Little League World Series

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Little League World Series
Most recent season or competition:
2014 Little League World Series
No. of teams16
Most recent champion(s)South Korea Seoul, South Korea
Most titles Taiwan (17)
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Little League World Series
Most recent season or competition:
2014 Little League World Series
No. of teams16
Most recent champion(s)South Korea Seoul, South Korea
Most titles Taiwan (17)
A Little League World Series game at Howard J. Lamade Stadium in South Williamsport.

The Little League Baseball World Series is an annual 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.

Qualifying tournaments[edit]

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,[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, 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 [8] 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.

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 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.[5][6]

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:

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]


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.

Little League World Series champions[edit]

Williamsport, PA
Lock Haven, PA
Lock Haven, PA
St. Petersburg, FL
1949New Jersey
Hammonton, NJ
Pensacola, FL
Houston, TX
Bridgeport, CT
Stamford, CT
Austin, TX
Norwalk, CT
Monongahela, PA
Birmingham, AL
1–0New York
Schenectady, NY
1954New York
Schenectady, NY
Colton, CA
Morrisville, PA
4–3New Jersey
Merchantville, NJ
1956New Mexico
Roswell, NM
3–1New Jersey
Merchantville, NJ
Monterrey, NL, Mex.
La Mesa, CA
Monterrey, NL, Mex.
Kankakee, IL
Hamtramck, MI
Auburn, CA
Levittown, PA
Ft. Worth, TX
El Cajon, CA
El Campo, TX
San Jose, CA
Kankakee, IL
Granada Hills, CA
Stratford, CT
1964New York
Staten Island, NY
Monterrey, NL, Mex.
Windsor Locks, CT
Stoney Creek, Ontario
Houston, TX
8–2New Jersey
W. New York, NJ
West Tokyo, Japan
Chicago, IL
Wakayama, Osaka, Japan
Richmond, VA
Taichung, Taiwan
Santa Clara, CA
1970New Jersey
Wayne, NJ
Campbell, CA
Tainan, Taiwan
12–3 (F/9)Indiana
Gary, IN
Taipei, Taiwan
Hammond, IN
Tainan, Taiwan
Tucson, AZ
Kaohsiung, Taiwan
Red Bluff, CA
1975*New Jersey
Lakewood, NJ
Tampa, FL
Chofu, Tokyo, Japan
Campbell, CA
Kaohsiung, Taiwan
El Cajon, CA
Pingtung, Taiwan
Danville, CA
Chiayi County, Taiwan
Campbell, CA
Hua-Lien, Taiwan
Tampa, FL
Taichung, Taiwan
Tampa, FL
1982Washington (state)
Kirkland, WA
Chiayi, Taiwan
1983Georgia (U.S. state)
Marietta, GA
3–1Dominican Republic
Barahona, Dom. Rep.
1984South Korea
Seoul, South Korea
Altamonte Springs, FL
1985South Korea
Seoul, South Korea
Calexico, CA
Tainan, Taiwan
Tucson, AZ
Hua-Lien, Taiwan
Irvine, CA
Taichung, Taiwan
Pearl City, HI
Trumbull, CT
Kaohsiung, Taiwan
Tainan County, Taiwan
Shippensburg, PA
Taichung, Taiwan
San Ramon Valley, CA
Long Beach, CA
Zamboanga City, Phil.
Long Beach, CA
David, Chiriquí, Pan.
Maracaibo, Venezuela
Northridge, CA
Tainan, Taiwan
17–3 (F/5)Texas
Spring, TX
Kaohsiung, Taiwan
13–3 (F/5)Rhode Island
Cranston, RI
Guadalupe, NL, Mex.
South Mission Viejo, CA
1998New Jersey
Toms River, NJ
Kashima, Japan
Hirakata, Osaka, Japan
Phenix City, AL
Maracaibo, Venezuela
Bellaire, TX
Tokyo Kitasuna, Tokyo, Japan
Apopka, FL
Valley Station, KY
Sendai, Japan
Musashi-Fuchu, Tokyo, Japan
East Boynton Beach, FL
Willemstad, Curaçao
Thousand Oaks, CA
Ewa Beach, HI
7–6 (F/7)Curaçao
Willemstad, Curaçao
2006Georgia (U.S. state)
Columbus, GA
Kawaguchi City, Japan
2007Georgia (U.S. state)
Warner Robins, GA
3–2 (F/8)Japan
Tokyo, Japan
Waipahu, HI
Matamoros, TM, Mexico
Chula Vista, CA
Taoyuan County, Taiwan
Edogawa Minami, Tokyo, Japan
Waipahu, HI
Huntington Beach, CA
Hamamatsu City, Japan
Tokyo Kitasuna, Tokyo, Japan
12–2 (F/5)Tennessee
Goodlettsville, Tennessee
Musashi Fuchu, Tokyo, Japan
Chula Vista, CA
2014South Korea
Seoul, South Korea
Chicago, IL

Championship tally[edit]

Championships won by country/state/county[edit]

1Taiwan Taiwan171969, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1995, 1996
2Japan Japan91967, 1968, 1976, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2010, 2012, 2013
3California California71961, 1962, 1963, 1992, 1993, 2009, 2011
4Pennsylvania Pennsylvania41947, 1948, 1955, 1960
Connecticut Connecticut1951, 1952, 1965, 1989
New Jersey New Jersey1949, 1970, 1975, 1998
7Mexico Mexico31957, 1958, 1997
Georgia (U.S. state) Georgia1983, 2006, 2007
South Korea South Korea1984, 1985, 2014
10New York New York21954, 1964
Texas Texas1950, 1966
Venezuela Venezuela1994, 2000
Hawaii Hawaii2005, 2008
14Alabama Alabama11953
New Mexico New Mexico1956
Michigan Michigan1959
Washington (state) Washington1982
Kentucky Kentucky2002
Curaçao Curaçao2004

Championship notes[edit]

Famous participants in Little League World Series (alphabetical order)[edit]

Media coverage[edit]

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.[12] 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.)[13] 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.

In June 2011, it was announced that ESPN would add 17 games to its schedule on ESPN 3D.[14]

Coverage of the qualifying games has increased in the US recently: as of 2014, all regional group games (with the exception of the Southwest and New England regions) are streamed online via the ESPN3 platform, with the semifinals joining the finals on an ESPN network. The aforementioned Southwest and New England regional games are aired in full on the Longhorn Network (itself owned by ESPN) and NESN, respectively.

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

Other divisions in Little League Baseball[edit]

Each of the other eight divisions of Little League Baseball has its own World Series format.

DivisionLocationFirst HeldAge of playersSeries
Little League BaseballSouth Williamsport, Pennsylvania19479-12 years oldLittle League World Series
Little League Intermediate DivisionLivermore, California201311-13 years oldIntermediate Little League World Series
Junior League BaseballTaylor, Michigan198113-14 years oldJunior League World Series
Senior League BaseballBangor, Maine196114-16 years oldSenior League World Series
Big League BaseballEasley, South Carolina196816-18 years oldBig League World Series
Little League SoftballPortland, Oregon19749-12 years old[15]Little League World Series (softball)
Junior League SoftballKirkland, Washington199912-14 years old[16]Junior League World Series (softball)
Senior League SoftballSussex County, Delaware197613-16 years old[17]Senior League World Series (softball)
Big League SoftballKalamazoo, Michigan198214-18 years old[18]Big League World Series (softball)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Little League World Series Format". 2013-08-12. Retrieved 2013-08-18. 
  2. ^ World Series History
  3. ^ Little League Baseball State Champions (1950–2007). Little League International. Retrieved 2009-11-24.
  4. ^ [1][dead link]
  5. ^ Communications Division (June 16, 2011). "2011 Little League Baseball World Series Schedule Announced". Little League. Retrieved June 27, 2011. 
  6. ^ "2012 Little League Baseball World Series Schedule". Little League. Retrieved 25 August 2012. 
  7. ^ Little League EMEA Region. Retrieved on 2013-07-23.
  8. ^ "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. 
  9. ^ [2][dead link]
  10. ^ See: Mexico in the Little League World Series.
  11. ^ Taiwan, once dominant, to return to Little League. Associated Press Newswires, 25 April 2003, The Associated Press.
  12. ^,1,6528696.column?page=2&coll=la-sports-extras.  Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  13. ^ [3][dead link]
  14. ^ Communications Division (June 15, 2011). "ESPN 3D Adds Little League World Series Games to its Broadcast Schedule". Little League. Retrieved June 28, 2011. 
  15. ^ [4]
  16. ^ [5]
  17. ^ [6]
  18. ^ [7]
  19. ^ Rhoden, William C. (15 August 2014). "A Mound Becomes a Summit: Mo’ne Davis Dominates at Little League World Series". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 17 August 2014. Retrieved 17 August 2014. 

External links[edit]