USA Baseball cancels National Team Championships in Arizona

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USA Baseball recently announces the cancellation of the 2020 National Team Championships in Arizona due to the escalation of COVID-19 transmissions. Valley News/JP Raineri photo

Local youth baseball players and their families learned that USA Baseball announced the cancellation of the 2020 National Team Championships in Arizona recently. The announcement came just a week after the decision was made to cancel a multitude of USA Baseball events nationwide due to the escalation of COVID-19 transmissions, especially within the state of Arizona and throughout the U.S. Southwest. The administration behind the Arizona event said they will not be rescheduled in 2020 but will return in 2021.

“It is disappointing to announce the cancellation of our National Team Championships in Arizona for this summer; however, we feel this course of action is prudent in order to protect the long-term health, safety and well-being of the thousands of participants and their families who attend this event every year,” Paul Seiler, executive director and CEO of USA Baseball, said. “Our focus now turns toward the future and working with the many tremendous Major League Baseball Spring Training facilities in the Greater Phoenix area to host this world-class national team identification event again in 2021.”

The 2021 edition of National Team Championships Arizona was tentatively slated to begin from June 14-21, for the 17U age group; followed by the 15U and 14U/16U age groups from June 22-29, and June 30-July 7, respectively.

The National Team Championships are elite championship-style tournaments held in Arizona, Florida and North Carolina that allow athletes from across the entire United States to be identified for selection to the 15U National Team, as well as the 13U/14U Athlete Development Program and the 16U and 17U National Team Development Programs.

“It is disappointing,” local baseball coach Norm Hebert said. “Our Juggernaut Baseball Academy teams have been trying to stay ready the best they can, especially with all these new measures to get used to. Now, with the cancellations of the USA Baseball events and the continuing pushback of the NCAA recruiting rules, it is tough to know where things are heading. We are just staying positive and plan to continue to keep our players health and safety the top priority.”

USA Baseball, the national governing body for baseball in the United States, will continue to closely monitor the ongoing situation regarding the coronavirus pandemic and is diligently evaluating the status of the remaining events on its 2020 calendar. All decisions on events will be made in as timely of a manner as possible in accordance with government-mandated guidelines and with respect to the safety and well-being of all the participating athletes, coaches and fans. At this time, the 2020 National Team Championships North Carolina is still scheduled to begin July 27, at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina. For more information, follow @USABChamps_NC on Twitter.

To find out more information on USA Baseball events, visit http://www.USABaseball.com. For more information on the organization, its national teams and development-driven initiatives, visit the official website at http://www.USABaseball.com or http://www.USABDevelops.com.

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