Little League Baseball and Softball Tournament Games Crowd the Television Airwaves
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (Aug. 11, 2002) – More Little League Baseball and Softball International Tournament games than ever are being televised nationally this month as the season winds down toward the world’s greatest youth sports event: The 56th annual Little League Baseball World Series.
“The televising of these games gives Little League a powerful vehicle for communicating its philosophy and purpose to more people every year,” Stephen D. Keener, president and chief executive officer of Little League Baseball, said. “The expanded commitments by ESPN and ABC demonstrate that viewers enjoy the opportunity to watch Little League Baseball and Softball.”
For the first time, three games of the Girls Little League Softball World Series in Portland, Ore., will be televised live nationally. The semifinals can be seen at 2 p.m. (ESPN) and 5 p.m. (ESPN2) on Monday (Aug. 12), with the championship set for Wednesday (Aug. 13) at 7:30 p.m. (ESPN2).
The championship game of the Girls Big League Softball World Series in Kalamazoo, Mich., to be played on Saturday (Aug. 17) at 1 p.m., will be televised on ESPN2, Aug. 26, at 2 p.m. The championship game of the Junior League Baseball World Series in Taylor, Mich., to be played on Saturday (Aug. 17) at 5 p.m., will be televised on ESPN2, Aug. 27, at 2 p.m.
All eight games of the Little League Baseball U.S. regional tournaments are being televised live on ESPN2. On Saturday night, viewers across the nation saw Southwest Forsythe Little League of Clemmons, N.C., defeat Bridgewater (Va.) Little League, 4-2, at Arnold S. White, Sr. Stadium in St. Petersburg, Fla., in the Southeast Region final. In the second half of the regional doubleheader, Valley Sports Little League of Louisville, Ky., defeated Brownsburg (Ind.) Little League, 8-1, in the Great Lakes Region final.
The balance of the U.S. region finals, are: Midwest (Indianapolis, tonight at 6); Southwest (Waco, Texas, tonight at 8); New England (Bristol, Conn., Monday, 8 p.m.); Northwest (San Bernardino, Calif., Monday, 10 p.m.); Mid-Atlantic (Bristol, Tuesday, 8 p.m.), and West (San Bernardino, Tuesday, 10 p.m.).
The Little League season ends, as it traditionally does, with the Little League Baseball World Series in Williamsport. ABC will televise the Little League Baseball World Series U.S. championship game live on Aug. 24, at 7:30 p.m. The world championship game of the Little League Baseball World Series (for 11-12-year-olds) can be seen live on ABC at 6:30 p.m., on Aug. 25. Eleven World Series games will be televised live on ESPN and seven games will be televised on ESPN2, bringing the total televised games to a record 20.Counting replays of live telecasts, a total of 64 Little League Baseball and Softball regional and World Series games will be televised nationally this month.
In addition this year, the final games of the Connecticut, New York and New Jersey state tournaments were televised on a wide regional basis by the YES Network. Dozens of Little League Baseball and Softball games at the district, state and regional levels also were televised by local cable companies.
Most games of the Little League Baseball World Series will be broadcast by WRAK AM-1400 in the Williamsport area. WRAK is the flagship station for English-speaking radio broadcasts of the Little League Baseball World Series. Fans around the world also can catch the Internet webcast of WRAK’s coverage of Little League Baseball World Series games on the website of the Pennsylvania College of Technology (www.pct.edu).
The various World Series in Little League Baseball and Softball are the culmination of the world’s largest sports tournament, with more than 35,000 games played in six weeks on six continents. Little League Baseball and Little League Softball includes 2.8 million players in all 50 states and 103 other countries, with 1 million adult volunteers.