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2020 Little League Softball World Series Cancelled

Post Date:04/30/2020 3:31 PM

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. – 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 the Little League Board of Directors, Little League International has made the decision to cancel its seven World Series tournaments and their respective regional qualifying events.

This includes the 2020 Little League Softball® World Series that was scheduled to be played in August 2020 at Stallings Stadium at Elm Street Park in Greenville.

“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,” Little League President and CEO Stephen D. Keener said. “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 Little League assessed the feasibility of including these tournament opportunities as part of that resumption of play, a number of factors went into the decision to cancel the World Series and Regional Tournaments, including:

  • The inability to play qualifying tournaments in many of its 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.

"Obviously, we are very disappointed that the City will have to wait another year to host the Little League Softball World Series," Greenville Mayor P.J. Connelly said. "However, we understand the decision and respect the concerns of Little League International with regards to the safety of those involved. When the girls take the field in 2021, I can assure you that we will be ready to provide one of the best tournaments that the organization has ever held."

The cancellation includes the 82 Little League 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.

“Delivering this news comes with a very heavy heart. We have never had to cancel our World Series tournaments, but, right now, as our world comes together, we must do everything we can to help stem the spread of this deadly virus,” Little League International Board of Directors Chairman Hugh E. Tanner said. “While we take this pause from the World Series and Regional Tournaments this summer, we are committed to working with our volunteers and staff to continue to provide an unparalleled youth sports experience to all children and be back stronger than ever in 2021.”

Little League International and Regional staff will continue to be a resource for our District and league volunteers, and are encouraged to contact SeasonUpdate@LittleLeague.org for additional support. For more information about Little League’s recommendations surrounding the Coronavirus (COVID-19), frequently asked questions, season resumption guidelines, and more, visit LittleLeague.org/Coronavirus.

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