USA Baseball cancels 2020 National Team Identification Series events

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The 2019 USA 15U National Team, which included Menifee’s Mikey Romero, win gold at the 2019 COPABE U-15 Pan-American Championships Sunday, Sept. 22, in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico. Courtesy photo

USA Baseball announced the cancellation of all 2020 National Team Identification Series events recently due to the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. As the national governing body for baseball in the United States, USA Baseball is committed to serving, protecting and supporting the game of baseball and its 15.6 million participants. The cancellations include all regional tryouts, as well as the NTIS Champions Cup scheduled to take place at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in August. These events will not be rescheduled.

“Due to the ongoing transmission of COVID-19 and its continued impact within the United States, all 2020 National Team Identification Series events have been canceled,” Paul Seiler, executive director and CEO of USA Baseball, said. “It is disappointing for us to withdraw this truly unique and comprehensive national team identification opportunity from our calendar as it provides every young athlete in our country the opportunity to play for Team USA; however, the health and safety of our participants and their families continues to be our top priority during this unprecedented crisis.”

USA Baseball has canceled the remainder of their 2020 National Team Identification Series events due to the continued impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Valley News/Courtesy photo

The NTIS is the organization’s most comprehensive player identification program and includes six age groups ranging from 11U-16U. Many of the area’s top youth baseball players embark on these tryouts throughout the year and have been planning these trips for months.

“It’s a bummer, we had been holding out hope, but with a top notch program like USA Baseball, you know they are looking out for the safety of the players first,” Temecula resident Chris Scott said, whose son Landon, 11, has been going through the tryout out process for Team USA since last year.

Under the direction of USA Baseball regional directors, tryouts are held in every region of the country for athletes to be identified and selected for their region teams. Each region team then travels to Cary, North Carolina, for the Champions Cup, where the athletes are evaluated and scouted by national team coaches and task force members for the chance to play on a future USA Baseball national team or participate in a national team development program.

Regional identification events for the 2021 edition of the NTIS Champions Cup are set to begin in September. USA Baseball will continue to closely monitor the evolving COVID-19 pandemic and diligently evaluate the status all remaining events scheduled on the 2020 calendar, which continue to be subject to cancellation or postponement.

Founded in 1978, USA Baseball fields six national teams annually and is a member of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee and the World Baseball Softball Confederation. On the diamond, USA Baseball is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and the reigning World Baseball Classic champion, and its national teams have won 62 gold medals in international competition. Off the field, the organization is dedicated to the proliferation and health of the sport through the creation and management of numerous development initiatives including Fun At Bat, Pitch Smart, PLAY BALL and the Prospect Development Pipeline.

For more information on the USA Baseball NTIS, visit www.USABaseballNTIS.com, and to find out more on the organization, its national teams and development-driven initiatives, visit the official website at www.USABaseball.com or www.USABDevelops.com.

JP Raineri can be reached by email at sports@reedermedia.com.