1985 Aptos Little Leaguer to Officiate Baseball World Series in South Williamsport, Pa.
Shawn Simpson, now of Simi Valley, California will be representing the Western region and will be one of 16 umpires officiating in the 2018 Little League Baseball World Series. According to Shawn’s father, Bruce (his parents, Bruce and Billie Simpson still live in Aptos), Shawn was a 1991 graduate of Aptos High School and is now working in the tech industry in Southern California. Shawn began umpiring for the Little League in 1997. He has been volunteering for over 20 years and was the Western Regional Umpire Supervisor in 2006.
According to the Little League, volunteer umpires like Shawn are one of the most important aspects in the success of Little League programs around the world and in the Little League International Tournament. The selection process to become a World Series umpire is lengthy and rigorous. Appointment as a member of the umpiring crew for a World Series is the highest honor that Little League can bestow on a volunteer umpire. Being chosen to work the Little League Baseball World Series is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
The 2018 Little League Baseball World Series starts on Thursday, August 16 and ends on Sunday, August 26. ESPN will be televising the tournament.
The qualification process for the Little League World Series begins when each local Little League program puts together an all-star team within its league. That team goes on to compete in district, sectional and state tournaments, most of which are double-elimination. The state champions (each state sends two teams) go on to a regional competition, broken up into eight regions: • New England • Mid-Atlantic • Southeast • Great Lakes • Midwest • Northwest • Southwest • West.
Eight divisions also compete in the international bracket: • Canada • Mexico • Caribbean, Latin America • Japan • Asia-Pacific • Europe-Middle East-Africa • Trans-Atlantic. More than 7,000 teams – 6,500 in the U.S. – participate in the tournament, with 6,500 of them eliminated within the first three weeks.
World Series Format
The Little League World Series is contested by 16 teams: the eight winners of the regional tournaments and eight international champions determined by double elimination. The two brackets (the U.S. and international brackets) are divided into two pools. The winner of each pool goes on to a single-elimination championship game within its bracket. Then the U.S. and international champions compete for the World Series title in the championship game.
Each team still will play at least three games. The four teams that lose both games in their pool will play a consolation match against an international team that also dropped out in two games.
Players must be between the ages of 11 and 13. The birth-date cutoff is May. That means many of the players in the later rounds of the tournament have already turned 13. Since 1974 girls have been allowed to participate in the Little League World Series,
Be sure to join Bruce and Billie, Shawn’s father and mother, and watch for Shawn Simpson on ESPN during the series.