Sunday, March 25, 2007

Colleges Host Little League Softball Days

I'm so excited to see yet another collaboration between younger and older softball players as evidenced by the announcement that several collegiate programs will host "Little League Softball Days" this spring.

The events will take place in all parts of the country, and on different dates. Here is a summary:

1. St. Mary's University (San Antonio, TX): March 24 vs. Texas A&M-Kingsville

2. Susquehanna University (Selinsgrove, PA): March 31 vs. Moravian College

3. University of South Florida (Tampa): April 1 vs. Villanova University

4. University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia): April 7 vs. Yale University

5. Cleveland State University (Ohio): April 15 vs. Wright State University

6. Florida Atlantic University (Boca Raton): April 21 vs. University of Louisiana-Monroe

7. University of Arizona (Tucson): April 22 vs. University of Oregon

8. Baylor University (Waco, TX): April 28 vs. University of Missouri

9. University of Washington (Seattle): April 28 vs. University of Oregon

10. University of Massachusetts (Amherst): May 5 vs. Fordham University

11. Youngstown State University (Canfield, OH): May 5 vs. Loyola University (Chicago)

Tip of the visor to these collegiate programs for hosting the Little League athletes and volunteers in a fun afternoon of a common love: the game of softball.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Little League Softball: Why Not?

Happy St. Patrick's Day and happy March Madness and Happy Spring! With most Little League teams knee-deep in practice and preparing for the upcoming Opening Day games in April, the weather is warming and the barrage of information and opinion starts to fly regarding Little League and ASA and travel ball and what should we do?

Here is my annual "Statement on Little League Softball" based on my years playing, coaching, umpiring, observing and generally being a fan of youth sports generally, and Little League specifically:

I am a fan of low cost, local youth softball.

It's just that simple -- I have nothing against travel teams and nothing against ASA and such. But I am always asked "why should I do Little League?" and I want to answer "why not?" Here is an opportunity to play games at your local school field and be provided a uniform and equipment for a reasonable cost.

Youth sports are multi-billion dollar industry with camps and $400 bats and a Blackberry necessary for finding fields 90 minutes away for a 7am game and fewer KIDS have the opportunity to play because they cannot be a part of this machine.

In order to have to team sports, you must have another team to play, as well as TEAMMATES. These kids are in your neighborhoods and your classrooms and it is our responsibility to roll out the welcome mat at our ballfields. Kids become more connected to other kids, families become more connected to other families, families become more connected to the ballfields and a community becomes stronger when youth sports are available to any child who wishes to participate.

Have a great season, and check back for more Little League Softball info leading up to the Little League Softball World Series in August.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

LL Softball + Chicago + NPFL = More Opportunity!

Little League announced a new partnership with the Chicago Bandits of the National Professional Fastpitch Softball League aimed at bringing the benefits of Little League Softball to the children of Chicago!

Joining forces and promoting LL Softball can only be a win-win for both organizations -- the Bandits foster their local fan base and community support, while the LL Softballers will enjoy top-notch competition and tips from seasoned players.

A "Little League Softball Day" has been tentatively scheduled for Aug. 15-18 during a home stand with the Rockford (Ill.) Thunder.

GREAT news to kick off the 2007 as practices begin this week all over Little League Land.