Starting Friday, the 15th Cal Ripken World Series will take place at the Ripken Experience powered by Under Armour complex in Aberdeen.
The CRWS, "Where the world comes to play, the Ripken Way," is the culminating tournament of the Babe Ruth League's 12U Cal Ripken Division for teams who play with 70-foot base paths and 50-foot pitching distance.
This year's series will field 18 teams, 10 from within the United States and eight more to make up the international pool. Highlighting the field are two new entries to the international pool. New Zealand and Puerto Rico are first time participants.
Other national teams are Japan, Mexico, Republic of Korea, Dominican Republic, Australia and Canada.
The Japan team will be defending its country's 2013 CRWS championship.
Harford County champion and host, the Hickory Hornets, will highlight the United States field. The other teams are Maryland champ: Prince Georges County; Middle Atlantic: Bear, Del.; Midwest Plains: Southeast Denver, Col.; New England: Danbury, Ct.; Ohio Valley: Homewood/Chicago, Ill.; Pacific Northwest: Meridian, Idaho; Pacific Southwest: Hanford, Cal.; Southeast: West Raleigh, N.C.; and Southwest: Little Rock, Ark.
All fans in attendance Friday at 5 p.m. will have the opportunity to participate in a possible Guinness World Record. The attempt will be for the title for Most People Blowing a Bubble Gum Bubble Simultaneously. The current title was achieved with 544 people, set June 6, 2013, by the Lester B. Pearson School in Aurora, Ontario, Canada.
Friday's series opening ceremonies will begin at 6 p.m. with the skills competition and home run derby a part of it. The first game of the series will follow at 8 p.m., pitting Bear, Del., against Harford's Hickory Hornets. All will take place on Cal Sr.'s Yard, a two-thirds size replica of Camden Yards.
Pool play games will run from Saturday through Wednesday on Cal Sr.'s Yard and Nationals Park. Semifinals will be played Thursday, Aug. 14, with United States and International championships set for Friday, Aug. 15.
The World Championship game will be played at Cal Sr.'s Saturday, Aug. 16, at 8 p.m.
All tournament games are free to the public.
For more information about the 2014 Cal Ripken World Series, visit http://www.ripkenbaseball.com/world_series.