Supporting Local Tournaments Is Good for Your League and District
Just because it’s June, and the regular season has ended, there are still plenty of opportunities to play games and keep the fun going.
Entering teams in the Little League® International Tournament is certainly one way to extend the fun, but every summer, there are plenty of local leagues that keep the Little League season going by participating, or better yet, hosting tournaments for players and teams that are not entered in the International Tournament. Whether these events are for Little Leaguers® that have not yet reached tournament age, leagues choosing not to partake in the postseason, or players who might not be on tournament teams; more games means more fun for the children, more revenue from concessions, and extended exposure for your sponsors.
There is no limit to the number of tournaments that a league may enter, provided the tournaments are operated by other chartered Little Leagues. If a Little League team wishes to play games against a non-Little League team, that is possible too through the special games option. The excitement of the International Tournament is often at its competitive peak in Districts, as local leagues vie for the bragging rights that come with being crowned District Champion. The same thrill can be had by players competing in these local tournaments. Whether playing in a Tournament of Champions, age and division-specific events, or wooden bat showcases for players in the teenage divisions, there is always a special place for moments and memories to be made away from the All-Star circuit.
Weekend tournaments, or the week-long variety, can immensely improve a league’s bottom line. Added revenue streams such as team entry fees, special concession menus, and player-of-the-game awards sponsored by local businesses, create a fun atmosphere that will keep leagues looking forward to next year’s tournament.
Each year, the greatest challenge for local leagues is recruiting volunteers. Hosting and operating a local tournament is no different. From game managers, to umpires, to grounds crew, it takes time and commitment to make any tournament successful. Hosting such events takes solid planning and execution of the plan that typically takes a year to put together. Still, the time and effort are no comparison to the smiles and fun that comes from children and fans.
Consider the opportunities that you will be giving to the Little Leaguers in your neighborhood or surrounding community. If operated with the same commitment that brought you into the program, your team, special games or tournament, can be as satisfying for your league as it is for the players.