Little League International requires all leagues and districts in the United States to conduct an annual background check, including a nationwide criminal search and a search of the National Sex Offender Registry. Little League preferred provider, J.D Palatine, has a Criminal File database that contains more than 600 million records, including criminal and sex offender registry records covering 50 states and the District of Columbia, meeting the current Little League Regulation 1(c) 8 & 9 requirement.

Before you Begin

Before beginning the background check process, which must be completed annually on all new and returning individuals prior to the individual assuming his/her duties for the current season, a league needs to understand who needs to be checked and how the background check should be completed. It should be noted that all those individuals that meet the requirement of Regulation I(c) 8 need to be checked. It is not limited to just coaches.

Important Questions

  1. Are we doing all of the background checks that are required? It does not matter who was checked last year – background checks must be performed on an annual basis.
  2. How many managers/coaches do we have per team – 2 or 3?
  3. How many additional people are helping at practices as “practice coaches”?
  4. How many umpires are being checked?
  5. How many board members?
  6. How many parent(s) are assisting teams in various capacities?
  7. Do we have other positions in the league like equipment manager, field maintenance, scorekeeper, and/or announcer?
  8. Who else has repetitive access to the players?

Once you answer these questions you should come up with 5 to 6 people per team as an average number of people per league that require background checks.

Volunteer Background Check Steps

Step 1:

Complete a Little League Volunteer Application and submit a government-issued photo ID.

There are a few ways that a volunteer can complete the Little League official Volunteer Application.

Step 2:

Submit the Background Check

The league must submit the background check in the preferred process above

Step 3:

Review the background check / volunteer application with a valid government issued photo ID

The local league must verify the volunteer’s application with a government-issued photo ID. This allows the league official to verify the information on the volunteer application (name, DOB, and address) is correct.

For both the JDP / Sports Connect Integration and the JDP QuickApp process, verification should be completed when the league reviews the background check. For leagues using the paper form this can be completed when inputting the information into the JDP platform.

Step 4:

Approving the background check

Once a background check has been conducted on a potential volunteer, the designated league official must review the results of the background check in JDP. If there is a charge on the potential volunteer, it will be indicated by a red flag on the JDP Platform. The local league must first determine if this charge is permitted by Little League Regulation or present this information to either the league president or local board to determine if this individual is fit to participate in any manner in the league.

As per Little League Regulation 1(c)9: “No local league shall permit any person to participate in any manner whose background check reveals a conviction, guilty plea, no contest pleas, or admission to any crime involving or against a minor or minors.”

Starting in 2019, leagues are required to contact the Security Manager at Little League International if a potential volunteer appears on the National Sex Offender Registry prior to the volunteer being appointed. This information can be found under Little League Regulation I (c) (9) in the Little League  Rulebook.

NOTE: A letter or email, which includes a copy of the completed background screening report & Summary of Rights, will be sent to every volunteer where a criminal record from the public records database is reported to your local Little League. A toll-free number is listed on the letter if the volunteer decides to dispute the information reported.

NOTE: A local league or district official is strongly encouraged to check additional criminal records that may provide more information regarding the criminal case of individuals whose crimes do not require that they be listed on a sex offender registry. For example, convictions for assault, battery, theft or drug offenses would not result in a report on the sex offender registry. Details can be found at JDP.