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LLWS Thread 2009

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by DanOregon, Aug 23, 2009.

  1. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    I've been catching a few games and aside from the usual junior gargantuans - I'm struck by how small some of the teams are. One team came from a 33-player three team league, and some of the other teams made it to Williamsport from similar smaller leagues.
    As admirable as it is to see underdogs get to the LLWS, I get the feeling that some of the teams were just swimming in smaller pools and LL isn't as big as it used to be or is it just the expansion of the LLWS?
    Has anyone noticed a decline in LL participation in their neck of the woods?
  2. ScribePharisee

    ScribePharisee New Member

    From the looks of the Kentucky team that curiously competed in the "Great Lakes" region rep even though Kentucky touches none of the Great Lakes, and looked so good against SoCal yesterday, it seems as though most of the Midwest went broke due to the economy and didn't field a team.
  3. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    I don't have the numbers handy, but LL has seen a decline. It's got competition from Pony, Ripken and, most of all, the local travel league, which is taking a lot of the "best" players away from Little League. On the other hand, there are locations where they are clamoring to bring in Little League. Most notably, Sioux Falls and other cities in eastern South Dakota, which are tired of seeing Rapid City get all the Little League glory year after year. Seriously. However, the Ripkens are announcing non-LL championships on MLB TV this month, so LL won't even have claim to being the only ones on television.

    My son's baseball league is Pony, and my daughter's softball is American Youth Softball Association.

    By the way, about one-quarter of LL's budget is covered courtesy of the ESPN/ABC deal.
  4. ScribePharisee

    ScribePharisee New Member

    All these other organizations looked at LLWS and said "why can't we compete?"

    Now you have multiple level national championships per age grou. It's ridiculous. A "national" tournament in a USSSA, ASA, Super Series or some other organizations could be made of teams from a single metro area. It's a joke they call these national tournaments.
  5. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    Everybody gets a trophy, right?

    Actually, even in this economy, a lot of people have figured out you can't go broke exploiting parents' desire to get that blessed, bloody college athletic scholarship.
  6. ScribePharisee

    ScribePharisee New Member

    Which most find out they're saddled with a partial scholarship from spring sports. One little league tournament person who has made a living hosting these tournaments laughed about all this, saying if these rabid parents chose instead to take the amount of money they spend financing a little league career, traveling four months a year and all that shit, and put in a savings account, they could damn near pay for a college education. Instead, they pay her. And she's grateful.
  7. JBHawkEye

    JBHawkEye Active Member

    I've always said that. These parents throw so much cash around going to these meaningless tournaments every weekend, rather than saving it.

    There are kids in our area who play Little League, plus play on traveling teams. There are a lot of young arms being abused.
  8. JBHawkEye

    JBHawkEye Active Member

    USSSA and ASA are the biggest scams around. "Qualifying" for these "national" tournaments often means just paying an entry fee. A couple of years ago, we had an area team win one of these "World Series." I looked up what you had to do to qualify, and one of the requirements was, "Play in a USSSA-sanctioned tournament." Wow, that's an exclusive club of teams that get to play in the World Series.

    A few years ago we had an ASA team "qualify" for a national tournament (one of four) by finishing sixth in a 12-team tournament. The "national" tournament was on the West Coast. Half the parents wanted to try to raise money to go. Fortunately, common sense prevailed, and they realized that a.) they couldn't afford to go to the tournament and b.) the parents couldn't take time off work to go.

    We got an e-mail this year about a youth baseball tournament where the entry fee was $450. Oh, and teams couldn't bring into the ballpark any drinks — Gatorade, bottled water, etc. — other than Powerade, because the tournament organizer had a "exclusive arrangement." The press release said teams could buy Powerade from the concession stand. I can't remember the price, but I think it was twice was a case would usually cost at a store.
  9. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    All I know is that this is the second Sunday night that I've been ready to watch NHRA drag racing on ESPN2 and this stuff has run way over. Tonight I remembered to tell the DVR to record until 2 p.m. tomorrow just in case.
  10. Del_B_Vista

    Del_B_Vista Active Member

    Ocean Springs and Biloxi are two of a handful of Little League programs in the state, so they frequently go to the regional. Within the past couple of years, one got close to Williamsport (regional finals or semis). Mississippi has the additional Little League competitor of Dixie Youth, which has its own "World Series" featuring a handful of states. There's a lot of Babe Ruth and Ripken played around here, also, though.
  11. Blitz

    Blitz Active Member

    We've got a team from San Antonio, maybe the first ever from here, called McAllister Park that's posted two routs for a fine start to the tourney.
    Another team from Ramstein Air Base in Germany has a kid on it who formerly played here in the McAllister league.
    (His father transferred to Germany)
    There was a nice package of stories in today's Express-News about the situation:

  12. qtlaw

    qtlaw Well-Known Member

    There's a brother of one of my boy's friend who is a stud but who chose to skip his last (12yr old) year of LL to play exclusively travel ball. Mom told me it was because he did not think that the coaching would be that great and since the talent level would be lower than playing with the traveling squad. That may be true but damn, that means giving up the last chance to make Williamsport.

    When I was a kid that was the penultimate, getting to Williamsport. When I was 11 we made the Regional semi-finals for California, so we were only 2 games away. Hard to imagine giving that up.
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