications will be via Team Snap. All parents/families should also update their athlete’s status for events (e.g., practices; games; tournaments; etc.) on a daily/regular basis - and each Sunday before midnight regarding the upcoming week's events.
TEAM WEBSITE (fctdr2024.com)
TDR also maintains this website at fctdr2024.com in an effort to promote our athletes and program. Please take the time to become “a member” of this site and feel free to provide any recommendations and insights as we work to give the maximum “visibility” for our athletes and program. The website is for promotional/marketing/social purposes—all inter-team communications, scheduling, etc. should be via our Team Snap site.
All TDR athletes are expected to "Play with Honor" and behave in a mature manner both on the field and off the field of play. This includes (but is not limited to) positive communication and sportsmanship on and off the field, to opponents/other teams and umpires, and both within our program and otherwise. If the athlete’s behavior does not improve, that athlete will face disciplinary action (e.g., game(s) suspension; additional work at practices; etc.) and possible dismissal from the team.
The TDR program is designed and intended to be a very competitive environment. We further seek to concurrently maintain a supportive and “family” environment wherein everyone is giving their best and most supportive efforts on and off the field. It must be understood and appreciated again that conduct detrimental to the team (e.g., poor effort; poor attitude or sportsmanship; detrimental conduct by players and/or family; not running out or giving up on a play; missing practices; etc.) may result in a loss of playing time or opportunities on the field. As always we will be looking for the right “mix” for tournament play based on demonstrated “skill sets” through the course of practices and pool games/friendlies to both provide our athletes and the team to both develop and ultimately achieve “success” on the scoreboard and in the scorebook. Our goal will again be to develop and maximize the skill-sets and confidence of the team as a whole, and each athlete individually, to allow for growth and ultimately success on (and off) the field now and in the future for our athletes.
"OPEN DOOR" COMMUNICATION/”24-HOUR RULE”
TDR will always be open to all suggestions and concerns. It must be understood TDR coaches have the best interest of the team, athletes and families in mind each time a “decision” is made. Communicate any insights or concerns at appropriate times. Unless it is an “emergency” (e.g., an athlete is sick; hurt; etc.), or related to purely “positive” communication (e.g., cheering your athlete), it is requested that parents refrain from communicating with their athlete in the course of a game. Any questions or “heat of the moment” communications should be made to TDR in accord with the “24 hour rule” (e.g., the next day) to provide for perspective and appropriate/thoughtful communication.
Families and/or TDR supporters must also attempt to refrain from any negative communications (to players; umpires; opposing coaches or parents; etc.). TDR managers and coaches will endeavor to continue keeping everything as positive as possible to make the environment enjoyable for all. Understand negative communications (especially if directed to umpires and opposing teams) are just that...negative...and can result in consequences to a team – including forfeits.