The First Level: The Local Little League
Each Little League program is organized within a community. As part of a league’s annual charter it establishes its own boundaries with certain restrictions. It is only from within this territory that the league may register its players.
All league personnel, including the elected board members and officers, and each of the managers, coaches, umpires providing the benefits of a Little League program to the youth of their community. In the Philippines, most of the volunteers are school teachers, former players and coaches, and parents whose children have joined the program.
Although Little League regulations do not prohibit payments to umpires or other personnel, such employment is strongly discouraged. Those who work with children at the local league level should be interested only in volunteering their time to make their community a better place.
The local leagues conduct a regular season of teams within their boundaries. Many children start the program with coach pitched leagues. When there are not enough teams, they invite guest teams to participate in the regular season. Most leagues have players in a wide-age range because of the limited number of teach the players the fundamentals of the game and to have fun. The result of the regular season is the selection of an All Star team to represent the chartered local league.
The Second Level: The District
In the USA, for administrative and tournament purposes,, roughly 10 – 20 leagues in a given area usually comprise a district. In Asia however, each country comprises on district and this is why the Philippines has one of the largest districts in the world with 60 teams.
The District Administrator is an experienced volunteer elected by the constituent leagues to counsel, direct, and provide leadership in the policies and rules of the Little League program and to serve as liaison between the leagues and the Regional Director.
The District Administrator organizes the district tournament and attends the periodic International Congress where Little League rules and regulations are democratically reviewed and revised for the betterment of the program. There are more than 600 District Administrators worldwide, each with a staff of appointed and/or elected assistants to help more effectively serve his or her leagues.
The District Administrator for the Philippines was awarded as one of the Outstanding District Administrators in the Little League World Congress in Houston, Texas 2010.
The Assistant District Administrator for the Philippines was awarded as one of the Outstanding Assistant District Administrators in The Little League World Congress in Lexington, Kentucky 2012.
The District Tournaments are often held right after Easter Sunday and all divisions are hosted by a city. There are a total of as with 1,500 players and hundreds of coaches, umpires and volunteers. The winner of this tournament represents the Philippines in the Regionals.
The Third Level: The Region
The District Administrators report to the Regional Director, of which there are five in the United States. There are also regional offices in Europe, Japan and Hong Kong. The Philippines is under the Asia-Pacific Region and works with the Regional Director based in Hong Kong.
The Regional Director assists in organizing the regional tournament which traditionally has different hosts for 11-12 Majors, Teenage Baseball, and all Softball Divisions. The region tries to make each tournament an opportunity to share cultures and friendships as well as have a competitive and fun baseball and softball match.
The Fourth Level: International World Series
Little League Operations are led by Stephen D. Keener, President and Chief Executive Officer of Little League Baseball. Mr. Keener responds to the Little League Board of Directors, which includes eight field District Administrators elected to rotating terms by fellow District Administrators at the Congresses.
The Full-time staff members of Little League Baseball, Incorporated, work with District Administrators, their assistants, and local league officials in developing new leagues, coordinating tournaments and assisting in the overall operation of a local league program. Worldwide, there are about 110 full-time Little League employees (about one for every 40,000 children and adult volunteers).
Little League International, in agreement with its insurance carrier, offers various services including the processing and payment of accident claims under the programs offered by Little processing and provides a valuable service to affiliate leagues. Little League’s professional and volunteer staff are available to participants registered in new established leagues throughout the year.
It is every child and parent’s dream to compete in the World Series at any division. This is tournaments that brings the best local teams from districts and regions to one stage and crown a world champion for the year. Little League International through its many corporate sponsors help raise funds to provide free airfare and accommodations for all regional champions.
The result of this effort is a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to play at the best stage in front of large crowds with talented players. It is also an opportunity to make new friends and contact with players of the same age from all over the world. Many strong friendships have been made between players from different countries and cultures, as well as with host families and local little league volunteers in the eight different locations that the Little League World Series is held.
Steven Keener, President of Little League International addresses the participants of the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania each year and reminds them that all the teams participating in the tournament are already champions having won their regionals. Now is a time to create memories, make new friends, play the best baseball possible and have fun.
That’s what Little League is all about.