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 > Little League Online > Media > Little League News Archive > 2002 > Venezuela Tops Panama for Latin America Region Title, Earns Berth in Little League Baseball World Series

Venezuela Tops Panama for Latin America Region Title, Earns Berth in Little League Baseball World Series

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (Aug. 4, 2002) – A team from Valencia, Venezuela, won the Latin American Region tournament today to earn a spot in the 2002 Little League Baseball World Series.

In Managua, Nicaragua, Los Leones (The Lions) Little League defeated Curundu (Panama) Little League 3-2, becoming the ninth Venezuelan team to advance to the World Series for 11-12-year-olds. However, it is the first Venezuelan team from outside of Maracaibo to reach Williamsport.

Venezuela will play against Guam, the Pacific Region champion, in its first game of the 56th Little League Baseball World Series on Aug. 17. at 11 a.m. Teams from Venezuela have won the World Series twice, in 1994 and 2000.

The Little League Baseball World Series for 11-12-year-olds will be played in Williamsport Aug. 16-25. Sixteen teams from around the world will take part. Other leagues to earn berths so far are from: Sendai, Japan (Asia Region); Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles (Caribbean Region); Monterrey, Mexico (Mexico Region); and Moscow, Russia (Europe Region).

Two non-U.S. region finals remain: Transatlantic (in Kutno, Poland on Saturday); and Canada (in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada on Aug. 11).

The U.S. region finals, all of which will be televised live on ESPN2, are: Southeast (St. Petersburg, Fla., Saturday, 6 p.m.); Great Lakes (Indianapolis, Saturday, 8 p.m.); Midwest (Indianapolis, Aug. 11, 6 p.m.); Southwest (Waco, Texas, Aug. 11, 8 p.m.); New England (Bristol, Conn., Aug. 12, 8 p.m.); Northwest (San Bernardino, Calif., Aug. 12, 10 p.m.); Mid-Atlantic (Bristol, Conn., Aug. 13, 8 p.m.), and West (San Bernardino, Calif., Aug. 13, 10 p.m.). All times are Eastern U.S. time.

ABC will televise the Little League Baseball World Series U.S. championship game on Aug. 24, at 7:30 p.m. The world championship game of the Little League Baseball World Series can be seen live on ABC at 6:30 p.m., on Aug. 25. Eleven World Series games will be televised on ESPN and seven games will be televised on ESPN2, bringing the total televised games to a record 20.

Little League Baseball is the largest organized youth sports program in the world, with nearly 3 million participants in all 50 states and 104 other countries. The Little League Baseball World Series is the culmination of the world’s largest elimination tournament, with more than 16,000 games played over a six-week period on six continents.