Houston Hosts Little League Urban Initiative Baseball Jamboree
Since the Little League Urban Initiative Jamboree concept transitioned from one national tournament to numerous state/regional tournaments in 2010, the initiative for boys and girls in urban neighborhoods has prospered. This year is no different with the addition of one jamboree and new venues.
The next jamboree this year will be the Texas State Jamboree in Houston, Texas, held May 18-20. This jamboree is for Majors Division (9-12-year-olds) Baseball. Also on the same weekend, the Northern California Jamboree will take place in Stockton, Calif., for Majors Division Softball.
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.
“These events are beneficial to the leagues involved, because the jamborees better serve the Urban Initiative leagues on a state-wide basis. Each year the games give local league members, coaches and players a great opportunity to interact with leagues similar to theirs,” Demiko Ervin, Director of the Little League Urban Initiative, said.
The Little League Urban Initiative Texas State Jamboree is hosted by the Council of Houston Inner City Little Leagues (CHILL) and will feature teams from 13 leagues and more than 200 players (the participating leagues are listed at the end of the release). Games will be played on the fields at Dixie Little League, Houston East End Little League, Neartown Little League and South Houston Little League.
Jamboree games on Friday (May 18) will begin at 6 p.m. with all 16 teams playing once on the first day. The following day the schedule begins at 9 a.m. with each team completing the round-robin portion of play in its pool with a pair of games. The semifinal games will be played at 11 a.m. on Sunday, with the championship game scheduled to start at 1:30 p.m. The semifinal and championship games will be played at the Houston Urban Youth Academy.
At the invitation of the Houston Astros, all jamboree teams and their parents will attend the Houston game Saturday night at Minute Maid Park against the Texas Rangers.
“As they’ve done for many years, the Houston Astros continue to support the Little League Urban Initiative Program and this year’s Jamboree event,” Ervin said. “Not only are they donating tickets for the teams to attend the Astros game on Saturday, they’re also allowing us to use their Urban Youth Academy to play our semifinal and championship games on Sunday. We are thankful for the relationship we’ve been able to develop with the Astros, and are appreciative of their support of Little League Baseball and Softball.”
The eight 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.
In the last two years, 134 teams and more than 1,700 players have had the opportunity to participate in an Urban Initiative Jamboree.
The Little League Urban Initiative is now operating with more than 220 leagues in nearly 90 cities in the United States. The Urban Initiative also has participated in more than 30 field renovation/development projects, including its most recent project in Richmond, Va. The Urban Initiative has stimulated the participation of 4,000 teams and approximately 52,000 players since its inception.
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 the Urban Intiative Program Page or on Facebook, at: www.facebook.com/LittleLeagueUrbanInitiative.
Leagues Participating in the Little League Urban Initiative Texas State Jamboree
- Dixie Little League (Houston, Texas)
- Houston East End Little League (Houston, Texas) (2 teams)
- Lindale Little League (Houston, Texas)
- Magnolia National Little League (Houston, Texas)
- Northside National Little League (Houston, Texas) (2 teams)
- OFA Little League (Houston, Texas)
- Rice Little League (Eagle Lake, Texas)
- Southeast Little League (Houston, Texas)
- South Houston Little League (South Houston, Texas)
- Southside Little League (Ft. Worth, Texas)
- Spindletop Little League (Beaumont, Texas)
- Towne & Country Optimist Little League (San Antonio, Texas)
- West Dallas Little League (Dallas, Texas)Windcrest Little League (San Antonio, Texas)
2012 Little League Urban Initiative Jamboree Schedule
- April 27-29 – Southern California Jamboree (Los Angeles, Calif.) – Major Division (9-12-year-olds) Baseball
- May 4-6 – Florida State Jamboree (Clearwater, Fla.) – Major Division (9-12-year-olds) Baseball
- May 4-6 – Florida State Softball Jamboree (Clearwater, Fla.) – Major Division (9-12-year-olds) Softball
- May 18-20 – Texas State Jamboree (Houston, Texas) - Major Division (9-12-year-olds) Baseball
- May 18-20 – Northern California Jamboree (Stockton, Calif.) - Major Division (9-12-year-olds) Softball
- May 25-27 – Georgia State Jamboree (Marietta, Ga.) - Major Division (9-12-year-olds) Baseball
- June 1-3 – Northwest Jamboree (Portland, Ore.) - Major Division (9-12-year-olds) Softball
- June 22-24 – Illinois State Jamboree (Chicago, Ill.) - Major Division (9-12-year-olds) Baseball