Thursday, August 17, 2006

LLSoftball World Series: Final Thoughts

Congratulations to all the teams who made the trip to Oregon to compete in the 2006 Little League Softball World Series:

Team Central: Mattawan LL, Michigan, USA (this year's champion)
Team East: Pequannnock LL, New Jersey, USA (this year's runner-up)
Team Canada: Layritz LL, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Team Latin America: Soraida Juliana LL, Willemstad, Curacao
Team Oregon/District 4 (Host): Cedar Mill LL, Beaverton, Oregon, USA
Team Southwest: Elgin LL, Texas, USA
Team Asia-Pacific: ILLAM Central LL, Makita City, Philippines
Team EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa): Ramstein American LL, Germany
Team South: Morristown American/National LL, Tennessee, USA
Team West: Gilroy LL, California, USA

Here is some of the media coverage of Mattawan LL's 6-2 win:

Kalamazoo Gazette: "If that's the way kids in Michigan are, then Michigan must be one great state."

Mattawan's Parade Plan

eTeamz coverage

local Oregonian

May I add:

1) The title game last evening on ESPN2 was as well-played as any I have witnessed up at Alpenrose. The level of competitive softball has risen in Little League and the players and spectators are the winners! I expect this trend to continue and look forward to more girls working hard year-round to join us in Portland in the coming years.

2) Youth sports in general, and Little League specifically, are often criticized for all that goes wrong and so rarely is the other side of the story told: it is fun, you meet great people, you make memories of a lifetime... There are few headlines exclaiming "Families Stay In Touch For Years After Playing Together On Softball Team," or "Host Families Make Lifelong Friends," or "Player from Germany: I'm Having a Great Time!" :)

3) The 2006 Little League Softball World Series was a great tournament and the many volunteers should be proud, albeit tired, as they head home and back to work today. Congratulations on a FANTASTIC event! These folks no longer have children playing Little League -- they do it for the smiles on the players' faces as they see Alpenrose for the first time and because of their committment to the community.

4) If you are interested in playing Little League, contact your local district representative and find out which league your community resides in. I would especially like to see more urban areas represented! If you need help with contact information, please email me:

5) Please don't email me and tell how much better PONY and ASA softball are compared to LL. This is like comparing apples to oranges. All softball programs have their place and their purpose in our wonderful country :) I played both LL and ASA. LL remains a personal favorite because I believe in Mandatory Play and the I love the community focus -- when your league is on your jersey, it means something. I am most pleased when I see neighborhood kids playing ball at their neighborhood school! I believe it serves our cities and counties well to be involved in something local, whatever it is, and this flows over into your local schools, churches, Scouts and keeps us connected. (I will step down off my soapbox now...)

Thanks for reading this blog. It will remain up throughout the year to cover Little League baseball and softball.


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