Nearly all of the youth spring sports in the area are on hiatus for at least the next few weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic.
One such postponement involves the most recognized youth sports organization in the world.
Little League Baseball’s international headquarters in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, notified all of its leagues around the world that it’s recommending suspending all activities until at least April 6.
“While each community is being affected differently by the coronavirus, the Little League International Board of Directors and staff feel that it is in the best interest of our volunteers and participant families to delay the implementation of the Little League season to begin no earlier April 6,” the board said in a news release.
Locally, the move to suspend Little League Baseball activities was swift.
Tony Russo, District 2 Little League administrator, said in an email he’s ordered all activities in the district be suspended immediately until April 6.
“This includes all practices, games, clinics, training, opening days, etc.,” Russo said, adding that a brief teleconference call with local league presidents and assistant district administrators is set for Sunday to further discuss the situation.
Thurmont Little League announced Friday it has suspended all practices until April 6. The league’s season was set to begin April 4, but that has been delayed, according to Traci Hoffman, a Thurmont Little League volunteer, in an email. A new opening day has yet to be determined.
The preseason Garel Hauver Tournament, hosted by Brunswick Little League and set for March 28, has been cancelled, league officials said. Brunswick Little League and Frederick National Little League were to have opening days April 4.
“Right now, for all of us, it’s just a wait-and-see thing,” Mike Kline, Frederick National LL president, said. “We just have to hunker down and ride this out.”
Four County Little League’s opening day was set for April 2, according to the league’s website. No contingency plans were listed.
On the local Babe Ruth Baseball level, Frederick City Babe Ruth League suspended all activities as of noon Friday.
“We take the well-being of all of those associated with our organization very seriously and our highest priority is, and has always been, to ensure everyone’s safety,” Vince Ceci, league president, said in a news release. “We will re-evaluate everything on Friday, March 20, and send an e-mail to everyone with an update. We hope to be back up and running soon.”
Frederick County Babe Ruth League’s Board of Directors said games are not expected to start until at least April 1, adding there are no plans to postpone or cancel the season.
Other local youth sports organizations have been affected.
Frederick’s Francis Scott Key Post 11 American Legion Senior and Junior Baseball teams have postponed tryouts until a later date, team administrator Tommy Long said.
Middletown Valley Athletic Association has suspended all activities until at least March 28, but that is subject to change, the association’s executive board said on its website.
The Linganore-Oakdale-Urbana Athletic Association (LOUYAA) said in a post on its Facebook page it’s suspending all practices, games or events from March 16-27 in alignment with Frederick County Public Schools.
Two youth swimming organizations, Frederick Area Swim Team and Monocacy Aquatic Club, have suspended all activities until further notice.
“USA Swimming recommended no meets for 30 days,” Danielle Tomlin, a MAC official, said in an email.
FC Frederick club soccer has suspended operations through April 12, the club website said. Brunswick Junior Railroaders lacrosse is suspended until further notice.
Western Maryland Youth Lacrosse League will not resume until at least April 4, per the league’s website.
Officials with the Frederick Running Festival, scheduled for May 2-3, are watching the coronavirus situation closely.
Dave Gell, of Corrigan Sports Management, said if the festival, which features the Frederick Half-Marathon as its signature event, has to be postponed, the plan would be to reschedule.
“If we couldn’t reschedule, we would be forced to cancel,” Gell said in an email.