Saratoga Little League Safety Program

Summary of Content (click on the text to go to that section)

File a game Code of Conduct Report Form
(For Game Monitors, Umpires, Managers, Coaches and Board Members)

2014 Letter of Introduction from your League Safety Officer
Letter of Introduction from your Safety Officer

Dear Saratoga Little League Participants:

Welcome to another fun and exciting season of Saratoga Little League Baseball!

Saratoga Little League's Board of Directors has focused on the improvement of the overall safety of our league. We are addressing the well being of our Players both from a physical and psychological standpoint. From the physical standpoint, we have improved our fields, posting Safety Signs regarding batting and we are purchasing new player equipment to keep our players safe. From the psychological standpoint, this will be the sixth year of implementation of our Code of Conduct Policy with a Three Strikes and You're Out implementation.

The Code of Conduct Policy is for the most part, standard throughout the Little League. A copy of this Policy can be found on our Web Site. What is unique in our Saratoga Little League is the implementation of our Three Strikes Policy. Game Monitors will attend random games that are played this season. Game Monitors, Managers, Coaches, Umpires or Members of the Board can file a Code of Conduct Incident Form to be later reviewed by the Code of Conduct Review Committee. If the Committee determines that the Player, Manager, Coach, Umpire or Volunteer did not adhere to the Code of Conduct, a Strike will be assigned to his/her record as outlined below. Strike One is a Suspension for 1 - 3 games; Strike Two requires forfeiture of Position and Strike Three is suspension from the League. In addition, Umpires have been instructed to halt a game until an abusive Fan or Parent leaves the field if they are directly involved in a Code of Conduct violation. Strikes were assigned last year, and many parents have commented on the change in the behavior exhibited by many of our Little League members.

Please read the section in the manual on Manager and Coach responsibilities as this section has additions based on our agreement with the City of Saratoga. We can lose the use of the Congress Springs Fields if we do not adhere to this agreement.

In an effort to help our managers and coaches comply with our safety standards, the Board of Directors has put forth a mandate of safety rules to be followed as outlined in our Saratoga Little League Safety Manual. Each team will appoint a Team Representative who will assist the manager and the designated coaches of that team to insure that the safety guidelines are met whether at practice or during a game.

National Little League mandates that all Volunteers must fill out a Volunteer Application Form. They are only allowed to volunteer after the Safety Officer, has made a background check for Sex Offenders. All information must be filled out on the form (including Social Security Number) and a photocopy of the Volunteers Drivers License or Government issued ID must be attached. There are no exceptions to this rule. This is to protect our children and our ability to hold Little League Tournaments at our facility is at stake. This information will be secured by the Safety Officer and shredded at the start of the next season.

This year we are again using Choicepoint to perform background checks on all Saratoga Little League Volunteers.

Choicepoint requires that all Volunteers include their Social Security Number on the Volunteer Application.

I have also included an overview of Saratoga Little League's Insurance Policy on the Web Site. Please do not hesitate to email me at safety@saratogall.org if you have any questions regarding insurance or any other safety related issue.

In closing, remember that safety rests with all of us, the volunteers of Saratoga Little League. Always use common sense, never doubt what children tell you, and report all accidents or safety infractions when they occur. Now, let's play ball and play it safe!

Very truly yours,

Saratoga Little League Safety Officer
Code of Conduct Overview

It is the goal of Saratoga Little League to provide a safe, fun and enjoyable environment for our children to play and learn the game of baseball. It should be the primary objective of every Board Member, Manager, Coach and Parent to insure that this goal is achieved and maintained in our League. In order to insure that goal the Saratoga Little League Board passed the following guidelines.

The board of directors of Saratoga Little League has mandated the following Code of Conduct. All coaches and managers will read this Code of Conduct and agree to it acknowledging that he or she understands and agrees to comply with the Code of Conduct.

Saratoga Little League Code of Conduct:

Parent Code of Conduct Overview
  • I will not force children to participate in Little League.
  • I will remember that children participate to have fun and that the game is for youth, not adults.
  • I will inform a league official of any physical disability or ailment that may affect the safety of children or the safety of others.
  • I will learn the rules of the game and the policies of the Saratoga Little League.
  • I (and my guests) will be a positive role model for players and encourage sportsmanship by showing respect and courtesy, and by demonstrating positive support for all players, managers, coaches, officials and spectators at every game, practice or other sporting event.
  • I (and my guests) will not engage in any kind of unsportsmanlike conduct with any official, coach, player, or parent such as booing and taunting; refusing to shake hands; or using profane language or gestures.
  • I will not encourage any behaviors or practices that would endanger the health and well-being of the athletes.
  • I will teach youth to play by the rules and to resolve conflicts without resorting to hostility or violence.
  • I will demand that athletes treat other players, coaches, officials and spectators with respect regardless of race, creed, color, sex or ability.
  • I will teach my child that doing ones' best is more important than winning, so that my child will never feel defeated by the outcome of a game or his/her performance.
  • I will praise athletes for competing fairly and trying hard, and make my child feel like a winner every time.
  • I will never ridicule or yell at my youth or other participants for making a mistake or losing a competition.
  • I will emphasize skill development and practices and how they benefit athletes over winning. I will also de-emphasize games and competition in the lower age groups.
  • I will promote the emotional and physical well-being of the athletes ahead of any personal desire I may have for my players to win.
  • I will respect the officials and their authority during games and will never question, discuss, or confront coaches at the game field, and will take time to speak with coaches at an agreed upon time and place.
  • I will demand a sports environment for my child that is free from drugs, tobacco, and alcohol and I will refrain from their use at all events.
  • I will refrain from coaching my child or other players during games and practices, unless I am one of the official coaches of the team.
No Board Member, Manager, Coach, Player or Spectator shall:
  • At any time, lay a hand upon, push, shove, strike, or threaten to strike an official.
  • Be guilty of heaping personal verbal or physical abuse upon any official for any real or imaginary belief of a wrong decision or judgment.
  • Be guilty of an objectionable demonstration of dissent at an official’s decision by throwing of gloves, helmets, hats, bats, balls, or any other forceful unsportsmanlike-like action.
  • Be guilty of using unnecessarily rough tactics in the play of a game against the body of an opposing player.
  • Be guilty of a physical attack upon any board member, official manager, coach, player or spectator.
  • Be guilty of the use of profane, obscene or vulgar language in any manner at any time.
  • Appear on the field of play, stands, or anywhere on the SLL complex while in an intoxicated state at any time. Intoxicated will be defined as an odor or behavior issue.
  • Be guilty of gambling upon any play or outcome of any game with anyone at any time.
  • Smoke while in the stands or on the playing field or in any dugout at any time. Smoking will only be permitted in designated areas, which will be 20 feet from any spectator stands or dugouts.
  • Be guilty of discussing publicly with spectators in a derogatory or abusive manner any play, decision or a personal opinion on any players during the game.
  • As a manager or coach be guilty of mingling with or fraternizing with spectators during the course of the game.
  • Speak disrespectfully to any manager, coach, official or representative of the league.
  • Be guilty of tampering or manipulation of any league rosters, schedules, draft positions or selections, official score books, rankings, financial records or procedures.
  • Shall challenge an umpire’s authority. The umpires shall have the authority and discretion during a game to penalize the offender according to the infraction up to and including removal from the game.

Any inappropriate behavior by a Fan may be cause for the suspension of a game by the Umpire. Game suspension may continue until such time as the Fan leaves the park.

The Board of Directors will review all infractions of the SLL Code of Conduct. Depending on the seriousness or frequency, the board may assess additional disciplinary action up to and including expulsion from the league.

Improper Conduct:
  • Verbal abuse of any player, manager/coach or fan shall be grounds for a warning or ejection.
  • Equipment throwing by any player, manager/coach or fan shall be grounds for a warning or ejection.
  • Physical contact with another player, manager, coach or umpire not in the spirit of the game by a player, manager/coach or fan shall be grounds for a warning or ejection.
  • Smoking at the field by a player, manager/coach or fan shall grounds for a warning or ejection.
  • Alcohol/Drug consumption during a game by a player, manager/coach or fan shall be grounds for a warning or ejection.
  • Any complaint about an umpire abusing his power or unfairly treating any player, manager/coach or fan may be filed with the official scorekeeper. It is the responsibility of the Chief Umpire to report all complaints to the Board.
Reporting:
It is the responsibly of each umpire and official scorekeeper to log warning and ejections. It is the responsibility of the Chief Umpire to file a Code of Conduct Incident Report if necessary. It is the responsibility of the board to decide if any deviation from the league's ejection policy is to be enforced, modified or revoked.
2014 Code of Conduct Policies

Overview:
The Saratoga Little League is concerned about the safety and well being of the children participating in Little League Sports Activities. This includes both the Physical and Mental well being of each participant. Managers, Coaches, Parents and Fans need to have a positive influence on our players and will be evaluated accordingly.

The Saratoga Little League Board of Directors has instituted a Code of Conduct Policy that will help enforce an acceptable Code of Conduct for all participants in Saratoga Little League activities. A Conduct Review Committee will evaluate each reported incident to determine the appropriate action to be taken. A Code of Conduct Incident Form may be filed by any Manager, Coach, Umpire, Board Member or Game Monitor. This method of reporting infractions should remove the subjective nature from evaluating a Code of Conduct Incident.

Conduct Review Committee:
The Conduct Review Committee will be comprised of the President, Safety Officer and three other nominated board members. If the President or Safety Officer has a conflict of interest with an issue under review, they shall be not be allowed to vote and an Alternate must vote in their place. Commissioners and Managers may not be nominated to the Conduct Review Committee. The Conduct Review Committee will be nominated and accepted by the Saratoga Little League Board of Directors at the beginning of each season. Upon receiving a Code of Conduct Incident Report, the Safety Officer will contact the members of the Code of Conduct Committee to meet in person or via email depending on the severity of the incident.

If either the President or Safety Officer is unavailable for more than a 7 day period, the Vice President may substitute for the absent party.

Three Strike Policy:
All participants in the Saratoga Little League will adhere to the “Three Strikes and You’re Out” principle. The Conduct Review Committee will assign Strikes according to the severity of each incident. Depending on the incident, an infraction can carry more than one Strike as determined by the Conduct Review Committee. Figure 2 is a guideline for assignment of Strikes by the committee. Strikes may only be filed against an individual if a majority of the Conduct Review Committee determines that an infraction has been committed. All decisions made by the Review Committee are at their discretion and all decisions are final. Strikes are cumulative each season and will not carry over into the next season. Assigned Strikes will be used by the Board in evaluating and accepting Volunteer Positions each year.

Evaluation Procedure:
A Code of Conduct Incident Report Form may be filed by any Manager, Coach, Umpire, Board Member or Game Monitor. Game Monitors will be sent out to monitor and evaluate games throughout the season. The Game Monitor will file a Game Report Summary via the SLL Web site for each game he/she attends.

A Code of Conduct Incident Form may be filed if the Game Monitor feels that a Manager, Coach, Umpire, Fan or Player has not adhered to the Code of Conduct as outlined in Section B. A Game Monitor may not use a game that his/her son/daughter participates in for evaluation purposes.

If there is an issue regarding Board Members, Managers, Coaches or Umpires that is potentially harmful either mentally or physically to a child, the President and Safety Officer are immediately notified and a written Code of Conduct Report will be filed.

If any Board Member, Manager, Coach or Umpire is under review by the Code of Conduct Committee for the above mentioned item (i.e. mental or physical harm to a child), they shall be temporarily suspended until the issue is resolved or they receive an email from the President and Safety Officer stating that they can continue with their duties.

Notice of Infraction:
The Conduct Review Committee will send via the United States Post Office a Notice of Conduct Infraction to the offending party with a description of the resulting penalty. Examples of applicable penalties are included in Section D below as a reference.

Conclusion:
As Board Members, Managers, Coaches and Volunteers we are entrusted with the well being of the participants in the Saratoga Little League. It is critical that each child have a positive experience with his/her participation. Umpires, Volunteers, Parents and Players all must be educated in Code of Conduct expectations and enforcement. The Conduct Review Committee must consistently enforce this policy to provide a healthy playing environment for all participants in the Saratoga Little League.

2014 Reference Chart and Actions
Strike One
Strike Two
Strike Three
Suspension for 1 - 3 games depending on severity Manager will step down to lesser Volunteer Position Suspension from League for remainder of year
Coach will step down
Board Member will leave Board Position
Player will be suspended for 2 weeks
Figure 1 (above) - Action to be Taken based on Strikes
Assign 1 Strike
Assign 2 Strikes
Assign 3 Strikes
Manager, Coach, Umpire or Fan criticizing an Umpire in a foul or abusive manner. Manager, Coach, Umpire or Fan verbally abusing an individual Player or Child Umpire Physical Abuse or fighting of any kind
Abuse of Saratoga Little League or other people’s Property A Board Member, Manager, Coach or Umpire creating an unsafe physical or mental environment for a Player
Player verbally abusing another player
Figure 2 (above)- Examples of Strike Assignment


Insurance Policies and Information

Saratoga Little League has a National League Insurance Policy and a Saratoga Supplemental Insurance Policy in place. Both of these policies are excess policies (i.e. in addition to a participants existing Medical and Homeowners policy). You must consult with your Insurance Agent regarding the specifics of your Homeowners and Medical Policies and request copies of National Little Leagues and Saratoga Little Leagues Supplemental Insurance Policies for more specific coverage and exclusion detail.

In the case of an incident requiring Medical Coverage, the participants existing Medical Policy provides medical related coverage. If the participant’s medical costs exceed the participants Medical Policy, the National League’s Policy and then the Saratoga Supplemental Policy would provide coverage in that order. Please consult with your Insurance Agent regarding the specifics of your Medical Policy.

In the case of Liability related litigation, (i.e. a Volunteer being sued as a direct result of their Volunteer duties), the Volunteers Homeowners Policy would take priority coverage (if the Homeowners Policy specifically covered volunteer activity). If the legal defense costs exceeded their Homeowners Policy, the National League’s Policy and then the Saratoga Supplemental Insurance Policy would provide additional coverage. Please consult with your Insurance Agent regarding the specifics of your Homeowners Policy regarding Volunteer Activity.

All of this is predicated on the fact that the Volunteer or Player that was hurt or sued operated within the guidelines set by the National Little League and Saratoga Little League. See section on Insurance Exclusions for examples.

Little League Accidental Insurance Policy
Little League accident insurance covers only those activities approved or sanctioned by Little League Baseball, Incorporated.

Saratoga Little League (Majors), Minor League and Tee Ball participants shall not participate as a Little League (Majors), Minor League and Tee Ball team in games with other teams of other programs or in tournaments except those authorized by Little League Baseball, Incorporated.

Saratoga Little League (Majors), Minor League and Tee Ball participants may participate in other programs during the Little League (Majors), Minor League and Tee Ball regular season and tournament provided such participation does not disrupt the Little League (Majors), Minor League and Tee Ball season or tournament team.

The Saratoga Little League Insurance Policy is designed to supplement a parent’s existing family policy.


Unless expressly authorized by the Board of Directors of SLL, games played for any purpose other than to establish a League champion or as part of the International Tournament are prohibited (See IX - Special Games, pg 15 in the Rule Book for further clarification).

Explanation of Coverage:
The CNA Little League’s insurance policy (see in Appendix) is designed to afford protection to all participants at the most economical cost to SLL. It can be used to supplement other insurance carried under a family policy or insurance provided by a parent’s employer. If there is no other coverage, CNA Little League insurance - which is purchased by the SLL, not the parent - takes over and provides benefits, after a $50 deductible per claim, for all covered injury treatment costs up to the maximum stated benefits.

This plan makes it possible to offer exceptional, low-cost protection with assurance to parents that adequate coverage is in force at all times during the season.

Filing a Claim:
When filing a claim, (see claim forms in appendix) all medical costs should be fully itemized. If no other insurance is in effect, a letter from the parent’s/guardian’s or claimant’s employer explaining the lack of Group or Employer insurance must accompany a claim form.

On dental claims, it will be necessary to fill out a Major Medical Form, as well as a Dental Form; then submit them to the insurance company of the claimant, or parent(s)/guardian(s), if claimant is a minor “Accident damage to whole, sound, normal teeth as a direct result of an accident” must be stated on the form and bills. Forward a copy of the insurance company’s response to Little League Headquarters. Include the claimant’s name, League ID, and year of the injury on the form.

Claims must be filed with the SLL Safety Officer. He/she forwards them to Little League Baseball, Incorporated, PO Box 3485, Williamsport, PA, 17701. Claim officers can be contacted at (717) 327-1674 and fax (717) 326-1074. Contact the SLL Safety Officer for more information.

Insurance Policy Exclusions:
First, it should again be noted that both of these Little League insurance policies are excess policies (i.e. in addition to a participants existing policy). It should also be noted that these are examples of exclusions only and in no way represent all of the exclusions that that may be in effect.

There are specific exclusions that eliminate coverage should any person involved with Saratoga Little League violate the policies set down by National Little League. For example, any unauthorized games or practices would be a violation, and thus any injuries as a result, would be excluded from the insurance coverage. A Game or Practice that occurred outside of the Start/End dates mandated by Little League would be considered unauthorized.

Also, parents who do not complete the background check and are involved with the children, violate the Little League National Policy, and thus any lawsuit resulting from the situation regarding the background check would be excluded from defense in the lawsuit.

Saratoga Little League Rider Policy:
The Saratoga Little League Supplemental Policy provides an additional $1,000,000 per any one occurrence, or $2,000,000 total per policy period in addition to the National Policy.

How the insurance works:

  1. First have the child’s parents file a claim under their insurance policy; Blue Cross, Blue Shield or any other insurance protection available.
  2. Should the family’s insurance plan not fully cover the injury treatment, the Little League CNA Policy will help pay the difference, after a $50 deductible per claim, up to the maximum stated benefits.
  3. If the child is not covered by any family insurance, the Little League CNA Policy becomes primary and will provide benefits for all covered injury treatment costs, after a $50 deductible per claim, up to the maximum benefits of the policy.
  4. Treatment of dental injuries can extend beyond the normal fifty-two week period if dental work must be delayed due to physiological changes of a growing child. Benefits will be paid at the time treatment is given, even though it may be some years later. Maximum dollar benefit is $500 for eligible dental treatment after the normal fifty-two week period, subject to the $50 deductible per claim.
Forms

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