Washington County’s Pony World Series returns to normal

When the 2022 Pony League World Series begins Aug. 12, things will be back to normal.

After the 2019 tournament was cancelled by covid-19, the 2020 version had only eight teams.

A full field of 10 teams, including three international teams, will be converging on Washington County next week.

The international teams returning are London, Monterrey, Mexico and New Taipei City, Taiwan. Also entered are Guaynabo; Puerto Rico; Bay County, Mich.; Palmview, Texas; Johnstown; and Washington.

The East Zone and West Zone representatives will be determined this weekend. The East Zone tournament is in High Point, NC, and the West Zone in West Covina, Calif.

“We’re excited to be back to 10 teams,” World Series chairman Nathan Voytek said. “It’s the way it should be. We were thankful that we were able to do something last year. It was still a quality event.

“The international teams is what makes this tournament unique. Bring in Taiwan, you bring in Puerto Rico and Mexico. That’s what makes it different than being a baseball tournament.”

The World Series has seen its share of MLB players.

The latest is Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Chase De Jong, who played in the 2008 World Series for Long Beach, Calif., and was the Easton Sports ERA Award winner.

This is the 70th World Series and the 38th consecutive year it’s been held at Lew Hays Field. The tournament began in 1952 but was held at 11 other sites around the country before returning to Washington.

“The tournament belongs here,” Voytek said. “This is where it started.

“We are blessed to have a number of people within the organization that has been here almost since Day 1, people that have been involved for 20, 30 or 40 years. So there is knowledge and tradition, and those people want to stay involved. ”

Voytek said the group constantly is looking at other events and trying to improve.

“The TV and streaming with West Virginia radio has been outstanding,” Voytek said. “We hope to continue that and increase that platform.”

This year, AT&T SportsNet plans to air six games live and three on tape delay. The championship game Aug. 17 will be live on the CW.

All the games, thanks to a partnership with MLB, will be live streamed.

Voytek hopes more games in the future will be broadcast live. The problem is AT&T is contracted to air the Pirates.

The World Series is sponsored by Dick’s Sporting Goods and Washington County Tourism.

Things begin Thursday from 5:30 pm-7:30 pm, when Penn West California sponsors a FanFest at Dick’s Sporting Goods in Washington.

Home run contest and fastest runner contests will be held 11 am Aug. 12. Opening ceremonies begin at 5:30 pm, followed by two games.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul by email at pschofield@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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