State Laws on Background Checks for Local Leagues

Little League Baseball, Incorporated (“LLB”) Regulations require that all chartered Little League programs conduct an annual background check on all persons that are required to complete a “Little League Official Volunteer Application”.  It is required that all of the following persons must annually submit a fully completed “Little League Official Volunteer Application” to the local league president prior to the applicant assuming his/her duties for the then current season:  managers, coaches, Board of Directors members and any other persons, volunteers or hired workers who provide regular service to the league and/or have repetitive access, to or contact with, players or teams.

As of  January 15, 2018, some state statutes mandate background checks of non-school associated activities for volunteers of youth sports and athletics. Certain municipal ordinances and administrative regulations require background checks.

As of  January 15, 2018, states with enacted background check requirements for volunteers of non-school associated activities of youth sports and athletics are:  Alabama, California, Florida, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Oregon and Pennsylvania.

Local leagues are required by LLB Regulations to determine the applicability of, and comply with, all federal, state, local and municipal laws and ordinances, and administrative rules and regulations regarding background checks including, but not limited to, requirements regarding sex offender registry checks, criminal history records or reports, fingerprinting, certifications, or other requirements associated with volunteers, coaches, participants and/or employees.  It is strongly recommended that local leagues consult with legal counsel in their own jurisdictions to determine the applicability, if any, of state and local requirements to their programs regarding background checks.  Failure to comply with all LLB requirements regarding background checks may result in the suspension or revocation of tournament privileges and/or a local league’s charter by action of the Charter or Tournament committees.

For your reference, information regarding state requirements is available by clicking on the links provided below.  In addition, information regarding LLB’s Child Protection Program is available at:

The information that follows is current up to and including January 15, 2018.

State Laws on Background Checks

  • Alabama

    Ala. Code §38-13-3

    Alabama law requires that an “employer” shall request the Department of Public Safety to conduct a criminal history background check of a “volunteer”.  The definition of “employer”  includes an entity that has volunteers who provide “care” to children in a “caretaker setting”.  “Care” is defined as the “provision of care, treatment, education, training, instruction, supervision or recreation to children”.  “Caretaker setting” is defined as “a building, structure or location, public or private property, or vehicle, utilized for or involved in the providing of care, education, training, instruction, or supervision of children… .”  A criminal history background information check shall include the review of any and all records containing any information collected and stored in the criminal record repository of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center, and the Alabama Department of Public Safety involving an arrest or conviction by a criminal justice agency, including, but not limited to, child abuse crime information as defined by 42 U.S.C. § 5119, the National Child Protection Act of 1993, conviction record information, fingerprint cards, correctional data and release information, and identifiable descriptions and notations of convictions.

    Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center – Alabama Criminal History Background Checks:

    Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Community Information Center (search “sex offender search”):

    The Alabama statute can be viewed online at: by clicking Title 38 on the left, then clicking Chapter 13 and then §38-13-2 or §38-13-3.

  • California

    Bus. & Prof. Code §18900

    A “community youth athletic program” must provide written notice to the parent or guardian of a youth participating in the program regarding the program’s policies relating to criminal background checks for volunteers and hired coaches in the program.  If criminal background checks are obtained for hired or volunteer coaches, the written notice shall contain both of the following: (A) a statement regarding whether the criminal background check includes state and federal criminal history information and whether the program obtains subsequent arrest notification for those individuals and (B) contact information regarding where the parent or guardian of a child participating in a “community youth athletic program” can obtain additional information about the program’s background check policy, such as the entity providing the criminal background check or the nature of the type of offenses the program searched.  Written notice is satisfied by a posting on the “community youth athletic program’s” website.  A “community youth athletic program” is defined as an organization that:  (A) has a primary purpose of the promotion or provision of athletic activities for youth under 18 years of age and (B) has adult employees who have supervisory or disciplinary power of children.

    The text of Bus. & Prof. Code § 18900 can be viewed online at:

  • Florida

    F.S.A. §943.0438, §435.03 and §435.04

    Florida law requires private, nongovernmental entities that organize, operate or coordinate youth athletic teams in Florida (“Independent Sanctioning Authorities”) to conduct annual Level 1 background screenings on any youth athletic team coach, assistant coach or referee who is authorized by an Independent Sanctioning Authority to work 20 or more hours a year whether for compensation or as a volunteer (“Athletic Coach”).  The screening requires a search of the Athletic Coach’s name or other identifying information against: (A) state and federal registries of sexual predators and sexual offenders checks; (B) employment history checks; and (C) statewide criminal correspondence checks through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.  Additionally, the Level 1 screening disqualifies any person that has been found guilty of, or entered a plea of nolo contendere to any offense that constitutes domestic violence or any of the offenses set forth at F.S.A. 435.04(2) or a similar law of another jurisdiction.

    Any person identified in a registry or prohibited for certain offenses (as set forth in s.435.04(2) (a) through (zz), or a similar law of another jurisdiction) must be disqualified unless they are exempt (exemptions may not be granted for sexual predators (s.775.21), career offenders (s.775.261), or sexual offenders, unless the sexual offender was removed (s.943.0435)).  If they are disqualified, the Independent Sanctioning Authority must, within seven (7) business days following the background check, provide the disqualified person with notice of such disqualification.  The Independent Sanctioning Authority must maintain the results and notification for at least five (5) years.

    The Level 1 background screening required pursuant to F.S.A. §435.03 is available to the public on Internet sites provided by:

    Florida Department of Law Enforcement sexual offenders and predator search:

    Florida Department of Law Enforcement criminal history information:

    A Level 1 screening in accordance with s.435.03 also requires a check of the United States Department of Justice Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website, which may be found at:


    The security background investigations under this section must ensure that no persons subject to the provisions of this section have been arrested for and are awaiting final disposition of, have been found guilty of, regardless of adjudication, or entered a plea of nolo contendere or guilty to, or have been adjudicated delinquent and the record has not been sealed or expunged for, any offense prohibited under any of the provisions of Florida State Law as set forth in F.S.A. §435.04(2)(a) through (zz) or a similar law of another jurisdiction.

    The Florida statute can be viewed online at:

    See also §435.03 and 435.04 for definition of Level 1 and Level 2 screenings:

  • Massachusetts

    M.G.L.A. 6 §172H

    Any entity or organization primarily engaged in providing activities or programs to children 18 years of age or less shall obtain “all available criminal offender record information” from the Department of Criminal Justice Information Services prior to accepting any person as an employee, volunteer, vendor or contractor. “All available criminal offender record information” means all adult and youthful offender convictions, non-convictions, previous and pending hearings conducted pursuant to section 58A of chapter 276 (Pretrial Detention or Release on Condition for Certain Offenders), including requests of such hearings, transfers by the court, disposition of such requests, findings and orders, regardless of the determination, and pending criminal court appearances, but excluding criminal records sealed under section 34 of chapter 94C (sealing of record for first offense involving unauthorized possession of a controlled substance) or sections 100A to 100C of chapter 276 (sealing of certain criminal records by the Commissioner of Criminal Justice Information Services) or the existence of such records.

    The screenings should be conducted via the following websites:

    Criminal Offender Record Information:

    The Massachusetts statute can be viewed online at:

  • Mississippi

    Miss. Code Ann. §43-15-303

    A “child care service” employer offering or conducting a child care service cannot permit an applicant to volunteer if the volunteer is listed on the sex offender registry.  Additionally, a “child care service” will not knowingly permit an applicant to volunteer who has been convicted of a sex offense, who has been adjudicated not guilty of a sex offense by reason of insanity or has been adjudicated physically or mentally incompetent.  “Child care service employer” means every person, firm, association, partnership, or corporation offering or conducting a “child care service”. “Child care service” is defined as a business or volunteer service that involves the care, instruction or guidance of minor children where a fee is charged for the care, instruction, guidance or participation of a child in the program (see §43-15-307 for definitions).

    A “child care service employer” who violates the above will be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction shall be fined up to Twenty-five Thousand Dollars ($25,000.00), imprisoned for a period not to exceed six (6) months, or both.  An employer who obtains an official report from the Mississippi Justice Information center that the applicant is not registered as a sex offender shall not be guilty, absent the employer’s actual knowledge.

    The Mississippi Code is provided by an external service provider.  The Code can be viewed  online at the below.  Check “Title 43” and then “Chapter 15”and then “Article 7”.

    The Mississippi Sex Offender Registry can be viewed at:

  • New Hampshire

    N.H. Rev. Stat. §485-A:23 and §485-A:24

    No entity shall for charitable purposes operate any “youth skill camp” without maintaining an appropriate policy regarding background checks for employees and volunteers, which policy must include the frequency of the background checks and the sources used to conduct the background checks.  A “youth skill camp” is defined as a nonprofit or for-profit program that lasts eight hours total or more in a year for the purpose of teaching a skill to minors, including the teaching of sports.  Certification of background checks must be made to the Department of Environmental Services demonstrating that no individual has a criminal conviction for any offense involving, causing, or threatening direct physical injury to any individual or causing or threatening harm of any nature to a child.

    The New Hampshire statute can be viewed online at:

    See also §485-A:23 for definitions, which can be viewed online at:

    New Hampshire Department of Environmental services:

  • Oklahoma

    57 Okl.St.Ann. §589

    A person or business who offers or provides services to children shall conduct a name search of all employees, at least annually against registries maintained pursuant to the Oklahoma Sex Offenders Registration Act and the Mary Rippy Violent Crime Offenders Registration Act.  The Oklahoma statute does not define “employee”.

    All persons working with or providing services to children shall be required to sign a statement declaring that he or she is not currently required to register under the provisions of the Oklahoma Sex Offenders Registration Act or the Mary Rippy Violent Crime Offenders Registration Act. Compliance with the signed statement requirement shall be mandatory for all persons working with or providing services to children, and there shall be no liability or obligation placed upon any person or business to ascertain the truthfulness of the affidavit.  Failure of any person or business who works with or provides services to children to conduct the annual name search of each person employed shall be a misdemeanor. Upon conviction for failure to conduct a name search, the violator shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00).

    The Oklahoma Sex Offenders Registration Act can be viewed online at:

    The Mary Rippy Violent Crime Offenders Registration Act can be viewed online at:

    Public Access for registries maintained by the Oklahoma Department of Corrections is available online at the link below.

  • Oregon

    ORS §329A.257 and ORS §329A.250

    A person operating a “school-age recorded program” may not operate the program without performing criminal background checks for volunteers and becoming recorded with the Office of Child Care.  To obtain a recording, the person must apply to the office by submitting a completed record application form.  The record will authorize operation of the “school-age recorded program” only on the premises described in the record and only by the person named in the record. The statute defines “school-age recorded program” as a program for school-age children that is not operated by a school district, is not required to be certified or registered and in which “youth development activities” are provided to children during hours that school is not in session and does not take the place of parent’s care (See §329A.250 for definitions).  “Youth development activities” means care, supervision or guidance that is intended for enrichment, including but not limited to teaching skills or proficiency in physical, social, or educational activities such as social activities, sports and recreational activities.  The term “criminal background check” is not further defined in the act.

    The Oregon statute can be viewed online at:

    Online Central Background Registry Application:

  • Pennsylvania

    23 Pa C.S.A.§6344, §6344.2 and §6344.4 (See also 23 Pa. C.S.A. §6303 for definitions).

    Section 6344.2 applies to an adult applying for or holding an unpaid position as a volunteer  with a “program, activity or service”, as a person responsible for the welfare of a child or having direct volunteer contact with children.  “Program, activity or service” is defined in part as a sports or athletic program in which children participate and which is sponsored by a school or a public or private organization.

    Employers or other persons responsible for the selection of volunteers shall require an applicant to submit to all requirements set forth in section 6344(b).  Employers or other persons that intentionally fail to require the foregoing before approving the applicant commit a misdemeanor of the third degree.

    The volunteer must submit:

    (1)  A report of criminal history record information from the Pennsylvania State Police or a statement from the Pennsylvania State Police that the State Police central repository contains no such information relating to that person; and

    (2)  A certification from the department as to whether the applicant is named in the Statewide database as the alleged perpetrator in a pending child abuse investigation or as the perpetrator of a founded report or an indicated report; and

    (3)  A full set of fingerprints to the Pennsylvania State Police for the purpose of a record check, and the Pennsylvania State Police or its authorized agent shall submit the fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the purpose of verifying the identity of the applicant and obtaining a current record of any criminal arrests and convictions.

    However, if the volunteer: (A) is unpaid; (B) has been a resident of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania during the entirety of the previous ten-year period or, if not a resident of the Commonwealth during the entirety of the previous ten-year period, has received certification under section 6344(b)(3) at any time since establishing residency in this Commonwealth and provides a copy of the certification to the person responsible for the selection of volunteers; and (C) swears or affirms in writing that they are not disqualified pursuant to section 6344(c) or has not been convicted of an offense similar in nature to those crimes listed in section 6344(c) under the laws or former laws of the United States or one of its territories or possessions, another state, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico or a foreign nation, or under a former law of this Commonwealth then the volunteer must only submit in accordance with (1) and (2) above.

    Volunteers are required to obtain the certifications required above every sixty (60) months from the date of the person’s most recent certification or, if the current certification is older than sixty (60) months before July 1, 2016.  A person identified under section 6344.2 without a certification or who was previously not required to have a certification shall be required to obtain the certifications required by this chapter by July 1, 2016.  For renewals of certification required under this chapter, the date for required renewal shall be from the date of the oldest certification under section 6344(b).

    For the purposes of criminal liability under this section, an employer, administrator, supervisor or other persons responsible for the selection of volunteers are presumed to have acted in good faith when identifying individuals required to submit certifications and maintain records as required by this section.

    §6344, §6344.2 and §6344.4of the Pennsylvania Statutes can be viewed online at: