Let's play 8! LLWS opens in historic fashion
For first time, all 16 teams compete on same day due to Thursday's rainout
SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- For the first time, all 16 teams participating in the Little League Baseball World Series competed on the same day.
Due to the deluge of rain, the four World Series games scheduled for Thursday were postponed until Friday. Along with the quartet of originally scheduled games for Friday, the delay doubled the number of games to a whopping eight. That's double the hits, double the runs and double the smiles for fans lucky enough to be in Williamsport. The marathon day also set the record for most Little League World Series teams playing on the same day.
"With the weather handed to us yesterday, we felt this was the best option to make sure all teams had full player availability and ideal field conditions," said Little League president and CEO Stephen D. Keener. "The decision to play all eight games today, while unintentional, led to a historic occasion, as every single player at the Little League Baseball World Series will have the opportunity to be on the fields at Volunteer and Lamade Stadiums on the same day. We could have not asked for better weather for [Friday's] games, giving the teams and fans a special Little League World Series experience."
The excitement over such a unique schedule was apparent throughout the World Series complex. The two facilities hosted all eight games, with continuous game action likely lasting at least 12 hours.
Just over 200 Little League players from around the world have traveled to Williamsport this week to make friends, have fun and play baseball. Friday, every single one of them had their game face on.
Prior to 2001, eight teams participated in the Little League World Series. Then, Volunteer Stadium was opened, and the tournament expanded to accommodate a 16-team format. Fourteen years later, history was made again on Friday. Previously, the most games played in one day since the event expanded in 2001 was six.
After the last out of Friday's final game, hundreds of memories will have been made by players, coaches and even fans who partook in this Little League World Series historic first.