SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (February 9, 2018)
The Little League® International Tournament will see two new expansion changes coming in 2018 that will affect the Junior League Baseball and Intermediate (50/70) Baseball Divisions.
“We are excited to continue to grow the Little League International Tournament and offer more opportunities around the world in our teenage divisions of play,” said Pat Wilson, Senior Vice President of Operations and Program Development. “The International Tournament is the culmination of the many weeks of local league play and provides participants with opportunity to travel, make new friends, and engage in friendly competition-activities few other summer programs can provide. We believe these two changes will continue to grow these opportunities that we
can offer to our international players and are excited for the future.”
The first of two expansions will come at the Junior League Baseball World Series in Taylor, Mich., with the addition of a Host Team to even out the field with 12 participating teams. With this new expansion, six Little League World Series events in baseball and softball (excluding the Little League Baseball World Series) now has a participating host team within its field.
The second expansion implemented for the 2018 season is a direct entry opportunity for the Australia Region in the Little League Intermediate (50/70) Baseball Division in Livermore, Calif. Australia’s Little League program is one of the fastest growing in the world, with more than 1,000 Little League teams registered across the country. Starting in 2018, representatives from Australia will now gain direct entry in each of Little League’s four baseball World Series events. Because Australia’s direct entry creates an uneven number of teams in the field, representatives from Puerto Rico and Mexico, who have a comparable number of participation and tournament enrollment numbers, will be provided alternating direct entry into the tournament each year, with the opportunity to compete through the Latin America Region Tournament in years without direct entry.