USA Baseball Ready to Play Ball Again
24 Jun, 2020
USA Baseball has published a revised schedule of events as the organization attempts to adapt its calendar amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Under the latest plans, which have been created under regulations set out by Federal, State and local Governments, the resumption of USA Baseball events would begin with their Under-14 Cup competition. The tournament would take place from July 24 to 26 at the National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina.
It will be followed by the Under-17 National Team Championships from July 27 to 30, it is hoped, with both the Under-14 and Under-15 National Team Championships held on the same dates in Arizona. The National Team Championships for the under-16 and 17 age groups are due to take place in Arizona from July 31 to August 3.
North Carolina is due to host an under-15 competition from August 4 to 9, while the under-10 futures invitational is scheduled for August 6 to 9. The under-18 National Team Championships is due to be held from August 11 to 16.
NTIS Champions Cup competitions for the under-11 to under-14 age groups are scheduled for August 19 to 23, while the under-15 and under-16 age group events are due to be held from August 26 to 30. The Under-14 Cup and the Under-11 and Under-13 Futures Series in California is set to remain on August 28 to 30, as originally scheduled.
Dates for the competitions remain tentative, with future changes possible.
The Under-11 Futures Invitational, Under-13 and Under-14 athlete development program and the Under-16 and Under-17 national team development program events have been cancelled. The National Team Championships in Florida was also cancelled.
USA Baseball added that it was working with the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) regarding the international calendar.
The organization has cancelled all under-12 national team events for 2020 in light of changes to the international calendar, with future events planned for under-15s, under-18s, collegiate and the women's national team set to be announced as necessary.
"As the national governing body for baseball in the United States, we feel it is in the best interest of the thousands of baseball athletes in our country to postpone our return to the field due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic," said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball executive director and chief executive. "We share in the longing for baseball's return, but we believe it is prudent to continue assessing the situation and finalizing a course of action that prioritizes the overall health and safety of our participants and their families in light of the continued transmission of this disease. USA Baseball fully supports the WBSC and its decision to indefinitely postpone the events on the baseball calendar in an effort to protect our national team athletes at this time. When the time comes for Team USA to return to the field, we will be ready to continue our longstanding tradition of excellence on the international stage."
USA Baseball added that its medical and safety advisory committee has published a free athlete preparation plan.
The plan is aimed at providing athletes with a series of at-home exercises to help their return to competition.