Press release USA Baseball
DURHAM, N.C. — USA Baseball announced the launch of its Baseball Coaches Certification Program on Tuesday. The free three-tiered program is tailored to all members of the baseball coaching community, regardless of age or level of experience, as USA Baseball aims to create a higher standard of coaching education across the nation in order to better serve its athletes and communities.
“Supporting the baseball coaching community with free resources and access to the brightest minds in our game has been a priority of ours for many years.” said Rick Riccobono, USA Baseball’s Chief Development Officer. “Better coaches mean better experiences for the millions of children who enjoy our national pastime. Today marks a critical step in providing amateur coaches an enhanced opportunity to develop their own abilities and to join a national movement to improve our sport. We’re proud to offer this program and will continue working towards delivering additional certification levels and coaching content in the future.”
The certification pathway consists of three ascending levels, “A” Certification, “B” Certification and “C” Certification, all of which contain a series of courses that cover topics such as health and safety, creating a positive team environment, recognizing and responding to misconduct, practice planning, game management and skill-specific development.
USA Baseball has teamed up with some of the biggest names in baseball to present the Baseball Coaches Certification Program, as well as other free educational offerings to the baseball community. Incorporated into the certification pathway are courses hosted by five current Major League Baseball managers in Rocco Baldelli, Mickey Callaway, A.J. Hinch, Joe Maddon and Dave Roberts, as well as Hall of Famers Barry Larkin and John Smoltz, and two-time World Series Champion catcher David Ross, among others.
This program also incorporates the existing USA Baseball Coaches Clinics that are held year-round at facilities nationwide in partnership with the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association and GameChanger. In order to proliferate a culture of continuing education, development and mentorship, these free clinics allow coaches of all experience levels to interact and learn from one another while being guided by veteran coaches. All coaches will be required to attend or host a USA Baseball Coaches Clinic in order to obtain a “C” Certification.
Upon completion of the certification, coaches simultaneously satisfy the training requirements set forth by Senate Bill 534 (SB 534) and also begin the process of becoming Pure Baseball compliant. In November 2018, USA Baseball announced Pure Baseball, a zero-tolerance policy regarding abuse constructed in cooperation with SB 534 and the policies created by the U.S. Center for SafeSport. To concurrently become Pure Baseball compliant, coaches need only submit to and pass a background check, which can be done at SportDev.org through USA Baseball’s service provider, JD Palatine.
The certification program was piloted from November 2018-May 2019 and, during that time, over 900 coaches achieved certification.
For more information on the Baseball Coaches Certification Program and to begin the courses required to complete certification, visit SportDev.org/Coach. In addition to this new program, all courses and resources for players, coaches, parents and umpires on SportDev.org are available at no cost to users and aim to provide a positive baseball experience for all.