After 22 seasons at the helm, John Chadwick has announced that he is retiring as the Tournament Director for the Junior League Softball World Series in Kirkland, Washington, and will hand over the role to longtime World Series volunteer, Steve Allen. Mr. Chadwick, who has served as the Tournament Director since its inception in 1998, will continue to volunteer at the event, serving as the Director Emeritus starting with the 2023 event.
“It has been my pleasure to volunteer for Little League for more than 54 years, serving as everything from a coach, manager, umpire, League President, District Administrator, Board member, and most recently the Junior League Softball World Series tournament director,” said Mr. Chadwick. “I have been privileged to work with a JLSWS committee with a shared attitude and philosophy, but now it is time for me to step aside and let a younger generation carry this forward. I’m positive that under Steve’s leadership, the committee will continue our ‘For the Kids’ philosophy, and I wish the JLSWS committee all the luck in the world as we support Steve in his new leadership role.”
Mr. Chadwick’s Little League volunteer career started in 1969 when he stepped in to become a coach for his son’s team in Mims, Florida, and quickly expanded his service as a local league umpire as well. In 1974, he moved to Bellevue, Washington, where he became a League President and brought Senior League Baseball and Little League Softball® to the league to expand its offerings. Four years later, he was elected as the Washington District 9 Administrator where he held the role for more than 30 years before retiring in 2008. Mr. Chadwick was also elected to serve as a field member on the Little League International Board of Directors in 1989 where he held a three-year term. Supporting him throughout his entire Little League career was his wife, Ann, who served alongside him in all his leadership roles and was responsible for organizing and operating the first concession stand at the JLSWS. Mrs. Chadwick passed away in March 2020 at the age of 83.
“On behalf of all of us at Little League International, and the thousands of players and coaches that have had the opportunity to play in the Junior League Softball World Series over the past two decades, we want to thank John for all the hard work that he has put into this event to make sure everyone has a memorable experience,” said Dan Velte, Little League Senior Operations Executive. “We look forward to Steve transitioning to his new role as Tournament Director and are excited to work with him and his team to continue to provide hundreds of players and their families with a once-in-a-lifetime experience in Kirkland each summer.”
In this new role, Mr. Allen will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Junior League Softball World Series and lead the event’s volunteer-run committee while Mr. Chadwick continues to provide support and guidance as Director Emeritus.
Serving as the Junior League Softball World Series Assistant Tournament Director since 2003, as well as a Team Host, Mr. Allen has been heavily involved in the operations and execution of the event for the past two decades and remains committed to ensuring every player, coach, fan, and volunteer enjoys their experience at the event each year. Mr. Allen’s wife, Joanne, has also been instrumental in the operation of the event each summer and has been a dedicated Little League volunteer for many years.
“Our volunteering experiences started in 1992 when our children joined Little League. We first met John in 2003 when my wife, Joanne, had the opportunity to umpire at the Junior League Softball World Series and experienced first-hand the wonder of the tournament and effort that John put in to ensuring each participant went home with fond memories,” said Mr. Allen. “Over the years, we’ve had the opportunity to make so many great friends, many of whom have become family, from all around the world and we look forward to continuing these relationships in the future. These young athletes learn valuable life skills through sports when adults provide good examples and set worthy expectations, and Little League’s competition and socialization is a great conduit to achieve these goals.”
The 2023 Junior League Softball World Series is set to take place from July 30 to August 5 at Everest Park in Kirkland, Washington, with all 27 games set to broadcast exclusively on ESPN+, including the championship. The event will be played for the 23rd time this year, with all 23 seasons taking place in Kirkland, Washington. To learn more about the event, including the full schedule and more, visit LittleLeague.org/WorldSeries.