Little League® Baseball and Softball emphasizes that volunteers should always follow basic safety procedures to limit one-on-one interactions, including use of the “buddy system.” Little League has expanded the Child Protection Program guidance to break down what are proper one-on-one interactions and what is prohibited during one-on-one interactions.
Appropriate One-on-One Interactions
- At practices and games, volunteers should always encourage the “buddy system.”
- The “buddy system” is when a player is accompanied by another minor player or another approved volunteer.
- When traveling in vehicles, always have at least two minors in the car.
- If and when traveling with an over-night stay, players must room with players of the same age and gender.
- Physical contact should be limited to “high fives” and for administering appropriate first aid.
Prohibited One-on-One Interactions
- Minor-age athletes should not be left unattended or unsupervised and should always be in sight of an approved adult volunteer(s).
- Volunteers should not have alone interactions outside of a Little League event:
- Vehicle, Restaurant, Volunteer’s Home, etc.
- Volunteers should not have any electronic communications with players. Any type of communication should be sent to the parents or the whole team in a mass text or email.
- Minor-age athletes may not reside with unrelated volunteers.
It is important to never leave a child unattended. If a volunteer is left with a minor alone, volunteers should try and exhaust all options above to comply. An example, if parents are late to pick up their child ask another volunteer to stay behind with you and the child. If they are unable to stay, make sure to move to a well-lit and open space with the player.
If you have any questions about appropriate and prohibited one-on-one interactions with minors, please contact Samantha Mahaffey, Little League Security Manager, at: firstname.lastname@example.org.