For the first time ever, the three Little Leagues in East Providence are playing in a combined league in the Major Baseball Division. Four teams from Riverside, three teams from East Providence Central and three teams from Rumford have joined with two teams from Warren to form a 12-team Interleague.
The seeds for this league were planted as early as 2004 when East Providence Central played interleague games with Rumford during the regular season. Riverside meanwhile had instituted interleague games with Warren for both regular season and playoffs. After a year off from interleague play, East Providence Central began play against Riverside and Warren teams in 2006. The Interleague stayed this way for five years with a varying number of teams representing each league. In 2011 Rumford joined the Interleague.
Thus, this is the first year little league baseball players in East Providence have played games in all three sections of the city; at Forbes Field in Riverside, Rodericks Field in East Providence and the Kimberly Rock complex in Rumford. They are also playing at Hugh Cole Field in Warren. The advantages to this are numerous as the players are getting valuable experience playing games at different fields.
With the addition of the Rumford teams, the Interleague has been divided into two divisions this year. The East Division features the four Riverside teams and the two Warren teams. The West Division is comprised of the three teams from East Providence Central and the three teams from Rumford. Teams play each team in their own division twice and teams in the other division once for a total of sixteen games. There will be a single elimination playoff at the end of the regular season.
As of this writing most teams have played ten regular season games. So far the season has featured many outstanding games including extra-inning games which have gone ten, nine, and eight innings respectively. (There are normally six innings in a Little League game.) In future posts the league standings will be published and several of the outstanding performances by individual players will be highlighted.