You can find the downloadable Little League, Inc. – Public Service Announcments at this web address:
I recommend downloading them and viewing and sharing among those you know are concerned about the different ways girls and boys; women and men are viewed in our society, at the community level.
Considering these PSAs are broadcasted world wide on ESPN Television, as elements of the World of Sports broadcasts of the Little League World Series, this high degree of exposure may have the most significant affect on the pereception of a girl’s decision to play Baseball rather than Softball; a woman’s decision to volunteer on the field rather than support at arm’s length in the stands.
What is misleading is the confusion and seemingly intentional attempts at disuading the viewer that there is any gender separation, distinction or bias generated by what seems to be the highest-profile Youth Baseball – if not all sports – orgainzation in the world: if you view all four of the PSAs, together, you get a different message than if you view them individually: to cover all of their bases.
Since local Little League organizations are unable to prevent girls from playing Baseball until age 18 – if they choose to play Basball rather than Softball – the messages contained in the PSAs seem somewhat intentionally vague. But there is no denying the organizations implicit goals: get girls out to play – Softball – and watch boys develop into young men as they rise through the ranks from Rookie, to Minor, to Majors and then finally to Seniors – you have to watch them to see what I mean.
But in fairness to their covert attempts to encourage women to support Little League at all levels, the one of three images of women contained in all of the PSAs that highlights a leadership role on the field, as coach, does not emphasize that the coach is a Baseball or Softball coach: just that a qualified coach can be either a man or woman.
Reflecting on remarks made by one mother watching the Little League World Series during last year’s Little League World Series, here is a link to a post on this same blog site, quoting the letter she submitted to the ABC World of Sports Ombudsperson:
To support Little League’s intentions – if not efforts – to include girls in Baseball: