Why Should I Become a Volunteer?
Little League Baseball and Softball is an organization designed to build good citizens. It is a program of leadership, preparing today's youth to be tomorrow's leaders. At the local level, Little League relies on a devoted legion of adult volunteers to help ensure that the organization remains structured and runs smoothly. Your local Little League program is always looking for responsible and enthusiastic individuals to support and coordinate Little League events and activities. As a volunteer, you should have a keen interest in the safety, well-being, and overall development of children. By reading further, you will discover that the benefits of volunteering are endless. You will also gain a better understanding of why you should become involved, who volunteers are, what you can do, and how you can sign up.
Who Can Volunteer?
Anyone can apply to become a volunteer. Whatever talents or skills you have, we can use them! Across the country, volunteers are grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles, retirees, community leaders, former Little Leaguers, friends, neighbors, and more. Any community member who wishes to become a volunteer may apply.
All parents of children involved in Little League Baseball and Softball are strongly encouraged to volunteer. As a parent, volunteer, you have the opportunity to spend quality time with your child in a safe, fun-filled environment. Oftentimes, parent and child social lives parallel each other. Volunteering allows your life and your child's life to intersect on common ground, with shared interests and goals.
On rare occasions, Little League, through District Administrators and your local Board of Directors, may deny individuals the privilege of volunteering for reasons, past or present, that may be detrimental to the positive development of young people, other volunteers, and/or Little League International. When you apply to become a volunteer, you give the local Little League organization the right to conduct necessary background checks.
How Do I Become A Volunteer?
Parents, take a minute to fill out the volunteer form while registering your child. If you are not a parent and would like to volunteer, take a minute to fill out the form while visiting your local registration location.
What Can I Volunteer To Do?
No experience is required to become a volunteer. Most of the volunteer opportunities require little or no training. Your local league will provide you with any necessary training (as well as support and encouragement), as they deem necessary. The best volunteers are those who are able to bring added enjoyment to the game simply be being themselves. What you see during Little League games is a mere fraction of what you can do as a volunteer. You can volunteer to help in virtually any aspect of Little League Baseball or Softball.
Listed below are some common volunteer opportunities with local leagues. Keep in mind that these are general descriptions and will vary depending on the needs of your local league. In addition, other positions may be available. Please consult with your local league president on how to best use your talents and skills to help provide your kids the best Little League experience possible.
Being a Team Manager or Coach
Being a manager or coach requires time, patience, and basic knowledge of the game of baseball. You may be required to attend meetings, instructional sessions, or seminars. You will communicate with the parents/guardians of your players to inform them of any schedule changes, rainouts, and Little League events and activities.
As a manager or coach, you have more interaction with young people than anyone else in Little League. Therefore, it is important that you understand the goals and virtues of the Little League program in order to effectively communicate them to your players. To gain a better understanding of what those goals and virtues are, visit Little League's homepage or speak with your league's president.
Helping with Field Maintenance
In some cases, your local Little League is required to maintain the fields that your child plays on. As a part of the field maintenance crew, your skills and abilities may be used to mow grass, line fields, rake dirt, and execute minor repairs on fences, benches and bleachers.
Becoming a League Officer
Presides at league meetings, and assumes full responsibility for the operation of the local league. The President receives all mail, supplies and other communications from Little League International. The President must see to it that the league personnel are properly briefed on all phases of rules, regulations, and policies of Little League. The league President is the contact between the local organization and Little League International.
Presides in the absence of the President; works with other officers and committee members; is ex-officio member of all committees and carries out such duties and assignments as may be delegated by the President.
Maintains a register of members and directors; records the minutes of meetings; is responsible for sending out notice of meetings, issues, membership cards and maintains a record of the league's activities.
Signs checks co-signed by another officer or director; dispenses league funds as approved by the board of directors; reports on the status of league funds; keeps local league books and financial records; prepares budgets and assumes the responsibility for all league finances.
Conducts annual tryouts and is in charge of player selection, assists President in checking birth records and eligibility of players; serves as a member of the board of directors of the local league an generally supervises and coordinates the transfer of players to or from the Minor Leagues according to the provisions of the regulations of Little League.
Coordinates all safety activities; ensures the safety in player training; ensures safe playing conditions; coordinates reporting and prevention of injuries; solicits suggestions for making conditions safer, and reports suggestions to Little League International through the league President.
Manages the league's official home page on active.com, manages the online registration process; assigns administrative rights to league volunteers and team; ensures that league news and scores are updated on a regular basis; collects, posts and distributes important information on league activities including direct dissemination of fund-raising and sponsor activities to Little League International, district, public, league members and media; serves as primary contact person for Little League and active.com regarding optimizing use of the Internet for league administration and for distributing information to league members and Little League.
Represents coaches/managers in league; presents a coach/manager training budget to the board; gains the support and funds necessary to implement a league-wide training program; orders and distributes training materials to players, coaches and managers; coordinates mini-clinics as necessary; serves as the contact person for Little League and its manager/coach education program for the league.
Helping at Registration
Volunteers may be needed to make and distribute posters and flyers advertising the beginning of registration. You can pass these out to local schools and youth organizations, and distribute them throughout neighborhoods. Announcements can be placed in local newspapers and on local radio stations. They should have the time, date and location of local registration, and they should inform parents of any specific documents that will be needed.
Volunteers are also needed at the time of registration. You will be responsible for organizing lines, handing out forms, answering questions, making sure that forms are filled out completely and correctly, and collecting participation fees. Note: As stated in the Little League official rulebook, at no time should payment of any fee be a prerequisite for participation in any level of the Little League program. It is recommended that parents who are unable to pay a participation fee be encouraged to contribute volunteer time to the league.
Being an Umpire
Aside from calling ball or strike, safe or out, umpires are responsible for teaching players good sportsmanship and the rules of the game. Umpires are also called upon to interpret rules and help settle minor disputes that may occur during games.
Most Little League games have one home plate umpire and a minimum of one field umpire. Before becoming a home plate umpire you may be required to participate in training sessions and seminars.
While home plate umpires are scheduled well in advance, field umpires are often determined minutes before the game begins. As you arrive at your child's game, your coach or the home plate umpire may ask you to be the field umpire. When you agree, your main responsibilities are to call plays on the bases, determine if balls are fair or foul, and assist the home plate umpire with other calls.
Because all Little League playing facilities are different, the responsibilities of a concession stand volunteer vary by league. The job may simply involve standing behind a counter and filling orders, or it may require that you buy, prepare, transport and/or store various concessions.
Starting a Fundraising Committee
Although all leagues may not have a need for such an organization, it may be a good idea to start a fundraising committee to help provide such things as uniforms, equipment, awards, team snacks/drinks, and team trips/parties. This may require planning and attending meetings, organizing and participating in fundraising events, and managing and distributing funds. While an unlimited number of fundraisers using adults are permitted, only one fundraiser using players, in or out of uniform, is permitted per year.
Making Phone Calls
Volunteers are needed to make phone calls informing players and their parents of team meetings, parent meetings, and cancelled or rescheduled practices and games.