The Boys of Summer will have to wait a year to take the field again.
For the first time in its nearly 75-year history, Little League International has canceled all World Series and Regional Tournaments due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the youth sports giant announced Thursday, April 30.
Previously set to vie for the chance of calling themselves world champions this summer, millions of young ballplayers across 84 countries now must wait for Little League baseball and softball to return in 2021.
Seven World Series tournaments – including the uber-popular Little League Baseball contest in South Williamsport, Pa. – and their respective regional qualifying tournaments have been canceled.
“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,” Stephen D. Keener, Little League president and CEO, said in a news release. “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 … it will not be possible to proceed with our tournaments as we’ve hosted them for nearly 75 years.”
In addition to announcing the cancelation of all tournaments Thursday, Little League International committed to crediting about $1.2 million to chartered programs.
San Bernardino was scheduled to host Western Regional tournaments for both softball and baseball this summer.
For more information on Little League’s recommendations surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, visit littleleague.org/coronavirus.