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Virginia Beach is Site of Little League’s 23rd International Congress

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (Aug. 1, 2003) – More than a thousand Little League volunteers from around the globe will attend the 23rd Little League Baseball International Congress, April 16-19, 2004, charting the course of the world’s largest organized youth baseball program for the following three years.

"The International Congress is how hundreds of thousands of dedicated volunteers around the world can have input in the operation of the Little League program," Stephen D. Keener, president and chief executive officer of Little League Baseball, said. "This democratic process has been in place since 1956, and provides an excellent opportunity for us to meet with and listen to those volunteers that are so critical to Little League."

This will be the first International Congress held in Virginia, and the first to be held in the current Southern Region states since the 1984 Congress in Tampa, Fla.

"I know our volunteers will enjoy the Congress in Virginia Beach," Mr. Keener said. "The volunteers there have been working hard for more than a year to prepare."

The chairman of the Congress will be Jake Hardison, district administrator of Virginia District 8 since 1975. Mr. Hardison, a former police officer, was cited for his service to Little League at the District Administrator Recognition Breakfast at the 1998 Congress in San Antonio, Texas, and was the recipient of the Little League Baseball Challenger Award in 2000 at the Little League Baseball World Series for his outstanding contributions to the Challenger Division in Virginia.

More than 500 of those attending are volunteer district administrators, who serve as liaisons between the local leagues and Little League International. District administrators are elected by their constituent leagues to provide support, and to represent their interests as delegates to the International Congress.

The four-day International Congress is held once every three years, with a primary purpose 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 on the final day of the Congress. A two-thirds vote is required for passage. Those amendments receiving the necessary vote are then presented to the Little League Baseball International Board of Directors for final approval.

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. Congress events will be held at several hotels in Virginia Beach, with transportation provided between venues.

Another Congress function is the nomination for election of field representatives on the International Board of Directors. Delegates from the five U.S. regions and each of the four international regions will vote on a representative nominee. Once elected, the nine field representatives will serve on the board for three years until the next Congress in 2007.

Sites for the Little League Baseball International Congress

1956 – Chicago, Ill.

1957 – Chicago, Ill.

1958 – Chicago, Ill.

1959 – Four Regional Meetings

1960 – Chicago, Ill.

1961 – Los Angeles, Calif.

1963 – New York, N.Y.

1965 – Washington, D.C.

1967 – Houston, Texas

1969 – Detroit, Mich.

1971 – Portland, Ore.

1973 – Tampa, Fla.

1975 – Chicago, Ill.

1978 – San Diego, Calif.

1981 – Charlotte, N.C.

1984 – Tampa, Fla.

1987 – Anaheim, Calif.

1989 – Williamsport, Pa.

1992 – Boston, Mass.

1995 – Reno, Nev.

1998 – San Antonio, Texas

2001 – Ottawa, Ontario, Canada