Apart from all other considerations, sound leadership, couched in knowledge, experience, and common sense, is the greatest requirement and most exemplary qualification of the man or woman selected as president of a Little League.
While efficient organizational and administrative abilities are desirable credentials, the search for good leadership must transcend all other attributes in the adult who gives direction to the Little League movement in the local community. Dedication to the goals and purpose of Little League is inherent in the volunteer aspect of those who serve, but all who serve are not equally gifted with the qualities of leadership.
Baseball and softball are the names of the games, but Little League is the name of an elite program and initiative that has given these sports their best dimensions. The stature and integrity of Little League are hard-won hallmarks, accompanied by men and women who have given outstanding leadership at many levels.
A fine tradition of unselfishness and dedicated effort has been passed on annually to thousands of incoming league presidents. Little League is a better and more vital program because of them. Each year as local leagues expand to embrace more participants, the mantle of leadership becomes more demanding and imposes more trust and responsibility upon the league president.
The president learns certain fundamental obligations which have been spelled out in rules and regulations. But the degree of the understanding of the motivations underlying Little League – and the extent of the president’s personal leadership in the sensitive area of youth activity – are over-riding qualifications which best gauge a president equal to the responsibility.
The president has many responsibilities in the administration of the league. Each president is elected by, and is accountable to, the local league Board of Directors. Duties of a president are described within the limits of the league constitution which should give each president wide latitude in overseeing the affairs of all elements of the league.
As the chief administrator, the president selects and appoints managers, coaches, umpires, and committees. All appointments are subject to the approval of the league’s Board of Directors. They are responsible to the president for the conduct of league affairs, both on and off the field. Importantly, the president is the officer with whom Little League International maintains contact and who represents the league in the council of the District Organization.
The president should be the most informed officer of the league. Each president must know the regulations under which Little League operates and in authorizing the annual application for charter, binds all members of the league to faithfully observe the regulations. Little League reserves the right to require a league to remove any officer who does not carry out the terms of charter application. Serious violation can result in loss of the league’s charter.
Beyond the requirements of league administration, the president should personify the best public image in reflection to the community at large. Each president should take an active role in gaining support and winning friends for the league.
The increase of youth activities in a recreation-minded nation challenges Little League to earn the respect and interest of the community. Little League is competitive with many other agencies in this regard. It is in this field that the league president and all other officers must give dignity and stature to Little League representation.
Over the years, Little League has worked out a successful formula for maintaining the autonomous character of local league operation. But it has also established a close-knit liaison with the local league by means of intercommunication between the president and all field levels up to and including Little League International.
It is imperative that the league president maintains updated contact information with Little League International to ensure that important communication is received and shared with appropriate league officers. To register for electronic notifications or verify your email address, visit LittleLeague.org/Register.
It is by means of this free exchange in service and counsel that Little League is a cohesive unit of more than 6,500 leagues, each with an open channel to Little League International. The local league president is one of a great family of league presidents whose aggressive interest in the total program has fashioned – and will continue to fashion – the design of Little League wherever it is played.