The Connecticut Senior American Legion State Tournament is going to look different this season and the winner will not be advancing to the Northeast Regionals.
Instead, 10 teams will be competing in a qualifying tournament beginning July 24 with the winner advancing to the Northeast Regionals.
The tournament begins with two single-elimination play-in games Saturday.
No. 10 Norwich will travel to play No. 7 NCL at 1 p.m. and No. 9 West Hartford will be at No. 8 Greenwich at noon.
Waterford is the No. 1 seed and will face the winner of the Greenwich/West Hartford matchup Monday at 5:45 p.m.
The No. 2 seed is Madison, which will host the NCL/Norwich winner Monday at 5:45 p.m.
The other opening-round matchups in the double-elimination tournament are, No. 5 Meriden at No. 4 Fairfield and No. 6 Wallingford at No. 3 RCP, both at 5:45 p.m.
The qualifying tournament will run July 24-31 with the semifinals and finals at Muzzy Field in Bristol.
Teams not competing in the qualifying tournament as well as teams eliminated from the tournament are eligible to come back to play in the traditional state tournament, which begins August 3.
The winner of the Northeast Regional, which starts August 3, will advance to the American Legion World Series in Shelby, North Carolina.
Last season the Regionals and Nationals were canceled due to COVID-19.
Normally the Legion season ends by July 16 and the state tournament begins with a winner emerging by the first weekend of August and advancing to Regionals.
With the CIAC leaving open a window for spring football, the Legion season began late and opted for the 10-team qualifying tournament as a way to keep the regular season the same length while still having a team qualify for Regionals.
For teams not playing in the qualifying tournament, the regular Legion season will continue and end Aug. 1. Additionally, as teams are eliminated from the qualifying tournament, they may return to the regular season and play in the state tournament which will be comprised of 32 teams.
2021 Connecticut Northeast Regional qualifier
At higher seeds
Saturday, July 24
No. 10 Norwich at No. 7 NCL, 1 p.m.
No. 9 West Hartford at No. 8 Greenwich, noon
Monday, July 26
Game 1: No. 8 Greenwich/West Hartford winner at No. 1 Waterford, 5:45 p.m.
Game 2: No. 5 Meriden at No. 4 Fairfield, 5:45 p.m.
Game 3: No. 6 Wallingford at No. 3 RCP, 5:45 p.m.
Game 4: No. 7 NCL/Norwich winner at No. 2 Madison, 5:45 p.m.
Tuesday, July 27
Game 5: Loser game 1 vs. loser game 2, loser eliminated
Game 6: Loser game 3 vs. loser game 4, loser eliminated
Game 7: winner game 1 vs. winner game 2
Game 8: Winner game 3 vs. winner game 4
Wednesday, July 28
Game 9: Winner game 5 vs. winner game 6, loser eliminated
Game 10: Winner game 6 vs. loser game 7, loser eliminated
Game 11: Winner game 7 vs. winner game 8
Thursday, July 29
At Muzzy Field, Bristol
Game 12: Winner game 9 vs. winner game 10 or winner game 9*
Game 13: Winner game 11 vs. winner game 9 or winner game 10*
*Game 12 and 13 will not match previous opponents unless necessary
Friday, July 30
At Muzzy Field, Bristol
Game 14: Winner game 12 vs. winner game 13
Game 15: If necessary, winner game 11 vs. winner game 14
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