The 2015 Asia-Pacific-Middle East Junior, Senior and Big league regional tournament organizing committee has set a May 1 deadline for other member countries to confirm their participation in this year’s edition of the annual event, which Saipan will be hosting from June 26 to July 5.
Organizing committee secretary-treasurer Lynn Duenas said, during yesterday’s meeting at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium conference room, that they would need the final number of competing teams to finalize the accommodation of each delegation and at the same time organize the game schedule of each division.
“We need to know the final number of teams since the number of hotel rooms that we’re going to reserve depend on them. We need to know if we’re going to secure more rooms for the team and other members of their delegation,” said Duenas.
Duenas added they already chose Mango Resort in Koblerville to house majority of the delegation and made the initial deposit of $25,000.
The committee is still looking into and waiting for quotations from other hotels like Aquarius, World Resort, Chalan Kanoa Beach Club, Century Hotel, and Sun Palace.
Twenty teams from 11 countries have so far confirmed their participation to the tournament with host CNMI, Guam, and the Philippines competing in all three divisions.
Hong Kong and Indonesia are joining the Junior and Senior leagues, while Chinese-Taipei will be sending teams to the Junior and Big leagues. Australia and Vietnam will field Junior league teams, and New Zealand and Saudi Arabia are joining the Senior division.
India already has a Big league team but according to Duenas, her contact at the Indian Little League said in an email that they plan to compete in all three divisions.
“I really need to verify this information since it would be hard for the Indian delegation to pay a lot of money and later their U.S. visa waiver applications may be denied,” said Duenas.
Citizens of India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, and Vietnam are required to have visas when entering the U.S. or its territories.
In 2008, the then CNMI district administrator James Ada signed a waiver form at the Office of the Attorney General to exempt the entire delegations from Indonesia and the Philippines during the initial implementation of the new immigration rules in the Commonwealth.