America’s pastime is back in Williamsport, Pa.
After the 2020 edition was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Little League World Series returns this summer. The pandemic is still altering the tournament, though, as the 2021 field will be made up of 16 U.S. teams instead of a split between U.S. and international squads.
Along with the changed format, here is the streaming information, schedule and more for the 2021 Little League World Series:
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Where to watch the 2021 Little League World Series
All Little League World Series games will be on ESPN, ESPN2 or ABC. All games can also be streamed on ESPN.com.
Games for the double-elimination tournament begin at 1 p.m. ET on Thursday, Aug. 19. The semifinals will take place at 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 28. The championship game is at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 29.
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Where is the Little League World Series?
The Little League World Series will be played in Williamsport, Pa. Little League was founded in the town by Carl Stotz in 1939 and the LLWS has been held in Williamsport since its inaugural tournament in 1947.
Games will be played at two fields. Howard J. Lamade Stadium opened in 1959 and is the home of the title game. Volunteer Stadium was completed in 2001 to go along with the expansion of the tournament to 16 teams. It has a potential attendance capacity of 5,000, compared to 45,000 for Lamade Stadium.
Will fans be in attendance at the 2021 Little League World Series?
The Little League World Series will not see its usual packed crowds this summer.
Little League International announced on Aug. 13 that the tournament will be closed to the general public due to the rise in COVID-19 cases across the U.S. Family and friends of the players can still watch the games in person, though.
“With updated guidance from the CDC, and in consultation with our Pandemic Response Advisory Commission and medical advisors, we feel it’s essential to revert our attendance policy to unfortunately limit the spectators in Williamsport to the family and friends of our 16 participating teams and our highest-level volunteers and supporters,” Little League president and CEO Stephen D. Keener said. “We are disappointed that we must rollback our spectators joining us in Williamsport this year, but are eager to provide a safe, enjoyable experience for the 16 teams who will compete in the World Series this summer.”
Who is in the Little League World Series?
With no international teams in Williamsport this summer, 16 teams from across the U.S. will compete for the 2021 title.
The nation is split into eight regions. Under the usual tournament format, one team represents each region in the LLWS. This year, each region will have an A team and B team.
One team from each region is in the Hank Aaron half of the bracket, while the other team in each region is in the Tom Seaver half of the bracket.
Here is the layout for the 2021 tournament:
Hank Aaron championship
West A: Honolulu, Hawaii
Midwest A: Hastings, Nebraska
Great Lakes A: Taylor, Michigan
Northwest A: Sammamish, Washington
New England B: Manchester, Connecticut
Mid-Atlantic B: Toms River, New Jersey
Southeast B: Palm City, Florida
Southwest B: Abilene, Texas
Tom Seaver championship
New England A: Hooksett, New Hampshire
Mid-Atlantic A: Oaks, Pennsylvania
Southeast A: Nolensville, Tennessee
Southwest A: Lafayette, Louisiana
West B: Torrance, California
Midwest B: Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Great Lakes B: Hamilton, Ohio
Northwest B: Lake Oswego, Oregon
Which country has the most LLWS titles?
There will be an exact split in championships between the U.S. and the rest of the world following the 2021 tournament.
The U.S. has 36 titles in tournament history, while international teams have 37. The international total is even more remarkable considering the first 11 years of the tournament’s history featured just three non-U.S. teams.
Those 36 American winners have come from 14 states. California has the most championships of any state with seven. Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania are tied for the second-most with four each. Georgia, Hawaii and New York each have three, while Texas has two. Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, New Mexico and Washington all have one.
Louisiana’s title came in the most recent Little League World Series. In 2019, River Ridge, La., became the second team in history to win the championship after losing its first game in the tournament.
Chinese Taipei has the most LLWS championships of any non-U.S. country. The nation completely took over the tournament for nearly three decades, winning all 17 of its titles between 1969 and 1996.
Japan has the second-most titles of any international country with 11, including five since 2010. Mexico and South Korea each have three, while Venezuela has two. Curacao is the only country with a lone title, which came in 2004.