March 9th is the date set for the 2014 winter meetings for Veto League Baseball. The purpose of the winter meetings is for league veterans to meet up to discuss potential rule changes for the upcoming year, announce team captains and hopefully announce a date for Opening Day. Discussions will also take place about equipment that needs to be purchased.
Veto League has continued to reach great lengths from its creation 16 years ago. Last year, Veto League attained its 500th player ever and has since surpassed that amount.
Additionally a new website was launched.
Last year's winter meetings created a new rule in which captains were no longer allowed to pitch to the opposing team. The league also approved the purchase of new baseballs, rubber bases, and other equipment. League funds are obtained through food sales at the night game played at the end of each season at Modern Woodmen Park to benefit the RiverBend Foodbank.
Also at last year's meeting a long discussion was held regarding the possibility of purchasing a pitching machine. Currently pitches are thrown in "batting practice style" with a screen from players. One of the longest tenured members of the league, Scott Ellefritz brought the idea to the table so that way all pitches would be consistent. Some negatives of the human pitch is a struggle to throw accurately resulting in long at-bats that extend the game as well as players not complying with the rules and throwing "junk" pitches to deceive the hitter which is against league rules. After a discussion last year, the eight members in attendance were split on the decision and Ellefritz who proposed the idea was asked to conduct a feasibility study of some kind. Such a study was never conducted and as of now, Veto League still does not use a pitching machine. It is unclear whether or not this subject matter will make it into discussions again at the 2014 meetings.
There are no official agendas set prior to the Winter Meetings so it is not known what will be brought up and what kinds of rule changes will come out of the 2014 meetings. One rule change that has been debated for years is that of switching sides at the plate in the middle of an at-bat. Currently, many hitters who are righty will try to bat lefty and vice versa. But many times when a hitter is batting on the opposite side and obtains two strikes, the player will then switch to his strong side. Many players have asked that a rule be implemented that a batter must declare which side of the plate he will hit on prior to the at-bat and be forced to remain on that side for the entire at-bat.
In the past players have also brought up the rule of a "foul-ball limit." Sometimes at-bats are extended (and many baseballs are lost) when a player continues to foul a ball off continually during the course of one at-bat.
Veterans of Veto League should have received an invitation regarding the Winter Meetings. The meetings are not open to the public or to new members. Check back after the winter meetings to see what rule changes are made, when opening day is, who the team captains will be and more.
Anyone interested in playing in Veto League this year who has not played in the past can visit the "Join the VLB" page for more details. The league is open to anyone of HS age or older and it is free to join. It is also open to both men and women.