The Next Little League Urban Initiative Jamboree Set for Florida
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 first event, the Southern California Jamboree, took place April 29-May 1 in Los Angeles. The next event, the Florida State Jamboree, will be held May 13-15 in Tampa, Fla.
“Being able to do an Urban Initiative Jamboree, specifically for the Junior Baseball Division, is something that we’re extremely excited about,” Demiko Ervin, Director of the Little League Urban Initiative, said. “With this being the first year of hosting an Urban Initiative Jamboree in the state of Florida, we’ve received great response from the leagues throughout the state. I think the teams will be happy with the overall experience.”
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 Florida State Jamboree will feature 16 teams and more than 200 players (the participating leagues are listed at the end of the release). This will be the first Urban Initiative Jamboree featuring players from Little League’s Junior League Baseball Division (13-14-year-olds).
The teams have been placed into four four-team pools with the winner of round-robin pool play advancing to the semifinals on Sunday. Four leagues in Tampa, West Tampa Little League, Northside Little League, Belmont Heights Little League, and North Seminole Little League, will serve as the host for games in each of the four pools.
Games at all four sites begin May 13 with contests at 6 and 7:30 p.m. The following day four games will be played at each site beginning at 9 a.m., and concluding with a contest at 1:30 p.m. The semifinals and final will be played at the Paul Owens Training Facility at Carpenter Complex in Clearwater, Fla., the home of the Clearwater Threshers and spring training for the Philadelphia Phillies. Semifinal games will be played at 9 and 10:30 a.m. while the title game will begin at 12:30 p.m.
Saturday afternoon, The Baseball Factory, a Little League sponsor, will conduct a skills clinic for all the players at the jamboree. The clinic will take place at the West Tampa Little League site at 4:30 p.m. In addition, Saturday night a banquet will be held for the teams and their families hosted by the Florida State District Administrators Association.
“We have a great group of local volunteers in Tampa who happily agreed to organize and host games,” Mr. Ervin said. “All of our volunteer umpire needs have been taken care of by the state’s Little League Umpire association. The Florida State DA Association has also been extremely supportive of this event and of the Urban Initiative Program.
“We have districts in the state that don’t have any leagues participating in the Jamboree, yet they are going above and beyond to help bring this event together,” Mr. Ervin said. “We’ve been fortunate to get the support of the City of Clearwater, who is graciously allowing us to use their Carpenter Field Complex for the semifinals and championship games. Little League is alive and well in the state of Florida, and I think the efforts by volunteers statewide for this event paints a vivid picture of what the Little League family is all about.”
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 Florida State Little League Urban Initiative Jamboree
- Bartow Little League (Bartow, Fla.)
- Belmont Heights Little League (Tampa, Fla.) (2 teams)
- Buenaventura Lakes Little League (Kissimmee, Fla.)
- La Belle Little League (La Belle, Fla.) (2 teams)
- North Miami Little League (North Miami, Fla.)
- North Seminole Little League (Tampa, Fla.) (2 teams)
- Northside Little League (Tampa, Fla.) (2 teams)
- Northwest Area Little League (Orlando, Fla.)
- Progress Village Little League (Tampa, Fla.) (2 teams)
- West Tampa Little League (Tampa, Fla.) (2 teams)
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