Child Protection Program

New for 2024: Important Updates to Little League’s Child Protection Program

Learn about two key enhancements to our Child Protection Program to help in our continued evolution and commitment to player safety.

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The safety and well-being of all participants in the Little League® program is paramount. Little League promotes a playercentric program where young people grow up happy, healthy, and, above all, safe. Little League strives to create an environment that is as safe as possible both on and off the field. Little League does not tolerate any type of abuse against a minor, including, but not limited to, sexual, physical, mental, and emotional (as well as any type of bullying, hazing, or harassment). Little League’s goal is to prevent child abuse from occurring through required screenings, training and education, awareness, and mandated reporting of abuse.

Local Little League programs must establish a zero-tolerance culture that does not allow any type of activity that promotes or allows any form of misconduct or abuse (mental, physical, emotional, or sexual) between players, coaches, parents/guardians/caretakers, spectators, volunteers, and/or any other individual. League officials must remove any individual that is exhibiting any type of mental, physical, emotional, or sexual misconduct and report the individual to the authorities immediately. Local Little League programs who fail to enforce the zero-tolerance culture or fail to abide by the terms of this policy will face potential revocation or termination of their Little League charter.

NOTE: Commencing with the 2024 season, Little League has updated its Child Protection Program to include all the provisions of Little League’s Child Protection Policy into one, comprehensive document, which will be known as Little League Child Protection Program. Incorporating the Policy into the full Program, as outlined here, provides all the information a league needs regarding the protection of its players in one location that clearly outlines the requirements of the local league. The goal is to ensure that local leagues, parents/guardians/caretakers, and all volunteers in the local league understand the obligation and requirements of the local league regarding the protection of its players. Please note that going forward, Little League International will refer to these local league and volunteer requirements as the Little League Child Protection Program, and we will continue to provide educational resources to bring this essential program to life for local leagues and volunteers.

red lines spacerLocal League and Child Protection Requirements

All chartered Little League programs must adhere to the following requirements to remain affiliated with Little League Baseball and Softball:

  1. Complete Background Checks
    Utilize the Little League volunteer application form to conduct annual background checks on volunteers and prohibit anyone with any offenses that would disqualify them as a participant in any Little League activity.
  2. Mandatory Training & Continuing Education
    Annually require all volunteers to complete an Abuse Awareness Training provided by USA Baseball or a comparable training.
  3. Mandatory Reporting Requirements
    Report Child Abuse, including sexual abuse involving a minor, to the proper authorities with 24 hours.
  4. Non-Retaliation for Reporting
    Adopt a policy that prohibits retaliation against “good faith” reports of child abuse.
  5. Prohibit One-on-One Interactions
    Adopt a policy that limits one-on-one contact with minors without being in an observable and interruptible distance from another adult.

red lines spacerBackground Check Information

As part of the Child Protection program, all affiliated local little leagues are required to conduct an annual background check on its volunteers, which includes a search of the National Criminal Database, National Sex Offender Registry, U.S. Center for SafeSport Centralized Disciplinary Database, and the Little League International Ineligible List. To support its local leagues in these efforts, Little League International provides 125 free background checks that meet the Little League standard through JDP to each local league annually. Local leagues are also provided different types of child protection training and must complete the USA Baseball BASE Abuse Awareness training before entering their respective Little League Region Tournament.

Background Check Information