Due to the increase in Covid-19 cases and the rise in the Delta variant, the league has changed its attendance policy. For the safety of all players, coaches, volunteers, and families, event officials came to a tough decision yesterday and took action.
Now, the public will miss out on the 2021 Little League Baseball World Series. In addition, its updated attendance policy means the league will not distribute its 3,000 daily Complex Access Tickets. Stephen D. Keener, Little League President and CEO, shared a statement on the matter on Friday.
Keener’s statement said that the league’s main priority is the health of everyone involved in the annual baseball event. Further, they want to reduce exposure to the Covid-19 virus. Therefore the Little League organization is restricting attendance to family and friends of the players and coaches only.
“We are disappointed that we must rollback our spectators joining us in Williamsport this year,” Keener said. “But [we’re] eager to provide a safe, enjoyable experience for the 16 teams who will compete in the World Series this summer.”
The league has worked closely with numerous organizations which have guided their decision-making process. The baseball league even created the 2021 Little League International Pandemic Response Advisory Commission to research the ongoing pandemic. They’ve continued to follow Covid-19 protocols as they planned the Region and World Series Tournaments.
Little League International Prioritizing Everyone’s Health Safety
As organizers planned this year’s Little League World Series event, they also worked in unison with National Jewish Health advisors. The organization has worked on similar health safety plans before. In fact, the NJH has advised other youth programs, colleges, and events under similar circumstances.
Dr. Daniel Lueders, Little League International Board of Directors Member and UPMC Sports Medicine Physician, commented in the statement. He said that their organization decided to move forward with both the Little League Baseball and Softball tournaments this summer. Their baseball organization strived to provide boys and girls with a “magical experience.” However, their health and well-being has been at the forefront of their planning.
“Reducing fans in Williamsport is a disappointing, but necessary, measure we must make to support that effort at this time,” Dr. Lueders explained.
From August 19 to August 29, the World Series will play ball in Williamsport to decide its 2021 champion. The top two teams from eight regional tournaments across the nation advance to the annual Williamsport event. Each of the 16 teams will receive 250 team passes for friends and family. According to the league’s statement, all Williamsport visitors will be encouraged to wear face masks even if vaccinated. Those attending the Pennsylvania event can get more information by visiting the Little League World Series site.