Chinese Taipei, Venezuela Are First to Qualify For 2007 Little League Baseball World Series
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (July 14, 2007) – A team from Chinese Taipei
has won the Asia-Pacific Region Tournament in Hong Kong, China, and
a team from Venezuela won the Latin America Region Tournament played
in Panama City, Panama, to earn the first two berths in the 61st
Little League Baseball World Series.
The Li-Shing Little League of Taichung defeated Saipan Little League, from Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, 12-0, in the championship game of the Asia-Pacific Tournament. Li-Shing Little League finished the nine-team tournament with a 4-0 record.
La Victoria Little League from Maracaibo, Venezuela, defeated Liga Pequena Javier de Baseball Little League from Guatemala City, Guatemala, 6-0, in the championship game of the Latin America Tournament. La Victoria Little League finished the seven-team tournament with a 7-1 record.
The Little League Baseball World Series for 11-12-year-olds will be played in Williamsport, Aug. 17-26. Sixteen teams from around the world will take part.
Teams from Chinese Taipei have reached the Little League Baseball World Series 23 times, winning 17 World Series championships. The most recent championship came in 1996 when a team from Fu-Hsing Little League in Kaohsuing defeated Western Little League of Cranston, R.I., 13-3, in the world championship game.
Maracaibo, Venezuela, has been represented at the Little League Baseball World Series on eight occasions, winning the World Series twice (1994 and 2000). The most recent championship was won by Sierra Maestra Little League when it defeated Bellaire (Texas) Little League, 3-2, in the world championship game.
The 2007 Little League Baseball World Series championship game can be seen live on ABC television at 3:30 p.m., on Sunday, Aug. 26. ABC also will televise the International championship game on Saturday, Aug. 25 at 12:30 p.m., followed by the United States championship at 3:30 p.m.
The 61st World Series will be the first operated under Little League International’s new eight-year television contract agreement with ESPN/ABC. Five games will be televised on ABC. This will be the second year that all 32 World Series games will be televised in high definition. For the sixth year since the tournament expanded from eight to 16 teams in 2001, every team will have games on national television. Fifteen World Series games will be televised on ESPN and 11 will be televised on ESPN2.
In addition, the ESPN family of networks will carry all eight of the U.S. Regional Championship games in the Little League Baseball division. The U.S. regional finals have been televised by ESPN and ESPN2 every year since 1997.
The next berth in the Little League Baseball World Series is expected to be decided on Sunday when Japan’s National Tournament in Tokyo is due to end. This is the first year that Japanese national champion receives an automatic berth in the World Series.
The U.S. region finals, which will be televised live, are: Thursday, Aug. 9 - Southeast (St. Petersburg, Fla., 8 p.m., ESPN); Friday, Aug. 10 - Southwest (Waco, Texas, 8 p.m., ESPN); Saturday; Aug. 11 - Midwest (Indianapolis, noon, ESPN); New England (Bristol, Conn., 2 p.m., ESPN); Great Lakes (Indianapolis, 7 p.m., ESPN); West (San Bernardino, Calif., 9 p.m., ESPN); Sunday, Aug 12 – Northwest (San Bernardino, Calif., 10 p.m., ESPN2); Monday, Aug. 13 – Mid-Atlantic (Bristol, Conn., 8 p.m., ESPN2). All game times are Eastern U.S. time.
Little League Baseball and Softball is the largest organized youth sports program in the world, with 2.7 million participants in all 50 states and nearly 80 other countries.