A look back at the 28th International Little League® Convention in Williamsport
After more than 30 years since it was last held in Williamsport on the 28the little league® International Convention returned to the birthplace of Little League June 10-13, 2022, as nearly a thousand district administrators (DAs), volunteers and other special guests gathered to talk about the future of the Little League program.
With the event officially over, it’s time to reflect on what happened at Congress 2022:
Opening Call (Community Arts Center)
Before officially starting, on the 28e The International Little League Convention began with a tribute to those lost in the tragic shooting that took place at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on May 24, 2022. To honor and support the community of ‘Uvalde, Little League International announced Uvalde (Texas) Little League as the recipient of the 2022 Carl E. Stotz Little League Community Award, which was presented to District 21 Texas Administrator Rachel Lathe on behalf of the league. .
After the tribute, attendees were greeted with a welcome video by 1989 LLBWS alumnus and Little League International board member Chris Drury and former LLBWS broadcaster Brent Musburger. which was also complimented by a live re-enactment staged by young members of the Williamsport Community Theater League.
Following opening remarks from Williamsport Mayor Derek Slaughter and Pennsylvania Senator Gene Yaw, the Little League President’s Award was presented to retired MLB umpire Gerry Davis for his continued support and his dedication to the Little League program. Little League International also recognized Karen Stotz Myers, daughter of Little League founder Carl E. Stotz, with a surprise bouquet of flowers.
Attendees then had the opportunity to look back on the four years since the last New Orleans Convention and remember those lost with a retrospective video, in front of Tim Hughes, President of the 28e Little League International Convention, hosted the Field Directors of the Little League International Board of Directors to announce their delegation’s attendance and officially kick off the weekend’s event.
Finally, to wrap up the night’s festivities and celebrate the 75e Little League Baseball Anniversary® World Series in August, Little League President and CEO Stephen D. Keener welcomed a trio of former LLBWS champions in Luke Ramirez (2009), Todd Frazier (1998) and Jose “Pepe” Maiz (1957 ) on stage for a panel discussion to talk about their experiences playing in Williamsport and the memories they made.
Welcome Reception, presented by AD STARR (Pennsylvania College of Technology)
After the opening call, attendees were welcomed to the Madigan Library at the Pennsylvania College of Technology for a Welcome Reception, hosted by AD STARR, to give DAs and other guests from around the world the opportunity to connect and to share their stories ahead of the weekend festivities.
Educational Sessions and Panel Discussions (Penn College/Community Arts Center)
Throughout the weekend, Little League staff and other experts (including representatives from the Positive Coaching Alliance, DotCom Therapy, The Aspen Institute, and more) shared their insights, expertise, and advice. to help plan the future of the organization in a series of panel discussions, educational opportunities and question and answer sessions. During the sessions, Little League International also announced the pilot launch of its new Little League Diamond Leader Training Program, a free coaching training tool focused on social and emotional learning.
Refereeing internship with Gerry Davis (Little League International Complex)
Hosted by Little League International and featuring retired MLB umpire Gerry Davis as a guest instructor, the In-Person Arbitration Clinic provided district head umpires and other district staff with the opportunity to train and learn how to help train volunteers to officiate games using a two-umpire system at Howard J. Lamade.
Volunteer Recognition Dinner (Hotel Genetti)
On Sunday, June 12, 2022, top Little League baseball and softball volunteers from around the world were honored for their service at a luncheon ceremony at the Genetti Hotel. Selected DAs received the Little League International Meritorious Service Award while ADAs received the Little League International Assistant District Administrator’s Commendation. Both awards are only presented every four years at the International Little League Convention.
President’s Celebration (Little League International Complex)
Rounding out the weekend’s festivities was the President’s Celebration at the Little League International Complex, the annual home of Little League Baseball’s World Series. After an open house to allow attendees an exclusive look at some of the facilities around the complex used by teams each summer, members of the Little League Challenger Division® from East Lycoming Little League (Hughesville, PA) and Jersey Shore (PA), the GSV Little League traveled to Volunteer Stadium for a Challenger exhibition game.
After a volunteer buffet lunch in the lobby, guests headed to Lamade Stadium to watch the first-ever Little League Sandlot Fun Days event taking place at the Little League International Complex, featuring players from East Lycoming Little League ( Hughesville, Pa.) and Jersey Shore, Pa. GSV Little League take to the field in an unstructured player-led opportunity where kids make the rules, do the lineups and make the calls.
With all the fun on the field over, Hugh E. Tanner, Chairman of the Board of Little League International, announced that James L. Easton was the recipient of the 2022 Peter O’Malley Distinguished Little League Ambassador Award, given to a person who has contributed to the advancement of the Little League program, both at home and abroad. Earlier in the day, Little League International also recognized Joe Patterson and Plinio Castillo-Ruiz as recipients of the Peter J. McGovern Distinguished Service Award, as well as Bob McKittrick as the recipient of the Little League President’s Award.
Before the official closing of Congress, a pair of local little leaguers® Pennsylvania District 12 Alexandra Maeulen and Jacob Mercado worked with Little League mascot Dugout to help randomly select baseballs and softballs to decide this year’s first-round games for events of the 2022 Little League Baseball and Little League Softball World Series.
LLBWS SUPPORT LLSWS SUPPORT
Finally, to complete the exciting weekend in Williamsport, an exclusive acoustic performance by rising country music artist, Conner Smith, who last entered Howard J. Lamade Stadium at the age of 12, played for Little League South Nashville, Tenn. in the 2013 Little League Baseball World Series.
Throughout the weekend, participants also had the opportunity to discover a a brand new exhibit at the Madigan Library at the Pennsylvania College of Technology which celebrated the 75e Anniversary of the Little League Baseball World Series. The exhibition will be presented on the third floor of the Madigan Library from June 7 to August 25, 2022.