HAGATNA, Guam — The first-ever U-12 Oceania Baseball Championship is set to open this Thursday (12 January) at Guerrero Field in Guam’s capital city.

Unranked host nation Guam, No. 11 Australia — the top-ranked nation in Oceania — and unranked American Samoa will compete in the double-elimination continental championship.

The champion will go on to represent Oceania in the IV WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup 2017 in Tainan, Taiwan, which is scheduled for 28 July to 6 August.

WBSC World Ranking points will also be distributed to the three nations based on the final results of the U-12 Oceania Championship, which is being organised by the Baseball Confederation of Oceania.

In previously contested continental qualifiers around the globe in 2016, Germany and the Czech Republic advanced out of Europe, while Mexico, United States, Nicaragua and Brazil earned the right to represent the Americas in the U-12 Baseball World Cup. From Asia, Japan, Korea and Chinese Taipei earned tickets to compete for For the Title of World Champion in the U-12 category.

With 9 of the 12 nations qualified for the U-12 Baseball World Cup, three representatives — Africa (1), Oceania (1) Wild Card (1) — are still to be determined.