Little League Cancels 2020 World Series Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

The Little League World Series will not be played this year. On Thursday, Little League International made the announcement the World Series and Region Tournaments are canceled for 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. This is the first time in its 75-year history the Little League World Series will not be played.

"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 said, who is the 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 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 also announced the 2020 MLB Little League Classic also has been canceled. It was originally scheduled for August 23 between the Boston Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles. MLB will return to Williamsport, Pennsylvania in 2021. Little League said a number of factors played into their decision including not being able to play qualifying tournaments in different regions and coronavirus testing that would be needed to be in place at the Region Tournaments and World Series.

"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," Hugh E. Tanner said, who is the Little League International Board of Directors Chairman. "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."

The Little League World Series in 2021 will run from Aug. 18-29. 2021 was supposed to be the 75th Little League World Series celebration, but that will now take place in 2022. The baseball tournament began in 1947. Taiwan has won the most Little League World Series titles with 17.