With the recent rise in COVID-19 cases throughout the United States due to the dangerous Delta variant, and in the interest of all players, coaches, volunteers, and families, Little League® International has made the difficult decision to close the 2021 Little League Baseball® World Series to the general public and cancel its updated public attendance policy and will not distribute 3,000 daily Complex Access Tickets.
“The health and well-being of our teams and mitigating their exposure to COVID-19 must continue to be our main priority, as we conclude our World Series events,” said Stephen D. Keener, Little League President and CEO. “With updated guidance from the CDC, and in consultation with our Pandemic Response Advisory Commission and medical advisors, we feel it’s essential to revert our attendance policy to unfortunately limit the spectators in Williamsport to the family and friends of our 16 participating teams and our highest-level volunteers and supporters. We are disappointed that we must rollback our spectators joining us in Williamsport this year, but are eager to provide a safe, enjoyable experience for the 16 teams who will compete in the World Series this summer.”
With continued guidance and recommendations from the 2021 Little League International Pandemic Response Advisory Commission, Little League International has continued to follow the COVID-19 mitigation protocols for organizing its Region and World Series Tournament, developed in consultation with its advisors from National Jewish Health, who has worked on similar health safety plans with other youth and young adult-focused organizations, colleges and universities, and events.
“In May, our organization made the decision to move forward with our Little League Baseball and Softball tournaments this summer, with the focus of providing the boys and girls in our program that magical Little League World Series experience while protecting their health and well-being,” said Dr. Daniel Lueders, Commission Chair, Little League International Board of Directors Member, and UPMC Sports Medicine Physician. “As this virus evolves, we must continue to stay vigilant and do everything we can to reduce exposure of COVID-19 to our players and participants. Reducing fans in Williamsport is a disappointing, but necessary, measure we must make to support that effort at this time.”
The Little League Baseball World Series is scheduled from August 19-29, with the top two teams from the eight U.S. Region Tournaments, currently in progress, advancing to Williamsport. Each of those teams will receive 250 team passes for their friends, families, and community members. Additional passes have been committed to high-level volunteers and supporters, which will still be honored. All spectators, regardless of vaccination status, will also be strongly encouraged to wear a face mask when on the complex, especially while in any indoor facility during their visit.