Unpage Home | Delaware Main Page

Delaware State Tournament Milestones

The structure of Little League Baseball's international tournament in Delaware has changed several times since the first state tournament was held in 1957. Key events in the evolution of this structure include the following:

1957After competing against leagues from neighboring states in the early years of the international tournament, Delaware holds its first state championship tournament. The state's leagues are organized into a single district, and five leagues compete in the inaugural state tournament, which is won by Newark National Little League. Delaware's champion advances to the Southern Region Division 4 tournament, where it competes with champions from Kentucky, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia for the right to advance to the Southern Region tournament.
1958As more leagues are chartered throughout the state, the state tournament is organized so that Northern Delaware leagues are on one side of the bracket, and Southern Delaware leagues comprise the other half of the bracket. By 1962, 23 Delaware leagues are competing in the international tournament.
1963Delaware leagues are divided into two districts, with leagues located above the canal placed in the new District 2. The two district champions meet in a single-game playoff that determines the state champion. The District 1 tournament is organized so that Sussex County leagues are in one bracket, while Kent and lower New Castle County leagues are on the other side of the bracket. This practice continues until District 3 is formed in 1995.
1966The two runner-up teams in Delaware's district tournaments meet prior to the state championship game in a consolation matchup that determines third place in the state. This consolation game is played every year through 1977.
1968Delaware and Maryland are moved from the Southern Region to the Eastern Region. In 1968 and 1969, Delaware's champion competes with winners from Maryland and New Jersey in a Mid-Atlantic divisional tournament, with the winner advancing to the Eastern Region tournament.
1970The Delaware state champion advances directly to the Eastern Region tournament for the first time. The state champion would continue to advance directly to regional competition in every year except 1975 and 1976.
1981The state tournament uses a double-elimination format for the first time. The Northern and Southern Delaware champions meet in a best 2-of-3 championship series, with the winner advancing to the Eastern Region tournament.
1995District 3 (Sussex County) is formed as a split from District 1 (all of Kent County and New Castle County below the canal). Delaware's three district champions meet in a double-elimination tournament that determines the state champion. This state tournament format remains in use today.
2001Delaware is assigned to the Mid-Atlantic Region as Little League Baseball expands the Little League World Series from eight to sixteen participants.

Click here to return to the Delaware Little League Tournament Page Main Menu.

The Unpage brings you unprecedented tournament coverage.
Thank-you for visiting Unpage Publications!
Contact the Unpage.
Copyright © 2005, Unpage Publications. All rights reserved.
Last revision: 06/12/2005