Travelling to play games in the UK or abroad can provide many young baseball and softball players with positive and exciting experiences that can add to their sporting and personal development. However, these types of experiences bring particular challenges and potential safeguarding issues that need to be considered and addressed -- and the key to addressing them is the preparation and planning that needs to take place before the trip.
To help you plan an overnight trip or travel abroad with a youth baseball or softball team, BaseballSoftballUK has a Checklist for Trips and Travel Abroad that you can use to organise the trip.
NOTE: For all international trips, organisers must provide BaseballSoftballUK with contact information, parental permission forms and an itinerary before the team travels. A Safeguarding Officer must be appointed for the trip. Please consult the BSUK Safeguarding Policy for Trips and Travel Abroad.
Notes on the Checklist for Trips and Travel Abroad
Insurance – Please ensure, if travelling abroad, that players have adequate travel insurance that covers them for competitive play. Please visit the insurance section on this website for more information.
Sleeping arrangements – If on an overnight trip, please ensure that every child has his or her own bed to sleep in. It is not acceptable for players to share a bed (at any age).
Supervision ratio – Thought should be given to what is an acceptable level of adult supervision for a trip. For a UK-based day trip, a ratio of 1:6 (one adult per six children) may be suitable, but supervision should be increased if an overnight stay or foreign travel is part of the trip, in which case 1:5 should be a minimum, and 1:4 is more suitable for foreign trips. There should be a mix of male and female supervisors.
Vetting – Do your homework before you travel and check what the accommodation is like. As a general rule, if you wouldn’t stay there with your own child, you shouldn’t be using it for the trip! If the accommodation is overseas, it clearly won’t be practical to visit in person before the trip, but maybe some online research (e.g. Trip Advisor) and/or local contacts can help verify that where you are staying is what you need and are expecting.
The Checklist is a guide, and it is worth remembering that the trip organiser is ultimately responsible for the trip and all the elements that go into it.
When planning any trip abroad, you must give contact information to BSUK Safeguarding Officer so that, in the event of an emergency, we can help. Please use the Travelling Team Contact Details Form to provide this information.
BaseballSoftballUK has its own Parent/Guardian Permission Form that can be used for your trip. These forms must be completed by all parents and copies sent to BaseballSoftballUK for reference. One permission form will cover all the season’s activities.
It is suggested that you read the Photography Advice from the NSPCC’s Child Protection in Sport Unit as well.
Transporting Children in Cars
Key points from the NSPCC about transporting children in cars:
- Try to avoid transporting a child alone
- Drivers should be vetted via a DBS check
- Parents to agree when and where their children are transported
- Drivers must have valid, suitable insurance and car must be in good, road worthy condition
- The driver should have a point of contact and mobile phone in case of breakdown
- Children should wear seatbelts at all times.
- Younger children should be transported in appropriate booster/child seats
Download the full NSPCC Advice on Transporting Children in Cars.