Babe Ruth League Inc. (BRL) started as a 10-team league in Hamilton, New Jersey back in 1951.
Since then, it has grown tremendously to one million active players each year with 59,000 teams belonging to more than 10,000 baseball and softball leagues in the USA and Canada*
BRL first held its 14 year old (14U) World Series in Clifon Park, New York in 1999.
* Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, Canadian teams did not participate in the 2021 Babe Ruth 14U World Series.
Although the 12U Little League World Series is still considered to be the powerhouse in terms of brand recognition, Babe Ruth World Series for 13U, 14U, 15U and 13-15U (combined) is readily recognized in the baseball community.
The trail to a Babe Ruth Baseball World Series begin at the local league to the regional level.
Unlike the Little League, BRL does not have international teams (other than Canada).
Local League Level
Each Cal Ripken Baseball, Babe Ruth Baseball and Babe Ruth Softball league is organized at this community level. Local baseball leagues are staffed with volunteers to organize and run baseball and softball games for both recreation and town travel teams.
Rec leagues run during spring and for some leagues, for fall. Depending on the number of players, a league may attract players from surrounding towns. This ensures that there are enough teams in a given league and also gives playing opportunity to out-of-town kids who may otherwise not play softball or baseball.
Some leagues form the “all star” teams at the end of the season to play at the district level.
Town travel teams
Sometimes referred to as “all star” teams, these teams are typically formed for fall into following spring season. If there are enough players, the league may form multiple teams (i.e. 12u-A, 12u-B, etc.).
The highest skilled travel teams tend to play in tournament games (must more competitive town travel and club teams play in tournament games) during weekends whereas weaker travel teams may play in league games.
Many of these teams compete at for-profit leagues and tournaments such as USABL (well know in the mid Atlantic region).
The District Level
A district is a defined area consisting of five to ten leagues (smaller states have one district; most states have multiple districts).
Any Babe Ruth chartered teams can enter the district playoffs though Babe Ruth rule specifies that any teams entering in the district competition must have players living in that town (unless the other town does not have BRL chartered teams).
For example, due to population density, New Jersey (Mid-Atlantic region) is divided into “2 states”: Northern NJ and Southern NJ.
As of 2021, for Northern NJ, there are 8 districts:
In turn, the district 10, which includes the 2021 14-year-old World Series Champion team from Bridgewater, consists of 8 teams:
- Basking Ridge
- North Hunterdon
The State Level
Winners from the district playoffs compete at the state level.
Depending on the size of your state, BRL may have multiple state champions. For example, New Jersey is divided into 2 parts so each year, there are 2 NJ state champion: one for North NJ and one for South NJ.
The Regional Level
There are eight total regions within the Babe Ruth League:
- Pacific Northwest Region – Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming
- Pacific Southwest Region – California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah
- Midwest Plains Region – North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota
- Southwest Region – New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama
- Ohio Valley Region – Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan, West Virginia
- Southeast Region – Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida
- Middle Atlantic Region – Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, New York
- New England Region – Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maine
State champions compete at the regional where they participate in the double elimination round (i.e. you don’t automatically get eliminated if you lose )
You team has to pass through multiple hurdles to reach the World Series:
Advancing in a tournament
There are three ways to conduct a tournament:
- Single elimination
- Double elimination
- Pool play
In a single-elimination tournament, one defeat results in elimination (i.e. you lose, you go home).
A double-elimination tournament allows a losing team to continue to play, eve after losing a game, as long as it does not lose a total of two games.
Advancing via double elimination route is very difficult for the players because it is physically and mentally demanding (sometimes a team can end up playing 5 games in 3 or 4 days) – see Wikipedia for more info.
is a type of elimination tournament competition in which a participant ceases to be eligible to win the tournament’s championship upon having lost two games or matches.
- Qualified teams participate in the district championships – single elimination
- District champions participate in the state championship(s) – single elimination
- State champions participate in the regional championship – single elimination
- Regional champions participate in the World Series – double elimination
World Series teams are usually comprised of:
- One team from each region (total of 8 teams)
- One team from the hosting city
- One team from the hosting state (alternate team may be chosen by the BRL board)
Ten teams from the 14U division will compete for the 14U World Series title in a pool play (unlike the regional championship where a double elimination round is used).
- At the end of pool play, top seeded American and National teams gets a bye (rest – definite advantage in terms of pitching)
- For the quarter-finals, the second place teams play against the third place teams (from each division)
- For the semi-finals, top seeded teams play against the winner from the quarter-finals
- Winners play in the championship
Teams are then brackets into American and National divisions at random and each team ends up playing 4 games.
The trail to the world series championship starts with eight regional champions all across the United States and Canada.
Trail to the 2021 Babe Ruth 14U Baseball World Series
- 2021 Babe Ruth League 14U Baseball World Series – Regional Champions
- Sites & Dates for Baseball and Softball World Series
- 2021 Babe Ruth League 14U Baseball World Series – Pool Play Schedule
- 2021 Babe Ruth League 14u Baseball World Series – Semi-Final Schedule
- 2021 Babe Ruth League 14U Baseball World Series – Quarter-Final Playoff Schedule
2021 Game Results – bracket view
2021 Game Results – team view
- Pacific Northwest Regional Champion (Sandy, OR)
- Pacific Southwest Regional Champion (Tri-Valley, CA)
- Midwest Plains Regional Champion (Rapid City, SD)
- Host City Team (Ottumwa, IA)
- Midwest Plains State Representative – Runner Up (West Fargo, ND)
- Ohio Valley Regional Champion (Eau-Claire, WI)
- Southwest (Bryant, AR)
- Southeast Regional Champion (Tallahassee, FL)
- Mid Atlantic Regional Champion (Bridgewater, NJ)
- New England Regional Champion (Keene, NH)
- Its a double elimination round