My sons baseball coach is asking for an original birth certificate from each player that they want to keep until the end of season or until the player leaves the team(years?). Are there any legal issue with this type of situation? What is the potential liability if the original birth certificates go missing?
I have never heard of a sports coach maintaining an original birth certificate. If there is a question of whether a player is the age stated, certainly the coach can ask for proof. However, a birth certificate is an official document, like a driver license or social security card, and unless he has a legal reason for demanding it, I would not provide it. Additionally, I would tell him that you plan to report him to local law enforcement, if he insists on this bizarre request.
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Perhaps you need to clarify what the coach was asking for. I am assuming that your son tried out and was selected to play baseball on a competitive TRAVEL team for 2015. The coach is probably already setting up tournament play for Summer 2015. Some may be out of state tournaments. Likely, the coach needs to keep copies of the birth certificates for the purpose of proving your son's age in a tournament situation. Many tournaments state clearly that you must be able to provide proof of age or the player does not play. Lying about age is a big deal, see a recent article about a Midwest Ohio Baseball League Coach at http://www.midwestohiobaseball.com/.
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If the agreement was for the coach to keep the BC through the season and s/he then refuses to return the original, it can be grounds for a complaint; perhaps not for damages though. A strongly-worded letter from a local attorney should shake the document loose. if the BC is lost, a new one can be ordered at cost to the coach.
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