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The 2020 Junior League Baseball World Series has been canceled due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.
The World Series for the best teams of 13- and 14-year-old players from around the globe had been scheduled for its 40th consecutive year in August 2020 at Taylor’s Heritage Park. This is the first time the international tournament has been canceled.
“While we are disappointed not to be able to celebrate our 40th anniversary this year, the safety of players, coaches, fans and our hundreds of volunteers is of the utmost importance,” said JLWS founder and director Greg Bzura. “We look forward to the next tournament in 2021.”
The Junior League Baseball World Series is one of seven youth World Series cancellations announced this afternoon by Stephen D. Keener, president and CEO of Little League International, the parent organization. Other World Series canceled are Little League Baseball and Softball, Junior League Softball World Series, Intermediate (50-70) Baseball and Senior League Baseball and Softball.
Keener sighted a number of factors that led to the “heartbreaking decision” to cancel the series, including: the inability to play qualifying tournaments in many United States and international regions combined with international travel restrictions; an indication from teams from around the globe that they would be unable to play or travel to tournaments; and testing and mitigation protocols that would need to be in place at tournament host sites in the event someone is diagnosed with COVID-19.
“Delivering this news comes with a very heavy heart,” said Hugh E. Tanner, chairman of the Little League International Board of Directors. “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.”
Taylor Councilman Dan Bzura, a lifelong JLWS volunteer who assists his father with running the Taylor series, said he appreciated Keener announcing that leagues that get to play baseball and softball this year may form post-season all-star teams to compete in district and state tournaments if time is available – and if approved by state and community officials in conjunction with local and state health officials.
For more information on the World Series cancellation, visit the Little League website at https://www.littleleague.org/news/little-league-cancels-2020-world-series-and-region-tournaments/