Each Little League® season concludes with International Tournament play for Little Leaguers® in seven divisions. The tournament trail begins in early June and leads to seven World Series tournaments in July and August.
The oldest, and best-known, championship tournament is the annual Little League Baseball® World Series held in late August in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, with games held in Howard J. Lamade Stadium and Little League Volunteer Stadium.
The other six Divisional World Series tournaments are held at sites across the United States during the week or weeks prior to the Little League Baseball World Series. It is the culmination of many weeks of local league play and provides participants with the opportunity to travel, make new friends, and engage in friendly competition-activities few other summer programs provide.
The tournament is under the direction and authority of the Little League International Tournament Committee in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Members of the Tournament Committee are:
- Chairman Patrick W. Wilson (International Tournament Director, Chief Operating Officer),
- Daniel Velte (Senior Assistant Tournament Director, Senior Operations Executive),
- Nina Johnson-Pitt (Senior Strategy Executive),
- Nicholas Caringi (Senior Assistant Tournament Director, Senior Director of Operations and Education),
- Samuel Ranck (Assistant Tournament Director, Director of League Development and the Challenger Division),
- Jen Colvin (Southeast and Southwest Region Operations Managing Director),
- Demiko Ervin (Director of the Urban Initiative),
- Brent Stahlnecker (Director of Risk Management),
- Corey Wright (East and Central Region Operations Managing Director)
Levels of Play
District: This is the first level of play. Most district tournaments begin around the first week of July, lasting from one to three weeks. Some large districts, or those made up of widely dispersed teams, play in area tournaments before advancing to a district final or semifinal. Some district tournaments are played in a modified Olympic Pool Play format.
State, Province, or Country: This is the next major level of play. However, in some states, provinces, or countries where there are many leagues, a sub-tournament is played, usually referred to as Sectionals. State, provincial, or national tournaments are generally played around the last week of July or the first week of August. Most of these tournaments are played in a standard double-elimination format.
Region: This is the third level of play. However, there may be one or two pre-regional tournaments (Section or Division Tournaments) played in some areas before advancing to the regional level. Regional tournaments are usually played in late July or the first or second week of August. Most are double-elimination, but a few use the modified Olympic Pool Play Format.
World Series: This is the final level of tournament play. There are seven World Series tournaments: Little League Baseball®, Little League Intermediate (50/70) Baseball, Junior League Baseball, Senior League Baseball, Little League Softball®, Junior League Softball, and Senior League Softball.
Any community with a youth baseball or softball program chartered with Little League International is eligible to enroll a team or teams in the annual Little League International Tournament. To do so, the local league must meet certain eligibility requirements.
Once enrolled in tournament play, every team in all baseball and softball divisions of Little League, from the time it plays its first local District Tournament game to the World Series, must carry documents proving the eligibility of each player on the team. These documents must conclusively prove each player’s age and residence or school enrollment, and it is the responsibility of the League President to review and certify these documents.
All teams must carry an Eligibility Affidavit, prepared by their league officials and certified by their District Administrator, a boundary map with the confirmed players’ residences or schools plotted accurately, and supporting materials. This information is reviewed and verified prior to the start of each level of play of Little League International Tournament.
Tournament Fun Facts
- More than 6,500 teams, approximately 6,000 teams in the U.S., begin the tournaments in the Little League Baseball division. About 5,500 are eliminated in the first three weeks of play.
- About 43,000 games are played in seven divisions leading up to the various World Series tournaments. More than 16,000 of those games are played in the Little League division, the equivalent of more than six Major League Baseball seasons.
- Every game at each of the seven Little League World Series tournaments is available to watch through the ESPN Family of Networks and ESPN+.