Beginning on Thursday, 16 little league teams will vie for the right to call themselves champions of the Little League World Series.
As always, the games will be played in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania, and half of the field is composed of American teams from every region of the country.
The international squads make up the other half of the field, and they come from Australia, Africa, Latin America and other regions of the world. It is truly an exceptional amalgamation of kids in the name of baseball.
Few other sports and competitions bring as many different people, from as many diverse walks of life together.
Considering their ages, it's really an awesome experience. Even if you're not a huge baseball fan, there is some value in seeing so many young people working together toward a common goal.
Here's the schedule and matchups for the entire tournament. Just below the table is a look at one of the major story lines heading into the LLWS.
|Date||Time (ET)||Game||Matchup||TV Info||Live Stream|
|Thu., Aug. 14||1 p.m.||1||Asia-Pacific vs. Europe-Africa||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Thu., Aug. 14||3 pm.||2||Great Lakes vs. Northwest||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Thu., Aug. 14||5 p.m.||3||Caribbean vs. Australia||ESPN2||WatchESPN|
|Thu., Aug. 14||7 p.m.||4||Midwest vs. West||ESPN2||WatchESPN|
|Fri., Aug. 15||1 p.m.||5||Mexico vs. Canada||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Fri., Aug. 15||3 p.m.||6||Mid-Atlantic vs. Southeast||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Fri., Aug. 15||5 p.m.||7||Latin America vs. Japan||ESPN2||WatchESPN|
|Fri., Aug. 15||8 p.m.||8||Southwest vs. New England||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Sat., Aug. 16||12 p.m.||9||Game 1 Loser vs. Game 3 Loser||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Sat., Aug. 16||2 p.m.||10||Game 2 Loser vs. Game 4 Loser||ABC||WatchESPN|
|Sat., Aug. 16||5 p.m.||11||Game 5 Loser vs. Game 7 Loser||ESPN2||WatchESPN|
|Sat., Aug. 16||7 p.m.||12||Game 6 Loser vs. Game 8 Loser||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Sun., Aug. 17||12 p.m.||13||Game 1 Winner vs. Game 3 Winner||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Sun., Aug. 17||2 p.m.||14||Game 2 Winner vs. Game 4 Winner||ABC||WatchESPN|
|Sun., Aug. 17||5 p.m.||15||Game 5 Winner vs. Game 7 Winner||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Sun., Aug. 17||7 p.m.||16||Game 6 Winner vs. Game 8 Winner||ESPN2||WatchESPN|
Mo'Ne Davis is Making Some Noise
Traditionally, the group of youngsters—aged between 11 and 13 years old—that descend upon Williamsport for the Little League World Series are all male, but there have been exceptions through the years.
This year, Taney Youth Baseball Association, representing the Mid-Atlantic region, has Mo'Ne Davis on their roster, and she has done a little bit of everything for her team.
Per Nina Mandell of USA Today, Davis' coach Alex Rice says he feels comfortable playing her at any position. On the mound is where Davis has made her biggest mark, though.
She threw a shutout against Newark to lift her squad into the LLWS. Per Marc Kravitz of PhillyMag.com, Davis' fastball has been clocked at 70 miles per hour.
Here's an interview with Davis shortly after her excellent performance:
While Davis is getting most of the publicity, she is not the first female to play in the LLWS. As a matter of fact, she isn't the only girl in this year's event. Emma March of the Vancouver team will also be doing her best to help her team win.
Davis and March are the 17th and 18th girls to appear in the LLWS.
March and the Canadian team begin play on Friday against Mexico; Davis and the team from Philadelphia will play in the following matchup against Nashville from the Southeast region.
Both Davis and March will likely have millions cheering for them and wishing them the best over the weekend.