History and Purpose of Congress
More than a thousand Little League volunteers from around the globe attend the Little League Baseball International Congress held once every three years. The purpose of the Congress is to chart the course of the world’s largest organized youth baseball program.
Nearly 500 of those attending are volunteer District Administrators, who serve as liaisons between the local leagues and International Headquarters. District Administrators are elected by their constituent leagues to provide support and to represent their interests as delegates to the International Congress.
The primary purpose of the Congress is to amend rules and regulations. In the years leading up to each Congress, volunteers from dozens of nations submit their ideas for changes to a steering committee, and an agenda is prepared.
The delegates meet in round table discussions, making any necessary changes in the proposed amendments, then vote on the changes. A two-thirds vote for a particular amendment is required to be voted – up or down – by the International Board of Directors. In some rare cases over the past half-century, an item that has come close to passing by a two-thirds majority has been considered by the Board for implementation, although the Board is not required to do so as it is when an item receives the two-thirds vote.
Delegates and their Assistant District Administrators will also attend training seminars and informational assemblies at the Congress. Little League provides transportation to and from the Congress for all U.S. delegates, as well as half of each delegate’s room rate and a per diem.
Also at the Congress, delegates from the nine regions in the world (five U.S. regions and four international regions) vote on a representative nominee for election to the Little League International Board of Directors. These nine field representatives will serve on the board for three years until the next Congress.
Delegates and guests may also take one or more tours designed to provide the attendees with a view of the local flavor of the Congress city.
The first few Congresses were held annually, then once every two years. Congresses have been known for the celebrities that have taken part over the years. Some recent attendees have included Nolan Ryan, Bob Hope, Joe Garagiola, Tom Seaver and John Grisham.
Past Little League Congress sites:
- 1956 - Morrison Hotel Chicago, Ill.
- 1957 - Morrison Hotel Chicago, Ill.
- 1958 - Morrison Hotel Chicago, Ill.
- 1959 - Four Regional Meetings
- 1960 - Morrison Hotel Chicago, Ill.
- 1961 - Statler Hilton, Los Angeles, Calif.
- 1963 - Waldorf Astoria, New York, N.Y.
- 1965 - Hilton Washington, D.C.
- 1967 - Shamrock Hilton, Houston, Texas
- 1969 - Sheraton-Cadillac, Detroit, Mich.
- 1971 - Portland Hilton, Portland, Ore.
- 1973 - Tampa Convention Center, Tampa, Fla.
- 1975 - Hyatt Regency O’Hare, Chicago, Ill.
- 1978 - Sheraton Harbor Island, San Diego, Calif.
- 1981 - Charlotte Civic Center, Charlotte, N.C.
- 1984 - Hyatt Regency, Tampa, Fla.
- 1987 - Anaheim Hilton & Towers, Anaheim, Calif.
- 1989 - Various Facilities, Williamsport, Pa.
- 1992 - Boston Park Plaza Hotel, Boston, Mass.
- 1995 - Reno Hilton, Reno, Nev.
- 1998 - Marriott Rivercenter, San Antonio, Texas
- 2001 - Ottawa Congress Center Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
- 2004 - Pavilion Convention Center, Virginia Beach, Va.
- 2007 - Hilton Americas, Houston, Texas
- 2010 – Lexington Convention Center, Lexington, Ky.