Little League cancels World Series and Region Tournaments for first time in history

Little League International announced on Thursday, April 30 that it had canceled its seven World Series tournaments and respective regional qualifying events due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“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 in a news release. 

According to the release, the league had exhausted all of its possible options, concluding that due to the “significant public health uncertainty” that will exist in the near future, as well as the guidance from health and government leaders, it would not be feasible to hold the tournaments in the same manner as which they’ve been held over the past 75 years.

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Additional factors that played into the league’s decision included teams being unable to travel and testing protocols that would need to be in place at said events.

In total, 82 regional qualifying tournaments and their respective World Series events were canceled.

The cancellation is unprecedented but not unfounded. Professional sports leagues have suspended their seasons amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The NFL recently held its first virtual draft amid the pandemic, while there are concerns about how and if Major League Baseball will return this year.

On April 30, NASCAR announced that it would be resuming its season starting May 17. 

RELATED: NASCAR to resume season May 17 with seven races in 10 days