ORGANIZERS of the Little League Philippines Series are taking all steps to guarantee the safety of all participants in the finals scheduled April 9 to 16 in Ilagan, Isabela.
A total of 63 teams culled from regional tournaments in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao will take part in the finals that will offer slots to this year’s Asia-Pacific Games.
Little League administrator Mike Zialcita on Tuesday said they are aware of the danger posed by the intense summer heat on the hundreds of participants aged 12 to 14 years.
“We just had a meeting last night. We agreed to implement the rule that there will be no matches from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. because it’s the hottest time of the day,” Zialcita told the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex Conference Room.
A young student-athlete from Colegio San Agustin collapsed while playing football and died apparently due to heat stroke over the weekend.
“If the weather’s too hot, we top playing, and we make sure the kids are fully hydrated,” Zialcita said in the forum presented by San Miguel Corp., Philippine Sports Commission, Milo, Philippine Olympic Committee and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.
“If an athlete is in no condition to play, we won’t let him,” Zialcita added.
The 63 finalists from 158 teams that joined the regionals last February will vie for slots to the Asia-Pacific Games featuring four divisions and baseball and three in softball.
South Korea will host the 12-under and 13-under divisions in baseball in June while the Philippines is still working on hosting the 14-under baseball in Clark and all divisions in softball in Ilagan City in June.
Zialcita said they were surprised by the heavy turnout in the regionals also held in Ilagan where teams from Tanauan, Muntinlupa, Ilocos, Negros Occidental, Bago City, Davao, Kidapawan, Sarangani and North Cotabato reigned supreme.