Little League World Series
|Most recent season or competition:
2013 Little League World Series
|No. of teams||16|
|Most recent champion(s)||Musashi Fuchu Little League, Tokyo, Japan|
|Most titles||Taiwan (17)|
The Little League Baseball World Series is a baseball tournament for children aged 11 to 13 years old.1 It was originally called the National Little League Tournament and was later renamed for the World Series in Major League Baseball. It was first held in 1947 and is held every August in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania, in the United States.2 (The postal address of the organization is in Williamsport, 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 series takes place in August, many of the players have already turned 13 before the World Series.
While the Little League Baseball World Series is frequently referred to as just the Little League World Series, it is actually 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, but sometimes with different regions.
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,citation needed 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 Columbia crowns a state champion,3 and sends that team to represent it to one of eight regional tournaments. The exceptions involve California, Texas, North Dakota, and South Dakota. 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. Conversely, North Dakota does not have any towns who play through Little League; the Dakotas 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  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 Canada holds tournaments at the provincial and regional level to field five champions at the national tournament: Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, the Atlantic Provinces, 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.
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 the Far East). 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.
From 2001 to 2009, the 16 teams were divided into two brackets, the United States Bracket and the International Bracket. Each team was then randomly assigned to one of two "pools" in their respective bracket. In the opening days of the tournament, the teams competed round-robin within their own pool. The top two teams in each pool advanced to the semifinal of their bracket, where the first place team from one pool competed against the second place team from the other. The respective winners advanced to play in either the United States or International Final. The U.S. champion and the International champion advanced to compete in the Little League World Series Championship Game.
On April 14, 2010, Little League announced that starting in 2010, round robin play would be replaced by a double-elimination bracket in each pool. The winners of each pool would advance to single elimination US and International Championship games, and the winners of those games would advance to the World Championship game. Every team would play a minimum of three games: the four teams that lost their first two games would cross over and play U.S. vs. International games.4
On June 16, 2011, it was announced that the double-elimination format had been modified. The pools were eliminated in favor of placing the eight U.S. teams in one bracket, and the eight International teams in another bracket. The tournament remains double-elimination until the U.S. and International Championship games, where it becomes single-elimination. (That is, if the team that advances through the winner's bracket loses the championship game they are eliminated and the teams do not play a rubber game.) Each team still plays a minimum of three games, playing a "crossover" (U.S. vs. International) consolation game if eliminated after their second game.56
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:
- New England (ME, NH, VT, MA, RI, CT)
- Mid-Atlantic (PA, NY, NJ, MD, DC, DE)
- Midwest (ND/SD, NE, KS, MN, IA, MO)
- Great Lakes (MI, WI, OH, IN, IL, KY)
- Southeast (VA, WV, NC, SC, GA, FL, AL, TN)
- Southwest (MS, LA, AR, TX East, TX West, OK, CO, NM)
- Northwest (AK, WA, OR, ID, MT, WY)
- West (AZ, NV, UT, Northern CA, Southern CA, HI)
The eight divisions which compete in the International Bracket are as follows:
- Asia-Pacific and Middle East
- Europe and Africa
- Latin America
The eight divisions which compete in the United States bracket represent 96% of the players in Little League with over 2.2 million players while the eight divisions in the International bracket represent 4% of the Little League or less than 130 thousand players.
Prior to 2008, instead of two separate geographic regions, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa held two coterminous regions:7
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 Dhahran, 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 did not 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 Base, 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.
On August 29, 2012, Little League announced a significant realignment of the international regions, which took effect in 2013:8
- Australia left the former Asia-Pacific Region and received an automatic berth in the LLWS. Australia has now become the fourth-largest country, and the largest outside North America, in Little League participation.
- The former MEA (Middle East–Africa) Region was disbanded.
- Middle Eastern countries, except for Israel and Turkey (see below), were placed in the former Asia-Pacific Region, which was renamed the Asia-Pacific and Middle East Region.
- African countries were placed in the former Europe Region, which was renamed the Europe and Africa Region. Israel and Turkey remained in the renamed Europe and Africa region; they had been in the former Europe Region as members of the European zone of the International Baseball Federation.
Two venues host World Series games: Howard J. Lamade Stadium and Little League Volunteer Stadium. 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 Williamsport.
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.9 Lamade Stadium has a berm beyond the fences that has allowed the facility to hold up to 45,000 spectators.
- ‡Zamboanga City disqualified
- In 1975, Little League Baseball banned all non-US teams from the World Series. After considerable criticism, the ban was rescinded the following year.10
- In 1985, Mexicali, Mexico, represented the West Region of the United States in the Little League World Series. Because of its proximity to the El Centro/Calexico area in Southern California, Mexicali competed in and represented California's District 22 in the Southern California division from 1957–1985, representing the bordering city of Calexico, California.11
- In 1992, Long Beach was declared a 6–0 winner after the international tournament committee determined that Zamboanga City had used ineligible players that were either not from within its city limits, over age, or both.
- From 1997 to 2002, no teams from Taiwan participated in the tournament. In 1996 or 1997, the Taiwan 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 it 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.12
- Danny Almonte - The center of significant controversy following the 2001 series due to age falsification: (2001 World Series) Bronx, New York
- Wilson Alvarez – Former MLB player / (1982 World Series) Maracaibo, Venezuela
- Jim Barbieri - Former MLB player, first player to play in a World Series and a Little League World Series: 1966 Major League World Series / (1954 World Series) Schenectady, New York
- Jason Bay – MLB player: 2004 National League (NL) Rookie of the Year / (1990 World Series) Trail, British Columbia
- Don Beaver – Co-Owner, Pittsburgh Pirates / (1952 World Series) Mooresville, North Carolina
- Larvell Blanks – Former MLB player / (1962 World Series) Del Rio, Texas
- Derek Bell – Former MLB player: 1992 MLB World Series Champion / (1980, 1981 World Series) Tampa, Florida
- Sean Burroughs – MLB player / (1992, 1993 World Series) Long Beach, California
- Michael Cammarata - New York firefighter who died during the September 11 attacks, (1991 World Series) Staten Island, New York.
- Matt Cassel – NFL quarterback / (1994 World Series) Northridge, California
- Chin-Feng Chen – Former MLB player: First Taiwanese-born player in MLB history / (1990 World Series champions) Tainan County, Taiwan
- Jeff Clement – MLB player / (1996 World Series) Marshalltown, Iowa
- Billy Connors – Former MLB player / (1954 World Series) Schenectady, New York
- Austin Dillon – 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion / NASCAR Nationwide Series driver / (2002 World Series) Forsyth County, North Carolina
- Chris Drury – Former NHL player: 2001 Stanley Cup Champion, 1998 Hobey Baker Award Winner, 1999 Calder Memorial Trophy Winner / (1989 World Series Champion) Trumbull, CT
- Ray Ferraro – Former NHL player / (1976 World Series) Trail, British Columbia
- Todd Frazier - MLB Player / ( 1998 World Series champions) Toms River, New Jersey
- Jeff Frazier – MLB Player / ( 1995 & 1996 World Series) Toms River, New Jersey
- Jose Maiz Garcia – Owner, Monterrey Sultans, Mexican Baseball League / (1957 World Series) Monterrey, Mexico
- Gale Gilbert – Former NFL quarterback / (1974 World Series runner-up) Red Bluff, California
- Charlie Hayes – Former MLB player: 1996 World Series Champion / (1977 World Series) Hattiesburg, Mississippi
- Ken Hubbs – Former MLB player: 1962 NL Rookie of The Year & Gold Glove Winner / (1954 World Series) Colton, California
- George H. Hunter – Former MLB player; U.S. Prosecutor for Northern California; Executive Director, NBA Players Association / (1955 World Series Champion) Delaware Township, New Jersey
- Erik Johnson – Former MLB Player (1978 World Series) San Ramon, California
- Keith Lampard – Former MLB player / (1958 World Series) Portland, Oregon
- Carney Lansford – Former MLB player: 1988 & 1990 MLB World Series runner-up, 1989 MLB World Series Champion, 1981 MLB Batting Champ, 1988 American League (AL) All Star, 1992 Hutch Award Winner / (1969 World Series) Santa Clara, California
- Vance Lovelace – Former MLB player / (1975 World Series) Tampa, Florida
- Jason Marquis – MLB player: 2005 NL Silver Slugger, 2006 MLB World Series Champion, 2009 NL All Star / (1991 World Series) Staten Island, New York
- Stephane Matteau – Former NHL player: 1994 Stanley Cup Champion / (1982 World Series) Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec
- Lloyd McClendon – Former MLB player & manager: currently an MLB hitting coach / (1971 World Series) Gary, Indiana
- Lastings Milledge – MLB player / (1997 World Series) Bradenton, Florida
- Bobby Mitchell (1967 World Series) Northridge, California
- Jim Pankovits – Former MLB player / (1968 World Series) Richmond, Virginia
- Yusmeiro Petit – MLB player / (1994 World Series Champions) Maracaibo, Venezuela
- Marc Pisciotta – Former MLB player / (1983 World Series) Marietta, Georgia
- Boog Powell – Former MLB player: 1969 & 1971 MLB World Series runner-up, 1966 & 1970 MLB World Series Champion / (1954 World Series) Lakeland, Florida
- Jurickson Profar - MLB player / (2004 Little League World Series champion and 2005 runner-up) Willemstad, Curaçao
- Guillermo Quiróz – MLB player / (1994 World Series Champions) Maracaibo, Venezuela
- Colby Rasmus – MLB player / (1999 World Series) Phenix City, Alabama
- Turk Schonert – Former NFL player & former Offensive Coordinator of the Buffalo Bills / (1968 World Series) Garden Grove, California
- Gary Sheffield – Former MLB player: 1997 MLB World Series Champion, 1992 MLB Batting Champ, 7-Time NL All-Star, 2-Time AL All-Star, 5-Time Silver Slugger / (1980 World Series) Tampa, Florida
- Brian Sipe – Former NFL quarterback & 1980 NFL MVP / (1961 World Series) El Cajon, California
- Carl Taylor – Former MLB player / (1954 World Series) Lakeland, Florida
- Héctor Torres – Former MLB player / (1958 World Series) Monterrey, Mexico
- George Tsamis – Former MLB player / (1979 World Series) Campbell, California
- Pierre Turgeon – Former NHL player: 4-Time NHL All-Star / (1982 World Series) Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec
- Jason Varitek – Former MLB player: 1994 NCAA CWS, 2004 & 2007 MLB World Series Champion / (1984 World Series) Altamonte Springs, Florida
- Dave Veres – Former MLB player / (1978 World Series) Torrejón AFB, Spain
- Ed Vosberg – Former MLB player: 1980 NCAA CWS Champion, 1997 MLB World Series Champion / (1973 World Series runner-up) Tucson, Arizona
- Krissy Wendell – U.S. Olympic Women's Hockey Team / (1994 World Series) Brooklyn Park, Minnesota
- Dan Wilson – Former MLB player: 1996 AL All-Star / (1981 World Series) Barrington, Illinois
- Rick Wise – Former MLB player: 1975 MLB World Series runner-up / (1958 World Series) Portland, Oregon
- Lance Lynn - MLB player: (1999 World Series) Brownsburg, Indiana
- Stephen Fife - MLB player: (1999 World Series) Boise, Idaho
- Michael Saunders - MLB player: (1999 World Series) Victoria, British Columbia
- Adam Loewen - MLB player: (1996 World Series) Surrey, British Columbia
The first broadcast of the Little League World Series on television was on ABC Sports (now ESPN on ABC) in 1963. For years, 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 2014.13 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.)14 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.
Each of the other seven divisions of Little League Baseball has its own World Series format.
|Little League Baseball||South Williamsport, Pennsylvania||1947||Little League World Series|
|Junior League Baseball||Taylor, Michigan||1981||Junior League World Series|
|Senior League Baseball||Bangor, Maine||1961||Senior League World Series|
|Big League Baseball||Easley, South Carolina||1968||Big League World Series|
|Little League Softball||Portland, Oregon||1974||Little League World Series (softball)|
|Junior League Softball||Kirkland, Washington||1999||Junior League World Series (softball)|
|Senior League Softball||Sussex County, Delaware||1976||Senior League World Series (softball)|
|Big League Softball||Kalamazoo, Michigan||1982||Big League World Series (softball)|
- List of Little League World Series broadcasters
- Little League World Series on television
- Little League World Series Baseball 2008- A recently released video game adaptation of the LLWS.
- Mexico in the Little League World Series
- Danny Almonte – the center of an age fraud investigation during 2001 series
- Amateur baseball in the United States
- List of organized baseball leagues
- Baseball awards#World
- Baseball awards#U.S. youth baseball
- "Little League World Series Format". ESPN.com. 2013-08-12. Retrieved 2013-08-18.
- World Series History
- Little League Baseball State Champions (1950–2007). Little League International. Retrieved 2009-11-24.
- dead link
- Communications Division (June 16, 2011). "2011 Little League Baseball World Series Schedule Announced". Little League. Retrieved June 27, 2011.
- "2012 Little League Baseball World Series Schedule". Little League. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
- Little League EMEA Region. Eteamz.com. Retrieved on 2013-07-23.
- "Regions Realigned for 2013: Australia to Play in Little League Baseball World Series" (Press release). Little League Baseball. August 29, 2012. Retrieved September 17, 2012.
- dead link
- The Little League World Series. Rauzulusstreet.com. Retrieved on 2013-07-23.
- See: Mexico in the Little League World Series.
- Taiwan, once dominant, to return to Little League. Associated Press Newswires, 25 April 2003, The Associated Press.
- http://www.latimes.com/sports/custom/extras/la-spw-tvcol5jan05,1,6528696.column?page=2&coll=la-sports-extras. Missing or empty
- dead link
- Communications Division (June 15, 2011). "ESPN 3D Adds Little League World Series Games to its Broadcast Schedule". Little League. Retrieved June 28, 2011.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Little League World Series.|
- Little League official website
- Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum
- The Little League Baseball International Tournament (comprehensive information on district, sectional, state/provincial/country, and regional tournaments). Unpage Publications