Following two years of suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Little League® Awards Program will be returning for the 2022 season with an updated, modernized structure to honor its dedicated volunteers.
“After two years of challenges and adversity for our local leagues and communities, we are pleased to bring back the Little League Awards program this summer and are looking forward to being able to honor our dedicated volunteers under this new structure,” said Stephen D. Keener, Little League President and CEO. “Since the pandemic started, we have seen the incredible efforts and commitment that our volunteers have provided, both on and off the field, and we want to find a way to honor those individuals for the services they provide to our players and their home communities each year. While the structure of this program has changed, the honor and recognition of our volunteers is more important than ever, and we look forward to honoring these individuals with these awards in 2022 and beyond.”
Under the new structure, the previous “Volunteer of the Year” recognition awards (including Volunteer, Softball Volunteer, Howard and Gail Paster Urban Initiative Volunteer, Challenger Division Volunteer, Good Sport Award, and Mom of the Year) will now be honored under a larger “Community Heroes of the Year” recognition that ties to the new Little League Community Heroes Program.
Launched in 2020, the Little League Community Heroes program (LittleLeague.org/CommunityHeroes) is a year-long celebration of Little League’s dedicated volunteers who step up to the plate not only as Little League volunteers, but those making larger contributions as role models within their community. Starting in 2022, volunteers who are nominated for the Community Heroes program throughout the year will also become eligible to be recognized as Community Heroes of the Year at the 2022 Little League World Series, with a varying number of individuals earning the honor each year. Under this new structure, recipients of the Community Heroes of the Year award will also be presented with a $1,000 grant to their local league/district as thank you for their dedicated efforts.
In addition to the Community Heroes of the Year awards, Little League International will continue to recognize recipients of its Signature Awards, when applicable, which include:
- Little League Hall of Excellence
- George and Barbara Bush Little League Parents of the Year
- Howard Hartman Little League Friendship Award
- William A. “Bill” Shea Distinguished Little League Graduate Award
Each summer, Little League International will also continue to honor one local Little League community who goes above and beyond with its annual Carl E. Stotz Little League Community Award. This award is focused on a Little League community that creates a player-centric culture and is aligned with the goals of the Little League International Strategic Plan. The recipient league earning this award will also be presented with a $5,000 grant to support their efforts.
Once again in 2022, Little League will also honor a participating team at both the Little League Baseball® World Series and the Little League Softball® World Series for their display of sportsmanship with the Jack Losch Team Sportsmanship Award and Girls with Game Team Sportsmanship Award, respectively.
Finally, Little League International will also continue to honor the top two leagues from each of the five U.S. regions with the annual A Safety Awareness Plan (ASAP) Awards, honoring those leagues who take their ASAP plans to the next level to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for all its members.
For more information on the Little League Awards Program, as well as eligibility details on each award and how you can nominate someone, please visit LittleLeague.org/Awards.