Mark your calendars: Junior League World Series is the week of August 15

The Junior League World Series of baseball returns to Heritage Park in Taylor, Michigan, for the 30th straight year. The international tournament for the best teams of 13- and 14-year-old players from around the world takes place the week of August 15.

Opening ceremonies begin at 8 p.m. Saturday, August 14. Festivities will include the colorful parade of champions, speeches by dignitaries, the ceremonial first pitch -- and fireworks!

Games begin Sunday, August 15. Four games will be played the first five days of the series -- Sunday through Thursday. Teams play in one of two divisions: the USA Pool or the International Pool.

The top two teams in each pool play for the USA and International championships on Friday, August 20. The winners of those games play for the world championship of the Junior League division of Little League baseball on Saturday, August 21.

Of significant note: The world championship game will begin at 2 p.m. on August 21 -- three hours earlier than usual. Little League International made the announcement, saying the earlier starting time would affect all World Series under Little League's jurisdiction. The move was made to accommodate ESPN, which will once again televise the championship game.

Scottsdale, Arizona, is the defending champion, defeating Aruba in the title game a year ago.

More news will follow in the weeks ahead.