Each year, a new group of parents joins the Little League® family, as their children get set to begin their baseball or softball journey, making new friends, and having fun along the way. And, just like players need a year or two of Tee Ball or Coach Pitch to learn the game, finding a way for parents to be introduced to volunteering is just as important. For those new Little League families, we encourage you to get involved in your local league as soon as possible because it is important to start learning how your league operates at the very beginning of your Little League involvement. Being updated and in-the-know are keys in developing a positive Little League experience for you and your Little Leaguer®.
The best way to get involved is to volunteer. Little League relies on the hundreds of thousands of Little League volunteers throughout the world to offer the opportunity for children and families to forge lifelong memories, and have positive experiences both on-and-off the field. Every local league needs committed volunteers. If your son or daughter began playing Little League last year, or your Little Leaguer is about to start next season, we encourage you to attend your league’s fall and winter Board of Directors meetings. Attending these Board meetings is the first, most important step in getting involved. At these meetings, you’ll learn what volunteer positions are needed in your league. Volunteers often help with concession stand duties, field maintenance, fundraising, event planning, communications, and coaching.
At the Board meetings, ask questions and offer your opinions and thoughts. Getting to better understand your league’s operations is a learning process, and the best way to gain the necessary knowledge is to communicate. As a new parent, you aren’t expected to know everything, but your engagement and interest will certainly be appreciated.
At a fall Board meeting, you may learn of open Board positions for the following season. Having not been heavily involved with a local league before is actually a positive, as you’ll be able to bring new, fresh ideas to the table. So, do not let the lack of years under your belt deter you from seeking a spot on your local Board. There are all sorts of roles to fill where you could be a valuable asset to your league. Board positions often consist of President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Player Agent, Safety Officer, Field Manager, Information Officer, Concession Stand Manager, and others. Little League University (LittleLeagueU.org) has free educational and training materials to help you get started, and your other league officers will certainly help you out.
One of the reasons we encourage new parents to immediately get involved in their league is because often times, current Board members have kids ready to graduate from the Little League program. When Board members transition out, it’s helpful to have someone with experience ready to step in to make the change seamless. If you choose not to seek a Board position for the upcoming season, consider apprenticing a current Board member. Learn the ins-and-outs of his or her responsibilities, and volunteer your time to assist wherever needed. Before you know it, it may be your time to step up as a Board member, so learn now. It will make your future volunteering work that much easier.
The success of a league often depends on the number of devoted volunteers it has. And everyone in the Little League family, no matter how many years they’ve been a part of their local league, should find a way to volunteer, especially ask new parents. Find the role that interests you the most and that you can commit to, and raise your hand. While you’ll find your volunteer work extremely worthwhile and gratifying, it is the Little Leaguers who will benefit the most.