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2010 Little League Baseball World Series Pairings, Schedule Announced

2010 Little League Baseball World Series Pairings, Schedule Announced



The countdown to the one of the summer’s most popular sporting events, the Little League Baseball World Series, began today with the announcement of the pairings and schedule by Stephen D. Keener, President and Chief Executive Officer of Little League Baseball and Softball.

The oldest of Little League’s eight World Series, this year’s tournament will be played Aug. 20-29 in South Williamsport, Pa., the site of youth baseball’s most watched tournament since 1959.  The first 12 Little League Baseball World Series were played at Brown Memorial Park in Williamsport, 1947-58.

The 64th edition of the World Series (for 11-12-year-olds) this summer will include two new features – a change in the first round of play from pool play to a double-elimination format and the adoption of different tournament pitching rules – that will add some intrigue to the tournament.

The format change will make every game played in each of the four pools important, as each of the 16 teams try to advance in the tournament.  The change in the pitching rules has added more days of rest between appearances while bringing the tournament requirements in line with the rules for the regular season.  The amount of rest required is based on the number of pitches thrown.

“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,” Mr. Keener 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.”

The 2010 World Series will be the fourth under an eight-year television contract with ESPN/ABC that provides for live coverage of each game.  Because of the format change, there will be a minimum of 30 games and a maximum of 34 games played in order to determine the World Champion.

This year, ESPN and its family of networks have expanded its live coverage of the Little League Baseball International Tournament.  They will be televising 14 additional baseball games, the regional semifinal contests at seven sites, beginning with the Southwest Region semifinals on Aug. 10.  As they have every year since 1997, each of the U.S regional finals will be televised by ESPN or ESPN2.

In all, a minimum of 52 games of the Little League Baseball International Tournament will be televised by the ESPN family of networks or ABC, which will air five games, including the International and U.S. Championship contests on Aug. 28 and the World Championship game the following day.  ESPN will lead into the championship game, which will air at 3 p.m., with its popular Little League Baseball World Series “Webgems” show, followed by a pre-game show.  That is scheduled to air at 1 p.m.

“The Little League World Series has had a presence on television since the 1950s,” Mr. Keener said.  “Each summer, our media partners at ESPN and ABC, afford Little League Baseball and Softball the opportunity to present our program on a grand stage.  To showcase the talent and ability of the players is wonderful, but equally significant is the opportunity to inform and educate TV viewers on what Little League has to offer local communities throughout the world.”

As many as 71 games from the eight Little League International Tournaments will be televised this summer.  All games will be televised in high definition.

The New England Sports Network (NESN) will air four New England Region Little League Baseball pool play games and both semifinals from the A. Bartlett Giamatti Little League Leadership training Center in Bristol, Conn..  In addition, ESPN and its family of networks will air the championship game at each of the other seven World Series sites live, beginning with the Big League Baseball title game on Aug. 4.  ESPN2 will also televise the semifinal games of the Little League Softball World Series.

The other seven Little League World Series dates and sites are: Big League Baseball (16-18-year-olds; Easley, S.C.; July 28-Aug. 4); Big League Softball (14-18-year-olds; Kalamazoo, Mich.; Aug. 5-11); Senior League Softball (14-16-year-olds; Lower Sussex, Del.; Aug. 8-14); Little League Softball (11-12-year-olds; Portland, Ore.; Aug. 12-18); Junior League Softball (13-14-year-olds; Kirkland, Wash.; Aug. 15-21); Junior League Baseball (13-14-year-olds; Taylor, Mich.; Aug. 15-21); and Senior League Baseball (14-16-year-olds; Bangor, Maine; Aug. 15-21).

The double-elimination format for the first round of Little League Baseball World Series will determine one winner in each of the four pools.  The two pool champions on the U.S. side of the bracket will play and the two International pool champions will meet to determine the teams that will oppose each other in the World Championship game.  In previous years, the top two teams in each of the four pools advanced to the single-elimination round.

Another result of the double-elimination format will see four teams eliminated from advancing in the tournament by virtue of losing their first two games.  Those four teams, one in each of the four pools, will play televised “crossover” games – U.S. teams vs. International teams.  This is the only time in the tournament, except the World Championship and consolation games, U.S and International teams oppose each other.

All games of the 2010 Little League Baseball World Series will be broadcast by WRAK (1200 AM/1400 AM/94.9 FM) in Williamsport.  WRAK is the flagship station for the English-speaking radio broadcasts of the Little League World Series.  WRAK has broadcast Little League World Series games every year since the first World Series in 1947.

Park View Little League from Chula Vista, Calif., captured the 2009 championship with a 6-3 win over Kuei-Shan Little League from Taoyuan, Chinese Taipei, the Asia-Pacific Champion.  The representative from the U.S. West Region has captured the Little League Baseball World Series title each of the last two years, and three of the last five championships.  The West Region champion has been in the title game four of the last six years.