Dixie Softball, Inc. (DSI), is primarily a youth softball program for girls eighteen (18) years of age and younger, playing on a scaled-down diamond to meet the physical development of the growing child. The main purpose of the program is to provide a recreation outlet for as many as possible with emphasis on local league play rather than tournament play.
The Incorporators of the program were:
the late Ann Bradford, Minor Heights, Alabama;
George Desmond, River Bend, Alabama;
James E. "Obie" Evans, Minor Heights, Alabama;
the late Leo Hamrick, Centreville, Alabama;
Charles McCain, Gardendale, Alabama;
Carlton McWhorter, Midfield, Alabama;
Bill Rotenberry, Hueytown, Alabama;
James J. "Jim" Swift, Hoover, Alabama;
Charles "Buddy" Wade, Brent, Alabama;
the late Carol Warner, Cahaba Heights, Alabama; Honorary Incorporator Doug Turner, Pleasant Grove, Alabama.
The Incorporators, however, have no more voice in the operation of the program than any of the elected members of the Board of Directors. Each state in the program is represented on the Board by the following:
(a) a State Director from one (1) to two hundred and ninety-nine (299) teams;
(b) a State Director and one (1) National Director beginning at three hundred (300) teams.
No relatives (by blood, marriage or other legal means) can serve on the DSI Board of Directors at the same time.
No DSI official or a member of their immediate family can profit financially from their participation in Dixie Softball Inc.
Leagues affiliating themselves with Dixie Softball must comply with a basic set of rules and regulations as outlined in the official Dixie Softball Rule Book, but league officials will have absolute autonomy on certain provisions as indicated below.
Playing night games, interlocking scheduling, exhibition games, double or single elimination in championship games and matters concerning player selection systems, will be responsibility of the individual leagues involved.
While emphasis will be on local league play, there will be district tournaments, state tournaments and a World Series, for the Dixie Darlings, Angels, Ponytails, Belles and Debs divisions, following the close of the regular season. The Dixie SweeTees division is designed for district level tournament play only but DSI gives states the option to allow Dixie SweeTees to participate in multi-district or state level tournaments.
The Constitution provides for the election of the members of the National Board of Directors, (the officers of the program, and the National and State Directors,) along with the selection of the Dixie Darlings, Angels, Ponytails, Belles and Debs World Series sites and all other tournament sites.
The nominations for the National Directors are mailed to the National President on or before April 1 each year and the President or a National Board Member designated by the President shall conduct National Director elections. The nominations for the State Directors are to be mailed to the National Vice President on or before April 1 each year and the Vice President or a National Board Member designated by the Vice President shall conduct State Director elections. Nominations may be made by any league holding a current franchise. The list of nominees is to be mailed by April 30 to each renewed or newly franchised league that has franchised by April 1 of the current season and a mail vote will elect the National and/or State Directors. May 15 is the deadline for leagues to return their ballots to the President and/or Vice President. Leagues will be notified about the election at least forty-five (45) days before the election so that nominations can be submitted and the leagues notified as to who the nominees are.
The following change in the term of office for members of the National Board of Directors was made by the 1993 Board. The 1993 Board decided that each National and State Director elected to the Board by a state shall be elected to a three (3) year term beginning with the 1993 season.
EXCEPTION: In order to align elections for each year, beginning with the 1993 elections some Board members may be elected to a one (1) or two (2) year term for the first term and then to a three (3) year term for each subsequent election. Each member elected shall receive a majority of votes cast. Only leagues that franchised the previous season are eligible to vote for national and state directors.
In states where an increase or decrease in the total number of teams changes and therefore the number of eligible board members must be altered, the President will advise what procedure to follow to accomplish the change.
The new National Board of Directors takes office at the Annual meeting of the Board of Directors. The officers for the coming season(s) will be elected by the Board at the Annual meeting. The 1993 Board decided that the term for all officers will be for three (3) years, beginning with the 1993 season.
With the exception of school and church leagues, no National Officer, National Director, State Director or District Director shall be permitted to participate in an official capacity in any other organized youth softball program operating in more than one (1) state. Complete qualifications for any person to be eligible for nomination, election or appointment to any official position within Dixie Softball, Inc., above the local level, are included in the By-Laws which govern its operation.
The District Directors of each state for the current season(s) will be elected by the previous season's franchised leagues within a particular district. The election will be held by the State Director or his appointed designee. Leagues will be notified about the election at least thirty (30) days before the election. A majority of votes cast will determine the winner. District directors in even numbered districts shall be elected in even years and District directors in odd numbered districts shall be elected in odd years. The 1978 Board decided that beginning with the 1979 season the term of office for district directors shall be for two (2) years.
Only a duly authorized representative of a franchised league is allowed to vote in any matter before district or state meetings. No one person can represent more than one (1) league.
NOTE: A duly authorized representative of a league is the league president or a person designated by him in writing who is active currently in the voting league.
Leagues are assigned to districts within a state and are under the direction of a district director. There may be up to nine (9) districts within a state under the direction of a state director. The district and state directors are under the direction of the national president and/or national commissioner(s). Information concerning leagues, such as names, addresses, phone numbers, etc., shall not be distributed as a whole or in part without the written consent of the President of Dixie Softball, Inc. Any Dixie Softball official asked to give out such information on an individual basis should do so only if it is for the enhancement of Dixie Softball, Inc.
There shall be no State Constitution or By-laws in conflict with the intent, aims, purposes and rules of the National Dixie Softball organization.
All tournament sites are determined by each state organization on a bid basis with all leagues having equal opportunity in hosting the event provided the league can comply with the requirements established by the state organization. The state requirements are to be determined in advance by each state and announced accordingly.
Rule changes suggested by umpires, managers, National Board Members and league officials during the season shall be mailed directly to the Vice-President not later than April 30 of the current year. Suggestions received after this date shall be placed on the agenda for consideration the following year. The Vice-President will mail a copy of all suggestions and proposed rule changes to each director as soon as he assembles them. Any rule change submitted in the current year and passed by the National Board will become effective with the next printing of the rule book.
A financial statement is made once a year and is presented at the annual meeting. A C.P.A. firm will review the finances of DSI annually. An audit will be at the discretion of the National Board of Directors.
Intent of Dixie Softball Organizers
The most fundamental intent of the organizers of Dixie Softball, Inc. was to develop a program which would emphasize local autonomy. It was our philosophy and belief that the parents and workers in each local league know what is best for them and their children. Since the mores (customs) of our people vary from community to community, even within the same districts, it was necessary to leave such things as night softball, team selections and league operation up to the local league. There were imposed upon the leagues certain fundamental rules that were deemed necessary for good organization and which would keep one league from gaining unfair advantage over another such as boundary and population limitations, the number of teams in a league, and the age brackets.
The next important philosophical belief was that the leagues affiliated with the program should have a voice in the running of the program. Thus the provisions for electing national directors, state directors, and district directors from among the leagues to serve with the organizers were made.
Any governmental structure between the local leagues and the national board exists for one reason . . . to serve the local leagues as administrative adjuncts of the Board. The imposition of any rule on a local league should be done with utmost reluctance and absolute necessity.
Official Statement of Policy
It is the policy of Dixie Softball to promote the development of strong character, a right attitude and a sense of responsibility and citizenship in youngsters, using the game of softball as a vehicle. It is the purpose of Dixie Softball to achieve this goal through fair play, good sportsmanship and congenial fellowship, with adult leaders providing the example. It is strictly against the policy of Dixie Softball for any person, either as a participant or a spectator, to engage in arguments, to use abusive language, to harass umpires, or to exhibit any behavior not in concert with the general intention of this policy statement. Team coaches are required to abide by this policy statement, and all parents and other adults are strongly encouraged to do so.