Australia will make its debut at next years Little League World Series.
Little League announced Wednesday it was realigning its international bracket starting in 2013 to give Australias national champion an automatic entry into youth baseballs biggest tournament.
Little League president Stephen Keener said the change reflects growth in Australia in Little League baseball.
Australia has about 400 chartered local leagues, behind only Canada (500) and Mexico (450) internationally, and more than Japan (375).
"We expect and hope to see additional growth in Australia, particularly in softball and teenage baseball," Keener said in a statement.
Canada, Mexico and Japan already have automatic entries into the World Series for Little League's Major Division. Australia will join them starting next year.
The tournament will remain at 16 teams though - eight U.S. squads and eight international squads, so two other international regions must be realigned to accommodate Australia. The country, which has never had a World Series entry, currently plays in the Asia-Pacific region.
The regions are based on participation numbers at the local league level, Keener said.
The previous Middle East and Africa region was consolidated. Starting next year, the Asia-Pacific region will be re-named to include teams from the Middle East; while the Europe region will be re-named for a new region with Africa.
Japan won the 2012 World Series with a 12-2 victory Sunday over the U.S. champion from Tennessee.
Middle East and Africa
Europe and Africa
Asia-Pacific and Middle East