For our kids to play and our league to function, we need volunteers for many roles. “Coach” is the first that probably comes to mind, but running a team takes a lot of different skills, and it can often be easier if the effort is shared by people who enjoy different strengths.
We also have volunteers who aren’t parents of players, but know the game and see the value of bringing Little League to the community. To all of you, we appreciate your support and passion for the youth here. Thank you!
There are many ways to serve. After you decide what to do, please see the Registration section farther down.
At a small league like SMLL, the team manager and coach roles are often combined. We’ll list many of the needs here, but these are usually shared by the assistant coaches as well.
The team manager has many tasks outside of teaching kids how to play baseball, but they’re just as important if we want them to function as a team, within a league, using shared fields:
- coordinating practice field usage with the league’s player agent;
- scheduling practices and communicating their times (see When and where can I practice?
- communicating the game schedule and any changes
- adjusting and communicating plans for make-up games
- preparing the field before games (chalking, raking, watering, putting out bases)
- helping clean the dugout after games (please!)
- attending player assessment days (you might want to call them “drafts” or “tryouts”, but nobody tries out for a team at SMLL); see Tips for Managers Prepping for Player Tryouts for more
Coach / Assistant Coach
The coach role is more about building player skills than managing the team, and it’s often the same person leading both. SMLL’s Sports Connect system has an “Assistant Coach” volunteer position available during registration, and they can help out in many ways:
- deciding on batting order before games (note that we adopted a continuous batting order in 2023)
- coordinating batting lineup in the dugout during games
- base coach for 1st and 3rd base
- handling field substitutions during games
- ensuring all players get adequate game time
- track pitch count and rest days for all pitchers
- protecting players from injury or health problems (e.g. paying attention to field hazards, ensuring safe play at practice and games, adjusting practices for heat, cold, or dark, attending seasonal first aid training)
Every team should have 2 coaches in addition to the team manager. During games, a team will always need 1 registered adult in the dugout and 2 to serve as 1st and 3rd base coaches. If enough adults are not available, players can serve as base coaches, but they cannot oversee the dugout.
Team moms and dads help take the communication and coordination load off the manager and coaches. They’re an invaluable part of making the team work.
One way team parents can help out a lot is by communicating with the other parents. This can make life much easier for the coach. Make sure everybody knows about practices and game times. Coordinate snack bar and scorekeeper volunteers. Make sure the players have snacks and sports drinks during and after the games. (Even the older kids like snacks, especially when it’s hot out!) Help arrange an end-of-season party or trophy orders, if the coach wants to hand them out.
Board members and coaches are often the people picking up trash, moving the cans around, checking on the bathrooms, etc. Fields need to be raked before games, dugouts need to be swept, trash needs to be collected and disposed of. People dedicated to helping with the general upkeep of the public areas, the dugouts, and the fields would be deeply appreciated.
Each team should supply a scorekeeper at every game. We teach new people to do it every year, and it can be a fun part of the experience.
SMLL’s primary fundraiser is the snack bar that we open on game days. Many parents like to help there at a time before or after their kids are playing so they can see their games, too.
We need umpires! Umpires oversee all of our games from the player pitch division and above, and we can’t play without them.
Our Umpire in Chief, Tom Burdette, is always looking for new people, 13-90, to help keep our players safe and enforce the rules. He will host training sessions each season, and every game will have experienced umpires to speak as the ultimate authority so new ones have time to grow into the role.
Any youth who are interested, especially, would be welcome to reach out. It’s a great way to learn confidence, responsibility, and acting in authority around other kids and adults.
If you’re interested, please text Tom at
Any volunteer who provides “regular service to the league or repetitive access to children” must go through the background check process. That includes helping with hitting and catching during practice, coaching a base or coordinating the batting lineup during games, even working in the snack bar or being a team parent. Please see Little League’s Background Checks for Little League® Volunteers for more info.
First, see the Volunteer section in Sports Connect and sign up for a position there.
Be aware that all volunteers who spend significant time with kids must go through a background check. The league will submit this for you using your registration info. See Little League’s background checks page for more. Note: background checks are enhanced for 2024.
If you’re a manager or coach…
- Complete the coaching courses. First aid and fundamental baseball training is a Little League requirement.