Great North Woods of Lancaster will be making its second straight appearance in the National Babe Ruth 16-Under Softball World Series in Wilson County, N.C.
The 20-team tournament will start Thursday with the round-robin pool format. Great North Woods has been placed in the National Division II bracket with Hamburg, Ark., La Junta, Colo., Washington N.C., and New Kent, Va.
Great North Woods will play each team in its division once and the top two teams will advance to the Elite Eight double-elimination tournament to determine the national champion. There are a total of four five-team divisions in the round-robin phase of the tourney.
Great North Woods, under head coach Forrest Hicks, will open play Thursday at 1 p.m., facing Hamburg and will meet La Junta on Friday at 9 a.m. On Saturday, the New England champs will meet Washington at 1 p.m. and will conclude the round robin phase on Sunday at 9 a.m. against New Kent.
The Elite Eight will open play Monday and a champion will be crowned on Tuesday.
Teams that don’t qualify for the Elite Eight will continue to compete in the single-elimination tournament for the Wilson Cup, assuring all 20 teams that they will play a minimum of five games before departing for home.
New Hampshire State Babe Ruth Commissioner Jim Rivers of Penacook has been selected to this season’s umpiring crew in Wilson County, N.C. It is Rivers’ eighth overall selection to a World Series tournament. Rivers has already served as umpire-in-chief six times in World Series play
“I don’t know for sure if he’s made the most appearances as an umpire for our softball tournaments, but Jim is definitely among the top three all-time,” said Rob Connor, National Commissioner of the Babe Ruth League. “We keep inviting Jim back because, not only is he graded very high each time he’s worked a World Series, he’s proven to be consistent, fair and works well with other umpires. He also has spent time educating other umpires. Jim is one of the best in the country.”
Connor confirmed that Gerry Rosado of Barnstead, who worked with Rivers when Concord hosted the 2009 16-under Babe Ruth Softball World Series in Concord, was also named to the umpiring crew in Wilson County.
Connor said Wilson County is hosting its fourth softball World Series since 2003 and its ninth World Series overall including five baseball tournaments.