Getting Real About Safety: Concord American Little League’s ASAP Plan Focuses on a Healthy Experience On & Off the Field

baseball players on a field

The A Safety Awareness Program (ASAP) was created more than two decades ago with a mission of providing the safest possible environment for Little Leaguers® everywhere and helping them build confidence and emotional well being. Every year, member organizations make amazing strides in this effort and one group is recognized for embodying this spirit above all others.

For 2019, the national ASAP recognition was awarded to Concord American Little League (CALL) in Concord, California, which will receive a new LED field lighting system.

“There are so many advantages to staying on top of safety,” said Liz Berg, Treasurer for Concord American Little League. “No safety plan can prevent everything, but having the ability to affect change, to educate our parents, and, in turn, educate the kids has been amazing.”

While there were worthy finalists from all five of the United States regions, Concord American Little League was recognized for its efforts aimed at fostering a safer environment and experience for its families. The local league implemented concussion prevention practices and protocols, requiring all board members, coaches, safety parents, and team parents to complete online concussion training.

“Since our parents have to read and acknowledge the parent concussion information and so many team representatives are required to take the training, when a child is actually pulled from a game for a suspected concussion, no one questions the decision,” said Mrs. Berg. “I have not had one parent go to a coach, or any coaches come to me, saying ‘He’s fine, put him back in.’ I call that a win!”

Additionally, CALL was able to secure two automated external defibrillators (AED) to respond to major medical emergencies quickly and arranged for annual CPR/AED training for team staffs and parents. The organization also requires ID badges for all volunteers entering the field.

“No safety plan can prevent everything, but having the ability to affect change, to educate our parents, and, in turn, educate the kids has been amazing.”

“As much as we were trying for the national award, it was still a surprise and the most amazing honor,” said Mrs. Berg. “We worked hard for it and it was a great honor to be recognized for it. We have been saving for some capital improvements for our fields so we’re ready for the task. Adding lights will allow us to accommodate later games to make it less of a rush for parents to get to the field.”

Concord American Little League’s dedication to providing a safer environment for Little Leaguers is a proud example of how local leagues can collectively make the ASAP program a success. In 2020, the 25th Anniversary year of the program, the goal is to exceed the already record level of participation, and again strive for 100 percent of the leagues in the United States to take part.

Once a local league has formally chartered for the 2020 season, it can begin to prepare and submit its ASAP Plan. Plans are to be submitted electronically through the Little League Data Center.