Little League World Series Is Rigged

Hypocrisy, thy name is Baseball. And thy handmaiden is the United States.

Since I was a small, intellectually obnoxious child I have questioned why the World Series of professional baseball had nothing to do with the world. A bunch of American teams, joined by a couple of Canadian foot stools, play some games in increasingly cold weather, and the winner crows “We’re the world champions” despite having played no one from outside the United States.

Of course nobody listens to that rant. They’d rather live the delusion.

And visit it on their kids.

The Little League World Series plays out in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Sixteen teams take part, eight from the United States, eight from eight other regions, culled from regional competitions. Note that one of those regions, the Trans-Atlantic, consists primarily of Americans – armed forces children and such.

So, pretty much nine American teams, and seven teams from the rest of the world meet in Pennsylvania. There the eight U.S. teams play each other to determine a U.S. champion, and the eight international teams play to determine an international champion.

See where I’m going with this?

The U.S. is guaranteed a spot in the final of the LLWS without ever having had to play a foreign team. The U.S. Champion plays the International Champion in the finals.

In a genuine World Series, the U.S. would be just one team in an international mix and would have to play a round robin, either via pools or directly, and could be eliminated well before the final.

Kind of, sort of, just like the Soccer World Cup, which is a real world competition, not like the phony baseball World Series the pros and the Little League kids play.

The real Little League World Series is played in the International League round robin.

The United States, as usual, chooses to rig the game and refuses to play by fair rules. Thus, the LLWS is a complete sham.

Sorry, kids. Your adults have handed you a lie. They might just as well have fed you steroids and patted you on the back for getting a strong start towards becoming All-American hypocrites.  

It’s not the kids’ fault, of course. The adults rig the rules. But I wonder if the kids have ever considered those rules and their implications.

It would make my heart glad to see Little Leaguers go on strike for fair play.


27 Responses

  1. Hi,

    I picked you as one of my favorite “Thinking Bloggers.” Feel free to participate if you like.

    You can find it here.


  2. “Thinking”? You trying to ruin my reputation, Brad?! :^)

    Thanks. I appreciate the compliment.


  3. Hey Grumpy Lion,

    What’s up with this tirade? Baseball is, after all, the
    All American Sport. It’s not Cricket. It’s not soccer.
    It was invented by Alexander Cartwright in 1845. The fact that the World wanted to enter was fine with us, so, why shouldn’t we participate as we would in any National sport, the United STATES against the world?


  4. The United States did not play against the world, and thus has no claim on the title of World Champion. If the U.S. had played in an international round robin/elimination then they could claim to have played against the world.

    See latest post:


  5. Finally someone else sees it and thinks like me. I am so tired of pro players and announcers claiming they are world champs when they only win a US Championship. Football, basketball and baseball are the biggest offenders. Now I just discovered the little league baseball world series and was so excited to see the kids play. Then I noticed the US was going to play the winner of all the other countries. Why did they have to ruin it. No wonder everyone in the world hates the US. We always have to claim to be the best.


  6. The fact is if America combined all there teams it would be no competition, so we are actually being considerate. Respect your country. Let me guess your a liberal, or should i say “communist”.

    ps. Im sure you were a loser as a child and have no concept of the game, stick with what you know.


    • You mean like the World Baseball Classic which has been won by Japan both times? If the LLWS were a competition among nations, America would be as likely to lose as they have at the professional level because those other countries would also combine their best players. The LLWS in the current club format is rigged so that a US team can play in the final. But, I will say not necessarily for a nefarious reason. American television audience dictates that a US team has to be alive in the competition until the end.


      • I dunno, rigging a kids’ tournament for profit for the TV crowd sounds pretty nefarious to me…


    • The Americans can’t say that they have the most wins because they’re cheap. They don’t actually win, they just get to the finals each year automatically. The other countries combined have more than us which is a more fair comparison.


  7. derek –

    That’s rich. You can’t compose a simple note intelligently. You can’t write worth a damn. You can’t even spell. Your big finish is to call me a communist and a loser, most likely because you can’t think your way out of a wet paper bag. And I’m supposed to give your comment serious attention and consideration? I don’t think so.

    That was your one shot. Don’t bother coming back.


  8. The game started here in the USA and we carried it around the world so all kids could enjoy the game. Most of the teams are from the USA in Little League so they do have it right! Must everything have a political agenda?
    Sit back and enjoy the real boy of summer play the game the right way


  9. Apparently American Little League teams don’t play well enough to play in a fair competition, since they have to guarantee themselves a place in the final. That’s not a ‘World’ Series. That’s a rigged tournament.


  10. the little league world series is not rigged those countries have theyre teams combined but we have ours the same through our regions if we put one team out there then we would never lose like the other countries do. we have 8 teams because we have to split our countries teams apart. theyre in the same division because we dont want to have to american teams in the finals. (it would likely happen too.)


    • 12 year old-maybe you’d choke if there was only one team. ever thought of that


  11. 12 year old –

    Of course it’s rigged. You can’t call it a world series if an American team is always guaranteed a spot in the final. In an honest world championship every country’s team would have a legitimate shot at either of the two slots in the final.

    And you need to pay more attention in English composition class.


  12. Dear Ric,

    I hate you. You pick on 12-year-olds and capitalists as if there was no difference! How dare you exploit the inherent inconsistencies that define nationalism in a transnational world of global capital!

    Apparently you have not realized that exporting our sports and identities is the inner logic of the tournament; an inner logic that simultaneously states — quite clearly, I might add! — that the universe is fundamentally constituted by a battle between the United States of America and the rest of the world. Ergo: calling this tournament “rigged” is tantamount to calling out God himself, who designed these same fundamentals when he wrote our Constitution, the Monroe Doctrine, the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine, and then the Bush Doctrine.

    Those poor foreign youngsters should be thanking God that we were kind enough to give them baseball. Except for the Japanese . . . I kinda wish we had not given baseball to the Japanese.


    The Modern Candide


  13. jb –

    You’re my kind of commenter. Except maybe a bit too clever. Cleverer than me. I’m not sure my agreement with WordPress allows commenters to be cleverer than me.


  14. Is it possible all of American Sports is rigged for marketing purposes to sell sports products? Yes. How can things be international in LLWS, when most of the team players are from the US and the US teams only play the US teams? Is rigging sports is Amerca’s past time? Jesus said “the truth will make you free.”
    The Olympics are only America’s true test when competing with the rest of the world. Or are they? Most of the sports in the Summer Olympics seem to cater to Americans, i.e. bicycle motocross, beach volleyball, and swimming.
    Maybe we are the best, but let’s make these games fair. Americans need go head to head with the other teams. Stop the rigging of the LLWS.


    • As near as I can tell the only major sport in which a national United States team faces a true world test, outside the Olympics, is soccer, in the quadrennial World Cup. By major sports I mean baseball, football, and soccer.


  15. Correction:
    Is rigging sports Amerca’s past time?


  16. Correction:
    Americans need to go head to head with the International teams in the LL playoffs.


  17. I agree with Ric, it is rigged.

    The USA didn’t invent soccer, nor did many other countries, yet in the World Cup, it is a round-robin qualifying tournament where each country only gets one team (out of 32 teams in total) no matter which nation you are from and no matter how much of a “soccer power” your country claims to be. That is fair. Also, similar to the American teams in the LLWS, teams from the other nations are also club teams, not “national all-star teams”, so people need to get their facts straight. Plus, I bet Japan and other Asian or Latin American countries would have more than one club team which could compete with the American teams – Americans do not dominate baseball anymore.


  18. Ric,

    One other thing: The World Basketball Championships are also a true test of world competition…..only one team from each nation gets to play in it.


  19. You are right!!!!!


  20. An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a colleague who was conducting a little research on this. And he actually bought me dinner because I stumbled upon it for him… lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending time to discuss this subject here on your web page.Best10


  21. The international teams are not elite nor combined. For instance, this year a team from Bologna represents Italy. A team from Coquitlam, British Columbia which defeated a team from Mirabel, Quebec will represent Canada. These teams are regional champs, no different from those from the States. I can understand how TV audience numbers drive the need to have American kids in the final. But a more fair tournament would consist of blended pools, which could conceivably put two U.S. teams or two international teams in the final.


  22. No one, I believe, has commented that the LLWS was once as everyone has already stated it should be with all the teams competing in one bracket: the US played other countries to earn the right to play in the finals. But when the US was not winning the format was changed such that the US team is in the finals every year before the tournament even begins. Why not just state it is the US vs the World tournament? And, to those stating the US is a large country with many teams…what about China?


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