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The Good ‘Ole Days
Gone are the days in Little League where you could dominate a tournament with 2 pitchers. You might get away w/ 2, 3 or 4 in the district double elimination rounds where you only play one game a day, but you don’t have a shot in the sectionals or states w/ 2 games in the same day.
Let’s assume that you make it to the states. When we hosted them a few years back, they played two divisions of four teams w/ a three game round robin . Then the top 2 went to a single elimination tournament. This all happened in 4 days! You need to have all pitchers on your team!
Here is how it set up:
Day 1: 2 Games/Team
Day 2: 1 Game/Team
Day 3: Semis
Day 4: Championship
Stack Your Team w/ Pitchers
You absolutely have to have 6 pitchers minimum, and preferably 8. I don’t know how the Regionals work but I imagine they are the same format as the states. At least once you get to the World Series you only play 1 game a day I think. You might play 2 in the round robins. It really doesn’t matter, you have to have lots of pitchers!
This really changes the entire dynamic of the tournament. It puts things on even ground, but it greatly favors the teams that can hit and the leagues that can develop pitchers. In addition, it puts more emphasis on defense as more balls will be put in play than normal.
Less Strike Outs
My oldest son used to say he didn’t like watching the Little League World Series because it was just one strike out after another. He was right. The other change they made last year that had a major effect was moving the fences back to 225′. Home runs turned into routine outs. It will be very interesting to watch this year.
Will ESPN Learn the New Rules?
I wonder how much the announcers will butcher it this year? They really have no clue about how the pitching works or the substitution rules. It is frustrating to hear them make comments that you KNOW are wrong! Very misleading to the layman. My dad always loved watching the Little League World Series, but I had to point out things that they covered wrong so he knew what was going on.
Father’s Love of the Game
Speaking of my dad, he used to come w/ me every night to watch tournament games when he was in town. Those times were very fun. I don’t know why he went, I think he just loved watching a game. Whenever we traveled we always had to visit the local stadium for a game, but who wants to watch other people’s kids? The answer? Me, and I guess him too.
I am sure other’s share this love. The new pitching rules will certainly change the game, but I think for the better. It will go from 18 strike outs to hitting, fielding, and throwing. As it should be.
Do you have any great All-Star stories? Please share them.