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 > Little League Online > Media > Little League News Archive > 2008 > Emilia Little League Wins 2008 Europe Region Championship, Is First Native Team from Italy to Reach Little League Baseball World Series

Emilia Little League Wins 2008 Europe Region Championship, Is First Native Team from Italy to Reach Little League Baseball World Series

Emilia Little League Wins 2008 Europe Region Championship, Is First Native Team from Italy to Reach Little League Baseball World Series

Little League World Series

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (Aug. 8, 2008) – Emilia Little League from Emilia, Italy, became that county’s first native team to qualify for the Little League Baseball World Series by defeating Windmills Utrecht Little League, Netherlands, 8-1, in the Europe Region Championship game played on Friday in Kutno, Poland.

Emilia Little League finished the 14-team tournament with a 7-1 record, suffering its only loss, 1-0, to Kirovograd Center/Nove Celo Little League, from Kirovograd, Ukraine. Windmills Utrecht Little League finished the tournament with a 6-2 record, with its only losses coming to Italy. 

Italy has been represented in the World Series one other time, when a team from Aviano Air Base, with children of U.S. Air Force personnel, qualified for the 1979 Little League Baseball World Series. That team finished 1-2 in World Series play. 

The Europe Region Champions join U.S. Southwest Region Champion, South Lake Charles (La.) Little League; Mexico National Champion, Matamoros Little League; Caribbean Region Champion, Pabao Little League of Curacao; Middle East and Africa (MEA) Region Champion, Arabian American Little League of Dhahran, Saudi Arabia; 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 is carrying 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 is televising early-round games today at 3 p.m. (NESN) and 6 p.m. (MSG) respectively.

The next berth in the Little League Baseball World Series is expected to be decided tonight at 8 p.m. on ESPN, when the U.S. Southeast Region Tournament in St. Petersburg, Fla., is due to end.

The other U.S. region finals, which will be televised live, are: Saturday - 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 - West (San Bernardino, Calif., 10 p.m., ESPN); and Monday - 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.