Needham Baseball & Softball Little League Tournament Team Overview
Each year Little League Baseball’s (LL) Needham Baseball & Softball (NB&S) affiliate seeks to field teams from each of its leagues (Needham American and Needham National) in the town of Needham, Massachusetts to participate in the Little League-sponsored baseball tournaments. There are tournaments in three age categories: 12-year-olds; 11-year-olds; and 10-year-olds. Needham’s teams compete in the Massachusetts District 11 tournament held at a handful of complexes in various towns beginning in late June/early July. There are a total of 16 districts in Massachusetts. As of 2020, District 11 includes teams from Needham, Ashland, Canton, Hopkinton, Medfield, Norwood, Sharon, Westwood and Walpole. The District 11 tournament typically begins in late June and takes about two weeks to complete.
The winner of the Mass. District 11 tournament moves on to participate in the the Mass. LL section tournament; each section has four district winners competing. The four section champions then compete in the Mass. state tournament. At the 12-year-old age level (the Little League International Tournament), the winner advances to LL’s New England Regional Tournament held in Bristol, Conn. The New England LL state champion moves on to compete in the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa. There are eight U.S. regional winners and eight International regional winners. The U.S. champion plays a final World Series championship game against the International champion. At the 11-year-old and 10-year-old age levels, the tournaments culminate with a Mass. LL state champion. Both state champions are invited to a non-LL-sponsored regional tournament, which they can participate in at their discretion.
Needham teams that have won Little League tournament championship banners:
- 2019 – Needham National 10s (District 11, Section 3 – beat Brookline in sectional final game; Mass. State Champions – beat Mansfield in state final; participated in the Eastern Regional Tournament in Cranston, RI, finishing with a 2-2 record and victories over the Vermont and Maine state champions)
- 2018 – Needham American 12s (District 11), Needham National 11s (District 11), Needham National 10s (District 11)
- 2017 – Needham National 10s (District 11)
- 2016 – Needham American 10s (District 11)
- 1993 - Needham West 12s (District 11)
- 1975 - Needham East 12s (District 11)
- 1973 – Needham West 12s (Mass. State Champions - beat Northampton East 16-14 in the state title game)
- 1968 - Needham West 12s (District 11)
- 1954 - Needham 12s (Mass. State Champions and invitation to Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa.)
Tournament Team Selection
Players interested in being considered for selection to one of the tournament teams from each of NB&S’s Little Leagues must indicate their interest in being considered for a team by registering online at www.needhambaseball.com. There is no player registration fee to register or play on a NB&S tournament team. Players who register online are expressing their interest to play, but selection to a NB&S tournament team is not guaranteed. NB&S has a multi-tiered process for Little League International Tournament team selection (12-year-old tournament) that has involved Majors team player voting, Majors team manager voting, and tournament team manager selection overseen by NB&S’s Tournament Team Committee. Players who register are making a full commitment to participate in all practices, games and other team activities for the duration of a team’s progression throughout the tournament(s).
Only NB&S baseball players participating on a spring team are eligible to register and participate on a tournament team, per Little League rules outlined in the annual Little League Baseball handbook. Players selected will be contacted by the NB&S Little League Tournament team manager shortly after selection in accordance with Little League International handbook regulations.
Tournament Team Manager Selection
Managers interested in managing (head coach) a NB&S Little League tournament team representing the Needham American or Needham National leagues must be active managers or coaches on the roster of a NB&S baseball team during the current spring season. Any manager interested in coaching a NB&S Little League tournament team must indicate their interest by registering online at www.needhambaseball.com. The NB&S Tournament Team Committee will review and select a manager for each tournament team. A selected manager may choose his own coaching staff, with the approval of the NB&S Tournament Team Committee. The selection of the manager will take place after the player selection process to determine the first 10 players on a team from each league. The selected manager has the discretion to select 2-4 additional players to round out the roster up to a maximum of 14, or the maximum allowed by Little League Baseball’s annual handbook.
Note: a tournament team manager who is selected and agrees to manage a NB&S tournament team is expected to fully read the most recent Little League handbook, understand the tournament rules, attend up to 3 meetings led by Little League’s Massachusetts District 11 administrator (May/June), and implement the tournament rules according to the current year’s Little League handbook and NB&S.