No longer will the top teams in the field be slotted to play in the first round of the Alpine Bank Junior College World Series because it’s their turn in the district rotation.

Starting this year, JUCO will be a seeded tournament.

The NJCAA baseball committee and coaches association discussed the desire to do away with the district rotation pairings, and settled on seeding the 10 teams once they’ve qualified through regional and district tournaments.

The JUCO tournament committee is not involved in seeding the tournament, rather, the NJCAA Division I baseball committee will assign seeds. Discussions will begin immediately after all of the qualifying tournaments have ended.

Game times won’t change from the past years, but instead of assigning two districts to each of the five first-round games, which was set up on a 10-year rotation, the No. 4 seed faces the No. 7 seed in Game 1 at 9 a.m. on May 23.

Game 2 at noon features the No. 1 seed against No. 10, followed by the 2-9 matchup at 3 p.m. and the 3-8 game at 7:30 p.m. At 10 a.m. on Sunday, the 5-6 game will be played.

If the seeds hold, the top two teams would play in the winners’ bracket at 7:30 on Wednesday night.

The always-contentious “if three teams remain at Game 18” rule has been altered, finally getting rid of the coin flip that occasionally has determined which team advances to the championship game.

Instead, the note reads: If there are three teams remaining at Game 18, the team with the most games played shall receive a bye to Game 19. If there is a tie for games played, the team that won the head-to-head matchup in the tournament shall receive a bye to Game 19. If the tie is still not able to be broken, the higher seed shall advance to Game 19.

The 2020 JUCO World Series is May 23-30 at Suplizio Field. Tickets will go on sale in the coming weeks.

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