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CT District 4 Baseball, Softball & Challenger

CT District 4 Baseball, Softball & Challenger

Connecticut has frequently been a focal point for Little League Baseball over the past 60 years. Little League Baseball expanded rapidly into Connecticut and other Eastern states during the organization's early years, and the Middletown Little League became one of the first out-of-state leagues to travel to Pennsylvania for the Little League World Series when they came to Williamsport in 1948 to compete in the second annual tournament. Three years later, a league from Stamford became Connecticut's first Little League World Series champion by defeating the North Austin Lions Little League (Texas) 3-0 in the championship game.

During the earliest years of Little League in Connecticut, the state was divided into only 6 districts. Later, in 1958, officials re-drew the state's district boundaries and ten districts were established and numbered sequentially from District 1 in the Stamford/Norwalk area in Southwestern Fairfield County to District 10 in the Eastern portion of the state (with an 11th District being formed as a spin-off from District 10 a year later, in 1959). Those eleven districts remain intact today.

All district champions advanced to a state tournament, though games were held at local sites within each district until later rounds. The brackets for the state tournament were structured so that Districts 1 through 5 were placed on one side of the draw and Districts 6 through 10 were placed in the other half of the bracket. The practice of splitting the state tournament draw geographically became a permanent feature of the Connecticut state tournament, with only District 9's leagues playing early round games on either side of the draw. The Connecticut State Champion would face the New Jersey State Champion in a one game divisional playoff, with the winner advancing to the Eastern Region Tournament.

9 years later, in 1968, Delaware and Maryland were moved from the Southern Region to the Eastern Region. As a result, divisional tournament structures had to be modified. The Connecticut state champion would now advance to the New England Divisional Tournament, where they faced champions from five other New England states for the right to advance to the Eastern Region tournament. In 1970, the tournament format was restructured once again to encompass all Eastern Region state champions with the Connecticut state champion advancing directly to the Eastern Region tournament.

In 1971, New London became the host of the Eastern Region Tournament. As a result, Connecticut held two divisional tournaments rather than a single state tournament. Districts 1 through 5 compete in the Division 1 tournament, while Districts 6 through 11 compete in the Division 2 tournament. The regular state tournament format was re-established the following year. In '75 and '76, Connecticut would once again compete in the New England Divisional Tournament when the Eastern Region Tournament format was changed to a four-team schedule. This format however was changed once again with Connecticut advancing directly to the Eastern Region tournament a year later in 1977.

10 years later, in 1987, Little League Baseball chose Bristol, Connecticut as the site for its new Eastern Region headquarters facility. As a result, the Eastern Region Tournament is held in Bristol annually, and Connecticut again receives two berths in the region tournament. However in 1993, officials established two double-elimination sectional tournaments, and the two sectional champions would meet at the Eastern Region Headquarters facility in a winner-take-all state championship game and Connecticut began sending just one champion to the Eastern Region Tournament.

In 1996 The state tournament was changed to a best 2-of-3 series format and a year later officials again begin rotating the state championship series to various sites throughout the state instead of holding the state finals at the A. Bartlett Giamatti Little League Leadership Training Center in Bristol. 4 years later, in 2001, Connecticut was assigned to the New England Region as part of Little League Baseball's expansion of the World Series from eight to sixteen participants.

In 2014, District 12 (Eastern Connecticut - Norwich/Putman/Willimantic area) was formed as a spin-off from District 11 and portions of Districts 8 and 10. With this new district established, Connecticut officials revamped the state's sectional tournament structure. District champions now advance to 4 three-district, divisional tournaments. The divisional winners meet in a sectional tournament. As with the prior structure, the two sectional champions then meet to determine the state champion.

Nineteen Connecticut leagues have advanced to the Little League World Series as recently as 2017 with Fairfield American Little League advancing. Four of the state's leagues have won the Little League World Series championship. Stamford and Norwalk National won back-to-back titles in 1951 and 1952, Windsor Locks in 1965 and Trumbull National in 1989. Both Windsor Locks and Trumbull National defeated international leagues in the championship game. Trumbull's victory over the Kang Tu Little League (Kao Hsuing, Taiwan) remains one of the most famous upsets in Little League World Series history.

Contact

CT District 4: Denis Haley District Admin
273 Forest Rd 
Milford, Connecticut 06461

Phone: 203-444-1772
Email: [email protected]

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