Youth Teams Announced for 18’s and 12’s

The 18’s will be played at Koshien Stadium during August 28 to September 6. Koshien is where Japan plays two high school tournaments called the spring and summer Koshien that are often played before 40,000 plus. It will be interesting to see if high schoolers not from Japan attract the same crowds. It is also the location for the NPB Hanshin Tigers, who were kind enough to revise their schedule so the tournament could be held at Koshien. It is the first major international tournament to be held in Japan this year. In November Tokyo will host the semi-finals and finals of the Premier 12, composed of the top 12 countries in the world.

The teams that will compete in the 18’s through qualifying matches for their geographical area are (with their world rankings in parenthesis):

Japan (1), United States (2), Cuba (3), Taiwan (4), Canada (7), South Korea (8), Italy (11), Mexico (12), Australia (14), Brazil (16), Czech Republic (20) and South Africa (29).

It was also announced Tainan City in Taiwan would host the 2015, 2017 and 2019 12’s championships. This is different from the Little League World Series that is played in Williamsport and gets wide viewership in the United States. These 12 year olds are the best in their country, not restricted to play in a certain district. So the best of the West, East, Midwest, etc. in the United States would be formed into one All Star team.

The teams selected to compete in the 2015 event from July 24 to August 2 are (with their rankings in parenthesis):

Japan (1), United States (2), Cuba (3), Taiwan (4), South Korea (8), Venezuela (10), Mexico (12), Panama (13), Australia (14), Nicaragua (16), France (27) and Russia (32)

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