By Communications Division
SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa.
August 26, 2011
Because of the pending arrival of Hurricane Irene on the Northeastern coast of the U.S., Sunday’s Little League Baseball World Series Championship Game has been moved from 3 p.m. to noon.
The Consolation Game, originally scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday, has been cancelled and will not be played.
“In order to have the best chance to complete the game on Sunday, this is the best course,” Stephen D. Keener, President and Chief Executive Officer of Little League Baseball and Softball, said. “This will allow us to take advantage of potentially better weather earlier in the day.”
Little League International consulted with local law enforcement officials before reaching the decision, as well as John Yingling, Director of the County of Lycoming Department of Public Safety. Mr. Yingling assured Little League that those in areas of Eastern Pennsylvania, where the storm may cause damage, will not be without emergency responders and assets because of the World Series.
The extreme eastern portion of Pennsylvania is expected to be harder-hit by the storm, but North-Central Pennsylvania, where the Little League International Complex is located, is not projected to experience violent or extreme weather.
“As always, the conditions leading up to and at game-time will be evaluated,” Patrick W. Wilson, Little League Vice President of Operations and International Tournament Director, said. “If conditions are suitable for World Series play, we will play the game. If not, we will postpone the start until the conditions are suitable.”
Although violent or extreme weather is not predicted, there is a chance that prolonged rain on Sunday in the Williamsport area would make starting the game impossible, Mr. Wilson said.
“Postponement of the game until Monday is a possibility, if it cannot be played on Sunday,” Mr. Wilson said. “But we will likely not make that decision until Sunday, after it is clear that it cannot be started that day.”
The winner of the two games on Saturday will face off in the noon World Championship game on Sunday. In Saturday’s International Championship, Hamamatsu Minami Little League of Hamamatsu City, Japan, will play Seguro Social Little League of Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico, at noon. In the 3 p.m. U.S. Championship, Ocean View Little League of Huntington Beach, Calif., plays Billings (Mont.) Big Sky Little League.
Both of Saturday’s games will be televised live on ABC.
Because of expected news coverage of the effects of Hurricane Irene, Sunday’s World Championship game will be televised live on either ABC or ESPN. Fans should check with local listings closer to game time.
“If it is possible, under acceptable conditions, to play the World Championship on Sunday, we will do so,” Mr. Keener said. “We know many people have traveled to the Williamsport area to see this event’s championship, and it is our intent to get a World Series Champion on Sunday if at all possible.”
A Sunday World Championship game has been postponed for a full day one time. In 2006, the World Championship game was played on Monday, Aug. 28, at 5 p.m. That game was won by Columbus (Ga.) American Little League, 2-1, over Kawaguchi City, Japan. The Consolation Game that year also was cancelled.
Fans are encouraged to watch for updates at Little League’s web site at www.LittleLeague.org, and on Little League’s Facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/LittleLeagueBaseballandSoftball.