Play Ball! Little League World Series eyes possible return

Full Screen
1 / 3

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

FILE - River Ridge, Louisiana takes a victory lap around the field at Lamade Stadium after winning the Little League World Series Championship game against Curacao, 8-0, in South Williamsport, Pa., in this Sunday, Aug. 25, 2019, file photo. The Little League World Series is planning to return in 2021 after last year's edition was canceled due to the COVID-19. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

Play Ball! Hopefully.

A year after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the Little League World Series to be canceled, organizers are hopeful the late-summer Classic will return this August.

“We are planning as if we are going to have a tournament season,” said Steve Keener, the president and CEO of Little League International.

A plan that must include figuring out a way to safely bring together players from all over the globe. Little League has established a Pandemic Response Commission dedicated to figuring out how to pull off the two-week spectacle in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

“Playing the game itself is the easy part,” Keener said. “We can do all that. It’s the travel, it’s the housing, how many people can attend?”

Answers Kenner hopes to have a better handle on by mid-May. The World Series is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. More pressing is finding a way to get leagues across the United States and the world back on the field after the pandemic forced the cancellation of some seasons and the postponement of others in 2020.

Keener said the organization's two-pronged goal this spring is to help out leagues and families who are experiencing financial distress as a result of the pandemic.

The “ Lift Your League ” fundraising drive began Monday. It's a Go Fund Me of sorts for leagues across the country. More than 600 leagues in 44 states have signed up for the drive, which lets people direct donations to specific leagues.