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    SD Little League Baseball Musings 2017

    I woke up this Sunday morning to find that the Sioux Falls Little League team had been eliminated from the championship round of the World Series, and I felt compelled to send a Tweet on the subject, copying Stu Whitney from the Argus Leader in the process---

    I think Stu's analysis is correct, particularly the part where he questions whether "....if SF Little League indeed wants to expand."

    I regress, but in 2011 I wrote an article about Rapid City Little League and its origins. To read the piece (there are some broken links but the gist of the article is still intact).  CLICK HERE to read the 2011 article

    My point in 2011 was that Rapid City has invested into the Little League culture for over 50 years.  That culture involves scads of volunteers and neighborhood charters, in the Rapid City case, Harney, Rushmore, Timberline and Canyon Lake.

    It's not too surprising that many in Rapid City reacted with indignation when the first-year Sioux Falls team won the ND/SD tournament.  By all accounts the Sioux Falls team is an amalgam of a few traveling teams, without the Rapid City neighborhood charter tradition of complete leagues (T-ball through Majors).

    All of this takes nothing away for what the Sioux Falls team accomplished in their eventual appearance in this year's Little League World Series.

    However, this brings me back to Mr. Whitney's Tweet. Does Sioux Falls really want to expand their Little League program, or do they simply want to play in the post season? If it is the latter, it would make no sense whatsoever to expand. My guess is that the prevailing Sioux Empire Baseball Association (not affiliated with Little League) will continue to operate as they have for the majority of the players in Sioux Falls, and continue to hog the fields in The Empire.  

    Maybe the Rapid City model is outdated? Do we want to continue the neighborhood charters, or do we want to compete with the Sioux Falls traveling teams? Personally, I think it would be a sad day if Rapid City abandoned ower Little League traditions simply because our teams are not guaranteed an appearance in Indianapolis at the regional tournament every year.

    It will be interesting to see where this all ends up a year from now. My guess is that Sioux Falls will not expand their Little League program (the lack of practice fields is a ruse), and Rapid City will not change owers. In other words, this year begins the new normal for Little League in South Dakota.

     

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