2020 Little League World Series, region tournaments canceled

Photo: Little League International

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pennsylvania (41NBC/WMGT) – Little League International announced Thursday that the 2020 Little League World Series and Region Tournaments are canceled for the first time in the organization’s history.

“After a thorough assessment of the impact the devastating COVID-19 pandemic has had on 6,500 community-based Little League® programs in 84 countries and based upon the direction of governmental and public health authorities, and in consultation with medical professionals and our Board of Directors, Little League International has made the difficult and disappointing decision to cancel its seven World Series tournaments and their respective regional qualifying events,” a release said.

Several factors went in to the decision, including:

  • The inability to play qualifying tournaments in many of our U.S. and International regions, coupled with direction from federal officials regarding the complexity of international travel restrictions and immigration requirements.
  • An indication from teams from around the globe that they will be unable to participate or travel to these tournaments.
  • The testing and mitigation protocols that would need to be in place at these significant public events should an individual participating or attending an event be diagnosed with COVID-19.

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.

The release said 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,” the release said. “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 International says it strongly encourages volunteers to confirm with their local and state health officials that it is safe to do before resuming Little League activity after May 11.

Read Little League’s full release here.

“Please be patient with us while we make the best possible decision for our local league,” Warner Robins American Little League posted on its Facebook following the announcement.

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(478) 745-4141 ext. 310 Tucker Sargent joined the 41NBC news team in April 2012. He hails from "The Great State of Alabama," as he calls it, but you won't catch him saying "Roll Tide!" Tucker grew up near Auburn, before moving to north Alabama. He graduated from Danville High School in 2007 and loves to return to the Tennessee Valley any chance he gets. He moved back south to Troy, Alabama after high school, where he graduated from Troy University in 2011 with a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism. He interned in Huntsville at WAAY-TV before joining 41NBC. His passion is sports, and his favorite teams are the Auburn Tigers and Troy Trojans. On the weekends you can catch Tucker watching college football on Saturdays and NASCAR on Sundays! He's proud to call middle Georgia home for now and could always use a story idea from you, so don't hesitate to get in touch with him!