The Little League World Series has been canceled for the first time. The 2020 MLB Little League Classic, which has been played during the international tournament, has also been canceled, Little League officials said Thursday afternoon amid the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Little League has called off all seven World Series' it hosts around the country. The largest tournament is Major Division tournament held in South Williamsport each August.
"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 states.
“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. “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.
The 2020 MLB Little League Classic, originally scheduled for Aug. 23 between the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles, has also been canceled.