2020 Little League World Series Canceled-Covid-19 Concerns
For the first time in its history, the Little League World Series is being canceled. Little League President and CEO Steve Keener announced last Thursday that the Little League World Series in South Williamsport, in addition to the six other division World Series between baseball and softball, are being canceled due to issues that have arisen with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 2020 MLB Little League Classic between the Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox, originally scheduled for Aug. 23 at Bowman Field, has also been canceled. Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association have already committed to returning for the 2021 MLB Little League Classic.
Keener noted that the decision was made after consulting with the secretary of health in Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Wolf and various public health officials in states that host World Series regional qualifying tournaments, in addition to federal officials. “Never in the course of the 75 years or so have we been faced with anything like this situation,” Keener said in a video posted on Little League’s Facebook page to make the decision. “We are formally announcing that we are canceling the Little League Baseball World Series here in Williamsport effective today, but we are also canceling our other six divisional World Series tournaments,” Keener said.
Those other tournaments include the Little League Softball World Series in Greenville, North Carolina; the Intermediate Baseball World Series in Livermore, California; the Junior Softball World Series in Kirkland, Washington; the Junior Baseball World Series in Taylor, Michigan; the Senior League Baseball World Series in Easley, South Carolina; and the Senior League Softball World Series in Lower Sussex, Delaware.
In addition to the World Series, the cancellation includes all 82 regional qualifying tournaments throughout each level. Keener noted that, if it’s safe to do so upon the May 11 target date to resume Little League activities, local leagues are encouraged to play a regular season and have some type of district all-star tournament.
Little League International noted that volunteers should confirm with local and state health officials that it’s safe to resume youth sports before resuming Little League activity after May 11.