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HVBSA Terminates Acquisition of Ewing Little League

11/22/2017, 12:45pm EST
By Mark A. Shreve

Dear HVBSA Families:

On October 26, HVBSA announced its intent to acquire the assets of the Ewing Little League (ELL) and merge operations for the 2018 season. As is customary for an acquisition of this nature, the deal was subject to significant due diligence by HVBSA, and contingent upon a variety of terms and conditions being met by both ELL and HVBSA before formally merging operations, which was expected to occur on or before December 1, 2017.

We are writing to let you know that, at a November 20, 2017 meeting of the Ewing Township Recreation Board that was attended by both HVBSA and ELL, the Board voted to reject a critical component of the terms of our proposed merger that would allow the combined league access to various Ewing Township fields for league play beginning in 2018. And in fact, the Committee failed to endorse the merger in any form, saying in an email to HVBSA that they had “concerns for the short- and long-term well being of the league and Ewing players”.

As a result of this vote and the resulting inability of ELL to meet this critical term of our merger, we notified the Ewing Little League last night of our decision to terminate the proposed merger, effective immediately.

This surprising and unexpected outcome happened even though HVBSA had been approached three times by ELL board members since 2015 to consider a merger due to declining enrollment in ELL, and despite a detailed presentation by HVBSA representatives to the Ewing Recreation Board at the November 20 meeting demonstrating our strong financial condition; detailed plans to integrate the leagues in time for the 2018 season; and reiterating that HVBSA has a stable organizational and operating structure to support the anticipated addition of 200-plus Ewing players in 2018. We are deeply disappointed in this outcome.

So, what does this mean for HVBSA moving forward? It’s pretty straightforward:

  • League Administration: There will be no changes between our 2017 and 2018 operations, and HVBSA remains a financially strong, stable league with more than 700 participants;
  • Trustee Change: As a result of the terminated merger, Rich Lane will be resigning his position as a 2018 HVBSA trustee and remain with ELL. Garret Pachtinger has been nominated to replace Rich, with his appointment being subject to Trustee approval by majority vote at our next scheduled meeting;
  • Bylaws: Unfortunately we’ll have to re-state our bylaws to reverse certain changes related to the proposed merger that were previously approved in a membership referendum (emailed to 2017 registrants on 11/3, and approved). The By-law re-statement will consist of simply reverting the name of the league back to HVBSA, but we are required by statue to provide notice to current members, and to hold a referendum when any changes to By-laws are made. So, unfortunately, another referendum will be held via email, and it will be sent to eligible voters/members for their vote at the end of the week.
  • Travel Baseball Program: Many travel teams have already held their tryouts, some of which included Ewing candidates. It’s important to remember that Ewing residents are already eligible to play in HVBSA because Ewing is part of our chartered territory with the Cal Ripken League, and many Ewing players participate already. If a Ewing player is selected for a 2018 Travel team, he will be required to play in HVBSA’s 2018 recreational season, and required to register with HVBSA in early December, as would any other HVBSA travel baseball player. It’s something that all travel players are required to do so they are covered by HVBSA’s insurance coverage for winter workouts.

We felt strongly that this acquisition was in the best interest of the Hopewell-area community to help promote the game of baseball and make it available to as many players as possible. Unfortunately, the Ewing Township Recreation Board did not see the proposed merger in the same light. We wish ELL a successful 2018 season as they continue as an independent Little League-affiliated organization.

We’ll be back in touch after the Thanksgiving holiday with updates on travel team rosters and 2018 spring registration dates, and thank you for your continued support of HVBSA.

Our Regards,

HVBSA Trustees

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