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Little league programs take action against potential child abuse

May 07, 2011 Matt Roesly

Youth baseball leagues across the country are advocating background screening not only for coaches, but all individuals who may come in contact with children. The Little League Child Protection Program, first implemented in 1996, was the first initiative in the nation that outwardly attempted to eliminate predators from youth leagues. Comprehensive background checks must be completed each year for a league to receive membership in the program, according to The Shreveport Times. The media outlet notes that the Louisiana-based Bossier Dixie league implemented background checks for any adult involved with little league teams - including coaches, umpires, concession workers, regional directors and other volunteers. Additionally, Tenefly Little League in Tenefly, New Jersey, has decided to fingerprint all volunteers that come in contact with children, according to The Blaze. This includes fingerprints of everyone from coaches to concessions workers. In Pennsylvania, a Lower Nazareth Township baseball coach was outed by an anonymous parent because he went the entire 2010 baseball season without a town-mandated background check, according to LehighValleyLive. "Parents are in favor of it and certainly our job as youth administrators is to protect the young people that participate in our organization," Abraham Key, president and CEO of Washington, Pennsylvania-based PONY little league, tells The Shreveport Times. "It should give the parents some relief to know that we are doing the due diligence to do the background check on these people."