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.

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