Add another historic event to the list of COVID-19 cancellations. Little League International announced on Thursday that the 2020 Little League World Series and regional tournaments. This marks the first time in the event's history that it will not be held.
Additionally, the 2020 Little League Classic, which features Major League teams playing in Williamsport, has been canceled as well.
“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 in a 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.”
Little League said that a number of factors contributed to the decision, including the inability to play qualifying tournaments in many of its regions, travel restrictions and the testing and mitigation protocols that would need to be in place at the events.
The 2021 Little League World Series was scheduled to be the 75th anniversary of the competition, but that celebration will now be moved to 2022.
Little League also announced that it will credit all chartered programs with the affiliation fees paid for their chartered teams in 2020, totaling about $1.2 million.