Curacao, Saudi Arabia Qualify for 2008 Little League Baseball World Series
For the sixth consecutive year, Pabao Little League from Willemstad on the island of Curacao will represent the Caribbean Region at the Little League Baseball World Series, while Arabian American Little League from Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, will be making its ninth consecutive appearance, but its first as Middle East and Africa Region (MEA) champion.
The Pabao Little League defeated Juan Antonio Bibiloni Little League, from Yabucoa, Puerto Rico, 1-0, in the Caribbean Region championship game. Pabao Little League finished the nine-team tournament with a 5-0 record to qualify for the 62nd Little League Baseball World Series for 11-12-year-olds that will be played in Williamsport, Aug. 15-24.
The Arabian American Little League defeated Dubai Little League from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 5-0, in the MEA championship game, and earned a berth in the Little League Baseball World Series for the 15th time since 1991. Arabian American Little League finished the four-team tournament with a 4-0 record.
The Caribbean Region champion has won the Little League Baseball World Series one time, when a team from Pabao Little League defeated Conejo Valley (Calif.) Little League, 5-2, in the 2004 world championship game.
In 2005, a team from Pabao Little League lost the world championship game to West Oahu Little League from Ewa Beach, Hawaii, 7-6, in seven innings. Pabao Little League, which will be represented in the Little League Baseball World Series for the seventh time, reached the 2007 International championship game, losing 7-4, to Kitasuna Little League from Tokyo, Japan.
A team from Saudi Arabia has never won the Little League Baseball World Series. The first year a Saudi Arabian team qualified for the Little League Baseball World Series was 1983. Arabian American Little League has represented Europe, then Transatlantic Region, and now MEA at the Little League Baseball World Series 15 times.
Pabao Little League and Arabian American Little League join Asia-Pacific Region Champion Southern Guam Little League of Yona, Guam; Latin America Region Champion Coquivacoa Little League of Maracaibo, Venezuela; and Japan’s National Champion, Edogawa Minami Little League from Tokyo, as participants in the 2008 Little League Baseball World Series.
The Little League Baseball World Series for 11-12-year-olds will be played in Williamsport, Aug. 15-24. Sixteen teams from around the world will take part.
The World Series championship game can be seen live on ABC at 3:30 p.m., on Sunday, Aug. 24. ABC also will televise the International Championship Game on Saturday, Aug. 23 at 12:30 p.m., followed by the United States championship at 3 p.m.
The 2008 World Series will be the second operated under the eight-year television contract agreement with ESPN/ABC. Five games will be televised on ABC. This will be the third year that all of the World Series games will be televised in high definition. For the seventh year since the tournament expanded from eight to 16 teams in 2001, every team will have games on national television.
All 32 games of the World Series will be televised again this year. 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 finals in the Little League Baseball division. The U.S. regional finals have been televised by ESPN and ESPN2 every year since 1997. Little League International also has formed a unique relationship with the New England Sports Network (NESN) and Madison Square Garden network (MSG) to televise the New England and Mid-Atlantic regional tournaments in Bristol, Conn. Each network will televise four early-round games.
The next berth in the Little League Baseball World Series is expected to be decided on Sunday, when the Mexico Region Tournament in Monterrey is due to end.
The U.S. region finals, which will be televised live, are: Thursday, Aug. 7 - Southwest (Waco, Texas, 9 p.m., ESPN2); Friday, Aug. 8 - Southeast (St. Petersburg, Fla., 8 p.m., ESPN); Saturday, Aug. 9 - Midwest (Indianapolis, noon, ESPN); New England (Bristol, Conn., 2 p.m., ESPN); Great Lakes (Indianapolis, 7 p.m., ESPN); Northwest (San Bernardino, Calif., 9 p.m., ESPN2); Sunday, Aug. 10 -West (San Bernardino, Calif., 10 p.m., ESPN); Monday, Aug. 11 - Mid-Atlantic (Bristol, Conn., 8 p.m., ESPN).
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 scores of other countries.
NOTE: All times listed in this release are U.S Eastern Time.