Little League, Top Colleges Team Up for Softball Days
Little League Softball and many of the top collegiate programs across the country have again teamed up to provide an opportunity for a complete softball experience by hosting a Little League Softball Day. The program was established to highlight the benefits of participating in Little League Softball while also showcasing the collegiate softball experience.
These events, coordinated by local league volunteers and Little League Softball, will provide a chance for the youth players in attendance to interact with the collegiate players through special activities and promotions conducted throughout the game by the host institution. This will give the youth players an “inside look” at what potentially their participation in Little League Softball could lead to while providing a generous amount of exposure for the collegiate program hosting the event and the university.
The Little League Softball Day program has been so successful over the last few seasons that some collegiate programs, including University of Tennessee and Arizona State, have expanded their invitation to Little Leaguers from one day to an entire weekend.
As part of each event, Little Leaguers, their parents and local league volunteers may attend a Little League Softball Day at a reduced charge, or in some instances, at no cost.
These events also provide an opportunity to create an on-going relationship between the local collegiate program and their surrounding Little Leagues while the youth players get a chance to experience the game of softball at one of its highest levels. This initiative has grown each year to the point that many of the top collegiate programs scheduled to host an event are ranked in the top 25.
A Little League Softball Day will be held by the following universities:
University of Central Florida (Orlando, Fla.) – March 13
University of Washington (Seattle, Wash.) – March 13
University of South Carolina (Columbia, S.C.) – March 16 and April 3
University of Arizona (Tucson, Ariz.) – March 27
Arizona State University (Tempe, Ariz.) – March 27; May 1; May 14
University of Kentucky (Lexington, Ky.) – April 3
Stanford University (Palo Alto, Calif.) – April 3
Cal State Chico (Chico, Calif.) – April 9
Youngstown State University (Youngstown, Ohio) – April 16
Central Connecticut State University (New Britain, Conn.) – April 23
San Diego State University (San Diego, Calif.) – April 23
University of Tennessee (Knoxville, Tenn.) – April 29 - May 1
University of Massachusetts (Amherst, Mass.) – May 1
UCLA (Los Angeles, Calif.) – May 7
A Little League Softball Day will be held at the following universities, but has yet to be scheduled:
Baylor University (Waco, Texas)
Boston College (Chestnut Hill, Mass.)
Hofstra University (Hempstead, N.Y.)
University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, Mich.)
Oregon State University (Corvallis, Ore.)
North Carolina State University (Raleigh, N.C.)
A few collegiate baseball programs will be holding a Little League Baseball Day. A schedule of schools and dates follows:
UCLA (Los Angeles, Calif.) – All Sunday home games
University of Arizona (Tucson, Ariz.) – April 3
For additional information regarding the events listed above, contact Sara Thompson, Director of Softball Development, at: sthompson@LittleLeague.org; or, contact the university athletic department hosting the event. Additional dates are expected to be added in the coming weeks. Please check the Little League web site, at: www.LittleLeague.org, for any dates that are added.
More information on how local Little Leagues can organize a Little League Softball Day is available, at: http://www.littleleague.org/media/softball/softballdays.htm.
There are more than 344,000 Little League Softball players worldwide. Each summer, Little League International conducts four World Series Tournaments for softball, in which world champions in the divisions of Little League (ages 11-12), Junior League (12-14), Senior League (13-16) and Big League (14-18) are crowned. In 2011, each of the four tournament championship games will be televised live on one of the ESPN family of networks.
A number of college softball programs will host Little League Softball Days this spring. Pictured are events at Arizona State (above) and Baylor (below) last season in which Little Leaguers in attendance had the chance to interact with the players.