The Mineral Area Senior Babe Ruth and 16-year-old All-Star teams are just days away from beginning their respective quests for a World Series championship. Both clubs will travel into the Eastern Time Zone this week as tournament action is set to begin on Saturday.
The format of a World Series varies significantly from the double-elimination bracket that is used in district, state, and regional tournament play.
Of the 10 teams competing in a World Series, two receive automatic bids. The team from the host city and the club that represented the host state at its regional tournament qualify instantly. The other eight teams are champions of their respective regional tournaments.
The 10-team field is divided evenly into two pools of five. A team is then scheduled to face every other member of its pool over a five-day period in a round-robin format, guaranteeing a minimum of four games plus one idle day.
At the conclusion of pool play, the top three teams in each division, based on overall record will advance to a single-elimination bracket. Head-to-head competition will break any ties involved in the seeding process. The winners of each pool will receive a first-round bye in the bracket, and an automatic berth into the semi-finals.
The Senior Babe Ruth World Series will be played at Don Edwards Park in Newark, Ohio, which is located about 25 miles northeast of Columbus. Mineral Area, competing at its third straight World Series at the 16-19 age level, is one of four returning teams from last year’s event.
Hammond, Indiana continued its dominance at the Ohio Valley Regional, and is back for a title defense after winning the 2003 World Series championship. Tri-County, Texas from the Southwest region, and Mobile, Alabama from the Southeast are also hoping for greater results this time around.
Mineral Area begins pool play on Saturday night, facing the host team at 7 p.m. MABA will battle Hammond on Sunday before meeting Worcester, Massachusetts on Monday. Round-robin action will conclude for Mineral Area on Tuesday against San Gabriel Valley, California, followed by an idle Wednesday.
The 16-year-old World Series will be hosted by Loudoun County, Virginia at Fireman’s Park in Purcellville, which lies 25 miles west of Washington, D.C.
Mineral Area will participate in the opening ceremonies on Saturday morning, but must then wait until 7 p.m. on Sunday to play its first contest against the host team from Loudoun County.
On Monday afternoon, MABA is schedule to face Beechmont, Kentucky before squaring off with Mobile, Alabama on Tuesday morning. Mineral Area will end pool play with a match-up on Wednesday against Syracuse, New York.