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22

Nov, 2018

Another Great Baseball Year!

Kearney Little League’s 2018 Recap

The 2018 season proved to be another great year for Kearney Little League.  Fully describing the value that Little League provided to our community, and the number of positive experiences provided to the individual players, and also to the volunteers (!), could fill a book.  Our board would like to provide at least a small picture, and here is a brief summary of the league’s year overall, which ran from October 1st to September 30th.

SEVEN SOLID PROGRAMS

In 2018 Kearney Little League offered seven distinct programs, for children as young as 4 up to age 22.

·         Tee-ball (for players with a league-age* of 6 and 7)

·         Minors Class A (for players age 8)

·         Minors Class AA (for players age 9)

·         Minors Class AAA (for players age 10 & 11)

·         Majors (for players age 11 & 12)

·         Junior/Senior (for players age 13, 14 & 15)

·         Challenger (for players age 4-22)

*League age for Little League baseball is based on a cutoff date of August 31st.  For example, if a player has a 6th birthday on or before that date, then he or she is classified as a 6 year old for that season.  This means that there are many players who are actually 5 years old during the course of the season, even though they are classified as having a league-age of 6.

HEALTHY PARTICIPATION NUMBERS

·         529 players participated in Kearney Little League in 2018

·         46 teams were formed, across 7 divisions

·         229 regular season games were played

GENEROUS SPONSORS

·         51 corporate/organizational/service club sponsors

·         Many individual donors

FINANCIAL RECAP

·         Income for the program was approximately $45,000 and came from two primary sources:

o   Registrations (70%)

o   Sponsorships (30%)

·         Program expenses were approximately $31,000 and went into three primary categories:

o   Uniforms & Equipment (45%)

o   Umpires (45%)

o   Charter & Insurance Fees (10%)

·         Largely because of our sound operational practices and the fact that Kearney Little League is an entirely volunteer organization (with no paid employees), cash flow from 2018 operations allowed for two donations to the City for improvements at Patriot Park.

o   In October of 2017, Kearney Little League’s board of directors voted to make a donation of $5,000 for general enhancements to the Park.  Some of this money was used to install flag poles at the Championship Field, where the National Anthem is played before several games each season.

o   In August of 2018, Kearney Little League’s board of directors voted to donate $5,000 toward the Brad Bowman Memorial Field, which will be the future home of Kearney Little League’s Challenger Program. 

SUCCESSFUL POST-SEASON PLAY

·         KLL hosted the first weekend of the Little League State Tournaments for the Minors and Majors, at Patriot Park.  Both tournaments were very successful in terms of the event operation overall and the feedback received from the other teams participating.  The top 2 teams from the first weekend advanced to the final weekend. 

·         KLL sent teams to the final weekend of the Little League State Tournament in Blair both the Minors and Majors divisions.

·         The Majors team won the State Tournament, and advanced to the Regional Tournament in Indianapolis.  This was the 9th time in the past 11 years that Kearney has been the Majors State Champion.

·         Kearney Little League has been informed that we will host the State Tournament finals in 2019!  This is first time in nearly 20 years that this event has taken place in Kearney. 

FOSTERING COOPERATION WITHIN KEARNEY’S BASEBALL COMMUNITY

·         Kearney Little League continues to work closely with the various travel teams based in Kearney.  Nearly 30% of all Kearney Little Leaguers supplement their LL experience by playing on a travel team, and nearly all local travel team players gain valuable lessons through their participation as Little Leaguers.

·         KLL and each travel team coordinate together the practice fields and the available practice times, with the goal of maximizing both the usage of the available facilities and the ability of each team to hold a sufficient number of practice sessions.

HIGH PROFILE TOURNAMENTS

·         In addition to the first weekend of the Little League State Tournament, which took place the weekend of July 13th-15th, Kearney Little League volunteers hosted the Nebraska USSSA State Tournament for the 10U AA Division, in late June.

·         The tournament brought 34 teams to Kearney.

·         This equates to over 400 players, and well over 1,000 visitors to Kearney.  Most of the teams were from the Lincoln and Omaha areas, and stayed the weekend in Kearney to enjoy many of our City’s hotels, restaurants, parks and other attractions.

·         The tournament team coaches were surveyed afterward, and their feedback about the event, the venue (Patriot Park), and the City of Kearney was overwhelmingly positive.

Kearney Little League was first chartered in 1952, and for each year since the league has sought to “provide an outlet of healthful activity and training, under good leadership, in the atmosphere of wholesome community participation.”  The 2018 season has been proven to be another in a long line of successful campaigns, and the board of directors’ wishes to thank all of the participants, their parents, and all volunteers who contributed to an important and valuable program that benefits our entire community!  Thank you!

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