Team fees - management of team funds

Discussion in 'General Softball Discussions' started by Endres22, Apr 29, 2019.

  1. Endres22

    Endres22 New Member

    My daughter was released from a team yesterday. Asked to leave because of a parent argument. Shouldn’t we be entitled to our money back that was paid into the team? We actually paid the team about $400 more than the fees actually cost. I was also aware that other parents received refunds for excess funds raised. Does anyone sanction the money management of these teams? Or are we just out of luck?
  2. Xrayaries

    Xrayaries Active Member

    Without the full story how can anyone answer this question? I imagine Jersey's were ordered and fall and winter games were played. I say no refund if that's the case.
    Freeze Mizer and daboss like this.
  3. TheSoftballZone

    TheSoftballZone Administrator

    With out of all the details (parent argument). I would say your not entitled to any individual player team fee's.

    With more details I may say yes you should receive some type of refund, was the argument between Mom & Dad of the player or a argument between other parents of the same team or argument between the parent and the Coaching staff? Did the organization/team have any written policies/rules in place to cover refunds of fee's if your DD was removed from the team?

    I've experienced the lather as the head Coach myself. I had the Parents of my number one pitcher get upset with me because I wasn't started there daughter in the semi final. Before the game even started the Parents approach me once there DD told them she wasn't on the mound. They cussed me out dropping tons of F bombs. I told them after the game they were no longer welcome to attend any more games for the season and explained to the DD that I was sorry we had to enforce this on her Parents.

    She was completely understanding and extremely embarrassed by her parents actions.

    In this situations we didn't refund any team fee's, but we had policies in place that were signed by both players and parents. One of the rules, was no parent(s) could approach the Coaching staff with complaints during a tournament or at the Ball Park. If a parent(s) had a grievances they had to schedule a private meeting with the Coaching Staff.

    If your organization/team has no policies in place, then your most likely entitled to some type of refund. You would need to take it to the next level by taking legal action against said organization. If the organization/team has no written rules in place and you have proof of fee's paid. I would say that taken the organization to mediation would be your best chance of success. Basically the organization has opened up the door against legal action by not having some type of refund policy in writing.

    If the organization has written policies on refunds and you as a parent broke the rules then your not entitled to a dime.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2019
    Jamie Wolff, Dave Coffee and daboss like this.
  4. Endres22

    Endres22 New Member

    Actually, they don’t have any policies in place. Full story is quite simple. My daughter is one of five girls on the team that was a multi sport player. Of those five girls, my daughter was the only one punished and benched for splitting her time between the sports when we were told up front that it was encouraged for the girls to have multi sport talent. We asked the head coach about why our daughter was being singled out..... not during a softball function.... it was brought up at a later time out of respect for the team and the game. We were basically then told too bad if we didn’t like it and she is no longer needed on the team. The outcome was quite a shock to us as we thought we were just inquiring about the situation and had no intentions of wanting to leave. Her stats were high on her team and we had been a dedicated family to the organization for 2 years.
  5. Endres22

    Endres22 New Member

    Jerseys were not ordered. We used the same from the year before. One small fall league was played but paid for separately from spring. No costs from winter training either. Spring finds were solely for tournaments and uniforms for new players.
  6. daboss

    daboss Well-Known Member

    Many organizations have contracts in place you would have signed that should spell out policy and protocol. If not, it would come down to any verbal contract you agreed to. Other than that, small claims court would be your legal course of action. Just as mentioned in the above posts, more info would be needed to give you a more defined answer.

    Years ago I constructed a very detailed player/family contract specifically designed to avoid issues like this and all the other things that get generated by the travel ball experience. I spent 6 months scripting it. I openly shared it with anyone wanting to use it. I insisted the organizations I help start use it. All but 1 did so. They were the only ones to have any issues with problems like the one that started this thread. They decided it was too long and too detailed so they "abbreviated" it. A court appointed mediator told them at their hearing they should have left it in tact when he ruled against the organization and ordered a full refund to 3 families.

    Coaches, staff, board members, get a good contract and follow it to the letter or be prepared to pay the money back------even if it comes out of your own pocket. Leave handshake agreements to the farmers that will honor them.

    FYI, I agree with Xrayaries for the very reason explained by TheSoftballZone.
  7. Endres22

    Endres22 New Member

    Jerseys were not ordered. We used the same from the year before. One small fall league was played but paid for separately from spring. No costs from winter training either. Spring finds were solely for tournaments and uniforms for new players.
  8. Stedman00

    Stedman00 Active Member

    May I asked why you paid ~$400 in excess fees? If you were asked to pay $600 and paid $1000. I would think at a bare minimum the excess should be returned.

    Sound like an ugly deal.

    best of luck
  9. Endres22

    Endres22 New Member

    We paid the team excess funds from a sponsor we obtained. We were very committed to the organization and as I said before just blown away at how we have been treated. I started the thread to get opinions from others as I thought the right thing to do would be to give the sponsor back their money since they asked my daughter to leave. To now make matters worse, they are giving me the run around as to when I will receive her release paperwork. It almost makes me want to give up on the entire softball community for good. As anyone else would feel, I believe our kids deserve better than this. I appreciate your feedback. Thanks very much.
  10. TheSoftballZone

    TheSoftballZone Administrator

    Not sure how the sponsorship was handled. But when I was Coaching the girls that raised the fund kelp the money they raised and we just added the logo to the team banner. We did this because we had parents of players that didn't want to find sponsors and other players that brought in over 700 and a couple raised over 1000. I didn’t think it was fair that this money would go toward the team, so what you raised in sponsor money was yours.

    Yes some of the lazy parents 2 of them were upset because they felt the money should have went into the team funds to help off set there cost. Not in my American.
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  11. DLamb

    DLamb Member

    I feel the same way...any fundraising should go to the kid to cover fees, equipment etc... it helps come tournament time and you have a $500 hotel bill and enough money in the account to cover. What makes it fair is that all parents are afforded the same opportunity to volunteer, raise money etc.
    Dave Coffee likes this.
  12. Long Baller

    Long Baller Active Member

    Obviously without knowing what really went on, but if this "disagreement" was so egregious that you deserved to be kicked off the team, then just leave quietly and chalk it up as a lesson learned. If you truly were treated unfairly, then ask to have a meeting with head of the org and/or board of directors.

    You talk about "release paperwork", but state prior to that there is no sort of policies in place. Every travel team that any of my kids have played for made the parents sign a contract that included bylaws and parent/player codes of conduct. Is this an established organization, or just some one-off team?

    As far as fees go, I'd definitely ask for any unused portion the team fee back, but the "sponsor" portion is likely part of the teams general fund. Assuming that this sponsor was a business entity (and getting a tax deduction), it would look pretty bad for them to go to the travel ball org and say "Remember that charitable contribution that I made? Well....I want it back now".

    My response may sound harsh, but I have been in both of the situations you described. During my oldest daughter's first year of travel, were were one of those "all in" parents (who didn't know any better haha). We brought in about $1,500 of additional sponsorship money, in addition to the team fees. The coach didn't apply any of that money towards my daughter, which I was fine with. We later came to find out that he used the team fees to subsidize that "stud player" that he had to keep on the team. The other instance; One of my daughters travel coaches benched her during a tournament for playing a High School sport her freshman year. She didn't miss a game that tourney, but left to play the HS sport immediately after the last softball game on Friday, and was back for the next game on Saturday. He said he was fine with multi-sport athletes as long as it didn't interfere with softball, which in this case it did not. He also had one of those "My kid doesn't do it, so your kid shouldn't either" attitudes. It all comes down to finding the best fit for your daughter, both with her on the field, and with the coach's beliefs and methodology.

    Hopefully you and this travel ball org come to an agreement that works for everyone. Good luck.

    SOFTBALLS14 Active Member

    All I say is ask to sit down with the heads or the board of the organization and ask to see their policies on release of players. Then ask for your refund of fees that have yet to be used since the season really hasn't started yet. If that gets no results, then ask to see their financials for the team you where on before being released.
    As most teams/organizations are ( 5013C .... Non-profit organization) there financial records are public documents that need to be provided by every team! Upon request, in a timely fashion!
    If they bulk at that, then you could, let them know you are going to go the route of informing your county/state auditor to look into the organization.
    I would also make sure from now on that you research your team you go too and ask about all those things including if you leave and to see how last years funds where spent and how they handled players leaving the team. Research of e team is not a bad thing as you would for buying a car do the extra work to save trouble down the road....
    Good luck
    ! :)
    Long Baller likes this.
  14. Jamie Wolff

    Jamie Wolff Active Member

    Pretty sure it depends on how an Organization/Team is set up... Non-Profit or Dictatorship or For-Profit?

    If the Organization IS a non-profit and in good standing with the IRS, once you ask for money / sponsorship and a business writes a check to that Organization, YOU are NOT entitled to any of that money .... 100% of that will be used for how that Organization has set up it's by-laws... The Check was made out to the Organization and now belongs to that entity or Organization and nothing to the individual who solicited those funds.

    If you have a Dictatorship or 1 person in charge you may have some options to POSSIBLY getting your money returned...

    Like many have already said, Teams spend lots of money for Uniforms, equipment, Tournaments, Winter Leagues, Indoor Practices, Insurance, Sanctioning Fees, and etc. Your money was probably budgeted/spent within days or weeks of when you paid your team fees...
    Rich M likes this.

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