It is not the Little League World Series, but it is a group of elementary school kids playing in an event to call themselves the best in the world at baseball for the 12 and under generation. The difference between the Little League World Series and the World Cup is the Little League is restricted to players who palyed in a specific organization. You couldn’t grab the best kids from each of the Little League’s from around the country to play in the Little League World Series. You are kind of stuck with the players who played in your Little League organization.
The 12 and under World Cup is supposed to be composed of the best 12 year olds in your country, if you can find them and convice them to play. They will be going to Taiwan to compete in the 12 and under World Cup. It is not a surprise the defending champs from the last 12 and under World Cup is Taiwan. They were briefly prohibited from playing in the Little League World Series after winning so many titles because many of their teams were All Star teams, and not just composed of players just from a specific Little League organization.
Now the world is not restricted by that. Any country can select who they think are the best 12 year olds. And they will be competing in Taiwan. And because the United States does not have a separate bracket just for itself, there is no guarantee a United States team reaches the finals. Let’s hope they don’t use their WBC major league brethen as an example of how you get to the finals.
16 teams have entered this tournament. A true 12 year old World Series. They have been broken out into two groups. The event will be held from July 18 to July 25. The top four teams from each group will advance to a quarter finals. There will probably be major league scouts there trying to get a head start on their scouting reports. There has to be another Jurickson Profar or Todd Frazier among that group. Maybe even another Rinku Singh.
Group A - Taiwan, Mexico, Japan, Italy, Colombia, Czech Republic, India and Hong Kong
Group B - USA, Venezuela, Brazil, Korea, Panama, Nigeria, Russia and Pakistan
Myworld guesses a couple of those countries may drop out due to lack of funding. It costs money to get to Taiwan and house the players. I don’t believe the IBAF is funding their travel. A team absent from this list is last year’s second place team Cuba.
For the USA, Colombia, Czech Republic, India, Panama, Nigeria, Russia and Pakistan it is the first time they are competing in this event. Since this is only the second 12 and under World Cup that is not a surprise. It is probably a good thing they put India and Pakistan in separate pools. It might also be a good thing if they force the two to play each other.
Details of the event can be found here: http://www.ibaf.org/en/news/2013/04/22/16-teams-to-play-in-ii-ibaf-12u-baseball-world-cup/01cdca0d-faa7-4888-a654-88863d2f13b3