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Little League Baseball Debuts  Program Aimed at Education of Parents

Kits Sent to Leagues Throughout the World

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (April 7, 2002) – The Little League Parent Orientation Program, designed to better educate Little League parents regarding the purpose of the Little League program, has been provided to more than 7,000 leagues worldwide, it was announced today by Stephen D. Keener, president and chief executive officer of Little League Baseball, Incorporated.

“We know that the vast majority of parents at Little League events conduct themselves properly,” Mr. Keener said. “Thankfully, there are only a few who do not understand that the enjoyment of children is the goal of Little League. The Little League Parent Orientation Program gives our local league volunteers advice on the best way to handle those situations when a parent’s behavior gets out of hand.”

Included in the mailing to local leagues:

  • A CD-ROM containing general information such as advice on being a Little League volunteer, safety tips, the Youth Sports Parent Code of Conduct, the Parent/Volunteer Pledge, and an outline for parent orientation meetings. It also contains printable materials, which can be used for distribution.

  • A VHS-format videotape entitled “Keeping It Fun: Tips for Conflict Resolution,” providing parents and volunteers with valuable information about proper methods of conflict resolution. The video emphasizes the importance of settling disputes calmly and setting a positive example for children. 

  • A cassette tape recording of the Little League Pledge, the National Anthem, and a special message reminding parents that the purpose of Little League is for the children to have fun, learn valuable life lessons and strive to excel. 

  • Pamphlets entitled “Little League Baseball and Softball Tips for Conflict Resolution” for distribution within the league. Twenty pamphlets are included in each kit.

Each local Little League has an option to use all or part of the Little League Parent Orientation Program. “While the program is optional, we certainly expect many, if not all leagues, to take part,” Mr. Keener said. 

Below are the Youth Sports Parent Code of Conduct, as well as the Little League Pledge (written in 1955) and the new Little League Parent/Volunteer Pledge.

Youth Sports Parent Code of Conduct

The essential elements of character building and ethics in sports are embodied in the concept of sportsmanship and six core principles: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and good citizenship. The highest potential of sports is achieved when competition reflects these “six pillars of character.”

I therefore agree:

  1. I will not force my child to participate in sports.

  2. I will remember that children participate to have fun and that the game is for youth, not adults.

  3. I will inform the coach of any physical disability or ailment that may affect the safety of my child or the safety of others.

  4. I will learn the rules of the game and the policies of the league.

  5. I (and my guests) will be a positive role model for my child and encourage sportsmanship by showing respect and courtesy, and by demonstrating positive support for all players, coaches, officials and spectators at every game, practice or sporting event.

  6. I (and my guests) will not engage in any kind of unsportsmanlike conduct with any official, coach, player, or parent such as booing and taunting, refusing to shake hands, or using profane language or gestures.

  7. I will not encourage any behaviors or practices that would endanger the health and well-being of the athletes.

  8. I will teach my child to play by the rules and to resolve conflicts without resorting to hostility or violence.

  9. I will demand that my child treat other players, coaches, officials and spectators with respect regardless of race, creed, color, sex or ability.

  10. I will teach my child that doing one's best is more important than winning, so that my child will never feel defeated by the outcome of a game or his/her performance.

  11. I will praise my child for competing fairly and trying hard, and make my child feel like a winner every time.

  12. I will never ridicule or yell at my child or other participants for making a mistake or losing a competition.

  13. I will emphasize skill development and practices and how they benefit my child over winning. I will also de-emphasize games and competition in the lower age groups.

  14. I will promote the emotional and physical well-being of the athletes ahead of any personal desire I may have for my child to win.

  15. I will respect the officials and their authority during games and will never question, discuss, or confront coaches at the game field, and will take time to speak with coaches at an agreed upon time and place.

  16. I will demand a sports environment for my child that is free from drugs, tobacco, and alcohol, and I will refrain from their use at all sports events.

  17. I will refrain from coaching my child or other players during games and practices, unless I am one of the official coaches of the team.

The Little League Pledge
I trust in God
I love my country
And will respect its laws
I will play fair
And strive to win
But win or lose
I will always do my best

The Little League Parent/Volunteer Pledge
I will teach all children to play fair and do their best
I will positively support all managers, coaches and players
I will respect the decisions of the umpires
I will praise a good effort despite the outcome of the game

Kits may be obtained by contacting the program’s administrator, Scott Rosenberg (Little League assistant to the president for special projects) at srosenberg@littleleague.org.