RAYB takes the safety of its players and other participants very seriously. Fortunately, RAYB has not had an issue of this nature in the past and we do not expect to face one in the future. However, times are changing and things that seem common sense before now must be spelled out. Therefore, RAYB’s Board of Directors has adopted the following policies in order to spell out the protections and expectations of all of its participants:
Coach Selection, Requirements, & Expectations
Background Checks - RAYB shall conduct background checks each year on all coaches to ensure its players are not placed in the care of an adult that has demonstrated an inability to be in a position of trust. Coaching candidates that do not pass the background check will not be permitted to coach players. Head Coaches must also monitor and guide the leadership techniques used by Assistants Coaches and ensure that RAYB policies are followed.
Concussion Training - All RAYB coaches (head or assistant) are required to complete sanctioned concussion training and education prior to coaching and participating in further education at least every three years. Expenses for training and education, if any, shall be paid by RAYB. The concussion certification program is available to all RAYB participants (coaches, parents, players). If you are interested in learning more or becoming certified, contact the Player Representative.
Coach-Player Communication - All communication between RAYB coaches and players should be appropriate and not include subjects of a sexual or otherwise adult nature. Communications should be respectful, should not include profanity and should be in accordance with any Code of Conduct forms signed by the players and coaches.
Personal Matters and Mandatory Reporting - Nothing in these policies shall prohibit a coach from listening to and/or assisting a player that confides personal problems or concerns, whether related to the game of baseball or not. Some players are faced with difficult personal circumstances and choose to confide their fears or concerns in their coach, perhaps because they trust their coach and/or have nowhere else to go. Coaches are expected to treat the concerns of the player with utmost confidence and compassion and not mock the player for the information provided. When a player is in need, the coach is to find proper counsel for the player at the earliest possible time. Coaches must understand that while they may wish to become personally involved in meeting the personal needs of the player and/or player’s family, they are seldom if ever properly trained to effectively assist in such matters. When appropriate, coaches that have been confided in by players are encouraged to either contact the Player Representative for guidance or encourage the child or child’s family to contact the player representative directly. If the player reports a crime (including sexual or child abuse) or the desire to injure or kill himself or someone else, the Coach is required to notify the proper authorities immediately. If there is any question as to which authority that would be, the coach should contact the Player Representative. If a Coach makes such a referral to the Player Representative, the Coach is obligated to make at least one follow-up communication to ensure appropriate action was taken. If no action was taken or the action was not adequate in the opinion of the Coach, the coach shall then contact the President (or other Board Member) and notify them of the circumstances.
Discipline - Any discipline used in coaching should be constructive. Corporal punishment is never permitted. In addition, negative reinforcement of any kind is highly discouraged and inconsistent with effective coaching techniques.
Privacy - Coaches must respect the privacy of youth members, and intrude only to the extent that instruction, health and safety require. Adults must protect their own privacy in similar situations. Private one-on-one contact between coaches and unrelated players is not permitted. In situations that require personal conferences, the meeting is to be conducted in view of other adults and youths.
Prohibition of Intimate Contact between Coaches and Players - No relationship, physical contact or communication of an intimate nature is permitted coaches and players. The only exception would be in the event that a player participant is injured in an a part of the body that would otherwise be considered intimate and the coach is administering first aid in a non-intimate manner.
Self-reporting – Any coach accused in private or public by a player or parent of violating any of these policies is encouraged to immediately report that concern with their Commissioner, Director or a member of the RAYB Board.
Equipment - Activities with elements of risk should never be undertaken without proper preparation, equipment, clothing, supervision, and safety measures. Given the other player protection policies, use of proper protective equipment is the exclusive responsibility of the player and player’s family. Players are expected to participate with appropriate equipment (glove, baseball shoes, etc…)
Batting Helmets - Players in second grade and older are required to provide their own batting helmet. By providing their own helmet, players are more likely to have a helmet that fits right and minimize the possibility of transfer of communicable infections, like lice. Each team will be given a couple batting helmets to use in the event one or more players fail to bring theirs. Players that do not use a baseball hat or other protective head covering assume the risks that come with using equipment used by others.
Lice and Catcher’s Equipment - Players who wish to play catcher are encouraged to provide their own equipment, when possible. Catcher’s equipment is bulky and expensive, though, and consequently provided by the association. Players wishing to catch are asked to provide a barrier between their hair and the catcher’s mask – usually a baseball hat or other head covering. Players with a specific concern about lice may be excused from catching. Families with any other specific concerns should direct those concerns to the RAYB Equipment Director.
Weather - Coaches should take care when playing in inclement weather, such as severe weather and extreme heat. Games should be suspended or cancelled when lightening is present and visible, hail is falling or storm warning sirens are active. Coaches should ensure that all players remain properly hydrated at all times, especially when playing in temperatures exceeding 90 degrees.
Concussions – Coaches are required to undergo concussion training and education. Coaches must remove a player from the activity if they exhibit signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with a concussion and/or are suspected of sustaining a concussion. The law requires an appropriate health care professional’s signature to return to play if a player is removed due to a concussion or is showing signs of a concussion.
Hazing prohibited - Physical hazing and initiations are prohibited and may not be included as part of any activity.
Player behavior - Players are expected to conduct themselves in an appropriate fashion with umpires, coaches and teammates. While a certain degree of good-natured horseplay can be expected, players should not participate in activities that could injure their teammates or are of a sexual nature. Players (or players of parents) that are the victim of, witness or asked to participate in such activities are encouraged to report these incidents to their coach.
Nothing in these policies prohibits a coach from administering any first aid necessary to a player, even if such contact would otherwise by considered a violation of this policy if there were not the result of an injury. Coaches are expected to use their best judgment in handling such manners and to utilize the least invasive method possible to administer first aid and otherwise provide relief with injuries of this nature.
Team Travel (For Travel and Recreation Leagues)
Two-deep leadership - Two coaches or one coach and a parent of a player, one of whom must be 21 years of age or older, are required on all out of town trips and overnight outings. RAYB is responsible for ensuring that sufficient leadership is provided for all activities.
Separate accommodations - When traveling, no youth is permitted to stay with an adult other than his own parent or guardian unless also accompanied with one or more other players
RAYB takes prevention of bullying so seriously that it has issued an extensive policy on its own. The Player Protection Policy incorporates the anti-bullying policy by reference.
Any player or coach accused of violating any part of this policy will immediately be temporarily suspended from participating in all RAYB activities. Banned participants will have the right to appeal their suspension to the RAYB Executive Committee for reinstatement but may not participate in RAYB activities again until reinstated. Participants found, in the exclusive judgment of the RAYB Executive Committee, to have violated the Participant Protection Policy will be permanently banned from participating in RAYB activities – subject to an appeal for reinstatement not to be heard more frequently than once a year. Participants found, in the exclusive judgment of the RAYB Executive Committee, not to have violated the Participant Protection Policy will be immediately reinstated. The RAYB Executive Committee must meet and rule upon all suspensions resulting from a reported violation within 5 days of the incident being reported. If the RAYB Executive Committee does not rule within 5 days, the issue will be deemed to have been resolved in favor of the accused.
NOTE: For purposes of the RAYB Participant Protection Policy, the Executive Committee includes the Player Representative.