YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – On Thursday, the Little League World Series announced that it will not be played for the first time since 1946. But, a glimmer of hope as the door has been left open for play at the local level.
“This was a really tough decision, but it was the right one,” said Ohio District 2 Administrator Chet Cooper. “Our primary focus is trying to salvage something for the summer. I have already scheduled a video meeting with the local league presidents for Sunday. What I want to discuss with them is how we would go about a shortened summer season and/or moving into a fall ball situation.”
Cooper tells Sports Team 27 that it is possible that games will be played, but that there are still hurdles to jump over.
“If the local health officials say you can’t play, then you can’t play,” Cooper said. “Then another problem, we have a lot of local leagues use school fields. So if schools aren’t open, then you can’t use their fields. There are a few leagues that use their own fields, so we are going to have to figure out if we can share fields. There is just so much right now.”
Cooper has been around baseball his entire life, even umpiring the Little League World Series in Williamsport. He says he feels terrible for the athletes who have waited for their chance their entire childhood but has a message for those hoping to hit the diamond soon.
“What I want the kids to do, both baseball and softball, is don’t give up on the sport,” Cooper said. “It is one of the best sports around. It is all about skill level but most importantly it is about having fun. That is what I want kids to know is that we are going to do our best for them to have a positive experience, hopefully this year or this fall, but full speed ahead for next year.”