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 > Little League Online > Media > Little League News Archive > 2011 > May-August > 2011 Little League Baseball World Series Schedule Announced

2011 Little League Baseball World Series Schedule Announced

2011 Little League Baseball World Series Schedule Announced

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With just two months remaining, 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. 18-28 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 65th edition of the World Series (for 11-12-year-olds) this summer will utilize a modified double-elimination format and one day has been added to the tournament schedule. The format this year is similar to last year, except the “if” games in the schedule have been eliminated. Also, the teams will be in either the U.S. side of the bracket or the International side as opposed to four four-team pools as in previous years.

The additional day added to the tournament will spread out the games. Last year there were five games scheduled on four different days while this year there is only one day of the 11-day tournament in which there are five games on the schedule. The additional day will give the 16 teams some added time when developing their pitching strategy after the change in the pitching rules last year that added more days of rest between appearances. The amount of rest required is based on the number of pitches thrown.

A result of the modified double-elimination format is four teams will be eliminated from advancing in the tournament by virtue of losing their first two games. Those four teams, two on each side of the bracket, 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.

“We evaluate all aspects of the tournament each year and the few minor changes we have made for this year will continue to help us conduct a tournament that is both fan-friendly as well as one that gives the players their best opportunity to compete at a high level,” Mr. Keener said.

The 2011 World Series will be the fifth under an eight-year television contract with ESPN/ABC that provides for live coverage of each game. All 32 tournament games will be televised live by either ESPN, ESPN2 or ABC.

Last year, ESPN and its family of networks expanded its coverage of the Little League Baseball International Tournaments and that will continue this summer. As they have every year since 1997, each of the U.S. regional finals will be televised by ESPN or ESPN2.  In addition, the regional semifinals at seven sites will also be televised live on ESPN or ESPN2, as they did last year for the first time.

The New England Sports Network (NESN) will televise six games of the New England Region Tournament through the semifinal games from the A. Bartlett Giamatti Little League Leadership Training Center in Bristol, Conn.

In all, 54 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. 27 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. All games will be televised in high definition.

“The Little League Baseball 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 to millions worldwide. 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.”

In addition, ESPN and its family of networks will air each of the other seven World Series championship games live, beginning with the Big League Baseball title game on Aug. 3. ESPN2 also will televise the semifinal games of the Little League Softball World Series on Aug. 16.

The other seven Little League World Series dates and sites are: Big League Baseball (16-18-year-olds; Easley, S.C.; July 27-Aug. 3); Big League Softball (14-18-year-olds; Kalamazoo, Mich.; Aug. 4-10); Senior League Softball (13-16-year-olds; Lower Sussex, Del.; Aug. 7-13); Little League Softball (11-12-year-olds; Portland, Ore.; Aug. 11-17); Junior League Softball (13-14-year-olds; Kirkland, Wash.; Aug. 14-20); Junior League Baseball (13-14-year-olds; Taylor, Mich.; Aug. 14-20); and Senior League Baseball (14-16-year-olds; Bangor, Maine; Aug. 14-20).

All games of the 2011 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.

Edogawa Minami Little League from Tokyo, Japan, captured the 2010 championship with a 4-1 win over Waipio Little League from Waipahu, Hawaii, the West Region Champion. The win broke a string of five consecutive years in which a U.S. team had captured the title. The representative from the U.S. West Region has captured the Little League Baseball World Series title two of the last three years, and has won three of the last six championships. The West Region champion has been in the title game five of the last seven years.

In the first 64 years of the Little League Baseball World Series, there have been 32 International teams win the title and 32 U.S. teams capture the tournament championship.

 

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For the first time since 1991, pairings for the first-round games of the Little League Baseball World Series were determined by a random draw. Assisting Little League Baseball and Softball President and Chief Executive Officer Stephen D. Keener (back row, left) with the drawing was Ed Jonas (back row, middle) and Carm Grieco (back row, right), as well as Noah Joy (front row, left) and Caleb Joy (front row, right). Mr. Jonas and Mr. Grieco both played in the first Little League Baseball World Series in 1947.  Mr. Jonas played for Maynard Midget League (Williamsport, Pa.), the first World Series champions, and Mr. Grieco for the Lock Haven (Pa.) All-Stars, the runner-up in 1947. Noah and Caleb, representing current Little Leaguers, play locally in the Hepburn-Lycoming Little League. They are pictured here in front of the bracket for the World Series with the first-round pairings in place.