Dear Little League Volunteers,
As information continues to become available regarding the increasing spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), we wanted to provide you, our leagues and district administrators, with additional guidance on the implementation of the Little League® program in your local communities.
Little League International operates more than 6,500 programs in more than 84 countries, and therefore, we recommend that our leagues exercise an abundance of caution and implement a temporary suspension of all league activities until no earlier than April 6.
While each community is being affected differently by the coronavirus, the Little League International Board of Directors and staff feel that it is in the best interest of our volunteers and participant families to delay the implementation of the Little League season to begin no earlier April 6. If your league chooses to continue to operate in its local community, then we strongly encourage you to seek the counsel of your community municipalities, public health departments, and local school districts.
For those leagues that have already begun their seasons, we kindly ask that you postpone all league activity that may involve the gathering of individuals for games, practices, events, or meetings. If you have not started your season, we kindly ask that you modify your schedule and season plans to start no earlier than April 6.
Should Little League determine that the recommended delay of the season will extend past April 6, we will provide timely notification and information regarding the impact of such a delay.
We are committed to communicating with you on a consistent basis, providing you with additional information and best practices to work through the coronavirus pandemic. Please look for our official communication via email, on our website (LittleLeague.org/Coronavirus), and on social media (@LittleLeague).
Over the course of the next few weeks, Little League will continue to provide additional guidance on the impact of delaying the season on player eligibility and tournament participation, charter and insurance status for the year, A Safety Awareness Program plan deadlines, and guidance for communicating with parents and families in your communities. At this time, no decision has been made regarding delaying the start of the Little League International Tournament, however, it is our hope that Little League seasons can continue uninterrupted after April 6.
Based on Little League International’s recommendation that you suspend your season until April 6, Little League will be considerate of the missed game play opportunities as we establish a new policy for tournament eligibility for the 2020 tournament season. It is our hope to alleviate any concerns of the impact of the situation on the tournament season and that your league and its families can focus on the health and well-being of your community at this time.
We will continue to work with our medical advisors as we closely monitor the situation, and we are advising all our leagues and families to follow the guidelines set by the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), your state’s public health department (click here for a listing of state public health departments ), and other county and/or local authorities including precedents set by area school districts and government agencies.
We encourage you to share this information with parents and membership of your league to ensure they are up-to-date and informed.
As the situation continues to develop, Little League International will do our best to continue to keep our leagues, volunteers, and families informed. We encourage you to stay in touch with Little League and share any additional feedback or questions from your local communities by emailing [email protected].
We will be thinking of our global Little League community during this difficult time.
Stephen D. Keener
Little League President and CEO