Below are frequently asked background check questions and answers that a District Staff and local Board of Directors should be aware of.
What type of background check is required by the new regulations?
A local Little League must conduct a background check that at a minimum meet the standard of a nationwide criminal search, a national sex offender registry search, and a review of the U.S. Center for SafeSport’s Centralized Disciplinary Database and the Little League International Ineligible/Suspended list. Little League Baseball and Softball will require each league to sign an agreement on the charter application that they will comply with Regulation I (b) and I(c) 8 & 9. The first 125 checks through JDP are paid for by Little League International and are free to each chartered Little League. If additional checks are necessary, they will cost the league only $.95 per background check conducted. More information can be obtained by going to LittleLeague.org/LocalBGChecks.
Each local league must also be aware of its state laws, which may require other separate and additional background check processes to be completed before individuals would be permitted to assume local league volunteer responsibilities. Several states also require (by law) additional background procedures to be completed above those required by Little League International. At present, Alabama, California, Florida, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Pennsylvania have such background laws in place. Although mandatory, these laws DO NOT by themselves meet the Little League regulation. More information can be found at LittleLeague.org/StateLaws.
Please Remember: Additional background checks may be required to be completed to comply with State and/or local laws/statutes.
What type of offenses will result in termination of a volunteer under these regulation?
Any background check that reveals a conviction for, guilty plea, no contest plea, or admission to any crime involving or against a minor must result in immediate termination from the league. If a potential volunteer appears on the National Sex Offender Registry, the league must contact Little League International prior to appointing the volunteer to participate in any capacity in the league. Individuals that are listed on either of the U.S. Center for SafeSport’s Centralized Disciplinary Database and/or Little League International Ineligible/Suspended list are prohibited from participating as a volunteer in any capacity.
Additionally, volunteers who refuse to submit a fully completed Little League Volunteer Application, including their Social Security Number and a government-issued photo ID, must be immediately terminated or eliminated from consideration for any position.
What if offenses involving or against minors are pending prior to or after appointment to a position in the local leagues?
We suggest the individual not be appointed or should be suspended from his/her current position pending the outcome of the changes.
What if a potential volunteer is listed on the National Sex Offender Registry?
If a potential volunteer appears on the National Sex Offender Registry, the league must contact Little League International (570-326-1921) prior to appointing the volunteer to participate in any capacity in the league.
Why is Little League changing the background check minimum requirement?
With the introduction of the U.S. Center for SafeSport’s Centralized Disciplinary Database and Little League International Ineligible/Suspended list it has been determined to take additional steps to prohibit individuals that are included in either list to protect minors in our Little League programs. This is in addition to the requirements to complete a nationwide background check and a search of the National Sex Offender Registry.
Little League has partnered with JDP to provide local Little League programs a criminal background check tool. Through this partnership, each league and District is given 125 free background checks (paid for by Little League International) and any additional checks will only cost $.95 per check. The JDP National Criminal File database contains more than 600 million records, which include criminal records and sex offender registry records across 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Also, JDP is the only background check provider at this time that provides a search of the U.S. Center for SafeSport’s Centralized Disciplinary Database and USA Baseball’s Ineligible Participation list in all of their packages. Lastly, JDP has a unique integration with Little League’s preferred official technology provider, Sports Connect. Sports Connect has integrated their ability with JDP to conduct national background checks on local and district volunteers through the Sports Connect platform.
Our league is required by the property owner (city, town, municipality, county, etc.) where we play our games and practices to conduct background checks approved by them on all of our volunteers and/or hired workers before we can use their fields. Are these checks acceptable and do they meet Little League’s minimum requirements of Regulation I(c) 8 and 9?
No. Most checks required by these entities are local or state only checks which do not meet the Little League requirements. Also, the local league is responsible for conducting and reviewing the background check data and making their own personnel decisions per the regulations. Although the property owner has the right to determine who uses their facility, any decision they make as a property owner may or may not meet the Little League Regulations. Little League regulations require the league to annually conduct a nationwide search that contains the applicable government sex offender registry data to be completed on all Board Members, managers, coaches and other volunteers or hired workers who provide regular service to the league and/or who have repetitive access to players or teams.
What if an individual has previously had a background check?
Each league must conduct its own background check on the appropriate individuals annually.
What is the timetable for completing the screening of each individual?
The league must complete the annual screening process prior to the individual assuming his/her duties for the current season. This includes the individual submitting a completed volunteer application and the league completing an appropriate background check. The applicant must also submit a government issued photo ID, usually a driver’s license, for the league to verify that the information on his/her volunteer application is correct, i.e., spelling of name, address, date of birth, etc.
Does Little League require background checks on volunteers under the age of 18?
Little League states that if an individual can apply for a job in their state then a background check can be completed. If they fall under the employment age and would like to volunteer, then a volunteer application is still required but they do not need to provide a Social Security number on the application. Anyone under the age of 18 still must have parental consent (which can be completed through the JDP QuickApp).
What resources are available through Little League Baseball and Softball to assist this process?
A local Little League must conduct a nationwide background check utilizing JDP or another provider that is comparable to JDP in accessing background check records for sex offender registry data and other criminal records. The first 125 checks conducted through JDP are paid for by Little League International and are free to each chartered Little League. If additional checks are needed, they will cost the league only $.95 per background check conducted. JDP can be accessed by going to LittleLeague.org/LocalBGChecks.