Next Little League Urban Initiative Jamboree Set for Northern California
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. Jamborees in Los Angeles and Tampa, Fla., have been completed. The next event on the calendar, the Northern California Jamboree, will be held May 20-22 in Stockton, Calif.
“Doing an Urban Initiative softball jamboree is very exciting for the program,” Demiko Ervin, Director of the Little League Urban Initiative, said. “One of my goals for the Urban Initiative is to grow the number of inner city/urban leagues that offer Little League softball, and hopefully through events like this, we will be able to do just that.
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 Northern California Jamboree will be hosted by Stockton Eastern Little League and California District 8. It will feature eight teams and more than 130 players (the participating leagues are listed at the end of the release). This will be the first softball event in Urban Initiative Jamboree history. The jamboree will feature players from Little League’s Major Division (9-12-year-olds).
The teams have been placed into two four-team pools with the top two teams in each pool after round-robin play advancing to the semifinals on Sunday. All jamboree games will be played at Eastside Community Park in Stockton, the home of Stockton Eastern Little League.
Two games in each pool will be played Friday night at 5 and 6:30 p.m. The following day, the first of four games in each pool will begin at 9 a.m. with the final game scheduled for 6 p.m. On the final day, the two winners of the 10 a.m. semifinals will meet at 1 p.m. in the championship game.
A picnic lunch for the jamboree players and coaches on Saturday will feature three-time Olympian Crystl Bustos. One of the most recognizable names in the history of United States softball, Ms. Bustos, a native of Canyon Country, Calif., and graduate of Canyon Country Little League, will speak to those in attendance.
“Having someone from the softball world as well known as Crystl Bustos has just pushed this event to a completely higher level,” Mr. Ervin said. “She has been great for softball in this country and for her to volunteer her time to come and speak to the young ladies at our event is just amazing. Crystl has walked down the path that many of these young ladies are currently headed down, and she’s a great role model and example for them. I think the players are going to really relate to her and it will definitely be a memorable experience for them.”
Saturday afternoon, The Softball Factory, a Little League sponsor, will conduct a skills clinic for all the players at the jamboree. The clinic will take place from 2:30-4 p.m.
“We’re looking forward to having the Softball Factory do a clinic for the participating teams,” Mr. Ervin said. “For many of them, this will be the first time they’ve had softball instruction from college level coaches, so this will be exciting for them. Hopefully the players and the Little League coaches will both walk away from the clinic with some new ideas, knowledge, and drills that they can use in their local leagues.”
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 Northern California Little League Urban Initiative Jamboree
Airport Little League (Sacramento, Calif.)
Parkway Little League (Sacramento, Calif.)
Richmond Little League (Richmond, Calif.)
Stockton Eastern Little League (Stockton, Calif.)
Stockton Northern Little League (Stockton, Calif.)
Tahoe Tallac Little League (Sacramento, Calif.) (2 teams)
West Sacramento Softball Little League (Sacramento, Calif.)
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