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Local youth baseball leagues hoping to have season in 2020

LEWISTOWN — With the cancellation of sports across the country, youth baseball and softball leagues in Mifflin County are holding on to hope that there will be a 2020 season.

Mifflin County Youth Baseball held a teleconference with its board members on Sunday afternoon and has decided to put its season on hold. The combined youth baseball boards, Big Valley Little League and the Mifflin County Youth Baseball, said that they intend to have a 2020 youth season, but that the timing and structure of it is still unclear.

“Little League mandated that no season is to start until May 11th,” Josh Snook, the Mifflin County Youth Baseball League president said. “Babe Ruth-Cal Ripken hasn’t mandated it outright, but has suggested that leagues follow the federal and local government guidelines in place. Hopefully at some point we can get back and get a little bit of a season in.”

Snook noted that the league does still intend to have a state tournament but the timeline for that could change.

Babe Ruth-Cal Ripken released a statement on its Facebook page on Monday detailing how the 2020 season may be affected and noted that the primary focus is to have a regular season for all kids involved.

“A conference call was held last week with members of the state staff and a Mid-Atlantic regional representative to discuss some of the areas of the upcoming season that are affected, including the tournament trail,” the statement said.

“The clear message that we want to send out following that meeting is this: Our first priority is to ensure that our leagues have the capacity to conduct a meaningful rec season. When and how rec seasons will happen obviously depends on when things get back to normal. There are some ideas being floated that could impact the timing and manner of the tournament trail, but it is premature to discuss those. We just want to emphasize that the ability of our member leagues to conduct a regular season is paramount to all else.”

Mifflin County Little Softball president Tony Stoner said that the softball league must follow Little League’s mandate on the start of the league year.

“All I know right now is that early last week, Little League International sent out an email and they want all play suspended until May 11th,” Stoner said. “That could change with what is happening. We aren’t doing anything and District 6 — State College and Bellefonte — have followed suit.”

Stoner did not have an update on how the current schedule could affect All-Star competition at this point.

Mifflin County Pony League announced in a statement last week that its first day of practice would be April 6th, but that has been moved back to April 20th, a league representative said through Facebook messenger. Opening day is still tentatively scheduled for May 2nd.

Updated information will be available as it is provided.

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