The Little League World Series will begin when the Japanese regional champion plays the Caribbean regional champion at 1 on Thursday, Aug. 16 at Volunteer Stadium, as the bracket lottery was held during a luncheon Thursday at Little League headquarters.
Name cards for all 16 regions were randomly selected and placed on an empty bracket for the first two rounds, which cover the Series' first two days. The only exception was for the Mid-Atlantic region, which must begin on Friday to allow for maximum pitcher's rest since the regional final is on Monday, Aug. 13.
The tournament runs from Thursday, Aug. 16-Sunday, Aug. 26 at Lamade and Volunteer Stadiums. All games will be televised on ESPN, ESPN2, or ABC.
The format will again be a 16-team modified double-elimination format, with 8 United States teams and 8 International teams. There are no "if" games to determine a champion in either half, as the United States and International title games are Saturday, Aug. 25 and the LLWS title game is Sunday, Aug. 26.
United States team regions are the Mid-Atlantic, New England, Southeast, Southwest, Midwest, Great Lakes, Northwest, and West. International team regions are Europe, Middle East-Africa, Canada, Mexico, Latin America, Asia-Pacific, and Japan.
This is one of eight Little League World Series and is for the Major Baseball division of 11-12 year olds. Little League CEO Steve Keener estimated Thursday that 7,000 teams will play more than 16,000 games to determine the 16 representatives here in August.
The first regional tournament begins June 30 in Tokyo. The Japan, Caribbean and Latin American regions are expected to crown their champions in July, and Canada will play its championships in August. Exact dates for the European, MEA, and Mexican tournaments have not been posted on Little League's web site.
The United States regional title games will run from Aug. 7-11 on ESPN or ESPN2.
Ocean View LL from Huntington Beach, Calif., won the 2011 LLWS title, 2-1 over Hamamatsu LL from Hamamatsu City, Japan. The tournament was notable for Keystone Little League from Clinton County becoming the first local team to participate since 1969. Keystone played in front of championship-game sized crowds, falling to Ocean View in a bid to reach the U.S. title game and finish 3-2.