Southern Region Tournament Milestones

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The Southern Region tournament series structure has changed several times since the first region tournament was held in 1957. Key events in the evolution of this structure include the following:

YEARMILESTONE
1957The Southern Region tournament is inaugurated as a four-team, single-elimination tournament. Qualifiers for the tournament include the Texas state champion, as well as three divisional tournament winners. The region tournament is held in St. Matthews, Kentucky, in 1957 and 1958.
1959The region tournament relocates to Norfolk, Virginia, where it would remain through 1966.
1967The region tournament relocates to St. Petersburg, Florida for the first time. With the exception of 1971, every Southern Region tournament since this time has been held in St. Petersburg.
1968Delaware and Maryland are moved from the Southern Region to the East.
1971For the first time, all state champions advance directly to the region tournament, and the divisional feeder structure is not used. The expanded thirteen-team event relocates for one year back to Norfolk before permanently moving to St. Petersburg in 1972.
1975The region tournament reverts to the four-team format for the 1975 tournament season before again encompassing all thirteen Southern Region state champions in 1976.
1992The Southern Region tournament converts to a double-elimination format.
1997The region tournament's format is changed again, as officials establish two pools and conduct simultaneous double-elimination preliminary round sections. The winners in each section compete in a winner-take-all championship game that determines the Southern Region champions.
2000In preparation for the World Series expansion set to occur in 2001, Oklahoma moves into the Southern Region, and Kentucky migrates to the Central Region.
2001Little League Baseball expands the World Series field from eight to sixteen teams. As a result, each of the four U.S. regions is split into two divisions. The South is split into Southeast and Gulf States divisions, and the winners of these two tournaments advance to the World Series. Both tournaments are held in St. Petersburg for the 2001 International Tournament.
2002Little League Baseball creates a new Southwest Region, which is headquartered in Waco, Texas. Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas are reassigned from the South to the new region, along with Colorado and New Mexico from the Western Region. The eight remaining states in the Southern Region will compete for a single World Series berth rather than in the divisions created the prior year.

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Last revision: 04/28/2002