The Largest Youth Sports Program
Little League International is the largest youth sports program in the world. Founded in 1939, Little League was granted a federal charter on July 16, 1964, by a unanimous act of the Senate and House of Representatives of the Congress of the United States. It was signed by President Lyndon Johnson. Little League is played in more than 100 countries of the world and is played by more than three million boys and girls.
In 1939, Little League was only available for players who were 12 years old and younger. In 1961, Little League was expanded to include 13-, 14- and 15-year-olds. This new division was called Senior League. In 1968, Little League again expanded to include 16-, 17- and 18-year-olds. This was called Big League.
Origin of Junior League
In 1979, recognizing the significant adjustment experienced by 13-year-olds when faced with bigger field dimensions - plus the disadvantage they faced against older players - Little League created the Junior League division for 13-year-olds.
Two years later, Greg Bzura and a group of baseball enthusiasts from Taylor volunteered their community as the host site for the first Junior League World Series. At that time, the championship was called the "13-year-old World Series." The event has been staged in Taylor ever since. Bzura, a retired banker and former Taylor councilman, continues as World Series director.
Teams qualify for the Junior League World Series by winning a state, regional or national tournament. The first game of the World Series is usually played 21 days prior to Labor Day. The world champion is determined on the final day of the exciting week of baseball. The championship game is broadcast live by the ESPN family.
Games are played on World Series Field, which is custom-designed to accommodate 13- and 14-year-old ballplayers. The field is too big for 12-year-olds; generally too small for 15-year-olds. World Series Field is located in the southeast section of Heritage Park. The park is located at 11121 Pardee Road, between Goddard and Northline roads.