Little League Football is a registered charity that provides free football for children up to about 13 years old that would not otherwise play regularly for their schools or other organisations. A strong community involvement is a key feature. The emphasis is on mass participation rather than elitism, enthusiasm and endeavour rather than ability. Players are encouraged to develop team spirit, self discipline and sportsmanship.
Since inception in 1968, formation of new leagues has continued and now number more than 30, evidence that there is a demand for this unique concept of youth football. Further expansion is an ongoing objective.
ORGANISATION AND FINANCE
Little League Football is ‘governed’ by a National Executive Committee consisting of a number of unpaid volunteers elected by the member leagues at the national A.G.M. A Management Committee of a similar structure runs each league. In addition, all the team managers, assistants and other volunteers are jointly responsible for the running of the organisation, including fund raising.
The welfare and protection of each child is paramount and new volunteers are screened in accordance with F.A. and National Little League guidelines.
No charges are made for playing, as Little League does not wish to turn away any child whose parents are unable or unwilling to pay subscriptions. However, parents are invited to become members at a nominal fee decided by each league, although their child will be treated exactly the same whether or not a contribution is made.
The costs of providing football for a minimum of 6 teams (84 players), or many more in the case of most leagues, are considerable with expenditure running up to several thousand pounds each season. Local companies and individuals sponsor teams and other aspects and the Committee raises the balance of income required in a variety of ways, such as refreshment sales, socials, lotteries etc. Personal Accident and Public Liability insurance cover each league, its officials and players.
Most leagues have six teams, although such is the demand for places, many have expanded and run Junior/Reserve teams as well. The majority of leagues have traditionally only provided for boys’ football, but some now also run separate girls’ teams.
Trials are held each year for children wanting to join their local league, and leagues generally only accommodate children from their immediate catchment area. Children are selected or placed in teams in the various sections of the league structure whichever section is judged appropriate to their age and perceived ability. They are subjectively assessed by managers and chosen in turn to ensure as far as is reasonable that teams are equal and that every child can play with and compete against others of a similar age and ability.
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