Taylor approved as JLWS site for 33rd straight year

TAYLOR — The baseball Junior League World Series will be held at Heritage Park in 2013 for the 33rd consecutive year.

The World Series for the best teams of 13- and 14-year-old baseball players from around the globe will take place Aug. 11 to 17. Taylor is the only city ever to host the Junior League World Series, which debuted in 1981.

With the exception of the Big League Softball World Series (site to be determined), the dates and sites for the other seven baseball and softball World Series remain the same for the 12th straight year, said Stephen D. Keener, president and CEO of Little League Baseball and Softball.

Only the famed Little League Baseball World Series, set for its 55th year in South Williamsport, Pa., has been held in the same place longer than Heritage Park. A newly created ninth World Series – the Little League Intermediate 50/70 Baseball Division World Series – will take place in Livermore, Calif.

The JLWS, under the direction of founder Greg Bzura, is the “big brother” of the Little League World Series for 12-year-olds. Rockledge, Fla., won the 2012 JLWS in August, defeating the Latin America and International champions from Oranjestad, Aruba, 12-10, in one of the wildest and highest-scoring finals in JLWS history.

The Little League International Tournament is open to any chartered league in the United States and more than 80 other countries. Tournament play in all eight Little League divisions begins in July.

More than 7,000 teams, approximately 6,500 of those teams in the United States, begin the tournaments in the Little League Baseball division. About 6,500 are eliminated in the first three weeks of play.

About 45,000 games are played in eight divisions leading up to the various World Series tournaments. More than 16,000 of those games are played in the Little League division, the equivalent of more than six Major League Baseball seasons.

The overall participation will increase with the addition of the Little League Intermediate 50/70 Division series.

Little League Baseball and Softball is the world’s largest organized youth sports program, with more than 2.4 million players and 1 million adult volunteers in every U.S. state and scores of other countries.