Unpage Home | Arizona Main Page

Arizona State Tournament Milestones

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

1950Little League Baseball comes to Arizona when the state's first league is chartered in Prescott. In the early years of the tournament, Arizona leagues compete alongside teams from other states in tournaments leading up to the Region 8 tournament.
1957Arizona establishes a new district structure with the formation of three districts that represent Northern Arizona, the Phoenix area, and Southern Arizona. The three district winners advance to a single-elimination state tournament that determines Arizona's representative in the Western Region Division 4 tournament.
1958Arizona establishes the forerunner to its present-day district structure when it re-draws its district boundaries and creates a fourth district.
1959Tucson leagues compete in the international tournament for the first time, and District 5 is created as a spin-off from District 4 to cover leagues in the Tucson area.
1960District 6 is formed as a split from District 5, and encompasses leagues in Cochise and Santa Cruz counties.
1961Two new districts are formed, as District 7 (Scottsdale/Mesa area) is formed as a split from Districts 3 and 4, and District 8 (Cochise and Santa Cruz counties) is split from District 6. District 6 now encompasses a narrower geographic area that covers a portion of the Tucson area. As in the past, all district winners advance to a state tournament that determines Arizona's champion and representative in divisional tournament competition.
1964Two Arizona leagues advance to multi-state competition, as both the Northern and Southern Arizona sectional winners advance to the Division 4 tournament. Along with the New Mexico winner, the two Arizona representatives typically began divisional tournament play in the semifinal round, while state champions from states with fewer charters must first pass through a sectional tournament to determine the fourth semifinalist. The Arizona leagues do not generally meet in the sectional opener, meaning that Arizona effectively had two sectional champions rather than a state champion.

With the exception of 1965, this format remained in place through the 1970 international tournament, after which Arizona again held a state tournament that established a single Arizona winner.

1971District 9 (Colorado River Valley and Yavapai County areas) is formed as a split from District 1. The two districts are consolidated back into a single district in 1972, but in 1974, District 9 is again split off from District 1, this time on a permanent basis.

Also in 1971, the Arizona winner begins advancing directly to the Western Region tournament rather than first competing in a divisional tournament. Arizona's champion has continued to advance directly to regional tournament competition in every year since this time.

1975District 6 is dissolved, and its remaining leagues are placed in District 5.
1981Arizona officials use a double-elimination format at the state tournament for the first time.
1987District 6 (Scottsdale Unified School District and Fountain Hills area) is formed as a spin-off from District 7.
1988District 10 (Yavapai County and neighboring communities) is formed as a spin-off from District 9.
1989District 11 (East Central Arizona) is formed as a spin-off from District 4.
1990District 12 (Tucson Metro Area - South) is formed as a spin-off from District 5.
2001District 13 (Tempe/Chandler Area) us formed as a spin-off from District 7

Also in 2001, Arizona is assigned to the West Region as Little League Baseball expands the Little League World Series from eight to sixteen participants.

2003Arizona officials adopt a pool-play format for the state tournament. Rather than playing a double-elimination schedule, leagues are divided into two pools for round-robin competition, and the top finishers in each pool advance to elimination rounds.
2006District 14 (Gilbert Area) is formed as a spin-off from District 7.
2010To reduce travel costs for participating leagues and families, Arizona officials modify the state's tournament structure to include sectional round competition. Rather than having each district winner advance to the state tournament, the state's districts are divided into Northern and Southern Arizona sectionals for double-elimination competition, and the winner's bracket and elimination bracket champions in each section then advance to the state tournament.
2012Arizona reverts back to a structure under which all district champions advance directly to the state tournament.

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

The Unpage brings you unprecedented tournament coverage.
Thank-you for visiting Unpage Publications!
Contact the Unpage.
Copyright © 2014, Unpage Publications. All rights reserved.
Last revision: 04/20/2014