Player registration and tryouts are among the best times to entice new volunteers to join your Little League®. Whether through informal conversations during sign-ups or planning a separate orientation meeting, making an organized and genuine effort to connect with the families in your neighborhood can build trust and expand awareness about your league.

When families arrive to register their children, their first impression goes a long way toward their willingness to support the league. They have already shown faith in the league by making the choice to register, so local league officials must welcome that commitment by assuring that the player’s experience is the highest priority. Having volunteer sign-ups and identifying a few members of your Board of Directors that are focusing on volunteer recruitment during registration and tryout events is a great way to recruit new adults to join your Little League family. Have your Board members speak with family members about open positions and opportunities, which can give parents and family members a welcoming environment where they want to give back and volunteer.

Volunteers willing to be role models and motivated to mentor children are the life-blood of Little League, but people want to believe that their time and commitment will be appreciated.

If parents have a good experience during registration, there is greater potential they will be interested in supporting the league as a volunteer. After player sign-ups, tryouts are the next time Little League is on the minds of parents and guardians. Also, if you conduct online registration, tryouts or a parent meeting may be the first in-person interaction your league officials have with parents in your league. Use that face time to find how that parent or family member can best volunteer with your league.

That volunteer recruitment may include finding new managers and coaches for your league’s teams. Appointing competent and committed team managers is the next step toward a league gaining further interest from its families.

Being personable, and creating a fun environment for the players makes the process easier for managers and league officials running the tryout. The kids see the adults as authority figures and the tone is set from the first drill. Parents and guardians often watch from a distance to make sure their sons and daughters are doing their best, but they are also evaluating the type of personalities who will be responsible for their kids. That welcoming environment will also help families in their decision to volunteer their time to the league.

From registration through tryouts is a time when connecting with parents will lay the foundation for the season ahead. Welcoming all of the families in your community, and offering the opportunity for the children to play a game with their friends and classmates is what makes Little League special. Families and players together make the experience positive and impactful and it is the responsibility of the league volunteers to establish that trust from the first impression.