All persons involved with Little League Baseball must have an annual background check performed before they can become a coach as of Oct. 9.
No matter if you are the manager of a team or a dad who likes to come help out at practices, you are subjected to the examination.
These checks are completely unnecessary and do not need to be performed – especially if you are not directly involved with the children.
I may be a mom that likes to come and interact at my daughter’s softball team practice each day, and now I have to have a background check done?
I don’t think so.
I am not directly involved with the team. I am not a coach. My personal history is not of importance.
Of course you need to protect the children, but that is possible without infringing on the rights of those involved.
Those applying to become coaches or managers should have to fill out an application stating if they have ever been convicted of a crime.
If they mark yes, then a search will ensue. Otherwise, leave them alone.
The procedure that league officials must now undergo begins with checking the sexual offender registry of the state where the applicant resides for sexual offenses involving or against minors. If the state doesn’t have such a registry, then a criminal background check takes place.
Some leagues do both automatically, because they feel that it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Sure, that makes sense.
But if you really think about it, how many of those adults that apply for a coaching position are actual sex offenders?
In the 15-year history of the Little League, only nine people have been convicted of sexual abuse. That’s nine people out of the more than 10 million who have volunteered.
Is that number great enough to require these background checks? Hardly.
But wait, there’s more. Not only will league officials refuse managerial positions to those who have sexual offenses, but they also have the right to refuse an application simply because the person committed an offense they think could be detrimental to their status as a role model.
So even though I have been a coach of Sally’s Beauty Supply Little League team for the past five years, you’re not going to permit me to coach next year because I spent the night in jail after my parking tickets accumulated? Right. I see the logic there.
Making sure the children are protected and in the hands of responsible and sane adults is a very important concern of Little League Baseball.
But to require all leagues to force coaches, managers and other volunteers to undergo an inspection is taking it a little far.
Dominique Drake, 18, is a freshman business student from Cleveland. She is The Famuan’s assistant opinions editor. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.