A summer tradition is back, as the 2021 Little League World Series is underway from Williamsport, Pa, taking place from Aug. 19-29. After having to cancel the tournament in 2020, the 2021 edition will look a little different than in past years, as there will be no international teams competing.
With no international teams, rather than just having a signal team representing their region, the top two teams from regional qualifying will participate in the 2021 Little League World Series representing their state. The qualifying teams are broken up into two divisions, the Hank Aaron Championship Teams and the Tom Seaver Championship Teams.
The Hank Aaron Championship Team bracket includes Hawaii, Nebraska, Michigan, Washington, Connecticut, New Jersey, Florida and Texas.
The Tom Seaver Championship Team bracket features Tennessee, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Ohio, California, Oregon and South Dakota.
The Little League World Series is always a fun time to showcase young talented players and their love of baseball. Some memorable youngsters that appeared in the tournament include Mo’ne Davis, Todd Frazier, Cody Bellinger, Gary Sheffield and Jason Varitek.
Unfortunately, due to the rise in COVID cases in recent weeks, in addition to not having international teams, the Little League World Series will be missing another traditional element — fans. It has been announced that there will be no general admission for the LLWS to better ensure the safety of the players, coaches, volunteers and families.
Instead, fans will just have to settle for watching the game on TV. Here’s what you need to know to do that.
2021 Little League World Series schedule
ESPN will once again be the broadcast home for the Little League World Series, with every game being shown on either ESPN, ESPN 2 or ABC. ESPN will also take care of the streaming for each and every Little League World Series game, offering coverage on ESPN Plus.
The Little League World Series has reached the semifinals, with the final games taking place this weekend, Aug. 28-29. Still vying for the LLWS title is South Dakota and its star pitcher Gavin Weir, who has been the breakout player of the tournament, having thrown two no-hitters; though because of tournament rules, he will not be eligible to pitch in either game this weekend due to his most recent start on Wednesday.
Here is full bracket for the tournament, with results for every game. And here’s the remaining schedule for the 2021 Little League World Series:
Tom Seaver Final: Ohio vs. South Dakota,12:30 p.m. ET, ABC
Hank Aaron Final: Michigan vs. Hawaii, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC
Consolation Game,10 a.m. ET, ESPN
LLWS Final, 3 p.m. ET, ABC
Also this week (Aug. 16-18), are the final games for the Little League Softball World Series, which is taking place in Greenville, N.C. ESPN is also covering all of these games across its various networks, including ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPNU, ESPNNews and ESPN Plus.
Special Little League World Series events
In addition to the Little League World Series games, we’re getting a few special events throughout the 10-day tournament.
First up will be a pair of KidsCast broadcasts. The first KidsCast will be for the 7 p.m. game on Aug. 22 and will serve as an alternative broadcast on ESPN 2 to the main ESPN coverage of the game. The second KidsCast on Aug. 24 at 7:30 p.m. will actually be the standalone broadcast of the game, the first such time ESPN is doing that. As for broadcasters, LLWS alum Mo’Ne Davis will be on hand to provide game analysis, while aspiring broadcasters Ian Nicholas (New Canaan, Conn.), Zoe Alter (Chappaqua, N.Y.) and Hayley Galindo (San Antonio) will call the games.
A tradition that started a few years ago will continue, as a regular season MLB game will take place in Williamsport (on a regulation sized field). This year’s matchup will take pace on Aug. 22 at 7:10 p.m. ET and be between the Los Angeles Angels and Cleveland Indians, airing on ESPN.
There will also be the Little League Home Run Derby, taking place on Aug. 24 and airing on broadcast on Aug. 29 at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN.
How to watch the Little League World Series
ESPN is a cable network, so in order to watch any of the games airing on ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPNNews or ESPNU, you will need to subscribe to a cable package or a vMVPD service like Fubo TV, Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV or YouTube TV. For any games airing on ABC, you can use any of these methods or a go old-fashioned TV antenna to view your local ABC station.
LLWS action can also be viewed on the WatchESPN app or, when on ABC, watchabc.com, pending your provider offers those channels.
To stream any LLWS games through ESPN Plus, you must sign up for the streaming service, which is priced at $6.99 per month.
If you are not in the U.S. and don’t have access to these channels, fear not, you can tune in to the Little League World Series from anywhere in the world if you use a virtual private network, or VPN.
A VPN routes the network traffic to and from your computer through a specific set of servers in a specific country, allowing for users to watch content on an encrypted feed.
Michael Balderston is a D.C.-based entertainment writer and content producer for What to Watch. He previously has written for TV Technology and Awards Circuit.
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