The sports season offers the next generation of young baseball, softball, soccer and lacrosse players the chance to get out on the field, hone their skills and have fun. Some sports leagues are all about learning and fun, while other leagues are more competitive and may travel in the area—giving children the chance to compete against other top players and prepare themselves for high school sports.
Some of these activities operate independently, others through a national organization like Little League, and still others through the local recreation department. One thing all these leagues have in common is registration requirements. Calling for documentation from the parents of the players makes perfect sense. This is the best way for the organizations to protect the players, protect themselves from lawsuits and insure that the sports league operates in a way that is as fair as possible.
Even if you understand why these requirements are in place, it can be a bit overwhelming to get your kids signed up and ready for the season. That is why thinking ahead and getting your paperwork ready before signup begins is important. Instead of waiting for registration day and possibly running into snags because you do not have all the documentation you need, start collecting some of the requisite documents ahead of time.
Contact the sports organization your children will play for and find out the requirements ahead of time so you can arrive prepared for registration. These are some of the more commonly requested items:
- Official Birth Certificate – An official birth certificate is very often required—especially for first time players. The reason for requiring this is for proof of age. That way, the organization can make certain all children are close in age—making for a fair schedule and safer gameplay. Make sure your certificate is official, not a souvenir copy, to insure your child’s registration goes through without a hitch.
- Social Security Card – This may be requested instead of, or in addition to, the birth certificate. A social security card is used as proof that the child is whom he is registered as.
- Proof of Address – Some leagues have residency requirements, or the recreation department may offer a discount for those who live within the county or city. In these instances, the parent must provide proof of residency—normally this can be in the form of a current utility bill.
- Copy of Doctor’s Physical – Check with the organization to find out if your league requires a physical. A physical proves that the child is in good physical condition and able to handle the rigors of practice and games.
- Registration Form – More and more organizations offer an online registration form that you can print and fill out ahead of time. If you have this prepared before the big day, you can save time and find out any missing information.
Preparing these items ahead of time can save time on registration day and prevent the difficulty of rounding up information quickly to meet the registration deadline. Act now to get everything ready—you will hear “play ball” before you know it!