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Wisconsin State Tournament Milestones

The structure of Little League Baseball's international tournament in Wisconsin 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
1957Wisconsin leagues are organized into two districts, and the two district champions meet to determine the state champion. The Wisconsin champion advances to the North Region Division 1 tournament, which feeds into the North Region tournament. District 1 includes leagues in Northern Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula, and the UP's Escanaba JC Little League advances to the Little League World Series in 1957.
1959District 3 (Northern Wisconsin) is split from District 1, and District 4 (Southern Wisconsin) is split from District 2 (Fox River Valley).
1965The state's district boundaries undergo significant revision. The Upper Peninsula is split into a separate district that continues to compete in the Wisconsin state tournament, and District 1 is re-formed to cover the Milwaukee area. District 3 now encompasses the portion of Wisconsin previously aligned with District 1. The four Wisconsin and one Upper Peninsula districts continue to compete in a four-team state tournament, with two of the district champions meeting in a bi-district game prior to the state tournament.
1968The Minnesota state champion joins Wisconsin and Upper Peninsula district champions in a sectional tournament. Two bi-district games precede a four-team sectional tournament as the six district champions vie to become one of the four teams to qualify for the North Region Division 1 tournament.
1973In a one year experiment, all Central Region state champions advance directly to the region tournament. Upper Peninsula and Minnesota leagues compete in their respective state tournament brackets. In 1974, the tournament reverts to its previous format, with Wisconsin leagues again facing counterparts from Minnesota and the Upper Peninsula in a sectional tournament.
1975The Upper Peninsula champion begins competing in Michigan state tournament structure. Wisconsin and Minnesota continue to play in a Central Region sectional tournament, with the winner qualifying for the Central Region Division 1 tournament.
1976District 5 (Northern Wisconsin) is formed as a spin-off from District 3 (Northwestern Wisconsin).
1980District 6 (Milwaukee Area - South) is formed as a spin-off from District 1 (Milwaukee Area - North).
1982Little League Baseball replaces the multi-state sectional tournaments with state tournaments, and Wisconsin and Minnesota begin crowning separate state champions. The six Wisconsin district champions compete in a single-elimination state tournament, with the winner joining six other state champions in the Central Region Division 1 tournament.
1988Wisconsin officials begin using a double-elimination format at the state tournament.
2001Wisconsin officials implement a pool play format at the state tournament. In 2001, state tournament qualifiers are divided into two three-team pools, with the top two teams advancing to the semifinal round.

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

2002State officials modify the state tournament format so that the state's six district champions play a round-robin format, with the top two finishers in the round-robin standings then meeting in the state championship game.
2004Wisconsin officials retain the state tournament's round-robin format, but advance the top four round-robin finishers to the semifinal round.

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Last revision: 02/17/2005