The 12U Baseball World Cup is the under-12 world championship sanctioned by the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) and is the most elite and highest level of competition in its age category. The 12U baseball world championship is staged every two years and was launched in 2011 in Taiwan.
Unlike other youth international competitions like the Little League World Series, which involve local clubs, the 12U Baseball World Cup is the only global event across baseball—and all of sport—to feature National Teams in this age group (11 to 12 years-old).
The 12U Baseball World Cup is played under the IBAF's International Rules. Dimensions of regulation 12U Baseball World Cup ballparks (distance to the outfield fence, pitching mound, base paths, etc.) are significantly increased compared to local youth leagues, due to the superior nature and strength of the players involved.
Because the 12U Baseball World Cup is considered a "world championship" event, the results of the tournaments affect the IBAF World Rankings.
The inaugural tournament took place in July 2011 and was won by its host Chinese Taipei. The tournament was slated to include 13 national teams and crowned the first ever world champion. Through this tournament, the IBAF looked to assume a leadership position for this age bracket in conjunction with major youth baseball organizations to further develop and promote baseball across the world. The tournament was hosted in Taipei City, one of the prominent tournament venues for international competitions.
1Republic of China, commonly known as Taiwan, due to complicated relations with People's Republic of China, is recognized by the name Chinese Taipei by most of the international organizations. For more information, please see Cross-Strait relations.