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National Little League charter on hold

September 10, 1999

Regional Little League officials have placed National Little League's charter on hold and postponed an officer election amid concerns among parents about the way the league is being run, a local league official said Friday.

District One Administrator Debbie Everts said she wasn't told why the charter was put on hold.

Everts said she assumed it had something to do with concerns voiced by league parents about the way the league is operated.

Everts, who oversees the 17 Little Leagues in Washington, Allegany and Garrett counties, said she is taking the action very seriously.

"You're looking at the young kids. You're depriving them of being able to play baseball. It all goes back to the kids. That is a concern for me," Everts said.

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"I just want to make sure that everything is done correctly and done by the rules and regulations of Little League Inc.," Everts said.

Officials with Eastern Regional in Bristol, Conn., did not return repeated telephone calls on Friday.

Lance Van Auken, a member of the Charter Committee, said he was unaware of National's charter being placed on hold. Auken works for Little League headquarters in Williamsport, Pa.

The Charter Committee hasn't met in more than a month, Van Auken said.

Last spring the Charter Committee decided not to suspend National's charter, but made it clear it was concerned over infighting among parents and managers at National, Little League officials have said.

Earlier this year 216 parents signed a petition asking that the National board be dissolved and new elections held in April 1999.

Complaints from family members of Little League members included a lack of credibility on a board that had several appointed members, including the president, to organized practices during winter that broke Little League rules. League officials had denied that such practices took place.

Everts said she expects Eastern Regional to give National guidelines to follow so the league can reactivate its charter.

Hopefully, National can meet the criteria set in the guidelines to get its charter renewed in time for the 2000 season, Everts said. National has about 300 children as members.

National was to have elections this Sunday for its board of directors for 2000, but they were postponed as well in order for Eastern Regional to issue guidelines for the elections, Everts said.

With the Little League World Series wrapping up on Aug. 28 regional officials haven't had time to issue the guidelines before now, she said.

Everts said she expects to receive the guidelines for National's election next week so that the election can proceed within the next two to three weeks.

"We just want to make sure that everybody has a chance to have a vote this year," Everts said.

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