History of WBLL
- Western Branch girls wanting to play fast pitch softball had to play for Olive Branch in Portsmouth. However, Little League boundary rules prevented them from participating on All Star teams.
- We established the Western Branch Girls Fast Pitch Softball Association under Olive Branch Little League and fielded 8 teams during the regular season. We outfitted two All Star teams in Major and Senior Leagues.
- We separated from Olive Branch and played Fall Ball at Western Branch High School fields with four major teams (teams that became the Blue Jays, Braves, Cardinals, and Orioles) and three Senior teams (Blue Jays, Braves, and Cardinals).
- We were granted a Little League Charter and became an independent organization. We formed five Major teams (Eagles were the first expansion team), four Senior teams (Orioles were the first expansion team), and one Big League.
- Our Major All Star team took the District 6 Championship title and placed third in the State Tournament. Our Senior All Star team also took the District 6 title and placed fifth in the State.
- During our second year, we expanded to six Major teams with the addition of the T-Birds; we also initiated our Minor League with four teams.
- We selected an All Star Major 9 & 10 Year Old team for the first time. Our Major All Stars took the titles in District 6, Section 4 and then second in the State Tournament. Our Senior All Stars took second place in the District 6 Tournament.
Two more Major league teams were added with the Falcons and Hawks; Seniors added one team with the Falcons. Big League was reestablished but no games were played due to lack of participation by District 6.
- Nine-year olds were given the option to play on Minor teams or move up to Majors.
- The Board of Directors lobbied for increased use of the Middle School softball field and for use of lights. Surprisingly, the City found money in its budget to light the high school fields. Unfortunately, lights would interfere with other sports, so we proposed a plan to move all the fields giving space for football, field hockey, and two lighted softball fields. WBLL agreed to fund the construction of the 2 new softball fields including new backstops and outfield fences. The high school paid for batting cages.
- All Star 9 & 10 Year Olds and Major All Stars took the District 6 championship titles; both teams came in second at the State Tournament in Richmond.
- The Minor division and Senior division increased by one team each: T-Birds in the Minors, and Hawks in the Senior division.
- On Opening Day we dedicated the new softball fields.
- Senior All Stars and 9 & 10 Year Old All Stars won the District 6 Tournaments. The 9 & 10’s took third at the State Tournament which was hosted right here on our fields.
- We moved in to our new concessions stand (trailer).
- WBLL reorganized the Minor Division to offer Coach Pitch for 7-9 year olds and T-Ball for 5-6 year olds. We welcomed the new T-Ball Division: Blue Jays and Orioles.
- WBLL paid for outfield fences, completing the improvements to the softball fields.
- The 9 & 10 Year Olds came in second in the District Tournament. Majors and Seniors All Star teams won the District titles.
- The Seniors brought us our first BIG win: State Champions and Division 4 Champions of the Southern Region.
- Little League Inc. created a new division: Junior League. We welcomed 3 teams of 13-14 year olds: Blue Jays, Falcons, and Orioles.
- Restructuring created a domino effect as all the leagues in District 6 fielded fewer teams in the Junior and Senior divisions. So we inter-leagued for the first time — with Bennetts Creek and Churchland.
- We hosted the District 6 Tournament and enjoyed great success with 3 of our 4 teams winning the championship: Major 9&10s, Major 11&12s, and Seniors.
- Senior All Stars are back-to-back State Champions. The team placed 2nd in the Division 4-Southern Region tournament held in Wierton, WV.
- Western Branch Little league retired the loans from building the fields.
- The Major Division 11/12 All Stars won the District Title and went to the State Tournament in Coeburn, VA.
- We implemented a Concession Stand work Deposit at registration to insure that the concession stand would be open when needed.
- We changed our fiscal year to start January 1 to coincide more closely with our playing schedule.
- In the Fall Ball season we played host to teams from Churchland, Wilson, and Bennett’s Creek.
- The Major 9 & 10 Year Olds and Juniors win the District championships in their respective divisions.
- The Major division has an end of year tournament based on regular season standings for the first time. The Eagles cap off an incredible unbeaten season with a tournament victory.
- WBLL celebrates Ten Years of Excellence”. Our league has had a wonderful run of success in its brief existence. We have won 4 of 8 District championships in the Major 9 & 10 All Star competition, 6 of 9 at the Major 11 & 12 level, 1 of 4 in Juniors, and 4 of 9 in Seniors with two state titles. WELL DONE by all WBLL participants past and present.
- WBLL hosted its second State Tournament; this time for the Junior level. Past and present players, families, and WBLL friends turned out to volunteer and made the tournament a tremendous success.
- Below are the pins that were handed out during the tournament.
- In March, the league lost a WBLL family member when Ron Snipes, the League’s second President and strong supporter, died after a battle with cancer. He is missed and will be well remembered for his contributions.
- The league realigned its age divisions. Minor division included girls age 7 – 10. T-Ball had 4 teams, Minors had 5, Majors had 4, and Seniors had 2. The League fielded All Star teams in the 9-10, Major, and Junior divisions in the District Tournament held at Bennetts Creek. Hurricane Isabel visited the softball fields in September. One dugout suffered minor damage and all sponsor signs were destroyed.
- After a parent/player survey and parent meeting, the League readjusted its age divisions to offer Coach Pitch to players 7-9. With over 190 players, there were 2 T-Ball teams, 4 Coach Pitch teams, 6 teams in the Majors, and 3 in the Seniors.
- Discussions began with the high school to develop a field house/ concessions stand/ press box. With the construction of the high school Art Brandriff Sports Complex, the league will have access to restrooms.
- WBLL Day at Harbor Park was planned to raise funds for the field house while having fun watching the Tides play. WBLL at Harbor Park was held for May 16 and was enjoyed by all.
- For the first time ever, a league wide end-of-season awards party and ceremony was held to recognize players.
- We are continuing to grow with approximately 185 girls in our program. We have 2 T-ball, 4 Coach Pitch, 5 Major and 3 Senior teams.
- We have begun building a relationship with the newly formed Western Branch Softball Boosters Club which promises to benefit school (middle and high) teams as well as our Little League organization.
- The WBLL Day at Harbor Park is happening again and the intention is to make this an annual event.
- We are welcoming more and more parents of the younger age groups to the Board of Directors. This is really inspirational to the board members of the older players as it insures the continuance of our program and promises that our girls will have a place to play and enjoy softball in the future.
- Our Junior All Star team came in second in the District.
- The 2005 Western Branch 9's and 10's division All-stars were awesome this year!! They won the District 6 championship in July, qualifying for the state tournament in St. Paul, VA. The girls represented our league with great sportsmanship, great ball-playing and they will always be able to, along with myself, have a wonderful memory of making it to state.
A big thank you again for all of the parents support to the league and All-stars and for all of the businesses that sponsored our state tournament. We had a wonderful time and learning experience and I hope to see everyone this spring. Let's Play Ball!!!
Greg Robinson 9/10's Manager
We continue our efforts to get our new concessions stand started and actually have approved work to start in 2006. WBLL developed a good working relationship with the Western Branch Softball Boosters Club. This relationship will benefit both us and the Western Branch school teams in a way that makes things better for all of our girls.
Western Branch was selected to host the District Tournament in July 2006.
In July 2006, we were pleased to host the District 6 All Star Tournament. The tournament went very well and we received many compliments. We were able to use the high school concessions area restrooms, which our guests appreciated.
We were particularly pleased that our Major team won District and went on to State. They made a good showing and even though they lost, they held their own against the 2005 World Series Champions from McLean.
Our Juniors made a good showing and were 2nd in the District.
During Fall Ball 2006 we experienced some rainouts but everyone had fun, especially during the Fall Ball Skills Clinic hosted on Tuesday evenings.
During this year, the long awaited Field House became a reality, ready for dedication on Opening Day 2007. The Field House was accomplished because of the commitment and the very hard work on the part of several volunteers and we really appreciate it. We also had the support of the Western Branch High School Softball booster club.
With a generous donation, running water and sewer has been brought to the vicinity of the field house. Our next major capital improvement will be adding two "family" bathrooms. Hoping to complete by Spring 2009, if fundraising permits.
With several generous donations and reduced supply cost, the restrooms have been completed. This could not have happened without the numerous volunteers that donated their time and skills to make it happen. Especially Gene Mathews and Tom Conter whom coordinated the project.
Also, the renovation of A-Field dugouts has also been completed. Along with several upgrades to the existing building. Sidewalks and a patio area around concessions window.
Also a first for WBLL All of WBLL All Star teams made it to the final game in district play. Majors went on to state play ware they place 5th out of 14 teams. 9/10, Jr.'s and Sr's all placed in 2nd place in district play.
WBLL introduced a new pin in 2010
The District 6 Pin Design Contest was won by WB's Senior player Rebecca Conter. (pin above) The contest was open to all of District 6 Little Leagues, this included all the girls softball and boys baseball divisions.
Minors (9-10's) Finish 2nd at District Level Play,
Majors (11-12's) Finished 2nd at the District Level.
Jr's All-Stars went to state level play in Honaker, VA. placed 5th overall.
Chesapeake Little League joined District 6 during a realignment of Little League. CLL was part of District 8 and we welcome the new competition.
WBLL hosted the District 6 All Star Tournament
Our 9/10's won the District Title and traveled to Coeburn, VA
Our combined Churchland/WB Big League team finish in second place. They took a hard loss in the second game of a double header elimination game and defeated by one run in the 7th inning.
Our 9/10's won District 6 All Star Tournament and traveled to Woodstock, VA
Our Senior team place 2nd in the District 6 All Star Tournament, they played an excellent final game and were defeated by one run in the final inning.
Western Branch Little League celebrated our 20th Anniversary.
Each player and coach received a commemorative pin.
Our 9/10's and Senior All-Star teams both came in second place at the District Tournament. Both teams playing well played game only to be defeated by one run each in the final inning.