The crack of the bat and the cheer of the fans will once again be heard in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
After the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2020 Little League World Series, the game will be played once again in 2021. But like many events that bring in large crowds, the tournament will have some changes.
Stephen Keener, Little League President and CEO, made the announcement Monday that there will be games played not only in Williamsport but also that the Softball World Series will take place in its home of Greenville, North Carolina.
For 2021, there will be no international teams taking part in either the baseball or softball series, the organization said. There will only be 16 teams from eight U.S. Regions competing for the Little League Baseball World Series. For the Softball world series, there will be 10 teams.
All players and coaches will be tested before they travel to the tournament and when they arrive. They will have limited contact with others until negative tests are confirmed. Participants who are not vaccinated will also have to undergo testing throughout the time they’re at the tournament.
The league is encouraging coaches and managers to be vaccinated, and if a vaccine is approved for the ages of the players, then it is suggested but not required. Other adults at the tournament will have to show proof of completed vaccination at least two weeks before the tournament begins.
Off-field activities will be limited so illness cannot spread.
There will be a limited number of spectators outside of family members permitted to attend the games. Those who are allowed to attend are encouraged to be vaccinated, and there may be additional screening measures announced later, the league announced Monday.
The League hopes to open the World Series back up to international teams next year.
Games in teenage divisions, including intermediate baseball, Junior League, Senior League regionals and World Series have been cancelled for a second year.
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