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Little League World Series 2021: Bracket Dates, Teams, TV Schedule and Format

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistAugust 16, 2021

River Ridge, Louisiana's Stan Wiltz embraces Peyton Spadoni (6) as they jump on top of Jeffrey Curtis and Conner Perrot (9) on top of the pile as they celebrate the 8-0 win against Curacao in the Little League World Series Championship game in South Williamsport, Pa., Sunday, Aug. 25, 2019. (AP Photo/Tom E. Puskar)
Tom E. Puskar/Associated Press

The 2021 Little League World Series marks the return of the biggest event in little league baseball after the 2020 edition of the event was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pandemic's impact will still be felt in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania, this year. There will be a limited amount of spectators, and the 16-team field solely comprises teams from the United States. Traditionally, eight states and eight countries are represented.

Because of the increased size of the U.S. field, two teams were taken from each of the regional tournaments. Then the 16-team field was divided into two brackets: The Hank Aaron Bracket and Tom Seaver Bracket.

The tournament is set to get underway Thursday, with games taking place every day until the top two teams in each bracket square off for their respective championships August 28. The winners will advance to the Little League World Series Championship Game on August 29.

                          

2021 Little League World Series Opening Round

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August 19

Hawaii vs. Connecticut, 1 p.m. on ESPN

Tennessee vs. Ohio, 3 p.m. on ESPN

Nebraska vs. New Jersey, 5 p.m. on ESPN

New Hampshire vs. California, 7 p.m. on ESPN

       

August 20

Pennsylvania vs. Oregon, 1 p.m. on ESPN

Michigan vs. Florida, 3 p.m. on ESPN

Louisiana vs. South Dakota, 5 p.m. on ESPN

Washington vs. Texas, 7 p.m. on ESPN2

All times ET.

           

2021 Little League World Series Participants

Hank Aaron Championship Bracket

Michigan: Taylor North Little League

New Jersey: Toms River East Little League

Nebraska: Hastings Baseball Little League

Connecticut: Manchester Little League

Washington: Eastlake Little League

Florida: Martin County North Little League

Texas: Wylie Little League

Hawaii: Honolulu Little League

       

Tom Seaver Championship Bracket

Ohio: West Side Little League

Pennsylvania: Upper Providence Little League

South Dakota: Sioux Falls Little League

New Hampshire: North Manchester-Hooksett Little League

Oregon: Lake Oswego Little League

Tennessee: Nolensville Little League

Louisiana: Lafayette Little League

California: Torrance Little League

Full bracket can be found here

             

The MLB Little League Classic will also take place after being canceled last season. Cleveland and the Los Angeles Angels will meet up at BB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field in the first pairing of American League teams for the game.

Other than the move to a United States-only field, the tournament format hasn't changed. The tournament is double elimination, with teams getting a chance to climb back into the championship through the consolation bracket.

However, once we reach the championship games, it's win or go home.

The annual event has featured several future MLB players. Gary Sheffield, Jason Varitek and Lance Lynn are among the alumni of the tournament who went on to make a name for themselves in the majors. Future NFL MVP Brian Sipe played in the tournament as a youngster as well.

The field features some familiar teams. Honolulu took home the title in 2018, while Toms River East, New Jersey, will be sending a team for the fourth time. There is also a big league family connection to one of the latter's previous tournament teams, with two-time MLB All-Star Todd Frazier's nephew, center fielder Carson Frazier, set to appear.

Several teams represented ran through their respective regional brackets unscathed, but there will be the added intrigue of having regional runners-up that could make surprise runs in the tournament.

Despite the absence of the international teams, the 2021 Little League World Series is set up to be an exciting event. It could even provide a sneak peek at some future major leaguers.

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