The U18 World Cup, that was supposed to be played from September 10 through September 19, will be postponed. As a result the two European representatives, the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Italy, will have to wait for 2022 to appear on the highest world stage in that age category.
The intention was to play the tournament in two MLB Spring Training Complexes: the Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota and LECOM Park in Bradenton. The first is the Spring Training home of the Baltimore Orioles, the second is the Spring Training home of the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Low A home of the Bradenton Marauders.
But with the Corona pandemic flaring up again, the State of Florida is deep red in most of the counties, the WBSC has decided to postpone the tournament for 2021.
In March 2019, the WBSC awarded the Hosting Rights to USA Baseball and the aforementioned cities. Back then, nobody knew anything about COVID-19 yet.
As the announcement was made today, WBSC President Fraccari stated the following: “As we continue to monitor the global COVID-19 pandemic, the WBSC, as well as our hosts and all concerned stakeholders, consider the rescheduling of the U-18 Baseball World Cup to 2022 to be the best and safest course of action.”
The last U18 World Cup was played in 2019 and was won by Chinese Taipei. The Kingdom of the Netherlands clinched a seventh place back then.