Westwood Little League Parade and Opening Day Ceremonies
by Westwood Little League posted 05/12/2014
Westwood Little League Parade and Opening Day Ceremonies Welcome Spring to Westwood!
On Saturday May 4, WLL held its first opening day ceremonies on the Revitalized Morrison Field! Thank you to Event Coordinator Kathleen Holland and all of the volunteers, sponsors and participants who made the celebration special!
This year is a very special year in the history of Little League. Seventy five years ago the little league movement began. Today more than 2.4 million boys and girls enjoy playing Little League baseball or softball across 83 countries around the world. What makes Little League work is the dedication and countless hours of so many volunteer parents to help promote the Little League core values of Leadership, Citizenship, Sportsmanship and Teamwork.
WLL was honored to be joined at the parade and ceremonies by a number of local officials and dignitaries. Very special guests included the 2014 WHS Girls Varsity Softball team, the 2014 Boys Varsity Baseball team and members of the the 2014 STATE CHAMPION WESTWOOD GIRLS VARSITY HOCKEY TEAM! The 2013 WORLD SERIES CHAMPION BOSTON RED SOX arranged to have the World Series trophy on hand. One lucky team was selected to represent Westwood in a drawing to participate in Little League Appreciation Day at Fenway Park on May 4th as part of Major League Baseball's celebration of the 75th anniversary of Little League.
Thank you to all donors who contributed to making Phase I of the Morrison Revitalization project such a success. Major additional support has recently been obtained towards Phase II -- the construction of a new concession stand, restrooms and a new entranceway. Specifically, New England Development recently confirmed a major contribution and Roche Bros has generously offered additional funds on top of its already substantial leadership support which was instrumental to Phase I. Duncan and Ellen McFarland have also generously offered additional support for the project in addition to their prior substantial leadership gift in the form of matching funds. Please visit the Revitalize Morrison tab of this site or contact any board member for more information.
Thank you to all the sponsors, volunteers, families and community members that contributed to another successful WLL Parade Day. We are truly thankful for the support and look forward to a terrific season of helping kids grow through the great game of baseball this spring. Thank you!
Summer Baseball Options -- Registration Closes May 18!
by Chris Pfaff posted 05/06/2014
Westwood Little League offers spring and summer baseball opportunities to all kids from 7-12 years of age.
According to Little League International the baseball age of each child is determined by what their age is on 4/30 of any given year; regardless of their school grade. The summer leagues in which we place our teams adhere to this formula so WLL uses it as well.
Games are typically played on weeknights (5:30 or 7:30pm start times depending on the home team’s field availability); though there are some exceptions. Half of each team’s scheduled games will be played in Westwood. Understanding that families sometimes travel in the months of July and August the Friendship and Suburban League teams operate with the understanding that a player may miss a week of games (usually 2 games) due to a vacation. Upper Charles and Summer 7’s tend to have larger rosters and therefore may be a good fit for those families who travel for multiple weeks during July and/or August.
Open to all registered 1st grade players in WLL; regardless of birth date. This “league” is coordinated with Canton and Sharon. Kids pitch and player catcher. Coaches are the umpires and step in to pitch when needed to help the games move along. Games are played on Tuesday’s and Thursdays and the season ends by the end of July. There are no playoff games and no rainout makeup games. All home games are played at Downey.
Open to all 8 year old players. This league is run through the cooperative efforts of Foxboro and Braintree Little Leagues. Numerous towns participate in this travel league. Umpires are used in this kid pitch league. Most games are scheduled for Monday-Friday though an occasional weekend game may be scheduled or needed to make up a rained out game. There are playoffs for this league and can extend in to early August.
Open to all players aged 9-12 years old. Numerous Metrowest and South Shore towns are represented in this travel league. Each age group has it’s own “A” and “B” league. Teams are created by a selection process based on an assessed skill level. Skills are assessed throughout the spring season and through an on field evaluation session. Two games (though sometimes 3) are typically scheduled Monday-Thursday of each week though there are occasional Fridayor Sunday games scheduled. Make up games may also be scheduled for a possible weekend day/night. In addition to their league play each team is given to opportunity to compete in at least one weekend baseball tournament. This may or may not involve overnight travel.
Upper Charles League
Open to all players aged 9-12 years old. Roster sizes tend to be larger as teams are created by combining 9 & 10 year olds together and 11 & 12 year olds together. The season is completed by early August. Towns in this travel league are typically Westwood, Dover, Holliston, Millis and Milford; though it can vary each year. This tends to be a less competitive league than the Suburban League. A child may select to be considered for this league only or it may be presented as a summer option if a child was not selected for the Suburban “A” or “B” team in their respective age group. There are no playoffs. 9/10 year old games were played on Mondays & Wednesdays last year while 11/12 year old games were on Tuesdays & Thursdays.
Each summer player will receive a uniform including a jersey, socks and hat. Baseball pants are not included. Registration will close at midnight on Sunday May 18th.
If you’re interested in being considered for a Summer coaching position please contact the Summer Coordinator. Specify the age group and position: Head Coach, Assistant Coach or both. The Summer Coordinator along with the WLL Board will consider all candidates.
If you have any questions regarding any of the leagues mentioned above or coaching opportunities, or any other aspect of summer baseball, please feel free to contact Summer Coordinator Chris Pfaff. His information can be found in the “contacts” section of this website.
Westwood Little League -- Mission and Volunteer Opportunities
Westwood Little League is committed to providing a safe, competitive environment promoting the enjoyment, appreciation and understanding of the game of baseball. Our primary focus is on instructing the fundamentals of the game - rules, mechanics, and basic strategy. We are 100% reliant on parent volunteers to ensure the accomplishment of these goals each season.
Baseball helps instill values of teamwork, sportsmanship, hard work and respect. WLL seeks to develop coaches who are knowledgeable, positive and encouraging teachers of the game. Through our partnership with the Positive Coaching Alliance and other means, WLL provides coaches with resources and strategies for keeping the game fun and competitive, with an emphasis on youth development prioritized over winning/losing.
We encourage community participation and are always seeking new energetic people to join us by giving of their time, talents, and energy to help us continuously improve the Little League experience. If you would like to get involved, please contact any of our board members. Contact information is available under the CONTACTS tab to the left. Thank you to all our current volunteers and all of our generous sponsors. WLL is able to accomplish is mission only through the dedication and generosity of its volunteers and sponsors. Thank you as well to all families participating in the program!
Westwood Little League and the Williamsport Tournament
by Westwood Little League posted 04/25/2014
Little League World Series 2013
Little League International hosts a tournament of 12 & 11 year olds each summer to crown a true World Champion. The tournament culminates in Williamsport, PA with the arrival of 8 International Region champions and 8 U.S. Regional Champions.
The tournament begins in late June/early July with teams from some 8,000 Little League programs from across the globe competing starting with District Level play. There are 16 Districts in the state of Massachusetts. Westwood competes in District 11. Little League International maintains detailed information about the Tournament at this link and WLL maintains a Williamsport link on the left about Westwood's participation. The tournament provides a terrific opportunity for all involved with Little League including players, coaches and volunteers to demonstrate the core values of the Little League program.
Little League International does not dictate how local leagues should form a "Williamsport team" -- but Little League International does strongly discourage having a process that relies only on a small group of people. Instead, Little League International encourages local leagues to select a tournament team democratically, with the players themselves involved in the process. Aware of this strong recommendation from Little League International, Westwood Little League has acted this year to democratize the process of team selection. The details of the new process approved by the WLL Board this year are set forth under the Williamsport tab on the left. The process includes a major role for player input as well as the input of head and assistant coaches. Please direct any questions or comments about the process to WLL President Rob Gotti. WLL looks forward to implementing the new, improved process this year.
Westwood Little League and the Positive Coach Alliance
Westwood Little League Supports the Positive Coach Alliance
Positive Coaching Alliance is a national non-profit developing “Better Athletes, Better People” by working to provide all youth and high school athletes a positive, character-building youth sports experience.
Since its 1998 launch at Stanford University by Founder and CEO Jim Thompson, PCA has impacted more than 5 million youth athletes. PCA reaches youth and high school sport leaders, coaches, athletes, parents, and officials through partnerships with schools and youth sports organizations nationwide that comprise live workshops, online courses , books , and e-communications, providing free Tips and Tools.
At the center of PCA’s work are three models:
The Double-Goal Coach®, who strives to win while also pursuing the more-important goal of life lessons through sports;
The Second-Goal Parent®, who concentrates on life lessons, while letting coaches and athletes focus on competing; and
The Triple-Impact Competitor®, who strives to impact sport on three levels by improving oneself, teammates and the game as a whole.
PCA’s allies include a National Advisory Board of top athletes, coaches, academicians and business leaders; prominent national youth sports organizations; and corporations and foundations that support its work.
Westwood Little League provided two PCA led opportunities for parents and coaches in 2013. In 2014, PCA provided WLL’s board of directors a Leadership Seminar. All parents and coaches are encouraged to become familiar with PCA principles -- check out the PCA website!
Little League International is celebrating its 75th Anniversary this year! Here is some basic information about the formation of the league and its success throughout the years. Visit this site to learn more about how Little League has been developing major league people for the past 75 years!
How did Little League get started?
In 1938, Carl E. Stotz was playing backyard baseball with his nephews when he had the idea to give those boys the opportunity to play an organized game of baseball on a field that was sized for them, with equipment that was built for them and against their peers with actual rules. Mr. Stotz started working with the local community in Williamsport, Pa., and with parents and volunteers coming together, they formed three teams. On June 6, 1939, the first official Little League game was played in Williamsport, which is still the home of Little League today.
How has Little League grown?
Throughout Little League’s first 10 years, it was largely played locally, in the greater Williamsport, Pa. area. After World War II, Little League began growing, with its first World Series being played in 1947. The organization then expanded internationally, and in 1957, the first team from outside the United States, Monterrey, Mexico, won the Little League World Series. As baseball and softball developed, so has Little League. In 1974, the organization launched its softball division. In 1989, the Little League Challenger Division® was created to give children with physical and developmental challenges the opportunity to play baseball and softball. There are nine divisions of play that all culminate in their own World Series, played throughout the United States every summer. What started as a group of 30 children playing baseball in Williamsport 75 years ago has grown to 2.4 million boys and girls playing Little League Baseball and Softball in 83 countries.
What makes Little League special?
There is a reason that the organization has been so successful for so long. Its emphasis on community and volunteers make it a great social activity not only for the children playing, but also the adults and parents who are watching games, coaching teams and dedicating their time to enhancing the Little League experience. From a cost aspect, Little League strives to keep the fees associated with being an official Little League low. Little League International has devoted substantial resources to promote a safe and healthy environment in which to teach the core values of leadership, citizenship, sportsmanship and teamwork. Westwood Little League is a chartered member of Little League International.
Looking for an instructional book for baseball players ages 11 and up looking to add to their knowledge of the game? Changes in the Game explains the rule changes, field changes, and equipment changes, a player experiences while transitioning from Little League on to play on a regulation size baseball field past age 12. Written by Pete Henyan, a professional baseball player and coach, the book is specifically targeted for 11-14 year old ballplayers, parents and coaches. More information including ordering details can be found here.