CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The start of the baseball season has been pushed back for everyone.
College has been cancelled.
Little League is also dealing with the ramifications of the Coronavirus.
Teams in the McIntire League were supposed to begin playing games this month, but on the recommendation of Little League International, that date has been pushed back to May 11th.
“I think they’re going to be super conservative, and follow whatever the federal guidelines are," says McIntire Little League president Duke Fox. "At this point, May 11th in probably on the optimistic side, if I had to guess, but hopefully I’m wrong, and hopefully we can get something done here before Memorial Day.”
There are 400 kids in the league, ages 4-to-12, and they won’t be allowed on the field for another couple of months.
“It’s brutal for everybody,” says Fox. "For a lot of these kids, it’s their last year of Little League, including my son, and they’ve worked really hard, and are ready to go. Teams had been practicing for several weeks before we closed everything down officially on Thursday, so that’s hard, and of course, all the coaches and parents and volunteers, as well. In the real scheme of things, Little League is important, but it’s not the end-all-be-all.”
Fox says they understandably haven’t received any word from the national office on when they might be able to go, but unlike the Majors, Little Leaguers don’t need spring training, so when they get it, they can start immediately.
“There’s no real ramp-up period, from our perspective," says Fox. "We have these incredible fields, that the city of Charlottesville, and Park and Recreation provide for us, and we have a great team of volunteers who can quickly get the fields in shape to play. So I’d say, if they gave us the go-ahead, we really could start things the next day.”
The Little League World Series is scheduled to run August 20th through the 30th in Williamsport, PA.