Tonawanda News — The Little League District One Major tournament begins at noon, today at the North Tonawanda National Little League fields on Wheatfield Street.
The tournament, consisting of 10 area teams, will decide who advances to the sectional tournament with a shot at participating in the Little League World Series this August in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
Three games will take place today. Tonawanda will face Grand Island at noon, Lockport will face River Rock at noon and Central Amherst will take on Mel Ott at 3 p.m.
The teams, which consist of players between 11 and 12 years of age, are picked from the best players over the leagues in the District One area. These teams are: North Tonawanda, Tonawanda, Springville, Grand Island, Central Amherst, Lockport, Mel Ott, River Rock and Somerset.
According to Tom Witt, president of the NTNLL, the teams were selected based on coach recommendations.
“First, the coach of the house team has to select (the player). For the nomination process, we get all the kids together and do an on-field tryout,” said Witt. “Based on how they did in the tryout and in the season they are selected to play for the teams.”
The winner of the 11-12 year olds’ tournament will advance to compete in the sectional tournament, which begins on July 11 in Portville, New York.
The winner of that stage will advance to the New York State Tournament the following weekend.
Games for the District One tournament will run from today until the July 3 championship game.
This year saw a strong increase in Little League participation.
“Every year is a challenge but this year we had over 400 kids in our house leagues alone,” said Witt. “It’s a good tribute to how many volunteers we have.”
“Hopefully we will fulfill everyone’s dreams and get a team to the Little League World Series,” added Witt.