Your Voice is a way for readers to share questions with us, and an opportunity for Little League® to provide some important information and guidance. We are excited about our continued conversations, and, as always, we invite you to share your thoughts, suggestions, and questions to [email protected].
Jayson from Tennessee – What can I do to become a better Little League® Manager?
Little League – Experience is the greatest teacher, and finding a mentor who has been a manager for a few seasons is great way to grow. Being a manger is a great responsibility, and the relationship you have with your players and families is the most important relationship in Little League. Tout your enthusiasm for volunteering in your local league by sharing your energy and inspiration with the players and their families, and being available to the children on your team, communicating often, setting goals, and, most importantly, having fun. These simple acts of self-expression will show that you are approachable, and teach you different ways to make playing fun for all your players, while finding ways to connect with everyone on the team so they grow as a player. The most effective way to become a better Little League Manager is to always remember you’re a role model for children; and Little League is a game played by children. To learn more about teaching baseball and softball, use the assortment of resources on Little League University’s Coaches Tab, which not only features on-field drills, but some of the important off-field tips for teaching and inspiring players, and how to communicate with parents.
Mazy from Florida – Is it easier to register my children online, or should I go to the scheduled registration?
Little League – Each local Little League® organizes its own methods of registration. If a local league offers online registration it is often quick and convenient, and you should take advantage of that option if you choose. If your league also offers an in-person sign-up day, it is a good idea to stop by. If you can make time, going to a player registration day after you have already registered online is a great way to confirm your Little Leaguer’s information is accounted for and accurate, and gives you a chance to meet with the league officials, ask any questions you may have, and consider what options are available for you to volunteer.
Justin from New York – Who is responsible for voting for current or new board of directors? How is that voting process supposed to occur? Who are classified as “general members?”
Little League – These election procedure questions are operational in nature and are outlined by Little League Regulations, Playing Rules, and Operating Policies; and the local league’s constitution.
- Who is responsible for voting for current or new board of directors?
Each league’s Board of Directors is elected annually by the membership of the league at the annual meeting. Membership is defined in each league’s constitution and automatically includes managers, coaches, and other approved volunteers (volunteer umpires, etc.). Other individuals interested in furthering the mission of the local program may become a member of the league by following the process outlined in each league’s constitution. You can request a copy of your league’s constitution from your league’s Board of Directors.
- How is that voting process supposed to occur?
When electing the Board of Directors, the league must first determine the number of directors to be elected for the upcoming season. Once that number is established and nominations are made, the membership votes to elect individuals as members of the league’s Board. The top vote recipients in the election are placed on the Board. Once elected, the Board members meet to elect officers (League President, Secretary, etc.).
- Who are classified as “general members?”
Each league’s constitution defines the process for becoming a general member. General members may, or may not, be required to pay dues or contribute volunteer hours to remain in good standing within the league.
Brent from Mississippi – I am confused about background checks. Last year, I had to fill out a volunteer application and the league did the check. Now, I am being told I need to do it myself. What am I supposed to do for this year?
Little League – Little League International is dedicated to providing cost-effective means for leagues to screen potential league volunteers, educate its leagues on why national background checks are important, and who needs to be checked. It’s important to remember that all background checks must be completed annually. To that end, this year Little League’s Child Protection program, in partnership with JDP, has developed an online volunteer application whereby an individual enters his/her own personal information to processes their background check, which is then delivered electronically to the local league. There are two options that we recommend to the leagues; JDP QuickApp or the Sports Connect / JDP Integration for leagues that utilize Sports Connect. Both options allow the volunteer to complete the volunteer application digitally and complete their background check with their own personal information. The league does not have the ability to see your personal information which protects you, the volunteer.
Using this “QuickApp” process, the local league does not have to receive or store any sensitive personal information. The only information the league needs to collect to initiate this process is your name and email address. There is no cost to the person or the league for the first 125 completed checks, because Little League covers the cost. Once a league runs its allotted pre-paid checks, any additional checks are done at a reduced cost. The final decision to allow a person to volunteer in the league, rests with the league, given the person has not been disqualified per Little League Regulations, Playing Rules, and Operating Policies.
Clayton from Indiana – I’ve had two kids go through our local Little League, and I was a Board member for a year, but I never heard about the ASAP program until our league was turned down for section games because we didn’t have an approved plan. What are were supposed to do to make an ASAP plan?
Little League – Developed nearly 25 years ago, Little League’s A Safety Awareness Program (ASAP) provides guidance for local leagues on how to protect the players and volunteers in the league. Each year, the local league is expected to organize and implement its own ASAP plan. Your league should have a Safety Officer, who should take the lead in creating the plan. Creating a plan for the 2019 season is simple and will be available starting on December 1, 2018. Visit the ASAP Plan Process to get started. Talk to your League President or District Administrator for more details. Each approved local league plan is eligible for consideration for a new 200-foot field light kit from Musco if a league’s approved plan wins the national ASAP Award.
Jamie from Iowa – When, or how, can a parent get time in front of the Board of Directors to discuss possible improvements or changes to the league?
Little League – Your league’s Board of Directors is typically seated by the end of October. If you want to address the whole Board, or members of a subcommittee, speak with the League President or another member of the Board. Ask for the dates and times of upcoming meetings, and get on a future meeting agenda. Be prepared to explain what your presentation will be about, so the members can be prepared to respond to your questions, concerns, proposal, etc.
If you have questions that can be answered in a future edition of Your Voice, please email: [email protected].