NEWPORT BEACH (AP) — Less than a week after opening day, the Little League season in this Southern California beach city has been indefinitely suspended.
The Orange County Register reported that 700 boys and girls registered to play baseball in the Newport Beach Little League have been left to wonder when they may next take the field. The league includes about 70 teams for children ages 5 to 13.
Organizers told the newspaper they are unsure why regional coordinators put their season in limbo Wednesday.
The president of the Newport Beach organization, Gary Borquez, said he believes the suspension may have come because 14 of the 24 members of the board were coaches and managers. No more than half can be managers or coaches under league rules, and several managers resigned last week when they learned of the suspension.
“Our main concern is to get the kids back on the field,” Borquez said. “Little League is all about the kids playing and having fun.”
On Wednesday, the district administrator who oversees leagues in the area emailed the interim director of the Little League Western Region Headquarters and asked that the Newport Beach league be suspended.
“I have exhausted extensive time in trying to get the president to take control of this situation, but my efforts have been futile, which I believe are directly related to the manager/coach ratio on the board of directors who are determined to customize the league’s program to their own liking and not consider the best interest of the players in the program,” District 55 Administrator Tamara Alexander wrote.
Soon after, Borquez received an email from Dave Bonham, the interim director of the Little League Western Region Headquarters, suspending the league as of Thursday and “until such time as your organization comes into compliance with the rules and regulations of Little League Baseball and Softball.”
Borquez said he has tried to contact the district but has not heard back.