VLL opening day photo

There will be no opening-day ceremony at Vienna Little League this season as administrators decided to cancel its 2020 season in the last few days. (Photo by Dave Facinoli)

Two of the three local Little Leagues in the Sun Gazette’s coverage areas canceled their 2020 spring seasons in recent days, with McLean Little League still hoping to play some type of regular season for baseball and girls softball teams in June and July.

Great Falls and Vienna Little Leagues will not play this spring or summer, and hope to expand their fall seasons instead.

“It is with a heavy heart that we made the difficult decision to cancel the season,” read a statement on the Great Falls Little League Website. “While our region has showed progress in slowing the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, we believe our efforts are best served planning and executing a safe and fun fall season.”

The two canceled leagues will offer their graduated 12-year-old players the opportunity to play in the fall if they choose. At some point, the Great Falls league is to celebrate those 12-year-old graduates with a last “run around the bases” at the Nike Park complex.

“Unfortunately, forces beyond our control – including trends in local COVID-19 conditions, restricted access to critical playing fields and uncertainty about appropriate precautions – made it simply infeasible to continue to plan for a season in June and July, as we had previously hoped,” said a statement on the Vienna Little League Website. “Thus, the board voted to cancel the season.”

McLean Little League still hopes to hold a regular season for the AA, AAA and Majors levels in baseball and softball senior-age girls softball. If started sometime in mid-June, the McLean season could run into July, with each team playing as many as 16 games, but with no end-of-season tournaments.

No final decision has been made if there will be any District 4 all-star tournaments for any of the age levels. With Great Falls and Vienna now not participating in any all-star tournaments, that makes it less of a possibility any tournaments will be held.

Great Falls, McLean and Vienna all-stars teams are perennially the top programs in those tournaments.

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