SEATTLE -- The Little League World Series has been held every August since 1947 and for the first time in 74 years, young athletes will not be able to compete on the World Stage.
The cancellation includes the 82 regional qualifying tournaments and their seven World Series events including Junior League Softball held in Kirkland, Washington.
The softball championships have hosted six American teams and four International teams along with US and International umpires since 1999. Thirty-five games are played over eight days and last year, the entire championship was broadcasted on ESPN.
Assistant Tournament Director Kevin Allen tells Q13 News this decision will actually give leagues and teams in our communities the chance to play games when it's safe to do so, despite having the championships being canceled.
"They decided that the bitter pill to take was to cancel the post-season tournaments, world series and regionals and things and focus on letting the kids play the season as soon as we can get them opening. If you have the World Series you have calendar everything back so it makes a very compact timeline to where they have to play by releasing that timeline it allows them to play their regular season a little bit longer," explains Allen.
This event plans to return to Kirkland in the future.
"The City of Kirkland has been a great host for us since 1999 for this event and it's only gotten better every year. Softball is pretty big in the Northwest and I think the University of Washington's success definitely helps play into that. Heather Tarr actually came from that little league area right there where the World Series is held so she's been a big supporter of us," says Allen, "I think that's definitely a huge help that we have local roots."
Little League is a nonprofit that is run locally by volunteers thanks to donations and fundraising. At least 180 people come to Kirkland every summer to compete in this event.