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Kids Baseball - A Short History Lesson
Little League baseball is the largest organized kids sports programs in the world. There are over 200,000 teams, with more than 3,000,000 players in over 100 countries. The leagues are divided regionally into 4 sections (in the USA) and have 4 international regions.
As most of you are aware, Little League and most kids baseball leagues, are run by volunteers, many who are parent. They elect a board of directors to oversee and run their kids baseball Little League.
Believe it or not, boys and girls aged five to eighteen years old are eligible to play. The kids baseball leagues are divided by age brackets. They start at the Tee-Ball level (for 5-8 year olds) and go all the up the Big League program for kids aged 16 to 18.
Williamsport Pennsylvania is were Little League was founded in 1939 by a gentleman named Carl Stotz. He had two helpers, George and Bert Bebble, who became the first two Little League volunteers. Little League baseball expanded to 12 teams, all in Pennsylvania by the end of WW II.
By 1950 there were more than 300 Little Leagues. It expanded internationally (to Canada) in 1951. By the mid '60s over 1.5 million kids were playing in the kids baseball Little leagues.
Little League expanded tremendously in the mid 80's. When baseball was adopted as an Olympic sport Little Leagues popularity continued to grow. In 1980 there were less than 40 nations but by 2000 there were more than 100.
Today, Little League baseball can be found in places like Russia,South Africa, China, and all of South America.
I'm honored to being a part of Little League as a player, coach and parent.