NOTE: The information found below will continue to be updated with any changes that are implemented as well as communicated directly to local league and district volunteers.
UPDATE AS OF APRIL 28, 2020:
We understand that many of our districts, leagues, volunteers, parents, and players want to get back to the Little League® field, and so do we, but our primary focus is on the safety and well-being of all of our members around the world. Little League International will continue to monitor the progression of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) outbreak both in the United States and around the world and provide updates to its local leagues and districts. However, especially as certain states and municipalities begin their phased approaches to reopening, it is highly encouraged that each league and district adheres to the guidelines set forth by their respective state and local government and health officials in terms of public gatherings, organized youth sports, and sporting events when determining when it is safe to return to Little League activities after May 11. Leagues should contact their state and local health authority and other municipalities for guidance prior to resuming any Little League activities. For a listing of state health departments, visit CDC.gov.
We are planning to have more information and guidance to our volunteers by early May. Please continue to visit LittleLeague.org/Coronavirus for all the latest updates. A complete Season Resumption Guide will include information on the following:
- Pre-start checklist
- Team adjustments and Interleague Play/Combined Teams guidance
- Finance and insurance review
- Scheduling assistance
- Approved rulings for 2020 rule and regulation updates
- Communications tools
- Best practices in returning to Little League play
As your league prepares to assess the resumption of Little League activities, we strongly encourage you to follow the important guidance outlined here. Additional items will be included in the pre-start checklist with the Season Resumption Guide:
- Determine the start date for practices and games following all required state and local guidelines. Little League International strongly encourages leagues to contact their local/municipal/county health department and other municipalities to receive the most appropriate recommendation for your specific league.
- Contact board members, volunteers, managers/coaches, and families to confirm if anyone is unable to continue in their position for the rest of the planned season.
- Confirm field availability for the rest of the season and, potentially, for an extended season (through June/July/August).
- If fields are unavailable because of local municipality healthy/social distancing/gathering restrictions, your league should not resume Little League activities in any way.
- Develop and share your league’s refund policy for families and sponsors that are unable to participate for the rest of the year.
- Please review the Financial Guide at LittleLeague.org/Coronavirus for more information.
- Determine if new manager/player counts based on any new registrants or anyone unable to participate will require rebalancing teams.
- Confirm that all existing and new volunteers have completed the required background screening process.
Thank you for your patience, dedication, and leadership in your communities. Please be on the lookout for the Season Resumption Guide and additional, important communications in the coming weeks.
UPDATE AS OF MARCH 16, 2020:
This is much bigger than Little League®.
The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic is rapidly changing the way that we, as global citizens, think, act, gather, learn, and live our daily lives. And, yes, that also means how we play Little League.
With the most recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Little League International Board of Directors and staff is now strongly advising all its local Little League programs to suspend/delay their Little League seasons through no earlier than Monday, May 11. We implore you to follow this recommendation and suspend all Little League activities through no earlier than May 11.
We recognize that this is the heart of the traditional Little League season, and we share in the great disappointment that many are feeling surrounding this additional pause in the 2020 season. However, it is our hope that by doing this, we will all play a small, but important part in flattening the curve in the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
We will continue to consult with appropriate medical advisors, government health officials and our volunteer leaders around the world, and we are committed to doing the best we can for the safety and well-being of our players, families, volunteers, and fans.
As this situation evolves, Little League International is committed to sharing the best guidance possible for all of our 6,500 leagues in more than 84 countries. It is our sincere hope that we can find ways to bring everyone back to the Little League fields this season, whether that’s later this spring or throughout the summer.
Currently, Little League International is working through all possible scenarios for the 2020 Little League International Tournament and tournament eligibility for our leagues and players in our various divisions of play.
Little League will continue to provide additional guidance on the impact of delaying the season and has developed a series of FAQs available at LittleLeague.org/Coronavirus. We are committed to sharing information as it becomes available on issues like player eligibility and tournament participation, charter and insurance status for the year, and A Safety Awareness Program plan deadlines.
We also will be sharing guidance on how to resume operations when appropriate, best practices for handling the financial implications, and how you can communicate with parents and families in your communities about this delay in Little League activity. This information will continue to be developed and shared on LittleLeague.org/Coronavirus and through all of our communications methods.
There are countless resources available, and we urge you to follow the information available through 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.
Thank you all for your support, understanding, and community leadership.
We will be thinking of our global Little League community during this difficult time.
UPDATE AS OF MARCH 12, 2020:
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.
We will be thinking of our global Little League community during this difficult time.