14U tournament will return in 2021 --
LEBANON -- The Continental Amateur Baseball Association (CABA) 14U World Series, hosted annually by the Lebanon Sports Commission and the City of Lebanon's department of Parks & Recreation, will not be played this year.
The 16th version of the event had been scheduled for July 10-16 at various fields in Lebanon, but organizers were faced with a multitude of issues -- including the COVID 19 pandemic.
Several teams from other parts of the United States are just now seeing their states opening up and allowing practice, while other teams have opted to play in only area and regional tournaments.
"Last year we had 18 teams," said tournament director Johnny Davenport. "In 2018 we had 21. We were having trouble getting commitments for this year, and that's understandable."
The CABA website presently lists eight teams having registered through June 15, but two teams from the New England Roughnecks and two from the Rawlings A's Prospects (Maryland) have indicated they will not be playing out of state this summer.
The 2012 tournament was the high-water mark for the event with 32 teams playing 96 pool play games over four days before the field was whittled down for a championship tournament.
The impact on local restaurants and hotels has been staggering, pumping in excess of $1 million into the economy each year.
"We reached a point where it became apparent we wouldn't have enough teams to make things feasible," Davenport said.
Another factor figuring into the decision was the damage done to Baird Municipal Park by the March tornado.
"Veterans Field has always been our primary / showcase field. We'd hold our opening ceremonies there, our home run derby and the fireworks show.
The lights at Veterans and (adjoining) Eskew Field were damaged by the tornado, so they were out of commission.
"Cumberland (University) is another field we use and it hasn't been opened up for games yet."
Plans call for the tournament to return in the late summer of 2021.