To make Little League® Opening Day special calls for a good amount of planning. Organizing an event that makes the parents and players smile and stokes their excitement for the season, can be accomplished through creative thinking, collaboration, and focusing on the community.
Download the Little League Opening Day Ceremonies Outline
Help plan the fun and festivities by including these 10 items on your Opening Day checklist.
1. Player ParadeGive plenty of lead time by having the teams gather in a designated area at least one hour before the start of the parade. A few Board members can handle organizing the players, who should come dressed in regular-season uniforms, including their hat. If the teams will be walking on paved roads or parking lots, remind the parents beforehand to have the players wear sneakers and leave the gloves and bats in the car.
Order your teams by division. If your league has sponsor or division banners, have the players carry them in the parade. As the teams enter the field, have the League President, Vice President of the Division, or another Board member announce the teams by name and the names of the manager, coaches, and team moms as they walk out onto the field.
2. Opening RemarksThe League President, Vice President of the Division, or another Board member should welcome everyone to the ceremony.
As part of the opening ceremony, consider playing the National Anthem and reciting the Little League Player and Volunteer pledges.
3. Award RecognitionsIf your league presents annual awards, invite special guests to make the presentations. Be sure to recognize the guests and provide them with a “thank you” gift for attending. One Board member can be responsible for ordering the awards and gifts.
4.President’s AddressIt is important for the League President to speak to the teams and the parents to set a positive tone for the season. Tout the hope and expectations of the season, while encouraging everyone to act responsibly and to enjoy the games in support of the Little League experience.
If members of last year’s all-star teams are in attendance, cite their accomplishments, and remind everyone that the season does not end when tournament season begins. Remember to introduce and acknowledge the time and effort put forth by your current Board of Directors.