SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. - Following a thorough search and evaluation conducted by members of the Little League® International staff, Greenville Little League and the City of Greenville, North Carolina, have officially been selected as the new home for the Little League Softball® World Series (LLSWS) as part of a five-year agreement.
This year's event will take place on August 12-19, 2020, and all games will be broadcast live on the ESPN Family of Networks for the third year in a row.
"On behalf of the International Tournament committee, we are proud to name Greenville as the new home to the Little League Softball World Series," said Patrick W. Wilson, Little League International Tournament Committee Chairman. "This event has played an integral role in the memories and experience of hundreds of thousands of young women over the past 46 years, and we are excited to work alongside the great volunteers at Greenville Little League and the City of Greenville to continue to provide this unique opportunity to more than a hundred young female athletes from around the world each year. We are thankful to everyone who has been involved in this search and look forward to the future of the Little League Softball World Series in Greenville."
Since 1974, the Little League Softball World Series has provided girls with a meaningful experience to interact with their peers and compete against communities from around the world. Hosted and operated largely by Little League volunteers, the annual event brings thousands of visitors together each summer for a week of competitive softball and memorable moments. The LLSWS features top competition from around the world and a unique opportunity for young female athletes to make new friends while interacting and experience a number of different cultures.
The 2020 tournament will see 10 teams competing, representing nine regional champions and the host team from the state of North Carolina. Starting in 2021, that field will expand to 12 teams as the current Little League Softball World Series East Region will be divided into the Mid-Atlantic and New England Regions, and the current West Region will be divided into the Northwest and West Regions, providing more players, families, and communities with this unique World Series experience.
As the new host team, the champion of the North Carolina Little League Softball tournament will be granted direct entry into the LLSWS starting in 2020, while the runner-up of that tournament will have the opportunity to compete through the Southeast Region Tournament to earn a bid as a Regional Champion. Since the tournament began in 1974, a team from North Carolina has represented the Southeast Region eight times, including a pair of championships in 2015 and 2019.
"I am pleased that our city has been granted the opportunity to have young ladies from around the world play here," said Brian Weingartz, Greenville Little League President. "Stallings Stadium at Elm Street Park is a one-of-a-kind venue that will provide all who attend the Little League Softball World Series with memories that will last forever."
A member of the Little League program since 1951, Greenville Little League has continued to emphasize the importance of a community based program, and has been instrumental in the lives of many who have visited the town. Now, as the new home to the LLSWS, the league will be able to share its affection for Little League with the thousands of fans who come to visit for the iconic event each summer.
Located just inland off the North Carolina Coast, the City of Greenville is filled with accommodations to fulfill the needs of visitors from all over the world and provides visitors a balance of front-porch hospitality and the amenities of a metropolitan university town.
"This is an exciting announcement for the City of Greenville," said P.J. Connelly, Mayor of Greenville. "We are thrilled that Little League International has selected our city as its new home for the Little League Softball World Series and that families from around the world will now have the opportunity to enjoy our first-class facilities and the other aspects of Greenville that make it a great place to live, work, and visit."
The tournament will be held at Stallings Stadium at Elm Street Park, 1055 South Elm Street, the home of Greenville Little League, located just down the street from East Carolina University. The Greenville community is set to provide an all-encompassing event atmosphere with ready-to-use, top-notch facilities, many community amenities and accommodations, and a welcoming and supporting community.
Over the years, the Greenville community has served as a gracious host for many Little League International Tournament events. In addition to numerous North Carolina Little League District 4 Tournaments, Greenville Little League and Elm Street Park have hosted North Carolina State Little League Baseball Tournaments in numerous times over the past 25 years, as well as the Baseball Tournament of State Champions for 9- to 11-year-olds since 2010 and the Tournament of State Champions for 8- to 10-year-olds since 2014. In addition, Greenville Little League has sent a team to the Little League Baseball World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, in both 1998 and 2017, giving them a first-hand look at what the Little League World Series experience means to the players, volunteers, and fans who come to visit.
For more information about the Little League Softball World Series, visit LittleLeague.org. Information about the 2020 event, including schedules and more, will be made available in mid-June. To learn how to become involved with the tournament, including information on how to volunteer at this event, contact the Little League Softball World Series at LLSBWS-Director@. LittleLeague.org