WILLIAMSPORT, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — It’s the first day of the 2021 Little League World Series, and like most things during the pandemic, there are some changes being made.
It was announced last week that no fans would be permitted in the stands.
The decision came after the CDC released more information about the delta variant being more infectious than previous strains.
Originally the Little League World Series wasn’t going to have fans at all, then last month, they were going to limit it to 3,000 people each day. Now, the president of the league announced that only players, coaches, their families, and high-level volunteers and supporters are permitted during the tournament.
All players and coaches will undergo covid testing upon arrival and will have limited contact with those who are unvaccinated until their results are in.
Those who aren’t vaccinated will be tested every other day, also, during the games, all participants must wear a mask and practice social distancing as best as possible.
No international teams will be participating this year, but there are still teams from all throughout the country excited for a once-in-a-lifetime chance to play in the Little League World Series.
“It’s different. You know you’re so used to seeing an extra ten thousand people running around the roads and the restaurants will be hurting,” said Williamsport resident Joe Britton.
All participants who are not vaccinated will be tested for covid every other day and isolated until the test results are received.
The tournament usually brings tens of thousands of people to the region, something residents say they’re definitely going to miss.
Aside from the excitement and activity, the tournament also brings in tens of millions of dollars to the region and temporary jobs.
“I would’ve been over there the whole world series and so would almost all of Williamsport. All these little kids enjoy that game. All these adults take them just to have fun,” said Wayne Hackenberg who lives in Williamsport.
The first game is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. this afternoon, Eyewitness News will continue to have live coverage throughout the day.
For all the latest little league world series updates, you can check out the Little Leagues Twitter.