Continental Winter Baseball
League Charter

Article One
League Structure

As of this revision, the planned legal entity for Continental Winter Baseball is as a Limited Partnership. The league’s formal name in legal documents shall be Continental Winter Baseball LP.

The league intends to place baseball clubs, under autonomous management, in different municipal markets in North America. League ownership stake in any club shall be no more than half the control of any franchise at any time after inception.

Article Two
League Objectives

The core non-financial objective of Continental Winter Baseball is to gain recognition as as the first independent major league in North America since the Federal League.

Conditions needed in order to achieve that level include:

Stadiums conforming to a Triple-A level of quality or higher.
Level of play on the field gaining recognition as being at the minimum threshold of talent custom to Major League Baseball.
Management generally recognized as having the credentials to coach at the Major or AAA level.
Team salaries approaching the legal minimum for an MLB 25-man roster.
Franchises spanning the continent, and not just one region.
A media contract generally regarded as one acceptable for a Major League.

In order to achieve these goals set out, the league guideline for minimum stadium seating capacity is set at ten thousand or more.

To achieve the level of acceptable play, teams are authorized and encouraged to specialize personnel beyond the extent it is done today. Teams are encouraged to contract designated hitters managers imagine would be assigned the position if the National League allowed for the role. Substitution rules are to be eased for pinch hitters and pinch runners to expand their functions (more on this later).

The league itself will contract managers for season one.

As of 2010, the Major League minimum salary has climbed to $400 thousand. As the league intends to establish a revenue-sharing system, lower-revenue teams on the receiving end of the sharing system are encouraged to pay at least one roster-member a comparable salary to this minimum, or risk expulsion for the sharing system.

For the inaugural season, teams will be based in Canada, the USA, and Mexico. All Canadian teams will be required to be based in enclosed stadiums.

The league intends to sign broadcast agreements nationally and locally across the whole spectrum of platforms. The priority is on signing local broadcast agreements for each team in their market. A national cable contract in the United States should be with a channel reaching half the television households or more. Separate cable/satellite agreements in Canada and Mexico should achieve national reach.

Article Two, Section Two
Financial Objectives

The goal of revenue-sharing is to ensure sixteen teams can achieve solvency within the first three years of operation, while remaining competitive on the field. Each club is encouraged to forge a relationship with a local business in order to sell naming rights, in the fashion of Japanese professional baseball, as soon as possible.

Revenue-sharing will by necessity have to go beyond the extent found even in the National Football League. Even box-office for teams in major league-capacity venues will need to be shared with AAA-capacity-based teams in the opening year.

Article Three
League Commission

The inaugural League Commissioner shall serve a five-year term ruling unilaterally the affairs of the league. The rationale is simple: the league cannot suffer lockouts and strikes in the embryonic stage. Only after an initial public offering (IPO) liquidates the league’s stakes. This IPO shall take place as soon as each club meets the guidelines of the major American exchanges.
After the five-year term of the inaugural commissioner, the club owners may hold a convention to amend the league’s charter, and elect a new commissioner.

Article Four
The Schedule and Game Details

Note: This charter assumes the reader knows basics concerning play.

The schedule intends to fit in the traditional off-season for North American play. The founding intent is to fit the season between the months of November and February. One-hundred regular season games is ideal. The playoffs should be limited to a championship series between the teams with the top-two regular season records.

Teams will be required to maintain a twenty-five man active roster at all times, lead by a manager. Player-managers are allowed. Clubs are not required to to hold a contract of a player beyond a game. Teams are free to sign short-term contracts with free agents at any time, including the regular season and post-season.

In order to achieve major league-quality at a lower cost, the league intends to specialize several roles into their own separate professions.

To improve hitting:

The designated hitter (DH) will be adapted just as the American League has utilized the position
A player listed as a Pinch Hitter (PH) shall be able to return to the game as a pinch hitter more than once, and only the player he substitutes for shall be unable to reenter the game.

To improve base-running:

The softball Courtesy Runner rule shall be adapted. Any batter that reaches base may be spelled by a Courtesy Runner without fear of being taken out of the lineup.

These rules are intended to improve the level of talent seen on the field by specializing narrow crafts.