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Pennsylvania State Tournament Milestones

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The Pennsylvania state tournament series structure has changed several times since the first World Series was held in 1947. Key events in the evolution of this structure include the following:

1947The National Little League Baseball Tournament -- the original name of the Little League World Series -- is played at the Original Little League field in Williamsport. Twelve teams compete in the tournament, including eight from the Greater Williamsport area, three others from Pennsylvania, and an out-of-state team from Hammonton, New Jersey. The tournament bracket is structured so that the eight Williamsport area entrants are all on one side of the draw, and the four teams from outside the area comprise the other half of the draw.
1948Pennsylvania is organized into eight districts, three of which are in the Williamsport area. The eight district champions advance to a single-elimination state tournament in Williamsport. Every Pennsylvania state tournament played until 1959 is held in Williamsport. The top three finishers in the 1948 Pennsylvania State Tournament all advance to the national tournament.
1949The state tournament remains an eight-team, single elimination format, but only the state champion advances to the national tournament. Through 1956, Pennsylvania's state tournament doubles as the Region 3 tournament, and the Pennsylvania state champions advance directly to the Little League World Series. Significant growth in the number of leagues in Pennsylvania during this timeframe expands the number of districts, and means that the state's district champions must compete in sectional tournaments prior to advancing to the state tournament.
1957Little League reorganizes the U.S. regional structure, and the Pennsylvania state champions no longer advance directly to the Little League World Series. Instead, the winner of the new four-team tournament earns a berth in the Eastern Region tournament. Pennsylvania is organized into 23 districts from the far Northwest corner of the state to the Philadelphia area.
1958District 24 (Schuylkill County, Eastern Northumberland County, and Upper Dauphin County) is formed. Between 1958 and 1965, District 25 (Clarion, Forest, and Venago Counties) is formed in Western Pennsylvania.
1959For the first time, the state tournament is held outside of Williamsport. Pittsburgh hosts the tourney at the Brookline Little Leage field as part of the city's 200th anniversary celebration. The tournament returns to Williamsport in 1960 and 1962, then begins to roatate among the various districts in the state.
1967Districts 26 is formed in Western Pennsylvania, while District 27 (Connellsville Area) is split from District 9.
1974District 5 (Pittsburgh area) is dissolved, and its remaining leagues were placed in District 4.
1975District 3 (Beaver County) is dissolved when the district's five leagues choose not to renew their charters.
1977Two new districts are formed, and two are dissolved. District 3 (Erie County) is re-formed as a spin-off from District 1 (Crawford County), while District 5 (Centre and Clearfield Counties) is also re-formed as a split from District 10 (Jefferson and Elk Counties).

Meanwhile, District 8 is dissolved, and its remaining leagues are placed in Districts 4 and 26, while District 27 disbands and is folded into District 9 (Fayette County).

1990Thirteen years after Crawford and Erie counties were split into separate districts, they are re-joined as District 3 (Erie County) is dissolved and merged into District 1.
1991District 6 (Greene County and surrounding area) is dissolved and merged into District 9 (Connellsville area).
1994District 23 is split into three districts, as District 27 (centered in Montgomery County) and District 28 (Chester County) are formed. District 23 now encompasses Lancaster and Berks counties.

Also in 1994, District 29 (Stroudsburg area) is spun off from District 20 (Bethlehem/Allentown area).

1995One year after the size of Section 4 was increased from six districts to nine districts, Pennsylvania revamps its sectional structure. State officials create a fifth section, and re-group all of the state's districts into these five sections. Section 1 covers Southwestern Pennsylvania, Section 2 contains Northwestern Pennsylvania, Section 3 stretches from the top of the state to the bottom in East Central Pennsylvania, Section 4 is Northeastern Pennsylvania, and Section 5 now covers the Philadelphia area.
1998District 30 (Council Rock/Warrington area) is created as a spin-off from District 21 (Lower Bucks County) and District 22 (Central Bucks County).
2001Pennsylvania is assigned to the Mid-Atlantic Region as part of Little League Baseball's expansion of the World Series from eight to sixteen participants.
2004Pennsylvania revamps its sectional structure as two new districts are created. District 3 (Erie County) is re-formed as a spin-off from District 1 (Crawford County) for the second time, while District 8 (Berks County) is split from District 23 (Lancaster County). The state tournament will encompass more than five teams for the first time.
2007Pennsylvania initiates a series of major changes to its tournament structure. The state divides its districts into eight sections, which are divided into Eastern and Western Pennsylvania groups. The four Eastern Pennsylvania sectional champions meet in a round-robin tournament that determines the state's Eastern champion, and the four Western champions compete in a similar tournament for the Western Pennsylvania title. The two winners then meet in a best 2-of-3 series that determines the state's champion. For 2007 only, District 16 is divided into East and West tournaments, and advances two teams to sectional level competition, while District 17 is divided into North and South tournaments. The two additional sectional qualifiers mean that 31 teams compete in post-district tournaments.
2008Three new districts are formed:
  • District 6 (Harrisburg area) is spun off from District 14 (York area)
  • District 31 (Wilkes-Barre area - West) is spun off from District 16 (Wilkes-Barre area - East
  • District 32 (Scranton area - North) is spun off from District 17 (Scranton area - South)
  • 2011Pennsylvania officials dissolve the Eastern and Western Pennsylvania tournament structure, and instead advance all eight sectional champions to the state tournament.
    2021District 8 (Berks County) is dissolved and merged into District 23 (now Lancaster and Berks Counties).

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