All the action gets underway with International and American teams playing this afternoon.
The 68th Little League World Series begins on Thursday afternoon with 16 teams vying for the title. Eight international squads and eight American teams go to battle in a round-robin, double-elimination format for the next two weeks in venerable Williamsport, Pa.
For starters, this is the schedule for Thursday afternoon, with all games televised by the ESPN family of networks and available online via Watch ESPN:
- South Korea vs. Czech Republic, 1 p.m. ET
ESPN, with Dave Flemming and Chris Burke on the call
- Chicago vs. Lynwood, Wash., 3 p.m.
ESPN, with Karl Ravech, Barry Larkin and Jaymee Sire on the call
- Puerto Rico vs. Australia, 5 p.m.
ESPN2, with Flemming and Kyle Peterson on the call
- Rapid City, S.D. vs. Las Vegas, 7 p.m.
ESPN2, with Ravech, Larkin and Sire on the call
Japan has won three of the last four Little League World Series, with the last American winner being the Huntington Beach, Calif., team back in 2011. Taiwan has won more titles than anybody since the beginning of the tournament, winning 17 times. However, Taiwan has not won since 1996 and is not represented in this year's tournament.
Of all the American states, California has won the most championships with seven, followed by Pennsylvania, Connecticut and New Jersey, each with four.