World Series Starts in Laurel - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

World Series Starts in Laurel

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Today marks the beginning of three Dixie Youth World Series taking place at the same time in the same place-the Laurel Sportsplex.

Thirty-six teams including 33 state champs and three host teams are competing in the AAA, Majors and O-zone World Series.

Officials said this is a great opportunity economically for Laurel and the surrounding areas, and it is also a chance to show people from other places what Jones County is made of.

When welcome signs cover the city and chalk covers car windows, Jones County knows it's time for baseball.

"A lot of other cities and states are not able and do not have the facilities and the means of hosting one," Laurel Parks and Recreation Director Elvin Ulmer said, "so it's just great for Laurel to be able to host another Dixie Youth World Series."

Ulmer, said there were about 100 pages of requirements the Sportsplex had to meet to be eligible to host the event, including community support.

Jones County Chamber of Commerce Director Larkin Simpson said Jones County is on board.

"We have so many things and great assets that people can see beyond the ballfield that I hope they take advantage of," Simpson said.

He said this event is a bit different from the Traditional World Series Laurel hosted in 2009.

"Especially this one having three world series at one time is going to be one of the largest events that we've had," Simpson said.

Along with the baseball players, the world series brings moms, dads, brothers and sisters.

"We spent the whole summer at baseball for our brothers because we love them," Georgia fans Lilly Kate Doughman and Tessa Bailey said. 

With so many people in town, Ulmer says to expect traffic delays around Hwy. 84 W.

"We have hotel rooms booked in Meridian, Collins, Hattiesburg and Magee," he confirmed.

He said it's best for locals to avoid the area when possible unless they're coming to enjoy the games.

"I just would like to invite everybody from around the surrounding areas to come and be a part of it," Ulmer said.

He said this will be a full seven days of great baseball.

"The neat part about a Dixie Youth World Series is you have to earn your way to get here," Ulmer said.  "Dixie Youth, you don't just pay a registration fee and go participate in a world series.

The teams playing in Laurel this week won Sub-District, District and State Tournaments to earn their spot.

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