Little League Baseball, originally founded in 1939 in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, organized the first ever Little League World Series tournament on August 21, 1947.
Originally called the National Little League Tournament, the Little League World Series (LLWS) was restricted to teams from the United States until the mid-1950's, when international teams were allowed to compete as well.
The first team to win the Little League World Series was an all-star team from the home site in Williamsport, PA, which has been home to the LLWS since its inception. The local nine defeated an all-star team from Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, 16-7.
Since the early days of the LLWS, it has grown both in popularity and size, with the current format of eight qualifying teams from the U.S. along with eight qualifying teams from different regions of the world.
Each state in the United States crowns a champion team based on sectional and district qualifying, and the winner of each state tournament is designated to move on to one of eight regional tournaments. Each regional tournament winner then advances on to the LLWS.
Other countries and world regions have their own way of crowning champions to move on to the LLWS. Canada's LLWS representative is determined through sectional and provincial qualifiers, while other countries have adopted similar tournament policies.
Once the 16 qualifying teams have been established, they are divided into two separate brackets: The United States bracket and the International bracket. The teams then move on to compete round robin within their brackets, with the top two finishers in each bracket moving on to play each other to determine the right to play in the LLWS finals.
Overall, the United States has won 32 LLWS titles, and Taiwan is second overall with 17 titles.
This year's World Series got underway yesterday, and the title game is expected to be played on Sunday, August 29.
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