Little League Adds Boys SOFTBALL Program – Brief Article
The Little League Baseball International Board of Directors approved the implementation in 2001 of a Boys Softball Division for players ages 5-18 worldwide.
“We see this as an excellent opportunity to bring the benefits of Little League to more children,” said Stephen D. Keener, President and CEO of Little League Baseball. “We have seen in recent years an increase among boys for softball. The goal was to protect the integrity of a girls softball program, while providing a viable, beneficial opportunity for boys who might not otherwise elect or join or stay in the Little League program.”
In the 2000 season, there were approximately 392,000 participants, ages 5-18, in Little League Softball programs in the United States and 30 other countries around the world. The Little League Softball program was formed in 1974, with” regulations originally limiting participation to females.
Participation by males in the softball programs of Little League has been increasing in recent years, however. In 1996, Little League’s softball regulations were revised to allow either gender to participate in all divisions. Little League estimates that between 500 and 1,000 participants in the 2000 season were males.
The Boys Little League Softball program will include regular season divisions for Tee Ball (5-8 year-olds), Minor League (7-12 year-olds), Little League (9-12 year-olds), Senior League (13-16 year-olds), and Big League (14-18 year-olds).
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