The Washington Post

Little League World Series: Kampala, Uganda earns first bid for an African team (Video)

A Little League team for Uganda became the first team from Africa to qualify for the Little League World Series. (Photo from

(Watch the rapid rise of baseball in Uganda here.)

Forever dominated by teams from the United States, Asia and South and Central America, the Little League World Series is starting to resemble the global concept behind its name.

On Saturday the Rev. John Foundation team from Kampala, Uganda, became the first African team to qualify for the tournament by beating Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, 6-4 in the Middle East and Africa region final.

Kampala, which fielded its first team in 2005, advanced from a five-team field that included teams from Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and South Africa at a site in Poland.

Joining Kampala as first time participants in the international bracket are teams from Oranjestad, Aruba; Kaohsiung, Chinese Taipei and Hamamatsu City, Japan.

The 16-team tournament in South Williamsport, Pa., gets underway on Aug. 18 and the final is scheduled for Aug. 28.

Director Jay Shapiro took an early look at the growth of baseball in Uganda in his documentary, Opposite Field. Now the goals set out by those ambitious enough to cultivate the game in the African nation are coming into focus.

Matt Brooks is the high school sports editor for The Washington Post. He's an Arlington native and longtime District resident and was previously a high school sports reporter, editor for several blogs and Early Lead contributor with The Post.


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