Promoting Inclusion and Opportunity in the Little League® Program
Inclusion and opportunity has been the cornerstone of Little League® since it was founded in 1939. Always striving to provide a positive experience for boys and girls around the world, Little League International provides guidance and support to local volunteers to ensure their leagues are a welcoming organization for all children in their communities.
To help shape the organization’s policies and regulations, Little League collaborates with industry experts in their respective fields and are presented in the form of waiver options to current Little League rules and regulations.
In 2017, Little League International formalized two policies based on Little League International’s current procedures. One policy outlines the procedure to obtain a waiver of a rule or regulation due to a player’s individual disability. The other is a policy to provide accommodations for player’s gender identity. Local league officials are encouraged to read these policies to fully understand the procedure for requesting these waivers. Visit Little League University to learn more about Little League’s waiver process.
“Being a part of the Little League Baseball and Softball program is an experience that every young boy and girl should be able to have during their childhood,” said Stephen D. Keener, Little League President and CEO. “By formalizing these two policies, Little League continues to find ways to help educate and guide our volunteers to provide an opportunity for all children to participate in the Little League program and assist in developing the qualities of citizenship, discipline, teamwork, and physical well-being for all those involved.”
Little League is a non-discriminatory community-based organization which aims to promote fair play for all participants through the uniform adherence to Little League’s Official Regulations, Playing Rules, and Operating Policies. Accordingly, all local leagues chartered by Little League pledge to abide by the rules, and all updates thereto.
Policy Considering Waivers of Rules Due to Participant’s Disability
Little League also encourages children who may require a modification of the rules due to the participant with a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (A.D.A.) to request modifications of those rules. Little League is a non-discriminatory organization, and in considering such requests, Little League will fully comply with the A.D.A. to provide opportunities for children. Read the full policy.
Policy Considering Waivers of Rules to Accommodate Gender Identity
Reviewed by medical experts, Little League International has formally outlined its process for an individual whose gender identity does not match the gender listed on the child’s birth certificate the opportunity to request a modification or waiver of the rules to provide those individuals the opportunity to participate in the Little League program based on their gender identity. Read the full policy.
Little League’s position and policy statements are available for review on LittleLeague.org. For a detailed overview of Little League’s policies, including the procedure for the Little League International Charter Committee, visit LittleLeague.org/Rules. Volunteers and parents are encouraged to review all policies, as well as the current year’s Little League Rulebooks to learn about all ways Little League provides inclusive opportunities.