Maine’s Babe Ruth baseball organization has attempted to level the playing field when it comes to teams qualifying for its state tournaments.

This summer the group decided to abandon the use of district playoffs to determine which teams qualified for state tournament play.

“Over the last three or four years, participation in some district tournaments has dwindled,” said the Babe Ruth state commissioner, Steve Tricomi. “One district would have all their leagues participate, and you go to another district and only one or two (leagues) would participate.”

Some of the teams were thoroughly tested when they arrived at one of the double-elimination state tournaments, while others had played no more than two games.

“Some of the districts would play a full-out, five- or six-team tournament for the right to go to the state tournament, and another district champion was either playing no one or just one other team to go to the states,” Tricomi said.

“It was sort of inequity on both sides. You could say one team is hitting their stride because they’ve played four or five games, or one team is worn out because they’ve played games.”

Instead of holding five district tournaments, the organization held four-team preliminary-round tournaments.

Some of those playoff brackets included teams from two or more districts. The top two teams from each of the four groups advanced to the state tournament.

“We sort of leveled the playing field a little bit,” Tricomi said.

This summer, most of the teams in Babe Ruth baseball’s three state tournaments had to play three games to get into their state tournaments.

The five-day, nine-team Babe Ruth state tournament for 13-15 year-olds will start Saturday at Deering Oaks.

The winner will advance to the New Englands, which starts Aug. 3 at Adams Field in Quincy, Mass.

On Wednesday, double-elimination state tournaments started at Keyes Field in Fairfield for the Babe Ruth 14s and at the RADR Complex in Harrison for the Babe Ruth 13s.

Regional tournaments will start July 28 in Winooski, Vt., for the Babe Ruth 14s and July 27 in Westfield, Mass., for the Babe Ruth 13s.

Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: PaulBetitPPH


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