First staged in 1988 there was a 10 year gap until the second event in 1998, since which time it has taken place on a biennial basis.
It is a sixteen team event where the 10 Full Members qualify automatically along with the top-performing Associate Members from the previous event. The remaining five participants are determined via a regional qualification event in each of the five ICC development territories (Americas, Africa, Asia, East-Asia Pacific and Europe.)
The first round comprises four groups of four, with the top two teams progressing to a knockout Super League stage, and the bottom two in each first round group playing in a knockout Plate competition. Ranking matches are played between teams losing knockout matches in order that a full 1-16 placing of teams is possible by the end of the event.
The next ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup is due to take place in the Caribbean in the year 2022.