The eight-team field for the American Legion baseball senior state tournament is set, and it does not include Manchester’s Post 79.
According to New Hampshire American Legion officials, Post 79 violated the national enrollment rule that prohibits legion teams from drawing players from high schools with a combined enrollment that exceeds 5,000. Each team’s enrollment figure is based on grades 10 through 12, and includes both boys and girls.
Post 79’s roster exceeded the limit by 178.
As a result, games that involved Post 79 this season will not count in the District A standings. Rick Harvey, the state’s director for junior legion, said making Post 79 forfeit all of its games was an option, but legion officials opted to eliminate all Post 79 games from the official standings instead.
“They’re an illegal team that’s been playing all year, so we decided not to count those games,” Harvey said. “As it turned out, either way we did it (the tournament field) would have been the same. We were letting Post 79 play its games out because we never heard back from national until Friday night.
“We’ve been having various problems with Post 79 for three years. The paperwork, as far as being on time … they’ve been struggling with that. We try to help teams when we can, but in this case it was too late. Their roster was locked in. There was nothing we could do.”
Post 79 had a 9-6 record in District A with one district game to play when the ruling was made. Two District A teams with six losses and one with seven qualified for the state tournament.
“They were one of the stronger teams,” Harvey said. “They were right in the mix.”
The double-elimination state tournament begins Friday at Concord’s Memorial Field. Friday’s schedule: Laconia vs. Rochester (9 a.m.); Lebanon vs. Derry (noon); Goffstown vs. Nashua (4 p.m.) and Concord vs. Londonderry (7 p.m.).