Youth Baseball Network (YBN) recently announced plans for its inaugural National Youth Baseball Convention™. This could be the most important development in the Youth Baseball Industry since Little League showcased its World Series on national television in 1962.
Those involved in youth baseball know that overall participation in the game has been in decline. Numbers over the past ten years indicate that the game is down about 30% – from 8-million to about 5.5-million participants.
There are many theories as to why the decline, but that’s for another YBN’sider blog. For the purpose of this entry, let’s focus on how the industry can unite and work at stabilizing our game – and, hopefully, help it grow.
Say hello to the National Youth Baseball Convention. (Press Release)
The convention will take place August 17-20 in Branson, Missouri. It will occur in conjunction with the YBN National Championship – a unique tournament showcasing multiple major youth baseball organizations’ 12U National Champions. (Press Release)
The main objective of the convention is to bring the industry together.
As most know, the Youth Baseball Industry consists of several major youth baseball organizations. Little League, the largest brand, makes up approximately 30% of youth baseball. Other organizations, such as AABC, AAU, Babe Ruth, CABA, Cal Ripken, Dixie, Dizzy Dean, NABF, PONY, Super Series, and USSSA make up most of the remaining 70%. And, despite that fact these organizations compete for memberships, there’s a need (more than ever) for everyone to work together for the betterment of our great game and America’s youth. The National Youth Baseball Convention is the first step in achieving that goal.
Like any convention, education is key. YBN has developed partnerships with Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) and The Baseball Project to ensure high quality workshops, seminars and clinics are offered. PCA will conduct workshops for coaches and industry leaders, plus a special seminar for parents. The Baseball Project will conduct a workshop, plus an on-field clinic for umpires.
Equally important to YBN was to find a host city for the convention that would appeal to youth baseball’s demographics. Understanding that youth baseball mostly consists of volunteers and family members, it was important to find a city that would be affordable, fun, and a great family vacation destination. Branson perfectly fits those requirements.
Branson was recently named the ‘Best Value Vacation Destination in America’ by trivago.com. It features dozens of live performance theaters, championship golf courses, an international award-winning theme park, plus family attractions and museums. (Branson info)
Therefore, the stage is set. YBN has created the vehicle in which to bring the Youth Baseball Industry together. It is now up to the industry to get behind its efforts to develop the National Youth Baseball Convention into an annual, must-attend event for the entire industry.
See you in Branson!
For more convention information, click here.
To register for the convention, click here.