After initially opening the Little League World Series to 3,000 daily tickets for the public, the organization rolled back this offer and will now be closed to spectators from the general public amid rising COVID-19 cases throughout the country.
“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 roll back 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.”
After cancelling the Series in 2020, this year the Serie has been opened solely to United States teams.
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.
Lycoming County has seen a recent increase in cases over the past month, up to between 20 and 26 cases per day. The state records 15 people are hospitalized with COVID-19 and three deaths were recorded in July and one in August.
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.”