Late Saturday night, SABR member Paul Brewer had an intriguing idea: why not establish a non-geographic chapter of SABR. Existing chapters are geographically centered because traditionally notions of community are centered at fixed locales. The internet has changed the equation, and Paul thought maybe Baseball Think Factory, which has herded numerous members into the organization in recent years, can be a chapter.
After Paul’s spark of inspiration, SABR member and BTF poster Chris Dial provided the perspiration. Knowing that creating a non-geographic chapter would require a pigeonholed some veteran SABR members and leaders, getting their opinions on the matter. Once he found out they were supportive, he rallied a dozen or so BTFrs to think through what they could say. This all had to be done in one night, as the Board of Directors meeting was the next morning and after that the convention would end.
Thanks largely to Dial’s energy and leadership, a fairly effective presentation was made to SABR leaders, who responded very positively. The Board unanimously approved a resolution stating:
Move that the board looks favorably on the application of the Baseball Think Factory for recognition as a ‘community of interest’ functioning as a SABR Chapter, but, recognizing the need for bylaws modification to achieve this and understanding that this will establish a new model for chapter-like entities asks Chris Dial to develop a plan and directs the Executive Director to investigate implications for SABR within the next 60 days.
I didn’t include this in my recap because I left town before the meeting and only knew it was intended to be presented before the Board.
I think this is tremendous news as it could transform the never nature of SABR. Speaking as a sample size of one, I’m far more plugged into the BTF contingency at SABR than I am to my locale chapter (Chicago). There’s nothing wrong with geographic chapters, but this plan could augment the existing ones as it does mirror some of modern American communities. Here’s hoping this bold new plan succeeds.