League Presidents and Information Officers - Please be sure to update all new officers and board members for the 2017 season immediately after your elections. Updating the Little League Data Center will ensure that your volunteers receive all of the necessary details for the 2017 season.
League Presidents must then upload all 2017 player lists to the Little League Data Center before April 1, 2017. Please be sure to have the most current version of your League Administration software to avoid issues with uploading your information.
Use this link to access the Little League Data Center
Throughout the winter of 2016, Little League® International held meetings with District Administrators, Assistant District Administrators, and other volunteers at each of our nine regions throughout the world. At each of these meetings, updates and changes to Little League Rules and Regulations were discussed, and at the conclusion of the meetings, these potential new rule and regulations were amended to reflect the direct input from the attendees at these meetings.
The amended agenda was then distributed to District Administrators to vote on whether or not Little League should adopt these new rules and regulations. In total, 463 District Administrators voted on these 10 items, which were then discussed, along with implementation strategies, at the annual spring meeting of the Little League International Board of Directors.
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As you plan and prepare for the regular season, keep in mind the your assistant coaches, practices coaches, and other support staff like team parent, scorekeeper, pitcher counter, umpires, and grounds crew, all need to fully understand that they are counted on to consistently fulfill their roles and responsibilities throughout the regular season.
Per Little League® regulation, regular-season Little League teams can have up to two volunteers who serve as “official” coaches. The team manager is nominated by the League President, and approved by the Board of Directors. After the player selection process (draft) is completed, the team manager selects the coaches from a collection of volunteers who have been previously approved as coaching candidates and completed the mandatory background checks. A volunteer coach who is a parent of a child returning to a team from the previous season, may also return to that same team as a coach. Team coaches do not have to have a child on the team’s roster, but typically do. Approaching these volunteers to coach should be done with the understanding that they will hold the best interests of the entire team as the top priority.
Roles for the Coaches
Coaches support the manager, and are expected to work to provide the best Little League experience possible. During the preseason, and later when games begin, the coaches play a vital role. Defining responsibilities, and working to each coach’s strengths, will help to create a good learning environment during the preseason, and an efficient chain of command during the season. Practices with a predetermined, organized, and well-rounded plan will engage the players and coaches. Coaches who know the day-to-day goals require minimal oversight to effectively teach, and are more efficient with practice time. Being effective time managers, means more repetitions, and inevitably builds team chemistry. When there is a good work ethic and enthusiastic attitude among the entire team – managers, coaches, and players – you will likely be rewarded with success on the field.
Open Line of Communication
It is the responsibility of the manager to ensure that both coaches cooperate and understand the expectations that come with serving the team. The methods of communication used by the coaching staff, and outward to the players, their families, and other team volunteers is set by the manager and should be explained on, or before, the first day of practice. The communication plan outlines how announcements will be shared (e.g., phone, e-mail, social media), including changes to practice and game schedules, planning for all team-related functions, and league policies and procedures. If the manager chooses not to be the person to be relied on to issue communications, an “official” coach or the team parent should be designated immediately, and that person will take care of the responsibility for the duration of the season.
Away from game day and practice duties, an effective manager should meet with the team’s support staff to work out a list of responsibilities and coordinate any training necessary to accomplish their tasks with minimal oversight. As the manager and coaches practice their team, the team parent, scorekeeper, pitch counter, umpire, and any other volunteers connected to the team all should be preparing for the season. The average preseason is three to four weeks long. Plenty of time for the coaching staff and support staff to become acclimated, and make sure that the necessary background checks are completed. The manager is responsible for all aspects of the team, and being diligent during the preseason, will help to ensure a fun experience when games begin.
The most effective methods are often the simplest. Begins your season by inviting the players and parents to meet with their team’s manager, have their equipment checked, convey pertinent dates and details, and introduce the Board of Directors in a relaxed, informal event.
Held after the player draft and about a month prior to the start of the regular season, the “Meet the Managers” event welcomes all of the league’s families in three sessions, beginning with the oldest players and ending with the Tee Ball division.
It also is great administratively, because the Board of Directors have the opportunity to explain their roles as well as give information about the upcoming season.”
“In today’s world of technology and online registration, Meet-the-Managers is a fantastic opportunity to obtain the needed volunteers to run a Little League program efficiently and effectively. “It is the first time parents and players get to meet the manager of their child’s team. But as important is everyone shows up and meets face-to-face.”
Here is how your Board of Directors can organize a Meet-the-Managers event.
The Little League organization is a Federal Incorporation granted under a Bill signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on July 17, 1964, and amended December 24, 1974, to reflect the admission of girls - it is the only youth sports program so honored.
Incorporated as a not-for-profit organization, Little League Baseball and Softball is tax exempt and its properties and holdings also are ruled tax exempt for local assessment. Little League International, based in South Williamsport, Pa., recommends each local league incorporate to establish a degree of permanency and stability. Incorporation also reinforces the non-profit nature of a local league.
As a general rule, incorporation relieves the officers and managers of personal liability for damages as a result of injury. However, if a person or persons within a local Little League receives compensation for participation in any capacity (other than the materials and/or items necessary to complete the task or job) said protections no longer exist. This typically refers to receipt of monies paid upon completion of a task or job.
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