TWIN FALLS — Idaho High School spring sports have suffered due to the threat of COVID-19, and now a major summer sport’s postseason has become a casualty at well.
American Legion baseball announced Tuesday that its regionals and World Series events set for the end of the summer have been canceled. The regional tournament was originally set for Aug. 5-9 in eight different locations across the country. The World Series was scheduled for Aug. 13-18 in Shelby, North Carolina.
The action does not stem to regular season games and the seasons of individual states. For now, it will be up to each state’s Legion organization to decide whether to play and how much to play.
The Idaho Falls Bandits are the defending American Legion World Series champions and are the only Idaho team to have ever claimed the organization's national title.
The decision to cancel the regional and World Series tournaments was made for a couple of reasons, according to a news release from American Legion Baseball.
First, many teams would not be able to complete the prerequisite league play during the regular season between May and July with so many schools and facilities closed indefinitely.
Second, the large crowds that the postseason tournaments draw from all corners of the nation would be a health risk.
The awarding of American Legion Baseball scholarships for 2020 has also been suspended, per the release.
“These times are unparalleled,” Americanism Commission Chairman Richard Anderson said in the release. “And while it is distressing to think of all those youth across the nation who are disappointed to learn of the cancellation of American Legion programs this year, it would be a much, much greater tragedy if even just one of those youth were to fall ill during a program.”