The issue of player releases has, at one time or another, been controversial or contentious in all participating associations. We hope that an explanation of the foundations and reasons for the existing release policy will help to eliminate misunderstandings.
With few exceptions, sporting associations consider the issue of player releases to be a very “slippery slope”. Any rep or competitive sport is only as good as the opportunity it offers for game competition. The opportunity to travel to other cities and towns in southern Ontario to play against the best from other organizations is a big part of the experience we offer as an association. However, if all the “quality” players from one association were allowed to migrate at will to play for one or two perceived “better associations,” the game would eventually fail due to a lack of balanced competition. Release policies were created to protect against such failure.
Release policies exist to ensure a fair distribution of talented players and, therefore fair competition, through the populations of each association's boundaries. Fair competition builds a better sport and a better experience for all involved. For this reason, the issue of player releases is important to the health and very existence of baseball in southern Ontario.
We understand that a parent who wants his or her child to play for another association might have a different perspective from that of the leadership of their home baseball association. As parents ourselves, we believe that a parent asking for a release is thinking of the child's best interests. The reasons for requests vary, and might be based on the perceived quality of coaching or commitment to winning of a particular association, or maybe just the desire to join a friend elsewhere. Despite all due respect for these considerations, a release will NOT be granted under most circumstances.