Action from the Australian Little League Baseball Championships at Lismore last year. The event this year has been postponed. Photo Marc Stapelberg
Action from the Australian Little League Baseball Championships at Lismore last year. The event this year has been postponed. Photo Marc Stapelberg

Baseball in Lismore takes a big hit

FAR North Coast Baseball and the Lismore economy is set to take a major hit with Australian little league tournaments postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Tournaments scheduled for May and June have been postponed by Baseball Australia.

Each event includes at least 16 teams with hundreds of parents and support staff converging at Albert Park, Lismore.

Baseball Australia made the decision after the Federal Government announced restrictions on non-essential interstate travel.

The Lismore events usually include teams from most states including South Australia and Western Australia.

Plans to reschedule will be tough with the usual winner gaining entry to the Little League Baseball World Series in the United States.

Baseball Australia chief executive Cam Vale said there was no other option than to postpone the championships

“We will do all we can to reschedule the events but that will not be possible until the ban on non-essential travel lifts,” he said.

“Baseball Australia has been in regular discussion with Little League International and the impact on Australia’s involvement in the World Series events will be determined on Little League International’s decision on the World Series and all future direction from the Federal Government on international travel.”

Vale said he felt for the baseball community and everyone impacted, but it was important the sport played its role during an unprecedented situation.

“We are very grateful of the work through the past season of all participants, volunteers, clubs, charter and state associations,” he said.

“We understand this decision will come with sadness but baseball in Australia must play its part in reducing the risk of COVID-19 being spread further through the community.”

The coronavirus comes at a time when the baseball complex had plenty of momentum.

It has hosted Australian Little League events since 2015 and FNC baseball were constantly adding new events to the calendar.

FNC juniors have gained plenty from having the event on their doorstep having played in the competition for the first time last year.

Australia and Canada under-18 teams also used Lismore as a training base ahead of the Under-18 Baseball World Cup last year.

FNC has its long-running Timberjacks carnival in July.


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