At Little League® International in Williamsport, Pa., and at our Regional Offices, calls and emails come in all year long about situations that are happening at one of our 7,000 local leagues. Many of these calls and emails inform us of some very positive initiatives spearheaded by our millions of volunteers. However, there are also negative situations.

“Don’t Let This Happen to Your League” details a real-world scenario, how it has impacted a league, and how you might learn from it.

The names have been omitted in the following scenario, but the situation is real.

The Situation

A local Little League intends to re-charter for the upcoming season, but does not complete the charter and insurance enrollment process until February 15 based on the same time frame their league used in previous seasons. On January 15, a local league volunteer is injured while repairing the roof of the league’s press box during a preseason league work day at their fields. The volunteer’s injuries require an Emergency Room visit and physical therapy. Attempting to receive reimbursement for medical expenses, the volunteer contacts the League President and Safety Officer. The League President and injured volunteer complete a Little League Accident Notification Claim form to submit to Little League International for review.

The Outcome

The claim is denied by the insurance carrier due to the league’s coverage not being in effect at the time the accident occurred. The league’s Board of Directors did not realize that their insurance expires annually on December 31 and that they needed to apply and pay their premiums prior to the end of the year to avoid a lapse in their insurance. The league was operating with no insurance coverage between January 1 and February 15. Subsequently, the league determined that they are responsible for paying the full amount of the volunteer’s medical expenses, which totaled more than $2,800.

Note to Leagues

If a local league completes the charter and insurance enrollment process before January 1, including payment in full of their insurance premiums, the league insurance coverage (if purchased through the AIG group insurance program for Little League) will continue uninterrupted between policy terms. Leagues and District Administrators who have not chartered and paid their insurance premiums in full are at great risk from liability claims. Claims can occur from people being injured on the property used for baseball/softball activities in the offseason to simply someone falling on the property. Also, registration, league meetings, or any other activities away from the actual playing field are another source of risk. If a league chooses to purchase insurance from a local carrier other than the AIG group insurance for Little League, it is the responsibility of the local league to submit the coverage information to Little League International for review, and be aware that the extent of the coverage provided by the local policy must meet or exceed the insurance requirements found in Little League Regulation I (c) 7.