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Thursday, June 29, 2017 at 10:13 am

Deb Bettencourt Answers Questions About the WBL & AAU

  1. What is the A.A.U., where are they from and who is the director that you spoke of at the meeting?
    • The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) is one of the largest, non-profit, volunteer, sports organizations in the United States. A multi-sport organization, the AAU is dedicated exclusively to the promotion and development of amateur sports and physical fitness programs.
    • The AAU was founded in 1888 to establish standards and uniformity in amateur sport. During its early years the AAU served as a leader in international sport representing the U.S. in the international sports federations. The AAU worked closely with the Olympic movement to prepare athletes for the Olympic games. After the Amateur Sports Act of 1978, the AAU has focused its efforts into providing sports programs for all participants of all ages beginning at the grass roots level. The philosophy of “Sports for All, Forever,” is shared by nearly 500,000 participants and over 50,000 volunteers. The AAU is divided into 57 distinct Associations. These Associations annually sanction more than 34 sports programs, 250 national championships, and over 10,000 local events.
    • Programs offered by the AAU include: AAU Sports Program, AAU Junior Olympic Games, AAU James E. Sullivan Memorial Award, sponsored by LamisilAT, AAU Youth Excel Program, and the AAU Complete Athlete Program. Programs administrated on behalf of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports include President’s Challenge and the Presidential Sports Award.
    • In 1996, the AAU joined forces with Walt Disney World. Later that year, the AAU relocated its national headquarters to Orlando, Florida. More than 40 AAU national events are conducted at the Disney’s Wide World of SportsTM Complex. Disney’s Wide World of Sports features a double-deck 7,500 -seat baseball stadium and baseball quadraplex, a fieldhouse that accommodates up to six hardwood courts, a softball quadraplex, two youth baseball fields, a tennis complex, a track and field complex four multi-purpose performance fields sized for international soccer and sand volleyball courts.
    • If you are interested in sports participation, the AAU is the place to start.
    • Mission Statement
      To offer amateur sports programs through a volunteer base for all people to have the physical, mental, and moral development of amateur athletes and to promote good sportsmanship and good citizenship.
    • Vision Statement
      To offer amateur athletes and volunteers opportunities to develop to their highest level through a national and local network of sporting events. Through participation in AAU, we achieve our dreams as athletes and as valued citizens of our communities.
    • Pam Marshall serves as an advisor to the WBL. Ms. Marshall works for the Amateur Athletic Union. A baseball pioneer, she once served as the AAU’s National Baseball Director. She is a former board member of USA Baseball.
  2. From what you learned at the conference in Florida, how big is girls baseball in Canada?
    • Baseball Ontario organizes much of the tournaments in Canada. The sport as a whole is geared towards the older girls. We need to start much younger to have more experienced players. For more information on Canadian baseball, you should contact Justine Siegal, the President of the WBL.
  3. Do they have leagues comparable to the Slaterettes (do they run from ages 5- 18?)
    • The Central Ontario Girls Baseball League (C.O.G.B.L.) includes a Peewee division (ages 11 -13), a Bantam division (ages 14 to 16) and a Junior (women’s) division (ages 17 to 25).
  4. Was it the AAU that wants to use the Slaterettes as a model for girls baseball across the country?
    • Yes, the AAU and the WBL believe that the Slaterettes have found a formula that works for girls baseball. Rules and regulations will have to be reviewed but as a whole, the Slaterettes will be the model for girls’ baseball on a national level.
  5. What is the connection between the AAU and WBL if any?
    • Women’s Baseball League and the Amateur Athletic Union have teamed up to offer opportunities for women and girls to play baseball across the country. No experience is necessary to join a team or star a team. All you need is the desire to play baseball.