By Nick Gerhardt
The Minnesota Baseball Association is moving forward with its classification criteria for next season.
The system, which is based on a point system that gives teams points based on their population, player level of experience and five-year period of postseason success.
The board analyzed the rosters of teams throughout the state and set the cutoff mark for classification at 49 points. Teams who have 49 points or more will be placed in Class B. Teams can adjust their rosters in order to fall below that mark but will need to set an appointment to meet with the board for its Nov. 17 meeting. The affected Class C teams are: Rochester, Luxemburg, Sobieski, Cologne, Hutchinson, Sartell Muskies, Plato, Green Isle, Faribault, New Market and Nowthen.
“Two years ago we were given the charter by our constituency, that there were issues that we don’t have criteria for who’s a B team and a C team,” MBA Secretary/Treasurer Dave Hartmann said. “We’re not going to satisfy everyone. We’re trying to do the best job we can.”
Class B teams who can petition down to Class C are: Ramsey, Monticello, Austin, Big Lake, Hibbing and Rogers.
Teams that are slated to move up must contact Hartmann to set up an appointment to meet with the board Nov. 17 if they wish to remain in Class C. If they do not contact the state board by that date or appear at the meeting, they will be Class B for the next two seasons.
In the meantime there are several teams that must complete their rosters on the MBA website. Those teams in Class B are: Burnsville, Big Lake, Blaine. The Class C teams are: Adrian, Aitkin, Dent, Cuyuna Range, Staples, Wolf Lake, Norway Lake, Freeport, Detroit Lakes and Moorhead Miners. Those teams must contact board member Mike Nagel prior to the November meeting to get their roster in good standing or they will not be eligible for postseason play in 2019.
Teams that are moved up to Class B must remain there for two seasons. Any changes to sections and regions will be revealed at the November board meeting.
“The information that we have now made it tolerable and easy,” Nagel said.
Teams accrue points based on the population they choose to use. They can choose between their school district population or their town/township population where their ballpark is located. Teams get assigned one point per 1,000 people in their population.
Points are also assigned to the level of experience of players on a team’s roster. Points range from 1-5 with five indicating some pro experience. Division I players are assigned four points, Division II players three points, Division III and NAIA players two points and junior college players earn one point. Players with college experience that reside in the town/township or school district when they sign their contract are exempt from player points.
Postseason success points through a five-year period are broken down into for Class C: 12 points if you win a state tournament, 10 points if a team reaches the championship, eight points if a team reaches the final four, six points if they reach the final eight, four if they are in the final 16 and two if they reach the tournament. In Class B a team earns three points for reaching the tournament, six if they make the final eight and nine points if they reach the final four.
Players 35 and older do not accrue points but hometown players, who live outside the radius, will accrue points based on their college playing experience level and will not be grandfathered in.
The points are based on the 2018 postseason rosters. Rosters will be frozen until March 15, starting next year there will be no lenacy on teams who add players that move them to the 49-point mark. They will immediately be moved to Class B for the current and following season.