Format Change Coming to Little League Baseball World Series in 2010
The 16 qualifying teams for the 2010 Little League Baseball World Series will be playing under a new format in 2010. The culmination of more than 16,000 games over eight weeks of Little League Baseball tournament play, this year’s World Series will be played utilizing a double-elimination format in the first round. Previously, the tournament was conducted using a pool play format to reach the quarterfinal round.
The 16 teams will still be placed into four, four-team pools, the eight U.S teams on one side of the bracket opposite the eight International squads. The top team in each pool advances to the U.S. and International single-elimination championship games. The U.S. and International champions then play for the World Championship on the final day of the tournament.
“The format change means the outcome of each game, and ultimately, the tournament, will be determined solely by the performance of the teams on the field.” Stephen D. Keener, President and Chief Executive Office of Little League International, said. “There is no longer a need for tie-breakers, and each game carries significance for both teams as they try to advance in the tournament.”
One of the primary reasons for the change was to eliminate the third games in pool play which, because of potential tie-breaking possibilities, left a manager with two choices: lose the game and advance to the next round, or win the game (but give up too many runs) and be eliminated. The outcome of every game in a double-elimination format has importance, with no tie-breakers needed.
Despite the change in format, every team in the 2010 Little League Baseball World Series will play a minimum of three games, all televised live, the same as under the previous format. All teams will play at least three games including the four teams that are eliminated from advancing by virtue of losing their first two games (one team in each of the four pools). Those four teams will play in televised “crossover” games - U.S. team vs. International team. This is the only time in the tournament, except the World Championship and consolation games, a U.S. and International team will oppose each other.
With the format change, the 2010 World Series, which will be played Aug. 20-29 in South Williamsport, Pa., will consist of a minimum of 30 games with each contest televised live on one of the ESPN family of networks, or ABC. This is the fourth year every game of the Little League Baseball World Series has been televised live.
With the format change, each of the four pools will play a maximum of seven games in the first round of play to determine the winner of the pool, but the pool champion could be determined in six games.
The alignment of teams in the pools and the schedule for the 64th Little League Baseball World Series will be announced in June.