By Sara Thompson
Will there be softball days in 2009? Our league would like to plan one, but we are unsure how to go about it. I would appreciate any advice you have and any material you could provide.
Thank you for your e-mail and your interest in coordinating a Little League Softball Day. I’ve had a number of questions concerning Softball Days and requests for the material we have provided in the past.
Four years ago, Little League began the Softball Day initiative, encouraging its district administrative staffs and chartered leagues to collaborate and cooperate with local colleges and universities to host Little League Softball Days. Leagues found Softball Days so beneficial for their athletes that the program continues to grow every year. Softball Days allow Little Leaguers to attend intercollegiate games for free (or reduced price admission), watch top-level competition, participate in game-day promotions and interact with collegiate athletes. We also hope this will help build a relationship between the Little League players and coaches and the universities.
In the past, Little League has worked with the University of South Florida, the University of Michigan, the University of Washington and many others. As we look to the 2009 season, I would like to continue these relationships and have also reached out to the following schools:
Arizona State University, University of Massachusetts, University of Arizona, NC State University, Baylor University, Hofstra University, UCLA, Oregon State University, DePaul University, University of Tennessee.
Most colleges and universities are open to and excited about hosting this event because they provide a great amount of exposure to the college or university, our leagues and the sport of softball.
If you are interested in coordinating a Little League Softball Day, I would recommend calling the university’s marketing department. They will be your best assets regarding reduced admission, game-day promotions and open dates. Below you will find the link for helpful material, including an introduction letter, thank you letter, generic press release and event information form. I need a completed Event Information Form returned to me at least one (1) month prior to your Softball Day to promote your event. (Please be sure to make all necessary changes to the material before sending.)
Again, Softball Days are a great opportunity for your athletes to see the game at a whole new level and interact with some of the best in the game.
“We had a wonderful day hosting the local Little Leagues. It is our hope to do Little League Day every year here at Husky Stadium. Our student-athletes enjoyed the time they spent with each little leaguer as they passed through the autograph line. It is important to our softball program that we connect with the community through these types of events. Little League has played an important role in many of our own lives—it is a wonderful feeling to know we are giving back to an experience that treated us so well.”
Heather Tarr, Head Coach
University of Washington Softball
“Our team at USF had a fantastic time meeting with all the Little Leaguers after our collegiate softball game in April. For the young girls to meet the college girls after watching them play at such a high caliber level of softball was an exciting time. Most of our girls started playing Little League softball at a young age and were able to develop their skills their. For them to be able to relate that to the young players was fantastic. I look forward to “Little League Softball Days” again at USF.”
Ken Eriksen, Head Coach
University of South Florida
2004 Assistant Coach USA Olympic Team
Little League Softball Days here at St. Mary’s University has been special to us these past few years. It is a day that gives our athletes an opportunity to talk to future softball players and to encourage them in their academics and the dedication that is necessary to get to the next level. I believe we have produced some great role models here at St. Mary’s. Athletes that come and watch our team play will walk away learning the true meaning of character, pride, sportsmanship, as well as fun. This day gives my athletes the opportunity to feel special as well as make another young athlete feel important also.
Donna Fields, Head Coach
St. Mary’s University
San Antonio, TX
Please email me with your questions, comments or topics at asksara@LittleLeague.org.