SELMA - Youth sports in the area continue to get impacted by COVID-19, as Selma Little League announced in a statement that it will cancel the 2020 season.

The statement is from the Selma Little League Board of Directors and it was released on the organization’s Facebook page on Monday.

“The Selma Little League Board of Directors would like to thank you all for being patient through this difficult time. We know that you all have been eagerly awaiting a decision to be made regarding the 2020 Little League season. Our Board, along with City officials, have discussed many different scenarios and possibilities to align ourselves with the State of California, County of Fresno, and City of Selma’s social distancing rules and safety regulations, in hopes of providing a season for 2020. However, after much discussion and deliberation, we are deeply saddened to announce that Selma Little League will not be continuing with the 2020 season.”

The announcement comes after the canceled seasons from Kingsburg Youth Baseball - Cal Ripken and Babe Ruth - and Selma Babe Ruth. Kingsburg Cal Ripken was scheduled to host the 12-70 Central California State tournament on June 21 to July 1.

Swimming was another youth sport affected by the pandemic with the Central Valley Recreational Swim League canceling its season in April.

“The safety and wellness of the youth of Selma Little League is our utmost priority,” SLL Board president Michael Bustillos said. “We miss all the families of Selma Little League and our board is working together to come up with solutions and help alleviate the financial burden that COIVD-19 has impacted our community, especially with the registration fees and we’ll do everything we can to offset those costs next year.”

Bustillos didn’t comment any further on the canceled season and he wanted to refer the public to the organization's statement.

Here’s the rest of SLL’s statement:

“There have been several inquiries regarding registration refunds. Being that Selma Little League is a non-profit organization, and that we were only seven days from Opening Ceremonies, registration fees were completely absorbed in the purchase of uniforms, player insurance, Little League International charter fees, District 10 charter fees, as well as other fees and costs necessary to begin our season. These include, but are not limited to, field equipment, team equipment, and snack bar start up costs. Furthermore, Selma Little League is one of only youth sports programs in the City of Selma that maintains its own facility; therefore, we incur many other fees and costs to provide a safe and updated facility. In addition to the costs mentioned above, we have year round expenses with field and facility maintenance and upkeep.”

The Selma Little League board members are committed to doing everything we can to raise funds to offset some of the cost for the 2021 season. Our plan is to use those funds to be able to offer lower registration fees for our families next season. We welcome any additional volunteers and ideas to aid in this task.

Coaches were in the process of picking up and handing out jerseys at the time the pandemic shut down occurred. If your child has not received their 2020 team jersey, please follow our Facebook page for future information and dates when these will be available for pick up.

Again, we thank you for being patient with us and hope you understand the difficult decisions we have had to make while we had hoped to be able to play a 2020 season, our players safety and well-being is of the utmost importance. We all miss baseball very much and look forward to seeing you all for the 2021 season.”

Jeremiah Martinez can be reached at (559) 583-2413 or Follow Jeremiah on Twitter at @TheJerryMartin.

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