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First-Ever Australian Little League Baseball® Team Wins Its Way to Williamsport

First-Ever Australian Little League Baseball® Team Wins Its Way to Williamsport

Little League Baseball World Series 2013

2013 Little League Baseball® World Series

The 2013 Little League Baseball® World Series has its first Region Champion, and they’ve already made history.

On Wednesday, June 5, the Perth Metro Central Little League in Perth, Australia won the inaugural Australia Region Tournament in Queensland, Australia, earning its way to compete in the Little League Baseball World Series in South Williamsport, Pa. It will be the first time in the 67-year history of the Little League Baseball World Series that a team from Australia will take the field at Howard J. Lamade and Volunteer Stadiums.

Little League Baseball and Softball realigned the International regions following the 2012 World Series to recognize the growth of Little League in Australia. Learn more about the realignment. In 2008, Little League and the Australian Baseball Federation developed a structure for youth baseball leagues to charter (or become affiliated) with Little League. In 2012, there were more than 500 chartered Little League Baseball teams in Australia, more than Japan and slightly less than Mexico. There are 5,000 children playing Little League Baseball in Australia.
Perth Metro Central

The Perth Metro Central Little League team with the first-ever Australia Region Championship banner.

“It has been exciting to see the popularity of baseball and softball grow in Australia,” said Stephen D. Keener, Little League President and Chief Executive Officer. “The volunteers in Australia have worked hard to create a great Little League experience for the children of Australia, and we are thrilled to welcome Perth Metro Central as first team from Down Under to Williamsport this August.”

Perth Metro Central completed the Australia Region Tournament, held in the Tellebudgera Valley on the Gold Coast, with a perfect 7-0 record, defeating the Adelaide South Little League, 8-2, in the championship game. Perth jumped out to an early three-run lead in the top of the first inning and never looked back.

The Perth Metro Central team becomes the first team to qualify for the 2013 Little League Baseball World Series. The International and United States Region Tournaments will take place over the next two months. Learn more about the United States Region Tournament dates and locations; and click here for International Region Tournament information.

Steve Keener and Jennifer Wilson

Stephen D. Keener (left), Little League President and CEO, and Jennifer D. Wilson (right), First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania President and CEO, hoist the Australian flag on the brand new Little League Museum Viewing Plaza, made possible by a grant from FCFP.

“Today is a historic moment for Australian Baseball,” said Brett Pickett, Baseball Australia Chief Executive Officer. “Going to Williamsport is a result of a lot of hard work and true growth of Little League Baseball in Australia. The quality of play seen here is a good indication that baseball in Australia, particularly at the Little League division, is positioned well for the future. Perth Metro will do us proud.”

This is the second time in the past two years that new countries and continents have made their way to Williamsport. Last year, the Lugazi Little League team from Uganda made history as the first team from Africa to come to the Little League Baseball World Series. With Australia’s appearance in 2013, the only continent to never send a team to Williamsport is Antarctica. Little League continues to expand its scope internationally. In addition to Australia, Little League has increased participation throughout Europe as a result of a partnership with the Confederation of European Baseball. Additionally, Little League has been able to increase participation in non-traditional baseball areas such as Africa and Brazil.

“Spreading the Little League values throughout the world has always been a big part of our organization,” said Mr. Keener. “We have had the great fortune to work with wonderful partners, like Baseball Australia, to provide millions of youth around the world the opportunity to play baseball and softball and to learn the values of Character, Courage and Loyalty.”

The 67th Little League Baseball World Series begins on Thursday, Aug. 15 in South Williamsport, Pa., with the Championship Game scheduled for 3 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 25. The first-round pairings will be announced after the Little League World Series luncheon on Thursday, June 15.

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Hi-Res Images:

Perth Metro Central team photo: Click Here

Keener and Wilson photo on the Little League Museum Viewing Plaza: Click Here