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    News — Youth Baseball Coach

    Little League® Cancels 2020 World Series and Region Tournaments

    Little League® Cancels 2020 World Series and Region Tournaments

    Due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Little League International has made the difficult and disappointing decision to cancel its World Series and Region Tournaments for first time in organization history; commits approximately $1.2 million in support to local leagues
    2020 MLB Little League Classic Presented by GEICO Also Canceled; Event Will Return in 2021
    After a thorough assessment of the impact the devastating COVID-19 pandemic has had on 6,500 community-based Little League® programs in 84 countries and based upon the direction of governmental and public health authorities, and in consultation with medical professionals and our Board of Directors, Little League International has made the difficult and disappointing decision to cancel its seven World Series tournaments and their respective regional qualifying events.

    “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,” said Stephen D. Keener, 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 the their qualifying regional tournaments, it will not be possible to proceed with our tournaments as we’ve hosted them for nearly 75 years.”

    As we assessed the feasibility of including these tournament opportunities as part of that resumption of play, a number of factors went into the decision to cancel the World Series and Regional Tournaments, including:

    The inability to play qualifying tournaments in many of our U.S. and International regions, coupled with direction from federal officials regarding the complexity of international travel restrictions and immigration requirements.
    An indication from teams from around the globe that they will be unable to participate or travel to these tournaments.
    The testing and mitigation protocols that would need to be in place at these significant public events should an individual participating or attending an event be diagnosed with COVID-19.
    The cancellation includes the 82 regional qualifying tournaments and their respective seven World Series events:

    Little League Baseball – South Williamsport, Pa.
    Little League Softball® – Greenville, N.C.
    Intermediate (50/70) Baseball – Livermore, Calif.
    Junior League Baseball – Taylor, Mich.
    Junior League Softball – Kirkland, Wash.
    Senior League Baseball – Easley, S.C.
    Senior League Softball –Sussex County, Del.
    As 2021 was originally supposed to be the playing of the 75th Little League Baseball World Series, that celebration will now take place in 2022. More information about World Series locations and future dates can be found at

    As a result of this decision, the 2020 MLB Little League Classic presented by GEICO, originally scheduled for August 23 between the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles, has also been canceled. Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association have already committed to returning to Williamsport for the 2021 MLB Little League Classic next August.

    “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,” said Hugh E. Tanner, 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.”

    To assist the local Little League programs as they continue to assess their local operations, Little League International will be crediting all chartered programs with the affiliation fees paid for their chartered teams in 2020, which totals approximately $1.2 million in support to local leagues. These funds will be credited through Little League’s Data Center and be available for local leagues to use on current balances, future affiliation and insurance fees, tournament enrollment, and other Little League-related expenses.

    As each state and community will have different guidance for resuming organized youth sports, Little League International strongly encourages volunteers to confirm with their local and state health officials that it is safe to do so before resuming Little League activity after May 11. These playing opportunities could include not only regular season activities, but opportunities for local district, and, perhaps, state all-star tournament play to provide players, especially those moving up to a new age division in 2021, a tournament experience, if possible and safe.

    Time Management for Returning Coaches: The Benefits of Organizing Effective Practices

    Time Management for Returning Coaches: The Benefits of Organizing Effective Practices

    As a returning coach, your past experience provides you with a huge advantage in the area of time management. Even just one season under your belt gives you the basis for improving how you manage your baseball or softball season, how you manage your players’ time during practice, and how you can teach life lessons in time management to players of all ages. 

    A challenging first step toward improving time management is to find or make the time to sit still long enough to think about how you spend time. 

    Don’t Procrastinate

    Start with a 15-minute brainstorm, listing on a pad of paper in two columns what you consider effective uses of time in past seasons and what strikes you now as time wasted. 

    This is just the start, and those 15 minutes will show you the benefit of ending your procrastination, which makes it easier to habitually avoid procrastination and manage your time better this season. If you put off writing that plan, you will end up wasting time during practice as the season progresses. 

    That first 15-minute brainstorm – and the habit of avoiding procrastination – can trigger you to continue thinking intently about how you use time. You may reach for that pad again and again with new ideas on how to improve your efficiency. The planning that used to seem daunting will come to feel liberating instead. And, if you are ever tempted to backslide, remind yourself that “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” 

    Establish Detailed Practice Plans

    Using that initial brainstorm, get into the habit of coming to each practice session your written plan with an allotted number of minutes per activity, players and their parents will see that you put time and forethought into their experience and that you value their time. That reinforces your leadership position and their willingness to follow. 

    Among the principles that inform a time-efficient practice plan: 

      • Minimal time standing in line waiting for a next rep.

      • Move players quickly, station to station.

      • Spread stations far enough apart that running station to station incorporates conditioning and competition so that nobody wastes time and gets bored running laps.

      • No long lectures. If you can’t explain a skill simply, players won’t learn it, anyway.

      • Lengthier talk about procedure, team culture or life lessons can happen while stretching at the start of practice, when the team naturally gathers in one place, players are not focusing on execution, and they can use the information you provide throughout the remainder of that practice.

    When players see you utilize a written schedule out each practice it helps them understand the importance of time management. You can emphasize that life lesson and improve your team’s on-field performance by explicitly getting them to use time wisely. As the season progresses, have them help you create those practice plans, and involve your players in implementing those plans and keeping the team on task. 

    And, don’t forget to add in some fun. You can have them earn 10 minutes of homerun derby at the end of practice by successfully completing each of five drills in two minutes less than the time allotted on your written schedule. Cultivating that positive approach to time management in Little League may help your players grow into adults who understand the importance of managing their own schedules, whether that’s a to-do list at work or a practice schedule when they become Little League coaches.