JAPAN, GUAM WIN LITTLE LEAGUE REGIONAL TITLES
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (Aug. 6, 2001) - Teams from Guam and Japan have earned berths
in the Little League Baseball World Series, having finished undefeated in
regional play ending Saturday in Hong Kong. Guam Little League, from the capital
of Hagatna, scored 38 runs in four games and gave up only three against teams
from New Zealand, Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, Indonesia and
Philippines to win the Pacific Region title. Kitasuna Little League of Tokyo
also was unbeaten in four games for the Asia Region title, and will come to
Williamsport, Pa., with a 17-1 record. The Asia and Pacific regional tournament
champions were determined by overall records in round robin play.
The Little League Baseball World Series for 11-12-year-olds will be played Aug. 17-26. Sixteen teams from around the world will take part as the series expands from its traditional eight-team field.
It will be the first trip to the World Series for Guam, which is 3,700 miles west of Hawaii in the Western Pacific. Guam is a self-governing unincorporated U.S. territory, and its residents are U.S. citizens. Most Guamanians speak English and Chamarro.
Japan has reached the World Series 13 times, winning the world championship in 1967, '68, '76 and '99. The Kitasuna Little League defeated last year's World Series entry from the Far East, Musashi Fuchuu Little League of Tokyo, 4-3, in the local Tokyo tournament before advancing to the All-Japan Tournament.
Guam and Japan are the fifth and sixth teams determined thus far for the World Series. The others are: Club Activo 20-30 Little League of Santiago de Veraguas, Panama (Latin America); Pariba Little League of Willemstad, Curacao, Netherlands Antilles (Caribbean); Matamoros (Mexico) Little League: and Arabian-American Little League of Dhahran, Saudi Arabia (Transatlantic).
Two games will be televised on ABC rather than the single championship game as has been the case since 1963. The championship game of the Little League Baseball World Series can be seen live on ABC-TV at 6:30 p.m., on Sunday, Aug. 26 - the first prime-time telecast of the Series final. ABC will also televise the U.S. Championship Game on Saturday, August 25, at 4:30 p.m. The total televised World Series games will be 19, compared to 11 last year. In addition, ESPN2 will carry all eight of the U.S. Regional Championship finals in the Little League Baseball Division. The regional finals have been televised by ESPN2 every year since 1997.
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.