Little League Baseball, Incorporated (“LLB”) is a non-discriminatory organization which aims to promote fair play for all participants through the uniform adherence to LLB’s Official Regulations and Playing Rules (the “Rules”). Accordingly, all local leagues chartered by LLB pledge to abide by the Rules, and all updates thereto.
LLB encourages participation of all children, and acknowledges that some of its participants may require a modification or waiver of the Rules in order to participate in a manner consistent with their Gender Identity, irrespective of the gender listed on the child’s birth certificate. In such instances, LLB will afford children who represent themselves as transgender children and/or children with a Disorder of Sexual Development the opportunity to request a modification or waiver of the Rules.
For the purposes of this Policy and Procedure, the following definitions apply:
- Transgender Person: refers to an individual whose Gender Identity does not match their assigned birth gender. Being Transgender does not imply any specific sexual orientation.
- Gender Identity: One’s inner concept of self as male or female or both or neither. One’s Gender Identity can be the same or different than the gender assigned at birth.
- Gender Expression: Refers to the ways in which people externally communicate their Gender Identity to others through behavior, clothing, haircut, voice, and other forms of presentation.
- Disorder of Sexual Development: Also known as “DSD” or “Intersex” is a general term used to indicate a person born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy and/or chromosome pattern that does not fit the typical definitions of female or male. This may be the result of several different medical conditions involving chromosomal variations, hormonal variations, and/or anatomy that includes both male and female characteristics. DSD is not the same as Transgender, however, the two groups may face similar situations in needing to change gender designations for the purposes of participation in athletic activities.
The Charter and/or the Tournament Committee (the “Committee”) at LLB considers all waiver requests to the Rules. The Committee will consider requests for a waiver to or modification of its Rules for an individual whose Gender Identity does not match the gender listed on the child’s birth certificate, upon the written request of the individual, their parent, or his or her legal representative utilizing the procedure for such request as outlined below. LLB and its participating local leagues shall adhere to the Rules until a waiver for the participant is submitted and approved in accordance with this procedure.
A. Length of Waiver Requested.
The Committee will consider a waiver request submitted on behalf of the child in the season in which the waiver was received by the Committee. Unless otherwise requested by the child, the Committee will consider and grant a modification of the Rules for only the season in which the waiver was received. If a child requests a waiver be approved for longer than a single season, the Committee, in its sole discretion, may extend the waiver grant beyond the season in which the request was received, including for the duration of a participant’s LLB eligibility. If any waiver is approved by the Committee to extend beyond the season in which received, then the Committee shall identify the length and terms of such approval in the letter resolving the waiver request.
B. Materials Required for Committee’s Consideration.
In order to initiate review by the Committee, the child, his or her parent, or his or her legal representative, must deliver a written request for a waiver to the President of the local league. The child’s waiver request shall include, at a minimum:
- The child’s name and level of play in the Little League program within which they wish to participate.
- The child’s current transcript and school registration information.
- A written statement from a parent or legal representative of the child attesting to the fact that the child lives consistently in and outside of the home with his/her Gender Identity through their Gender Expression
- Written confirmation from a licensed, treating physician/psychologist or other health care provider that the child is receiving appropriate care and/or treatment as either a Transgender Person or person with DSD including when the child began such care and/or treatment.
- Any other pertinent documentation or information (e.g. revised birth certificate or passport)
C. Approval Process.
Prior to participation, an athlete may seek review of his or her eligibility through the procedure set forth below. Once the waiver materials are assembled on behalf of the child, the request will be evaluated as follows:
- All communications, discussions and documentation submitted as part of this Approval Process shall be kept confidential, unless the child and family elect to make these records open and available.
- All medical information provided pursuant to this policy shall be treated as confidential, shared only with individuals identified as taking part in this Approval Process and shall be appropriately protect from disclosure.
- The child, or his or her representative, shall deliver the materials required by subpart B of this Procedure to the President of the local league.
- The President may add additional facts concerning the request received to the record for consideration by the Committee. Thereafter, the President shall forward the assembled materials to the Regional Director.
- The Regional Director will present the waiver materials to the Committee for action.
- The child’s request to participate in a manner consistent with his/her gender identity will be scheduled for a review and eligibility before the Committee as expeditiously as reasonably possible. The Committee will inform the Regional Director of its decision. The Regional Director will thereafter inform the President of the local league for dissemination to the participant.
D. Guidelines for Review.
In order for the modification or waiver of a Rule to be approved, the Committee must first determine that the participant is living consistently with his/her Gender Identity. The Committee will rely heavily on the medical and/or psychological caregiver’s input.
The Committee may consult with the participant, his or her representatives and the individuals listed above as part of the Approval Process. Should the Committee find that consultation with additional individuals (e.g. school officials, District Administrators, coaches), is necessary for the Committee to make an informed decision, the Committee will first seek a confidentiality waiver from the waiver applicant’s legal guardian before any such consultation.
It is important to recognize that some transgender athletes may have undergone hormonal treatments or even surgeries, while others may not. This Policy and Procedure considers inclusion regardless of whether a transgender person has undergone any treatments or surgeries, recognizes that regulating access to LLB programs based on such medical treatment is not necessary, unfair and overly complicated for this age level of competition.
E. Permitted Time for Committee’s Decision.
Any child seeking a waiver request under this waiver procedure should submit the request prior to the season, but if that is not possible, it should be submitted within a reasonable time after contacting his or her local league. The goal is to complete the process so that if a wavier is granted, the child would have little or no delay in participating fully in the program.
A request shall not be considered fully submitted unless it contains all of the required contents. The Committee will strive to render a decision on all waiver requests within a reasonable amount of time, and all such decisions should be rendered no later than three (3) weeks after the request is fully submitted and received by the Committee.