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Havre de Grace Little League forced to cancel 2020 season amid coronavirus restrictions

The Havre de Grace Little League snack bar at Stancill Park sits idle as a result of the the 2020 season being cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Havre de Grace Little League snack bar at Stancill Park sits idle as a result of the the 2020 season being cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic. (Matt Button / The Aegis/Baltimore Sun Media)

Havre de Grace Little League has been a spring-summer staple for boys and girls since its incorporation way back in 1948.

In those 70-plus years there have been bumps, from the building of the league’s home, the Stancill Park complex, to loss of housing developments (which meant losing kids), to extremely hot days and to the nemesis of all baseball/softball players, the rainout.

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Late last week the league, which was celebrating its 50th year at Stancill Park and 73rd overall, announced what most eager baseball/softball fans knew: The 2020 season is canceled. No further delays, just sadly and unfortunately, canceled, due to the CIOVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions still in place.

“As far as canceling the season, nobody wanted to do it, but we as a board and Little League in general, thought that was the best and safest thing to do for our kids,” Havre de Grace Little League President Donny Crites said.

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Havre de Grace Little League posted the news on its Facebook site May 28. It reads;

After careful and deliberate consideration over recent weeks, the Havre de Grace Little League board of directors has made the difficult and unprecedented decision to cancel the 2020 Havre de Grace Little League season out of an abundance of caution and concern for the safety of our players, volunteers and community. This decision was made following the guidance and best practices laid forth by local and state officials, and under the consideration of guidelines by Little League international. In the coming days we will have additional guidance for families on our website and Facebook page, including information regarding registration fees. Again, this decision was not made lightly and we hope all of our families stay healthy and remain #HdGstrong amid this global pandemic. We look forward to welcoming everyone back to Stancill Park in 2021 for our 72nd season serving Havre de Grace.

The season started off like many in the past, with registrations taking place for boys and girls ages 4-16 for play in T-Ball, Baseball and Softball.

“The plan is to roll over registrations into next year. So, if the kids are registered for this year they will already be paid for, for next year,” Crites said. “However, if a parent wants a refund, or request one, there’s a form on our website they can fill out, submit to us and we’ll get the registration fee returned to them.”

Crites says there hasn’t been any real negativity toward the league and its decisions. The league is at the mercy of the state, county and Little League International. “Yes, and that was the big point as far as us canceling the season with the latest updates from the Governor,” Crites said. “Still only allowing practices up to a total of 10 and still allowing no games to be played, so with that being said, we decided to cancel. Our season is typically over middle of June anyway, so we’re only a week and half removed before our season would be over due to the tournaments.”

Those tournaments, the annual District 5 All-Star Tournaments, get started in late June and early July, so teams have to be picked and practices have to get started. This year’s regular season was scheduled to end June 12 with All-Star practices set to begin June 13.

Little League International announced earlier in May that All-Star play in 2020 was canceled.

“We were holding out hope that things would loosen up and to where we could practice and get games in, however, it just wasn’t the case,” Crites said. “The guidelines that Little League had sent down as far what we would have to do, sanitizing baseballs, social distancing, the equipment, restrooms, it would be very difficult.”

Crites says there were approximately 350 children registered to play this season.

There has been no decision made yet on a possible Fall Ball season at Stancill Park.

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