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RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany — Steady rain on the first day of the DODDS-Europe softball tournaments forced a change in the formats and the cancellation of several games.

The nine-team Big Schools tournament — for teams in Divisions I and II — was changed to a single-elimination bracket from one that began with pool play in three groups followed by a single-elimination tournament. There will also be a consolation bracket for teams eliminated from the winner’s bracket.

The four-team Small Schools event was changed from a straight round-robin format with the teams playing doubleheaders and the one with the best record declared the champion, to a round-robin of single games followed by a single-elimination championship game between those with the top two records.

Start of play in Big Schools tournament was pushed back from its scheduled 8 a.m. start until around 2:30 p.m. as crews labored to dry the two fields at Ramstein High School.

When play began, Kaiserslautern and Mannheim, the two lowest seeds, were matched in a play-in game. Kaiserslautern won 21-1 to move into the eight-team championship bracket.

In the opening games of the Small Schools event, Incirlik nipped Rota 12-11 and London Central downed conference rival Alconbury 19-14.

The format changes mean that Saturday’s championship schedule has the Big Schools third-place game at 9 a.m. The Small Schools championship game is to follow at 11 a.m., with the Big Schools title game at 1 p.m.

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