The American Legion Department of Wisconsin has canceled its programming of American Legion Baseball within the state for the 2020 season.
The recommendation, in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic, was made by the Wisconsin American Legion Baseball Association (WALBA) Board of Directors on a video conference May 6. The Department Executive Committee then made the final decision on May 9. It marks the first time since 1927 the Department of Wisconsin will not crown an American Legion Baseball champion.
A total of 24 other states have canceled its American Legion Baseball program for 2020 as of May.
“Everyone involved in our program hoped to have American Legion Baseball in 2020, but this was a necessary decision,” Wisconsin American Legion Baseball Commissioner Roger Mathison said. “There were a number of factors that the board took under consideration, primarily the health of players, coaches, umpires, parents, fans and volunteers involved in the program.”
Facility availability, travel concerns and the uncertainty on when sporting events will be allowed in Wisconsin contributed to the decision.
“We fully expect to have our program return in 2021 and be played at a high level.”
A total of 217 teams participated in Wisconsin’s American Legion Baseball program in 2019, making it the fourth-largest program in the country. Wisconsin trailed only Minnesota (366 teams), Nebraska (271 teams) and Pennsylvania (253 teams) in the number of registered teams last year.
The Wisconsin American Legion Baseball All-Star Game scheduled for August 9 at Miller Park in Milwaukee has also been canceled. State tournaments in 2020 were scheduled for Sheboygan (Class AAA), Fort Atkinson (Class AA), Viroqua (Class A), Plover (17-Under) and Lomira-Theresa (16-Under).