Little League International today announced the cancelation of seven 2020 Little League World Series events, including the annual Williamsport tourney and MLB exhibition, and the associated 82 regional qualifying tournaments due to concerns connected with the coronavirus pandemic.
In addition, Little League International will be returning $1.2 million in affiliation fees paid by chartered teams in 2020. 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.
“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, in a press statement. “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.”
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.
In addition, the 2020 MLB Little League Classic 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.
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