Australia will have an entry in the Little League Baseball World Series, it was announced today by Stephen D. Keener, President and Chief Executive Officer of Little League Baseball and Softball.
Three of the existing 16 regions will be realigned, it was decided in last week’s meeting of the Little League International Board of Directors. The new alignment gives Australia’s national champion in the Little League Baseball Division an automatic berth in the World Series (along with Canada, Mexico, and Japan).
“The 16 regions that send teams to the Little League Baseball World Series are based on participation numbers at the local league level,” Mr. Keener said. “In the last few years, we have seen tremendous growth in Australia – so much so that Australia is now our
Junior, Senior & Big League Baseball (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
fourth-largest country in terms of total participation. We expect and hope to see additional growth in Australia, particularly in softball and teenage baseball.”
The U.S. has the most local Little Leagues of any country, with more than 6,000. There are about 500 local Little League programs in Canada, followed by Mexico with about 450, and Japan with about 375. Australia had about 400 chartered programs in 2012.
The realignment also means some countries will compete in a different region in the Little League Baseball (Majors) International Tournament.
The countries of the Middle East (with the exception of Israel and Turkey, as in the International Baseball Federation alignment) will now compete as part of the Asia-Pacific and Middle East Region.
The countries of Africa will now compete as part of the Europe and Africa Region.
The current list of countries in the regions of Latin America, Canada, Caribbean, Mexico, and Japan remain the same. There also are no changes for the eight U.S. regions in 2013.
Here is the full regional alignment in Little League (Majors) Baseball for 2012, and for next season.
|Middle East and Africa
|Europe and Africa
|Asia-Pacific and Middle East