Final Little League Urban Initiative Jamboree in Chicago This Weekend
After a successful first year of hosting state jamborees, Little League’s Urban Initiative has almost doubled the number of events this spring, hosting seven jamborees. The final event, the Illinois State Jamboree, will take place June 10-12 in Chicago.
“The Illinois State Jamboree has shown a growth in team numbers from 2010, which is a great sign of things to come,” Demiko Ervin, Director of the Little League Urban Initiative, said. “We’re excited to have leagues from Indiana and Wisconsin join us in Chicago for this event. Some of these leagues already have such great relationships, but it’s always great for the leagues to meet and interact with new leagues as well.”
The Little League Urban Initiative was established in 1999 to provide opportunities for communities in metropolitan areas to reap the benefits of having Little League in their neighborhoods.
The Little League Urban Initiative Illinois State Jamboree will feature teams from 11 leagues and more than 140 players (the participating leagues are listed at the end of the release). Games will be played on fields at Jackie Robinson West Little League.
Jamboree games on Friday (June 10) will begin at 5 p.m. with a pair of games at 6:30 p.m., concluding competition on the first day. The following day, games begin at 9 a.m., concluding with games that start at 1:30 p.m. The semifinal games will be played at 10 a.m. and noon on Sunday, with the championship game scheduled to start at 3 p.m.
A one-inning Challenger Division exhibition game will be played at 2 p.m. on Sunday. This will mark the first time a Challenger game has been a part of an Urban Initiative Jamboree. The Challenger Division was established in 1989 as a separate division of Little League that enables boys and girls with physical and mental challenges, ages 4-18, or up to age 22 if still enrolled in high school, to enjoy the game of baseball.
The players, managers and coaches from teams playing in the jamboree will be given free tickets to the Chicago White Sox game Saturday night at U.S. Cellular Field against the Oakland Athletics. The tickets are being provided by the White Sox.
“The Chicago White Sox have stepped up big for us this year by donating tickets to their game for all 12 of the Jamboree teams,” Mr. Ervin said. “This will be a great experience for the kids, and for some it may be their first time seeing an MLB game live.
“We’ve been lucky enough to get great support this year in four of the five MLB cities where we’ve hosted Urban Initiative Jamborees, and it’s great to know that the Chicago White Sox are supportive of Little League, the Urban Initiative, and what we are trying to accomplish with these events.”
In addition, Dick’s Sporting Goods, a Little League sponsor, is pitching in to make each 2011 Urban Initiative Jamboree a memorable experience by providing several items for each player at all seven jamborees.
The seven jamborees this summer take the place of the annual Little League Urban Initiative Jamboree hosted by Little League International each Memorial Day weekend. During the six years (2004-09) the Jamboree was played at the Little League International complex in South Williamsport, Pa., teams from 66 different Urban Initiative leagues and more than 800 players participated.
The Little League Urban Initiative is now operating with more than 200 leagues in nearly 85 cities in the United States. The Urban Initiative also has participated in nearly 30 field renovation/development projects, including its most recent project in Richmond, Va.
For more information on Little League’s Urban Initiative, contact Mr. Ervin at: dervin@LittleLeague.org; or (570) 326-1921. More information on the Little League Urban Initiative is also available on the Little League web site at: www.LittleLeague.org; or on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/LittleLeagueUrbanInitiative.
Leagues Participating in the Little League Urban Initiative Illinois State Jamboree
Austin Little League (Austin, Ill.)
Belmont Little League (Joliet, Ill.)
Broadview Youth Baseball Little League (Broadview, Ill.)
Douglass Little League (Indianapolis, Ind.)
Garfield Park Little League (Chicago, Ill.)
Gary Metro Little League (Gary, Ind.)
Horner Park North-West Little League (Chicago, Ill.)
Jackie Robinson West Little League (Chicago, Ill.) (2 teams)
James Beckum Little League (Milwaukee, Wis.)
Southside American Little League (Chicago, Ill.)
Westlane Delaware Trails Little League (Indianapolis, Ind.)
2011 Little League Urban Initiative Jamboree Schedule
April 29-May 1 – Southern California Jamboree (Los Angeles, Calif.) – Major Division (9-12-year-olds) Baseball
May 13-15 – Florida State Jamboree (Tampa, Fla.) – Junior League (13-14-year-olds) Baseball
May 20-22 – Northern California Jamboree (Stockton, Calif.) - Major Division (9-12-year-olds) Softball
May 27-29 – Mid-Atlantic Jamboree (Richmond, Va.) - Major Division (9-12-year-olds) Baseball
May 27-29 – Georgia State Jamboree (Atlanta, Ga.) - Major Division (9-12-year-olds) Baseball
May 27-29 – Texas State Jamboree (Houston, Texas) - Major Division (9-12-year-olds) Baseball
June 10-12 – Illinois State Jamboree (Chicago, Ill.) - Major Division (9-12-year-olds) Baseball