Photos: The Wonders of Williamsport
Every August, Williamsport, Pa., becomes the center of the baseball universe -- thanks to an army of volunteers. We peeked behind the scenes to see how the city comes together to host the Little League World Series, a festival of competition and goodwill.
Championship: Japan's offense erupts to claim LLWS title
Japan homered three times in the fourth inning of the Little League World Series championship on Sunday, turning a tight game with Lufkin, Texas, into a 12-2 rout.
Foudy's Finds: LLWS mascot mystery
While on assignment at the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Julie Foudy digs deep in her quest to determine: What kind of animal is Dugout the mascot?
21 Questions: Japan's Ryuto Konno
First baseman Ryuto Konno of Tokyo Kitasuna Little League -- which is 3-0 so far in Williamsport heading into the International Championship game -- answers some fun questions about aliens and shows off his dance moves.
21 Questions: Mexico's Diego Diaz
Diego Diaz, an infielder for the Guadalupe Treviño Kelly Little League team from Reynosa, Mexico, shows off his modeling skills and muscles. Mexico will face Japan in the International Championship game on Saturday.
Top LLWS Moments: Winners console LLWS star who ceded walk-off
The 2017 Little League World Series has been filled with highlights: a perfect game; dramatic, walk-off hits; big leaguers and Little Leaguers and a heartfelt moment of compassion between competitors. Here are some of the most memorable moments so far from Williamsport.
Photos: Little League goes big league
Every August, Williamsport, Pennsylvania, is the mecca for Little League baseball players from around the world who dream of playing professional baseball. This year, those dreamers were treated to a taste of the real thing. The first MLB Little League Classic showcased divisional rivals the St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates for a regular-season game at BB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field.
Before they were stars: The childhood favorites of MLB's best
Who was Andrew McCutchen's favorite super hero? What did rookie sensations Cody Bellinger and Aaron Judge want to be when they grew up? In the spirit of the Little League World Series, we asked them.
Little League lessons: Major leaguers on childhood advice
Today's major league stars started as children with dreams. So what have they taken with them from those early days when they were just learning the game? Experiences that carried them from Little League fields to big league parks.
• ESPN Australia: Australians embracing America's game
The Hills will once again represent Australia at the Little League World Series and -- thanks to an assist from former major leaguer Trent Oeltjen -- many of these kids are already dreaming of much bigger things.
• No sleep 'til Williamsport: LLWS a family tradition for Todd Frazier
Todd Frazier and his family have a ton of baseball memories to cherish. Frazier, 31, is a big league veteran, a two-time All-Star and a Little League World Series champion who achieved early fame when he got his picture taken, in his Toms River East uniform, next to Derek Jeter on the field at Yankee Stadium.
2016 LLWS Highlights
Photo gallery: Best of the Little League World Series
Video: A home run for mom
Photo Gallery: Little Leaguers, big dreams
Photo Gallery: 2016 Little League World Series Challenger game
Photo Gallery: Little big men
SC Featured: Little Leaguers play to honor fallen NYPD officers
LLWS Facts and Figures
The qualification process for the Little League World Series begins in the months before the tournament, when each local Little League program puts together an all-star team within its league. That team goes on to compete in district, sectional and state tournaments, most of which are double-elimination. The state champions (each state sends two teams) go on to a regional competition, broken up into eight regions:
New England, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Great Lakes, Midwest, Northwest, Southwest and West. Eight divisions also compete in the international bracket: Canada, Mexico, Caribbean, Latin America, Japan, Asia-Pacific, Europe-Middle East-Africa and Trans-Atlantic. More than 7,000 teams -- 6,500 in the U.S. -- participate in the tournament, with 6,500 of them eliminated within the first three weeks.
World Series Format
The Little League World Series is contested by 16 teams: the eight winners of the regional tournaments and eight international champions. In 2010, the tournament was determined by double elimination for the first time. The two brackets (the U.S. and international brackets) are divided into two pools. The winner of each pool goes on to a single-elimination championship game within its bracket. Then the U.S. and international champions compete for the World Series title in the championship game.
Each team still will play at least three games -- the four teams that lose both games in their pool will play a consolation match against an international team that also dropped out in two games.
Players in the Little League World Series must be between the ages of 11 and 13. Players must provide birth certificates to show they are of age. The birth-date cutoff -- the earliest date that players could turn 13 -- is May. That means many of the players in the later rounds of the tournament have already turned 13.
Girls are allowed to participate in the Little League World Series, although there also is a separate softball World Series. Girls were not allowed to participate in Little League until 1974, when the rules were revised to allow inclusion. Little League's softball programs were created the same year. Victoria Roche was the first girl to play in a Little League World Series, in the 1984 competition for the Brussels (Belgium) international squad. The 2004 tournament marked the first time two girls played in the same World Series (it happened again in 2009).
Howard J. Lamade Stadium
Howard J. Lamade Stadium is the field in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania, that has played host to the Little League Baseball World Series every year since 1959. Located off U.S. Route 15, the field is named for the late vice president of Grit Publishing who was a member of the Little League board of directors in the 1950s.
The field is roughly two-thirds the size of a conventional major league field. The pitching rubber is 46 feet from home plate, while basepaths are 60 feet in length. The distance from home plate to all points of the outfield fence at Lamade Stadium is 225 feet.
It is estimated that more than 40,000 fans could be accommodated, including those on the hills beyond the outfield fences. The stadium seats between 8,000 and 10,000 fans.
Little League Volunteer Stadium
Situated next to Howard J. Lamade Stadium at Little League Baseball's headquarters in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania, Little League Volunteer Stadium can accommodate approximately 5,000 spectators (including lawn seating).
Little League Volunteer Stadium is used for early-round games of the Little League World Series. Admission to and parking for games during the Little League World Series is free, with seating available on a first-come, first-served basis.