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Spring: Inspections

Spring is here, so it is critical to ensure that all the tools of the game (including the items used by volunteers and fans) are in good condition.

Before the fields, bleachers, equipment, etc., are used, they must be inspected. This is one of the primary duties of the Safety Officer. (Rules - Safety Code; Operating Manual - Artificial Lighting Standards.)

The Safety Officer should inspect and inventory all equipment, replace worn straps, worn helmet pads, etc., and discard cracked helmets and other damaged equipment. At the local Little League, if equipment is still functional but will not be used, the league may wish to donate it to “Pitch in For Baseball” (PIFB).

The PIFB program is a non-profit organization that provides “gently used” equipment to leagues in need. Sometimes, the leagues are those that recently suffered a natural disaster such as the recent events in Japan. Others are leagues in other countries where baseball equipment is scarce.

See more information on PIFB at www.LittleLeague.org.

The Safety Officer also should inspect the bleachers, concession appliances, fences, lights and telephone(s). Emergency numbers should be in plain view near the telephone(s). A well-run also takes advantage of ASAP (A Safety Awareness Program) in which the best safety ideas from around the nation are shared.

The maintenance equipment (mowers, golf carts, tractors, etc.) should also be inspected. Minors should never operate such machines. The keys for these vehicles should never be left unattended. Pitching machines, if used, should also be inspected. Don’t forget to inspect the extension cords and outlets as well.

Used uniforms in good condition should be re-used. Old uniforms may be used as “hand-me-downs” for Minor Leaguers. All uniforms must have the proper patches (must not be screened or ironed-on), which can be ordered from Little League International. (Rule 1.11 a-2.) It is not recommended that player names be on uniforms, as this makes them unusable in subsequent years, and could expose children to increased risk from child sex offenders.

All equipment used in games and practices must meet Little League standards and specifications for the intended division. It is NOT necessary that equipment have the Little League Trademark affixed.

However, the league is assured that equipment meets Little League specifications if the Little League trademark is affixed. You or your sporting goods supplier can call Regional Headquarters or visit www.LittleLeague.org to obtain a list of those manufacturers who have earned the right to place the Little League name and/or logo on their products.

A database of all of these Operations Tips can be found here: http://www.littleleague.org/leagueofficers/Tips_Successful_League

Next article: Scheduling Games/Practices