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 > Little League Online > Media > Little League News Archive > 2012 > January-April > Little League International Hosts Little League Softball Development Committee

Little League International Hosts Little League Softball Development Committee

Little League International Hosts Little League Softball Development Committee

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Tasked with expanding the conversation about Little League Softball, the Little League Softball Development Committee recently gathered at International headquarters for two days of meetings.

The 11-member panel, chaired by Sara Thompson, Little League International’s Director of Softball Development, spent two days discussing the direction of the program that was created in 1974.

Since the softball program’s first season nearly 40 years ago, it has undergone constant evolution. The mission of the Little League Softball Development Committee is to help define the program’s future priorities and direction.

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Top: Sara Thompson (left-center) , Little League International’s Director of Softball Development, directs the conversation during the recent Little League Softball Development Committee meeting at Little League International in South Williamsport, Pa. Below: Several volunteers, including Lily Rossetti from Italy, left; Valerie Sisneros from New Mexico; and Gary Williams of Ohio, were part of the panel that discussed a variety of topics related to the future of the Little League Softball program.

“All of the volunteer members were thrilled to be nominated for these positions and expressed how pleased they were that Little League International was dedicated to committing resources and improving the program and creating change,” Ms. Thompson said.

 

The committee of district and assistant district administrators represents each of Little League’s five regions in the United States, and the International regions.

Members of the committee are – from the Central Region:  Colette Cloyd (Assistant Michigan District 16 Administrator); Bud Vanderberg (Michigan District 2 Administrator); Gary Williams (Ohio District 2 Administrator); from the Eastern Region: Dave Ruotolo ( Connecticut District 4 Administrator); Ed Wojtkowski (Maryland District 7 Administrator); from the Southeastern Region: Lisa Cartledge (Assistant Georgia District 7 Administrator); Jessica Cole (Assistant Florida District 9 Administrator); from the Southwestern Region: Valerie Sisneros (Assistant New Mexico District 5 Administrator); from the Western Region: Janice Christensen (Assistant Washington District 9 Administrator); Dee Dee Martinez (California District 8 Administrator); and representing the International Regions: Italy’s Lilly Rossetti (Assistant District Administrator).

“I feel the discussions were productive,” Ms. Thompson said following two days of meetings. “The members enjoyed hearing different perspectives and insight. The committee had many good ideas, and in the coming weeks the Operations Department at Little League International expects to develop some actionable items designed to better the program.”

Among the topics discussed were: playing equipment; local, regional and international communications and marketing; rules and regulations; development and retention strategies; and, manager and coach training and education.

“We will reach out to the committee for feedback and opinions, ideas and suggestions as we make a concerted effort to broaden the reach, impact and exposure of Little League Softball,” Ms. Thompson said.

Also participating in the various meetings were, Stephen D. Keener, Little League President and Chief Executive Officer; Patrick W. Wilson, Senior Vice President of Operations and Program Development; Nick Caringi, Senior Director of Operations and Education; Daniel Velte, Director of League Development and Affiliation; Elizabeth Brown, Vice President of Marketing and Strategic Partnerships; and Lance Van Auken, Vice President of Communications.

At the conclusion of the 2011 Little League season, there were 343,515 Little League softball players (ages-7-to-18), participating on nearly 23,000 teams worldwide.

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Members of the Little League Softball Development committee are, pictured, left to right in the front row, are Dee Dee Martinez (California District 8 Administrator); Colette Cloyd (Assistant Michigan District 16 Administrator); : Janice Christensen (Assistant Washington District 9 Administrator); Lilly Rossetti (Assistant District Administrator from Italy); Jessica Cole (Assistant Florida District 9 Administrator); Valerie Sisneros (Assistant New Mexico District 5 Administrator); and Sara Thompson, Little League International Director of Softball Development. In the back row are, Stephen D. Keener, President and Chief Executive Officer of Little League Baseball and Softball; Gary Williams (Ohio District 2 Administrator); Dave Ruotolo ( Connecticut District 4 Administrator); Ed Wojtkowski (Maryland District 7 Administrator); Bud Vanderberg (former Michigan District 2 Administrator); Patrick W. Wilson, Senior Vice President of Operations and Program Development.