BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Local Little League baseball and softball seasons would have been in full swing by now across the Valley. If they end up playing this summer or fall, officials have laid out several options to get the season in.
“What they’re really trying to figure out is can they start up in the middle of May or early June and have a shortened season,” said Chet Cooper, Ohio District 2 Administrator.
Cooper has been a Little League umpire for the past 24 years and oversees 10 local leagues as the District 2 Administrator. Earlier this week, he submitted a survey from the Little League organization detailing various scenarios that would resume play in some capacity.
“You could play teams in your own league, you could play teams outside your league, you might be able to play teams that aren’t really Little League sanctioned teams,” said Cooper. “I think Little League is trying to bend over backwards with options. Also, what Williamsport decides may not necessarily affect what the local league does with regard to a season.”
Cooper said the main priority is getting in at least a portion of the games, even without a postseason tournament or even if it’s pushed to the fall. Regardless of what happens, the pandemic will take a big financial hit on local leagues. Cooper said facilities with more resources like the Field of Dreams in Boardman should be fine but others may struggle to survive.
“For some of the leagues, this is really going to hurt because they won’t be able to operate,” said Cooper. “Some parents are already asking for refunds of their registrations. But right now, everybody stay safe because the more safe everybody stays the closer we’re going to get to baseball and softball.”