At the annual meeting of the Minnesota Baseball Association in October, Director Fred Roufs brought up the following proposal: The board has been looking for ways to boost our tournament attendance. After looking at different options, the board is proposing to add 16 teams to the class “C” tournament, increasing it to 48 teams. The additional 16 teams will be offered as a reward to Leagues or Regions, who have held a steady or above average attendance over the past 10 years. The top six leagues are: Stearns, Victory, Crow River, DRS, Tomahawk and North Star. These leagues will send two extra teams to the state. The next four regions will send three teams to state, the remaining six will send two teams to the State Tournament.
That proposal became reality at the November 19th meeting of the MBA. The Board of Directors voted unanimously to go to a 48 team Class C State Tournament played over three weekends, ending on Labor Day. This tournament will be a single elimination tournament. The first weekend will consist of the 16 region winners receiving a bye. The other 32 teams will play one game each. The second weekend will pit the 16 bye teams vs the winners of the first round. The third weekend will consist of a possible four games to the Championship.
In the past, all 16 regions sent two teams to the State Tournament, which resulted in a 32 team State Tournament. In 2012 six regions will send four teams to state; four regions will send three teams to state; and six regions will send two to state, all based on their attendance figures over the past ten years.
The top six regions are: 2, 3, 7, 8, 12, 15. These regions will each send four teams to the State Tournament. The next four regions are: 4, 6, 11,13. These regions will each send three teams to the State Tournament. The last six regions are: 1, 5, 9, 10, 14, 16. These regions will each send two teams to the State Tournament.
One major change that was addressed with State Tournament play was drafting in Class C. Teams will now be allowed to draft three pitchers (it had been reduced to two in 2011). These pitchers will not be allowed to hit. Also, teams could draft these pitchers from any team in the region that does not go to the State Tournament. It may be after league play or after region play, or a combination of both. That will be for each region to decide.
Class C regions have not yet been decided for the 2012 season, however, many regions have been constant over the years. The Region alignment meeting will be held in April, 2012.