Volunteers are the heartbeat of any youth sports organization, and it’s no different at Lakeland City Baseball. Each year we rely on the valuable time and effort of hundreds of volunteers to make this league work. There are many opportunities to offer your service to make the baseball experience for these youngsters one they will remember.
All adults who will have repeated contact with players must apply to be a volunteer. Once we receive your information we will perform background checks and all approved volunteers will receive an ID badge. If we don't already have a copy of a valid government-issued ID, such as a driver license, before receiving your badge we'll ask to scan a copy of the ID.
Before applying be sure and check out the list of Frequently Asked Questions about volunteering at LCB you see below.
Volunteering opportunities at LCB include:
- Team manager
- Team coach
- Team Mom (or Dad)
- LCB Buddy Ball™ buddy
- Work Day at Peterson Park
- Opening Day helpers
- Uniform distribution
- Walk-up registration help
- ...and many more
How much of my time is involved?
That depends on the task you're volunteering for. A team
manager will have a busy few months in the Spring and Fall seasons,
while an on-field volunteer assisting the manager may only
be present when the team is playing a game. Some of our
approved volunteers play an important role sitting in the
stands and cheering the team on.
Am I required to volunteer for my child to play at LCB? No, this is not a requirement for play. We are blessed, though, to have so many who are willing to contribute their time, so it is not necessary for us to make it a requirement. We encourage you to do so, however, because the more helping hands we have, the better the program is for the players.
What times of the year are volunteers needed? Our Spring season generally runs from January to May, and the Fall season from September to late October. Volunteers are needed almost year-round.
Are managers and coaches unpaid volunteers? Sounds like a strange question, doesn't it? The answer is yes, of course. There are, however, some competitive youth baseball organizations who pay their coaches. That's not us.
Tell me about the volunteer application. We gather information from you which is pertinent to knowing who you are, certain details to confirm your identity and where you live, and what experience, if any, you would bring to the league as an approved volunteer. It also asks for some references and their phone numbers.
I submitted an application last year. Do I have to submit another one this year? Yes, every volunteer is required to submit a new application every year. The reason for this is that someone could have committed an offense within the previous year, therefore a yearly check is necessary.
Why is there so much personal information asked on the application? Much of it is so we can properly communicate with you (phone numbers, mailing address, e-mail, etc.). Other information is required to perform the background checks. Important note on Social Security numbers: Proper background searches require a Social Security number.
Will the information I provide be safe and secure? We've taken every precaution to make all electronic information and physical documentation we collect as secure as possible. Our online volunteer application procedure greatly diminishes the amount of people with access to the data, and all electronic information is stored in our in-house database behind multiple layers of security. Collecting and storing this data electronically is much more secure than a paper-based system.
I'm a good person. Is it really necessary to do a background check on me? We are proud of the fact that since the background check procedure was implemented over five years ago only a very few who have applied to volunteer with LCB have not passed it. Our volunteers are made up of hundreds of good people with nothing to hide, and who understand this process is an unfortunate reality in our society today.
Why is it necessary to check the sex offender lists for my name? Sex offenders, particularly those who are predators of children, are one of the primary reasons this process was started. We want to know who those people are and keep them away from our players.
What offenses would prevent me from volunteering at LCB? First, it's important to understand that the league is not obligated to appoint anyone as a volunteer, even if they have been approved in the past. LCB's policy is to screen out anyone whom we feel inappropriate to have more than incidental contact with the players while at our facilities and/or those whom we feel their participation with the league is in some way detrimental or against the best interests of the league. Those excluded can include persons with, but not limited to, arrests and/or convictions of significant crimes involving sexual abuse, lewd and lascivious acts, violent behavior, domestic violence, crimes against children and patterns of repeated inappropriate behavior. We also look for cases of drug abuse or trafficking, and significant incidents involving acting or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Other reasons for exclusion can include actions deemed inappopriate while in attendance of LCB events or other actions deemed contrary to the best interests of the league.
Who decides if I'm approved or not as a volunteer? Each year one board member is appointed as Volunteer Coordinator, and that person is charged with processing and reviewing all background checks. If there is no inappropriate behavior reported the applicant is accepted. If there is any indication of impropriety the Volunteer Coordinator reports it to a 3-person committee comprised of the Volunteer Coordinator, the league Safety Officer and the league president. They then review the information and decide by majority vote whether to accept or reject the application. No other persons are involved in the decision, and their word is final and cannot be overruled by the board of directors. That applicant's name and information is not divulged to anyone other than the 3-person committee for decision-making purposes. All other applicants' information is known only to the Volunteer Coordinator.
How does the approval process apply to volunteer managers? To become a manager at LCB, that person must undergo the same volunteer application and approval process as every other general volunteer. In addition, they must also be nominated to be a manager by the corresponding age-level league vice-president and their name submitted to the league president. The league president alone has the authority to submit, or not submit, the manager-candidate's name to the board of directors for final approval.
What happens once I've passed the background check? After receiving a scanned copy of the applicant's driver license or other government-issued photo ID the league will issue an ID badge to all approved volunteers that is specific to that calendar year, giving them the appropriate access.
Are there people who don't pass the background check? Can they still volunteer? Yes there are, but thankfully they are few and far between, and no, they cannot volunteer at LCB until they successfully pass the background checks in future years and are approved by the Volunteer Committee.
Who actually performs the background checks? For national searches we contract the services of First Advantage (formerly LexisNexis). For local searches we work in cooperation with the Polk County Sheriff's Office and the Lakeland Police Dept., both of which are more than pleased to help in identifying undesirable individuals in order to protect the children of our community.
I've received a letter saying someone with my name committed an offense. Should I be concerned? Unless that person is you there is nothing to be concerned about. Here is what we're required to tell you about this circumstance:
"Please be advised that if we, the league, use First Advantage (formerly LexisNexis) to perform a background search and there is a name match in the few states where only name match searches can be performed you will receive a letter directly from First Advantage in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act containing information regarding all the criminal records associated with your name, which may not necessarily be you, the applicant."
Here's how it works: We submit all names, addresses, birthdates and other information provided by our volunteer applicants to First Advantage, a company we pay to perform national background checks. Most states and counties in the U.S. participate in the program and return matches that meet one or more of the criteria. A few states return matches just on the name alone, which means if you have a common name, e.g. John Smith or Mary Jones, there is a likelihood of a name match with someone else who has a criminal record. A name match could mean, for example, there was a John Smith (not you) who did a bad thing in Pennsylvania and on the outside chance it could be you, the league is being informed so they can take a closer look. They are required by law to notify you this has happened.
A federal law called the Fair Credit Reporting Act, originally passed in 1970, requires that a person whose name is undergoing some sort of review such as a credit check or background check, be notified in writing if there are criminal records associated with that name. Again, when there is a match it does not mean you necessarily have a criminal record, just that someone else with a name identical to yours does.
The letter will state that the requestor (us) has been informed of the name match. When there's a match of this sort we will compare the additional information we have of yours (date of birth, address, photo) and determine if it is you or not.
Names that aren't so common and don't have any
name matches and/or records to
report are not sent a letter.
If I have concerns can I correspond with the background check service? Yes you can. In most cases they will refer you to the jurisdiction that reported your name for further questions. If you have received a letter from First Advantage it will discuss all that.
Are volunteers who are minors required to complete a volunteer application? They are not.
Do LCB's umpires go through the background check process also? Yes they do.
What about board members? All league volunteers, including members of the board of directors, must go through the background check process.
My child wishes to offer community service hours to LCB. Must he or she complete a volunteer application? As a minor they are not required to submit a volunteer application.