Earlier start date, smaller 12-team format for summer baseball tournament
FARMINGTON – The Connie Mack World Series has been restructured to keep past and current elements intact.
Starting in 2019, the most prestigious tournament in the Four Corners will start one week earlier and will also return to a 12-team format.
However, pool play will remain to ensure extra games and to determine championship bracket seedings - giving teams an equal shot at the title.
The arrivals and opening ceremony festivities will be held July 24 and 25, respectively, and pool play will be held July 26 and 27.
Pool play, which will now include the host team, will determine seedings for the double-elimination championship bracket, which will take place July 28 through Aug. 3.
"Moving it up a week will benefit us," CMWS vice chairman Tyson Snyder said. “We were conflicting with other national tournaments. Some of the players were coming for a portion of the tournament and having to depart early to make it to multiple national tournaments."
In the previous two years, 17 teams competed in pool play for 10 spots in the championship bracket. The host team went straight into championship bracket play in 2017 and 2018.
Snyder said foster families wouldn’t know which players they’d house until the championship bracket was set. This time, Snyder said players will stay with host families from start to end.
Snyder said making the most of the foster family experience was another key factor for the restructured bracket.
Coaches on board
Midland Redskins coach Dave Evans said the new time window for the tournament will work out better for the squads with players starting fall sports closer to mid-August, specifically the East Coast players.
“This gives them the opportunity to get to football instead of showing up a week before the season. That’s a positive thing, there’s no question about it,” Evans said.
Evans also said he likes the new pool play format because he won’t have to burn the top end of his starting rotation just to get into the championship bracket.
“It’s a lot less pressure,” Evans said. “At least this way, everybody has chance.”
Evans also said the new format gives all the teams a chance to play at Ricketts Park, rather than Farmington Sports Complex or Worley Field.
“It’s fantastic. You want to play at Ricketts Park in front of a packed house,” Evans said. “You have the opportunity to meet some people from the west in Farmington, a different culture. It’s really cool for them.”
Moving to digital ticket format
Rather than just purchasing print tickets at Ricketts Park, one can buy tickets online and print them at home.
One can also have their tickets printed out at the stadium's box office, or they can show their pre-paid tickets on their smartphones.
Snyder said the database could also help tournament personnel communicate with CMWS season ticket holders more easily.
2018 Tournament: What you need to know about the 2018 Connie Mack World Series
2018 Bracket: Connie Mack World Series championship bracket
2018 CMWS Results: Midland downs D-BAT to repeat as Connie Mack World Series champion
Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.