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Little League hopes to have seasons for older players

With practices allowed to begin Monday — and games as soon as July 1 — Hawaii State District III Little League has a goal of modified regular seasons for players 13 to 16 years old around the county.

“We would like to do a Junior (13-14)/Senior (15-16) modified season involving multiple leagues,” District III administrator Ernest Delima said in an email to The Maui News on Thursday. “This may include Kihei LL, Central East Maui LL, Maui Up Country and Lanai LL.”

Delima added, “Leagues are also working on seeing if they can bring on-line other age divisions at the league level for a modified season.”

There are challenges that Delima noted after the county’s announcement of a phased-in plan to allow some outdoor sports to begin, with guidelines for safety due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“District 3 LL on Maui, Lanai and Molokai are in the process of determining if we can meet the minimum standards put out by the Parks Department in order to resume play,” Delima said. “A challenge we face is that Phase I of the Parks Dept. plan is that it only allows you to use your existing permits. Phase I also only allows team practice, etc. If your permits expires in the next week or two, then that is all the time you have.

“We are awaiting more information from the Park Department on how we can request additional time on key fields in order to conduct Little League activities.”

Delima added that state tournaments appear to be off the table for this summer. Maui was set to host the state Majors (11-12) Division tournament — by agreement of the state’s administrators, that assignment will be rolled over to 2021.

“We have requested field time in August to possibly do District Tournaments but until we are told we have the field time secured they remain outstanding,” Delima wrote, adding that he hopes to have more information next week on the possibility of Little League baseball returning in Maui County.

* Robert Collias is at rcollias@mauinews.com

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