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Michigan State Tournament Milestones

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

YEARMILESTONE
1950sMichigan's first Little League charters are established in the 1950s, and Hamtramck National Little League from near Detroit immediately establishes itself as the state's powerhouse, advancing to the Little League World Series in 1955 and 1956.
1957Michigan is organized into four districts, and the first state tournament is held. Leagues located in Michigan's Upper Peninsula compete in the Wisconsin state tournament structure rather than against other Michigan district winners, and in 1957, the Escanaba Jaycees Little League from the Upper Peninsula defeats Hamtramck National Little League in the North Region championship game to advance to the Little League World Series. Upper Peninsula leagues will continue to compete against Wisconsin leagues in the international tournament structure through the 1974 international tournament.

Michigan's state champion competes in the North Region tournament structure. The Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio state champions compete for two berths in the region tournament. In some years, the Michigan winner advances directly the regional, and in others, they compete in a one-game playoff against either the Indiana or Ohio champion for a berth in the regional.

1959Hamtramck National Little League wins the 13th annual Little League World Series by defeating Northern California's Auburn Little League, 12-0, in the championship game in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Hamtramck National permitted runs in only two of its international tournament games -- a region championship game against St. Joseph (Missouri) Little League, and a Little League World Series semifinal win over Windward Little League from Hawaii.

Also in 1959, District 7 is formed in the Thumb region of East Central Michigan.

1960District 8 (Northern Michigan) is formed as a split from District 1.
1961District 9 (Grand Rapids area) is formed as a split from District 2.

Also in 1961, Michigan establishes sectional tournaments rather than advancing all district champions directly to the state tournament. While the specific grouping of districts into different sections evolves regularly, Michigan continues to use sectional tournaments in each year through the 1987 international tournament, and again from 1994 through 2000.

1974Leagues in the Upper Peninsula (District 10) begin competing in the Michigan state tournament structure rather than Wisconsin's tournament.
1985Central Region officials expand the region tournament to a five-team field, meaning that Michigan's state champion advances directly to the Central Region tournament. Michigan's champion advances directly to region tournament competition in every year from this point forward.
1981Michigan officials use a double-elimination format at the state tournament for the first time.
1989District 11 (Upper Peninsula - West) is formed as a split from District 10.
1991District 12 (Muskegon area) is formed as a split from District 9.
1994District 13 (Northern Michigan - Upper and Lower Peninsulas) is formed as a split from District 8.
1995District 14 (Bay City/Saginaw area) is formed as a split from District 1.
1997District 15 (Southwestern Michigan) is formed as a split from District 2.
2001Michigan is assigned to the Great Lakes Region as Little League Baseball expands the Little League World Series from eight to sixteen participants.
2002Michigan officials use a pool competition format at the state tournament for the first time. Michigan has used a pool format at the state tournament in almost every year since this point.
2003District 16 (Southeastern Michigan) is formed as a split from District 3.

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Last revision: 06/05/2016