Little League® Baseball and Softball is often the first few pages of a person’s lifelong scrapbook. At the field, the players play, coaches coach, and families cheer, but it’s the Board of Directors that is responsible for making that experience safe and healthy for us all.
Making safety a priority can easily be overlooked in the day-to-day complexities of preparing and operating a Little League season, which is why it is so important to create a detailed A Safety Awareness Plan (ASAP).
“There is no shortcut to making your league safe,” said Dan Kirby, Little League Vice President of Risk Management . “Accidents happen, and that’s why ASAP was created. We encourage each and every local league to participate in ASAP because most accidents can be prevented.”
Since the ASAP program was developed 30 years ago, it has expanded to manage 15 standard requirements, that include surveying the condition of the playing facility, expectations for hosting tournament games and providing information on each local league’s players, coaches and managers among several other points. Tracking your league’s safety plan can be done online through the Little League Data Center.
All of the information, materials and answers a league Safety Officer will need to develop and submit the annual ASAP plan are readily available through your volunteer District Administrator and online, as well as in the ASAP newsletter, which was printed and mailed to leagues in the United States for many years. Beginning in 2019, the ASAP newsletter was moved to an electronic format and is now emailed to District Administrators and Safety Officers several times throughout the year. Nearly 90 percent of leagues in the U.S. submitted approved ASAP plans last year.
Leagues have a variety of incentives to participate in the program. It’s important to always remember that doing what’s best for the league and your community begins with playing it safe.