NWLL participates in Little League’s safety program called ASAP, and publishes an annual NWLL Safety Plan.
A Safety Awareness Program (ASAP) has been implemented by nearly 90% of leagues nationwide and has led to a significant decline in the number of reported injuries and accidents.
- Proper stretching, warm ups, and physical conditioning are recommended before any activity
- Appropriate nutrition and hydration should be provided prior to practices and games
- Proper rest, breaks, and fatigue management is essential for all players, not just the pitchers and catchers
- Equipment should be well maintained, and players should be required to adhere to the proper use of equipment
- Each coach is provided with a First Aid Kit every season
- Base runners must wear helmets all times while on the field of play
- Donuts are not allowed in Little League play
- Special awareness and precautions are taken whenever a player has a bat in hand – no player should swing a bat without wearing a helmet
- A player is not allowed to enter a batting cage without a helmet
- Players are warned to make sure they see the eyes of their teammate before they toss the ball
- A player or coach who is wearing a hard cast may not participate on the field
- Concussion certification is integrated into coach registration. In accordance with NWLL's safety plan, insurance obligations, and District of Columbia law, coaches must complete CDC concussion certification in the registration even if you've completed the course previously. Once initially completed, your certificate will be valid in the NWLL system for two years. Similar to completing the annual background check, concussion certification is a mandatory step to register as a coach, assistant coach, and/or manager and be placed on a team. No exceptions.
- Field Inspection (check prior to each game or practice)
- Spectator area – check for danger areas where overthrows might hit the spectators.
- Player benches and dugout area – check for holes or areas where the ball might get through the fence and strike players in the dugout.
- Pitching mound – check the mound, and make sure there is a firm flat surface near the front of the rubber. Also ensure that landing area is firm and level.
- Infield conditions – check for potholes and uneven surfaces, especially near the bases. Remove rocks or sticks in the base path. Loosen the dirt near the bases to make sliding easier.
- Outfield conditions – check for potholes and sprinklers or other obstacles. Remove large rocks and sticks.
- Weather Considerations (Please see rules for specific roles and responsibilities for suspending games or practices.)
- Rain Light rain that does not create an unsafe environment may not justify cause to stop a game or practice. Heavier rain that leads to puddling or soaking wet field conditions may cause stoppage of a game or practice. Use good judgment in determining if conditions have become unsafe. Slippery bases or muddy areas are indications of dangerous conditions. If a game or practice is stopped, always remain with the players until they have been picked-up. If it has been raining prior to a game or practice session, carefully inspect the fields for safety prior to beginning any activity.
- Lightning If a game or practice is in progress and there is thunder or lightning, with or without rain, the game or practice should be halted and players removed from the field. Umpires will wait 20 minutes after the most recent instance of lightning before restarting the game. Keep everyone away from metal objects. Avoid open fields and trees. Make sure that everyone remains in as safe a place as possible.
- High Winds In the event of high (approximately 25 mph and above), dust particles could obstruct a player’s ability to focus on the game. The game may be resumed once the wind velocity reduces or the wind subsides.
- Very Hot Days On exceedingly hot days, it is strongly recommended that the benches and dugouts be covered overhead to provide shade and comfort to the players. Also please make sure that there is sufficient amount of water or electrolyte rich liquid for drinking. Encourage players to apply a sunscreen to prevent sunburn. Check these extreme heat safety tips for more info.
In the event of an accident the team’s coach shall remain calm and tend to the injured players with the parents, if present. It is only natural for the other members of the team to run to the injured player. In order to administer proper care to the injured player, instruct all other players to go back to their respective positions or to the team bench.
For minor injuries, use a first aid kit as needed to apply an ice pack or support bandages. If blood is present, wear barrier gloves to protect yourself and the injured players. Use soap and water or an antiseptic wipe to clean the wound and apply light pressure to stop bleeding. Use a suitable sterile bandage with or without antiseptic ointment to cover the injured area.
If an injury is determined to be significant, professional medical attention should be sought. If appropriate, call 911. Stay with the injured player and provide comfort until medical attention arrives. Keep the player calm and as comfortable as possible. Avoid moving the player in any way unless remaining where you are presents a greater danger.
When calling 911 be prepared to give your name, your location and a brief description of the emergency. Listen carefully to the operator’s requests or questions. Once finished with the phone call, get in position or designate others to an appropriate location to meet and direct emergency personnel and vehicles to the injured player.
Notify parents at soon as possible upon an injury. Coaches should keep a list of player’s emergency contacts with them at all practices and games.
It shall be the coach’s responsibility to determine if any player shall continue to participate in practice or a game.
Safe Child Hand-Off
Coaches use best judgment to insure that players have a safe method to come to and leave from practices and games. NWLL activities begin and end with the trips to and from the field. Never leave players unattended after practice or games or any other activities.
Little League Child Protection Program
The Little League Child Protection Program seeks to educate children and volunteers in ways to prevent child abusers from becoming involved in the local league. Please see the little league guide on how to identify potential abuse.
Additional safety information is available from Little League International’s ASAP Safety Program.