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Little League World Series expansion in baseball and softball postponed until 2022

Little League International announced Friday that it was going to postpone the Series expansion until 2022. That goes for both baseball and softball.

“After a thorough review of our organization’s strategic initiatives as well as the ongoing uncertainty of how the coronavirus pandemic will continue to impact the Little League program, the Little League International Board of Directors felt that this was the best decision for the success of our organization and for the overall experience of each of our 6,500 leagues,” Little League International Board of Directors chairman Hugh E. Tanner said in a statement. “We look forward to the continued efforts to make the experience at all our regional and World Series tournaments exciting and memorable.”

Last August Little League announced that it was going to expand the number of teams at the Little League Baseball World Series from 16 to 20 and the Little League Softball World Series from 10 to 12. The goal was to provide more children with the opportunity to experience the benefits of the World Series, both on and off the field, as well as the overall journey through the Little League International Tournament.

“Over the next year and a half, we are dedicated to providing the best guidance available, as we strategically evaluate and plan for all possible scenarios in 2021 and look forward to continuing our efforts to prepare for expansion and provide the once-in-a-lifetime experience to more children in 2022,” Little League President and CEO Stephen D. Keener said in a statement.

Next year’s World Series will also be a celebration of the 75th Little League World Series since this year’s was canceled.

Little League announced that it was going to relocate the 28th Little League International Congress from Anaheim, Calif., to Williamsport in 2022 as well.

The International Congress is held every four years and will convene June 10-13, 2022, throughout the Williamsport community with the final session being the day that starts National Little League Week.

This will be first Little League International Congress held in Williamsport since 1989, which was held in coordination with the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the organization.

“The event has been an integral part of our organization since the D.A. (district administrator) position was established in 1956, and the first Congress convened in Chicago,” Keener said. “Our event two years ago in New Orleans was one to remember, and was a great opportunity to seek input from our dedicated volunteer leaders to help plan the future of the Little League program.”

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