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Little League International cancels 2020 World Series tournaments

But does encourage local organizations to play if safe, feasible

Posted 4/30/20

WILLIAMSPORT, PENN. — Due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Little League International announced it “has made the difficult and disappointing decision” to cancel its …

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Please support local news coverage –

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Little League International cancels 2020 World Series tournaments

But does encourage local organizations to play if safe, feasible

Posted

WILLIAMSPORT, PENN. — Due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Little League International announced it “has made the difficult and disappointing decision” to cancel its 2020 World Series and Region Tournaments for first time in organization history.

The organization made its position known in a press release on Thursday, April 30.

“This is a heartbreaking decision for everyone at Little League International, but more so for those millions of Little Leaguers who have dreamt of one day playing in one of our seven World Series events,” said Stephen D. Keener, Little League President and CEO. “After exhausting all possible options, we came to the conclusion that because of the significant public health uncertainty that will still exist several months from now, and with direction from Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine, as well as senior public health officials and government leaders from locations where our other six World Series are held, as well as the their qualifying regional tournaments, it will not be possible to proceed with our tournaments as we’ve hosted them for nearly 75 years.”

The cancellation includes the 82 regional qualifying tournaments and their respective seven World Series events:

Little League Baseball – South Williamsport, Pa.
Little League Softball – Greenville, N.C.
Intermediate (50/70) Baseball – Livermore, Calif.
Junior League Baseball – Taylor, Mich.
Junior League Softball – Kirkland, Wash.
Senior League Baseball – Easley, S.C.
Senior League Softball –Sussex County, Del.

As 2021 was originally supposed to be the playing of the 75th Little League Baseball World Series, that celebration will now take place in 2022. More information about World Series locations and future dates can be found at LittleLeague.org.

In addition, the 2020 MLB Little League Classic presented by GEICO, originally scheduled for August 23 between the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles, has also been canceled. Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association have already committed to returning to Williamsport for the 2021 MLB Little League Classic next August.

To assist the local Little League programs as they continue to assess their local operations, Little League International will be crediting all chartered programs with the affiliation fees paid for their chartered teams in 2020, which totals approximately $1.2 million in support to local leagues. These funds will be credited through Little League’s Data Center and be available for local leagues to use on current balances, future affiliation and insurance fees, tournament enrollment, and other Little League-related expenses.

Little League, did however, encourage local organizations to consider conducting some form of season after conferring with their area governing and healthcare officials. These playing opportunities could include not only regular season activities, but opportunities for local district and state all-star tournament play if possible and safe.

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.