Whalley, as Team Canada, in action against Panama (Team Latin America) during their opening game at the 2018 Little League World Series in Williamsport, Penn. (Photo: tsn.ca)

Whalley, as Team Canada, in action against Panama (Team Latin America) during their opening game at the 2018 Little League World Series in Williamsport, Penn. (Photo: tsn.ca)

Pennsylvania off the table for Surrey, White Rock little leaguers

Prestigious tournament cancelled due to pandemic

This year’s Little League World Series and the championship tournaments in six other Little League divisions have been cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Little League President Stephen Keener announced the cancellations in a Facebook Live broadcast Thursday afternoon from league headquarters in Williamsport, Penn., saying it would be “impossible” to hold the events amid ongoing restrictions on large gatherings and travel.

Teams from both Surrey and White Rock have previously qualified to play in the series. Whalley Little League has sent teams to to Williamsport six times since 1973, including in 2018. White Rock players have represented Canada four times over the past decade, including a third-place international finish in 2017.

READ MORE: ‘Do or die’ time for Whalley, who fell in first game of Little League World Series

READ MORE: Team Canada ends World Series with 2-2 record

The Little League World Series has been held every August since 1947 and has never been cancelled. Next year was to be the 75th playing of the tournament; that milestone has been pushed back to 2022.

Keener described the decision to cancel as “heartbreaking” for all involved.

He added that travel restrictions would make it equally impossible to hold qualifying tournaments for international teams and to bring those teams safely to the United States.

– with files from Peace Arch News

CoronavirusSurreyWhite Rock

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