BLWS starts next week

EASLEY — At press time, five of the 10 teams who will participate in the 2012 Big League World Series were officially qualified for the tournament, with the remaining five to earn their way by Sunday night.
Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Italy, and Texas West have joined the SC District One host team on the BLWS dance card, with more teams qualifying every day.
The tournament begins next Wednesday at Easley’s J.B. “Red” Owens Complex and ends a week later with the championship game being broadcast live by one of the ESPN family of networks.
Latin America
There are two spots for Latin American teams in the Big League World Series. Mexico and Puerto Rico rotate the automatic spot in the BLWS.
This year the automatic spot in the BLWS goes to Puerto Rico.
The second berth for a Latin American team goes to Venezuela, winners of the Latin American tournament held earlier this month in Guatemala City, Guatemala. Venezuela won the Latin American spot in the Big League World Series by defeating the Guatemala national team 4-0 in the championship game July 7.
Oddly, Liga Junenile de Guatemala and Venezuela both placed second in pool play, but each team scored an upset in the semi-finals and then faced each other for the tournament title in the championship game. Venezuela defeated Mexico 4-0. Liga Junenile de Guatemala upset Aruba 8-5 to advance in the tournament. Venezuela topped Liga Junenile de Guatemala 6-2 in the championship game.
Italy won the EMEA regional, defeating South Africa 3-0 in the championship game. Also in the consolation game, Germany defeated the Netherlands 13-2.
U.S. Southwest
The only domestic tournament complete as of press time was the U.S. Southwest tournament, in which Texas West defeated Louisiana 6-5 in the championship game. The only other teams in the tournament were Texas East and the host team from Alexandra, La.
Other tournaments are in various stages and all should be complete by Sunday night.
U.S. West
The US West tournament is currently under way in Bremerton, Washington. The tournament features the host team and Southern California, Northern California, Oregon, Hawaii, Arizona and the Washington state champions. The championship game is scheduled for Friday morning.
U.S. Southeast
The U.S. Southeast Championship was to be determined Tuesday night. South Carolina District 7 had already earned a spot in the championship game and was set to face either the Florida state champions or Virginia for the title. Teams eliminated include North Carolina, Georgia and the host team, Florida District 21.
U.S. Central
The U.S. Central regional began yesterday in Wyoming, Michigan. Teams participating in the tournament include the host team — Michigan District 9 — and state champions from Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Ohio and Michigan.
U.S. East
The U.S. East tournament is a double elimination affair under way in Dover, Del. As of Monday night, the host team and New Jersey were the two remaining teams with one loss. Teams with one loss — Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York and the Delaware state champions — were still alive. Teams eliminated by Tuesday were Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut.
Canadian Regional
The final spot in the BLWS will go to the winner of the Canadian Regional, currently under way in Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec. In addition to the host team, regional winners from British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario East, Ontario West, Maritimes and the Quebec regional champions are in contention.