TAYLOR – The 2020 Junior League Baseball World Series has been cancelled due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.
The JLWS, 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 Heritage Park. This is the first time the tournament has been cancelled.
“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,” JLWS founder and director Greg Bzura said. “We look forward to the next tournament in 2021.”
The JLWS is one of seven youth World Series cancellations announced April 30 by Stephen Keener, president and CEO of Little League International, the parent organization. Other World Series cancelled 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 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 City Councilman Dan Bzura, a lifelong JLWS volunteer who assists his father with running the 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 JLWS cancellation, go to the Little League website, www.littleleague.org/news/little-league-cancels-2020-world-series-and-region-tournaments.