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A Little League World Series game at Howard J.
Lamade Stadium in South Williamsport.


The Little League World Series is a baseball tournament for children aged 11 to 13 years old. Named for the World Series in Major League Baseball, it was first held in 1947 and is held every August in Williamsportmarker, Pennsylvaniamarker in the United Statesmarker. (The postal address of the organization is in Williamsportmarker, but the stadium complex is in South Williamsport.) Initially, only teams from the US competed in the "World Series" but it has since become a worldwide tournament. The tournament has gained popular renown, especially in the United States, where games from the Series and even from regional tournaments are broadcast on ESPN.In 2006, the age limit was changed such that players could turn 13 after May 1, not August 1, as had previously been the case. As the competitions take place in the Northern Hemisphere summer, many of the players have already turned 13 before the World Series.

The Little League World Series is one of eight tournaments sponsored by Little League International. Each of them brings baseball or softball all-star teams from around the world together in one of four age divisions. The tournament structure described here is that used for the Little League Baseball World Series. The structure used for the other World Series is similar.

Qualifying tournaments

Welcome sign in the Little League World Series Complex
In the summer months leading up to the Little League World Series, held each year in August, Little Leagues around the world select an All-Star team made up of players from its league. It is these All-Star teams that compete in district, sectional and/or divisional and regional tournaments, hoping to advance to Williamsport for the Little League World Series. How many games a team has to play varies from region to region. In the United States, the tournaments at the lowest (district) level lack nationwide standardization. Some use pool play or double elimination, while others use single elimination.

In the United States, the fate of district winners varies widely from state to state. In some larger states such as Pennsylvania, New York, Florida and California, the district winners advance to one of many sectional tournaments. The winners of each sectional tournament then advance to a state or divisional tournament, the latter only being held in Texas and California and are similar to the state tournaments held in less densely populated states. Most smaller states lack competition at the sectional level and go straight from district to state tournaments. A handful of states are composed of only one district, and the district champion is the automatic state champion.

With 4 exceptions, every state as well as the District of Columbiamarker crowns a state champion, and sends that team to represent it to one of eight regional tournaments. The exceptions involve Californiamarker, Texasmarker, and the states of North Dakotamarker and South Dakotamarker. Because of their large geographic and population sizes, California and Texas send two representatives to their regional tournament; Northern California and Southern California in the West region tournament and Texas East and Texas West (whose areas encompass more than the geographical areas of East Texas and West Texas, splitting roughly along the I-35/I-37 corridor) compete in the Southwest region tournament. However, North Dakota does not have any towns who play through Little League, and the Dakotasmarker have one district spanning the two states, and its winner becomes the joint champion and advances to the Midwest region tournament.

The state champions (as well as the Northern California, Southern California, Texas East, Texas West and Dakotas champions) compete in one of eight different regional tournaments. Each regional tournament winner then advances to the Little League World Series. See [69377] for a comprehensive breakdown of current and historical US regional tournament locations, participants and results.

Other countries and regions pick their own way of crowning a champion. Little League Canadamarker holds tournaments at the provincial and regional level to field five champions at the national tournament: Ontariomarker, Quebecmarker, British Columbiamarker, the Atlantic Provincesmarker, and the Prairie Provinces. The host site of the national tournament varies from year to year, and the host team gets an automatic berth as the sixth team. The tournament is played as a round robin and uses the page playoff format. The winner of the national tournament earns the right to represent Canada at the Little League World Series.

World Series breakdown

A Little League World Series Game at Howard J.
Lamade Stadium in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania, USA.


The Little League World Series consists of 16 teams—8 from the United States, and 8 from other countries. Prior to 2001 there were eight teams in the LLWS: four U.S. teams (Central, South, East, and West) and four international (Canada, Latin America, Europe, and Asia). It should be noted that in 1975 there were only four teams in the LLWS, all from the United States. The international teams returned in 1976.

The 16 teams are divided into two brackets, the United States Bracket and the International Bracket. Each team is then randomly assigned to one of two "pools" in their respective bracket. In the opening days of the tournament, the teams compete round robin within their own pool. The top two teams in each pool advance to the semifinal of their bracket, where the 1st place team from one pool competes against the 2nd place team from the other. The respective winners advance to play in either the United States or International Final. The U.S. champion and the International champion advance to compete in the Little League World Series Championship Game.

The eight regional tournament winners which compete in the United States Bracket of the Little League World Series, as well as the states those regional champions could possibly hail from are as follows:



The eight divisions which compete in the International Bracket are as follows:

  • Canada
  • Mexico
  • Caribbean
  • Latin America
  • Japan
  • Asia-Pacific
  • Europe
  • MEA (Middle East-Africa)


Prior to 2008, instead of two separate geographic regions, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa held two coterminous regions[69378]:



The Transatlantic and EMEA regions were geographically identical. Leagues from the Transatlantic region generally consisted of children and other dependents of American expatriates, typically Armed Forces personnel, international organization members, and oil company workers (such as the team representing the Saudi Aramco Residential Camp in Dhahranmarker, which advanced to the World Series 19 times through 2007, including all the tournaments from 2001 through 2007). The leagues within the "EMEA" region consisted of players native to the league's own country. Representative teams for the Trans-Atlantic region had to have at least 51% nationals of Canada, the U.S. or Japan, while teams for the EMEA region could have no more than three players from those three countries.

Teams in the reorganized Europe and MEA regions no longer have nationality restrictions, as evidenced by the 2009 series. In that year, both regions were won by teams made up primarily of children of American expatriates. Europe was represented by a team from Ramstein Air Basemarker, a United States Air Force base in Germany, while MEA was represented for the second time in its two-year existence by the team from the Saudi Aramco camp.

Division Location First Held Series
Little League Baseball South Williamsport, Pennsylvaniamarker 1947 Little League World Series
Junior League Baseball Taylor, Michiganmarker 1981 Junior League World Series
Senior League Baseball Bangor, Mainemarker 1961 Senior League World Series
Big League Baseball Easley, South Carolinamarker 1968 Big League World Series
Little League Softball Portland, Oregonmarker 1974 Little League World Series
Junior League Softball Kirkland, Washingtonmarker 1999 Junior League World Series
Senior League Softball Sussex County, Delawaremarker 1976 Senior League World Series
Big League Softball Kalamazoo, Michiganmarker 1982 Big League World Series


Venues

Two venues host World Series games: Howard J.marker Lamade Stadiummarker and Little League Volunteer Stadiummarker. Lamade Stadium has hosted games since 1959, while Little League Volunteer Stadium opened in 2001 when the field expanded to 16 teams. Prior to 1959 the Little League World Series was held at Original Little League on West Fourth Street in Williamsportmarker.

Both fields have symmetrical fences, with a distance of 68.6 m (225 feet) from home plate to each of the outfield positions. That distance had been 62.5 m (205 feet) before 2006.

Admission to all LLWS games is free for all spectators. However, stadium seats for the World Championship game are distributed in a random drawing of all interested parties due to high demand. Lamade Stadium has a berm beyond the fences that has held up to 45,000 spectators.

Little League World Series champions

Year Winner Score Runner-Up
1947
Williamsport, PAmarker
16-7
Lock Haven, PAmarker
1948
Lock Haven, PAmarker
6-5
St. Petersburg, FLmarker
1949
Hammonton, NJmarker
5-0
Pensacola, FLmarker
1950
Houston, TXmarker
2-1
Bridgeport, CTmarker
1951
Stamford, CTmarker
3-0
Austin, TXmarker
1952
Norwalk, CTmarker
4-3
Monongahela, PAmarker
1953
Birmingham, ALmarker
1-0
Schenectady, NYmarker
1954
Schenectady, NYmarker
7-5
Colton, CAmarker
1955
Morrisville, PAmarker
4-3
Merchantville, NJmarker
1956
Roswell, NMmarker
3-1
Merchantville, NJmarker
1957
Monterreymarker, NLmarker, Mex.marker
4-0
La Mesa, CAmarker
1958
Monterreymarker, NLmarker, Mex.marker
10-1
Kankakee, ILmarker
1959
Hamtramck, MImarker
12-0
Auburn, CAmarker
1960
Levittown, PAmarker
5-0
Ft.marker

Worth, TXmarker
1961
El Cajon, CAmarker
4-2
El Campo, TXmarker
1962
San Jose, CAmarker
3-0
Kankakee, ILmarker
1963
Granada Hills, CAmarker
2-1
Stratford, CTmarker
1964
Staten Island, NYmarker
4-0
Monterreymarker, NLmarker, Mex.marker
1965
Windsor Locks, CTmarker
3-1
Stoney Creek, Ontariomarker
1966
Houston, TXmarker
8-2
W.marker

New York, NJmarker
1967
West Tokyomarker, Japanmarker
4-1
Chicago, ILmarker
1968
Osaka, Japanmarker
1-0
Richmond, VAmarker
1969
Taichungmarker, Republic of Chinamarker
5-0
Santa Clara, CAmarker
1970
Wayne, NJmarker
2-0
Campbell, CAmarker


1971
Tainanmarker, Republic of Chinamarker
12-3 (F/9)
Gary, INmarker
1972
Taipeimarker, Chinese Taipei
6-0
Hammond, INmarker
1973
Tainanmarker, Chinese Taipei
12-0
Tucson, AZmarker
1974
Kaohsiungmarker, Chinese Taipei
12-1
Red Bluff, CAmarker
1975*
Lakewood, NJmarker
4-3
Tampa, FLmarker
1976
Tokyomarker, Japanmarker
10-3
Campbell, CAmarker
1977
Kaohsiungmarker, Chinese Taipei
7-2
El Cajon, CAmarker
1978
Pingtungmarker, Chinese Taipei
11-1
Danville, CAmarker


1979
Chiayi County, Chinese Taipei
2-1
Campbell, CAmarker
1980
Hua-Lienmarker, Chinese Taipei
4-3
Tampa, FLmarker
1981
Taichungmarker, Chinese Taipei
4-2
Tampa, FLmarker
1982
Kirkland, WAmarker
6-0
Chiaimarker, Chinese Taipei
1983
Marietta, GAmarker
3-1
Barahona, Dom.marker

Rep.marker
1984
Seoulmarker, S.marker

Koreamarker
6-2
Altamonte Springs, FLmarker
1985
Seoulmarker, S.marker

Koreamarker
7-1
Californiamarker(Mexicali, MX)*
1986
Tainanmarker, Chinese Taipei
12-0
Tucson, AZmarker
1987
Hua-Lienmarker, Chinese Taipei
21-1
Irvine, CAmarker
1988
Taichungmarker, Chinese Taipei
10-0
Pearl City, HImarker
1989
Trumbull, CTmarker
5-2
Kaohsiungmarker, Chinese Taipei
1990
Tainan County, Chinese Taipei
9-0
Shippensburg, PAmarker
1991
Taichungmarker, Chinese Taipei
11-0
San Ramon Valley, CAmarker
1992
Long Beach, CAmarker
6-0
Zamboanga Citymarker, Phil.marker
1993
Long Beach, CAmarker
3-2
David Chiriqui, Pan.marker
1994
Maracaibomarker, Venezuelamarker
4-3
Northridge, CAmarker
1995
Tainanmarker, Chinese Taipei
17-3
Spring, TXmarker
1996
Kaohsiungmarker, Chinese Taipei
13-3
Cranston, RImarker
1997
Guadalupemarker, NLmarker, Mex.marker
5-4
South Mission Viejo, CAmarker
1998
Toms River, NJmarker
12-9
Kashima, Japanmarker
1999
Hirakata, Osaka, Japanmarker
5-0
Phenix City, ALmarker
2000
Maracaibomarker, Venezuelamarker
3-2
Bellaire, TXmarker
2001
Tokyo Kitasuna, Tokyomarker, Japanmarker
2-1
Apopka, FLmarker
2002
Louisville, KYmarker
1-0
Sendai, Japanmarker
2003
Musashi-Fuchu, Tokyomarker, Japanmarker
10-1
East Boynton Beach, FLmarker
2004
Willemstadmarker, Curaçaomarker
5-2
Thousand Oaks, CAmarker
2005
Ewa Beachmarker, HImarker
7-6 (F/7)
Willemstadmarker, Curaçaomarker
2006
Columbusmarker, GAmarker
2-1
Kawaguchi City, Japanmarker
2007
Warner Robinsmarker, GAmarker
3-2 (F/8)
Tokyomarker, Japanmarker
2008
Waipi omarker, HImarker
12-3
Matamoros, Mexicomarker
2009
Chula Vistamarker, CAmarker
6-3
Taoyuan County, Chinese Taipei


  • Forfeit by Zamboanga City
  • * Mexicali, Mexico played in the Western Region of Southern California District 22 from 1957-1985.


Championship tally by country

Team Championships
United Statesmarker 32
International 31
Chinese Taipei 17
Japanmarker 6
Mexicomarker 3
South Koreamarker 2
Venezuelamarker 2
Curaçaomarker 1


Championship tally by U.S. state

Championships State(s)
6 Californiamarker
4 Connecticutmarker New Jerseymarker Pennsylvaniamarker
3 Georgiamarker
2 New Yorkmarker Texasmarker Hawaiimarker
1 Alabamamarker Kentuckymarker Michiganmarker New Mexicomarker Washingtonmarker


Famous participants in Little League World Series



Championship notes

  • In 1975, Little League Baseball banned all non-US teams from the World Series. After considerable criticism, the ban was rescinded the following year.[69379]


  • In 1985, Mexicali (MX) represented the Western Region of the United States because of its proximity to the El Centro/Calexico area in Southern California. It represented California's District 22 in the Southern California region.




No teams from Taiwan (now required to compete as "Chinese Taipei") participated after the 1996 tournament until the 2003 tournament, after the Chinese Taipei Baseball Association decided its leagues would no longer charter with Little League, claiming inability to comply with rules enacted in 1992 regarding the maximum size of player pools and number of participating teams in leagues based at schools, and residency requirements, which Little League Baseball had stated they would enforce more strictly, especially after the 1992 incident. From the introduction of Far East teams in 1967 until after 1996, Taiwan had won 17 of a possible 30 championships and had been runners-up twice.

Media coverage

The first broadcast of the Little League World Series on television was on ABC Sports (now ESPN on ABC) in 1963. At first, only the championship game was televised. Since the late 1980s, when the tournament was reorganized, both the U.S. and international championships, the "semifinals," have been shown. As the years passed, more telecasts were added on ABC, ESPN, and ESPN2. In 2006, 28 of the 36 games were televised on the three networks.

The 2006 world championship game was to be the last telecast on ABC Sports before ESPN's complete takeover of the sports division and name change. However, the final was postponed one day because of rain and was shown by ESPN2.

In January 2007, it was announced that ESPN, ESPN2, and ABC had extended their contract with the Little League organization through 2014.[69380] That year, every game of the LLWS was scheduled to be televised for the first time, with all but one game live on ESPN, ESPN2 or ABC. (The other game was to be available online at ESPN360, then shown on ESPN2 the next day.)[69381] In addition, a number of games were to be shown in high-definition on one of ESPN's two dedicated HD channels, or on ABC HD. The championship games in all other divisions, as well as the semifinals and finals of the Little League Softball World Series, was scheduled for either ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU.

Most LLWS games are broadcast live on local radio station WRAKmarker 1400AM, which is owned by Clear Channel. The radio broadcasts are also streamed online at the LLWS page at littleleague.org.

See also



References

  1. Little League Baseball State Champions (1950-2007). Little League International. Retrieved 2009-11-24.
  2. http://www.littleleague.org/media/2009llbbseriesinfo.htm
  3. Taiwan, once dominant, to return to Little League, Associated Press Newswires, 25 April 2003, The Associated Press.


External links




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