Opportunity means everything in the Little League® program, and thanks to the expansion of the Little League Baseball and Softball World Series that started in 2022, six additional local leagues now get the chance to live out the dream that thousands of leagues strive for each summer and play on the biggest stage in youth sports.
Through this expansion, up to 84 more Little Leaguers®, along with their coaches, families, and communities, can now experience the magic of the Little League World Series each year while inspiring the next generation of baseball and softball players to follow in their footsteps.
To see first-hand how this opportunity has come to life and what it means for the future, check out each of the video features below that detail the impact that the World Series expansion has on each of the different areas of the program, from the region level to the overall World Series experience in both Williamsport and Greenville.
East and West Region Tournaments
“Every kid that steps on a Little League field from the time they are four years old dreams about playing in a World Series, and now we’re giving more kids the opportunity to fulfill that dream,” said Nina Johnson-Pitt, Little League Senior Strategy Executive. “We really hope that this expansion leads to growth locally and gives us the opportunity to grow baseball and softball in areas that haven’t participated in our program before.”
“Internationally, one of the things I love about our program is that it truly is a commitment to growing the program,” said Dan Velte, Little League Senior Operations Executive. “Expansion and World Series direct entry is based on team numbers, and the ultimate goal is to get as many kids as possible to play in the program, so we reward that to the countries that are really committed to getting more kids playing and growing the game.”
Little League Softball® World Series
“Softball is a great sport here at Little League and for this particular event it’s exciting to be able to add two more teams,” said Ashlea Nash-Miller, Little League Director of Softball Development. “What that means is more exposure and access to the game, and ultimately that is our goal. If you’re a little girl and you want to play softball, and you see this on TV, that’s your goal…that’s your dream.”
Little League Baseball® World Series
“Kids notice it. They notice that there are more teams coming to Williamsport and that they have a greater chance of making it, so they’re dreaming of making it and we’re giving them the opportunity,” said Mr. Velte. “What we expect moving forward is to continue to grow this opportunity, this program, and this World Series. It’s going to be a tremendous opportunity for us to truly highlight the program and provide opportunities for kids around the world.”
A Look to the Future
“As we transform our organization, the expansion gives us a platform to really get our message out there,” said Pat Wilson, Little League Chief Operating Officer. “The aspirational component of wanting to achieve and participate in the Little League Baseball and Softball World Series will give kids the dreams and goals to work towards, and that’s what it is all about.”
To learn more about the decision to expand, as well as maps outlining the new region structures for both the Little League Baseball and Little League Softball World Series, check out the FAQs provided below.