Players from Belmont Heights (Fla.) Little League compete in the 2014 Florida State Jamboree.

Every Little Leaguer deserves to have a tournament experience. And this year, Little League Urban Initiative Jamborees will provide the opportunity for more than 1,000 boys and girls to compete, make new friends, and forge lifelong memories at weekend-long events in eight cities across the United States.

Established in 1999 to provide opportunities for communities in metropolitan areas to reap the benefits of having local Little League programs in their neighborhoods, the Little League Urban Initiative has helped tens of thousands of children and volunteers in cities throughout the United States. The Urban Initiative Jamborees are unique events to bring players from local programs that benefit from the support of the Urban Initiative together for a weekend of comradery and competition.

The 2015 Little League Urban Initiative Jamboree scheduled features two new venues, and kicks off with the Southern California Jamboree, which will take place April 17-19 in Los Angeles. Jamborees will continue through the end of June, with events in Tampa, Fla.; Stockton, Calif.; Charlotte, N.C.; Houston, Texas; New York City; Washington, D.C.; and Milwaukee, Wisc. All of the events will feature leagues from the greater metropolitan areas, with Major Division (ages 9 to 12) teams competing. Seven of the Jamborees will feature Little League Baseball players, with the Northern California Urban Initiative Jamboree providing an opportunity for Little League Softball players.

“The Little League Urban Initiative is one of the many ways that Little League works to get children excited about baseball and softball,” said Stephen D. Keener, Little League President and CEO. “Through the Little League Urban Initiative Jamborees, children from disadvantaged neighborhoods will have the opportunity to make new friends and new memories both on the field and off.”

There are currently more than 220 leagues in nearly 90 cities in the United States who benefit from the Little League Urban Initiative, and the program has stimulated the participation of 4,000 teams and approximately 52,000 players since its inception. The Urban Initiative also has participated in more than 30 field renovation/development projects, including its most recent project in Richmond, Va.

The Little League Urban Initiative Jamboree was first established in 2004 with one, national tournament. Little League expanded the Jamborees to regional events in 2010. At these Jamborees, teams compete in a weekend-long tournament, with the Championship Game typically being played on Sunday afternoon. Jamboree participants also have other opportunities to interact with fellow players and the community through events such as attending a Major League Baseball game.

“These events are beneficial to the leagues involved because the Jamborees better serve the Urban Initiative leagues on a state-wide basis,” said Demiko Ervin, Little League Urban Initiative Director. “Each year, the games give players, coaches, and local league volunteers a great opportunity to interact with leagues similar to theirs. It’s so much more than a baseball or softball tournament, it’s a way for passionate volunteers to work together to provide the children in their communities with a positive, healthy sporting experience.”

The 2015 Little League Urban Initiative Jamboree Schedule is as follows:

  • Southern California Jamboree (Los Angeles, Calif.)
    • April 17-19
    • Games played at Ladera Little League (5401 S. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90056)
    • Participants will attend the Colorado Rockies vs. Los Angeles Dodgers game courtesy of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
  • Florida State Jamboree (Clearwater, Fla.)
    • April 24-26
    • Games played at Sid Lickton Complex (714 Saturn Ave., Clearwater, FL 33755)
  • Northern California Jamboree (Stockton, Calif.)
    • May 15-17
    • Games played at Eastside Community Park (5254 Ardelle Ave., Stockton, CA 95215)
  • North Carolina Jamboree (Charlotte, N.C.)
    • May 22-24
    • Games played at Randolph Road Park (3400 Randolph Rd., Charlotte, NC 28211)
  • Texas State Jamboree (Houston, Texas)
    • May 29-31
    • Games played at Harris County Bayland Park (6400 Bissonnet St., Houston, TX 77076)
    • Participants will attend a Chicago White Sox vs. Houston Astros game courtesy of the Houston Astros
  • New York Metro Invitational Jamboree (Bronx, N.Y.)
    • June 12-14
    • Games played at Bronxchester Little League (1500 Waters Pl., Bronx, NY 10461)
  • Washington, D.C. Jamboree (Washington, D.C.)
    • June 19-21
    • Games played at Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy (3675 Ely Place SE, Washington, D.C. 20019)
    • Participants will attend a Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Washington Nationals game courtesy of the Washington Nationals
  • Central Region Jamboree (Milwaukee, Wis.)
    • June 26-28
    • Games played at Carver Park (911 W. Brown St., Milwaukee, WI 53205)
    • Participants will attend a Minnesota Twins vs. Milwaukee Brewers game courtesy of the Milwaukee Brewers

More detailed information about each local jamboree event, including schedules and names of participating leagues, is available upon request.