Update April 7, 2020 – News from The American Legion National Headquarters

2020 American Legion Regional Tournaments and 2020 American Legion World Series canceled

Awarding American Legion Baseball and Samsung American Legion Scholarships suspended for 2020

With the unpredictability of the current worldwide COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, the manner in which the virus spreads, its duration and the resulting public health regulations and restrictions across the nation, The American Legion is facing an improbable situation. The Americanism Commission, in consultation with National Commander James William “Bill” Oxford, announces cancellation of all 2020 American Legion Baseball national tournaments, inclusive of all eight 2020 Regional Tournaments and the 2020 American Legion World Series. The awarding of American Legion Baseball scholarships and Samsung American Legion Scholarships for 2020 have also been completely suspended (Samsung American Legion Scholarships awarded in years prior to 2020 will continue to be paid out to students upon their requests to receive their funds).

Many baseball coaches are unable to complete prerequisite league play scheduled between May and July due to the closure of schools and playing facilities across the nation. In August, more than 500 players, coaches and volunteer staff are scheduled to travel and participate in eight regional tournaments and the American Legion World Series, collectively attracting thousands of fans and spectators. Many of these individuals are of a high-risk demographic.

Currently, there are 32 American Legion Boys State and 9 American Legion Auxiliary Girls State programs who have found it necessary to cancel their 2020 programs due to health and safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, with several more having indicated that cancellation is probable. It is through the Boys State and Girls State programs that youth are afforded eligibility to apply for Samsung American Legion Scholarships. Many, many Boys State and Girl State delegates did not pursue their applications for 2020 Samsung American Legion Scholarships as a result of the scores of Boys State and Girls State program cancellations.

The decision to cancel was extremely difficult but deemed necessary, first and foremost in the interest of health and safety, and in the face of uncertainty. As Americanism Commission Richard Anderson noted, “These times are unparalleled. And while it is distressing to think of all those youth across the nation who are disappointed to learn of the cancellation of American Legion programs this year, it would be a much, much greater tragedy if even just one of those youth were to fall ill during a program. The Americanism Commission feels this is the right thing to do.”

Note: as of April 7, 2020 no decision has been made about the Department of Michigan Baseball program.

2020 National American Legion Convention in Louisville Canceled

RESOLVED, By the National Executive Committee of The American Legion, by electronic mail vote pursuant to Rule 12 of the Rules of the National Executive Committee, That due to the uncertainty of the duration of the disease known as Coronavirus (COVID-19), the numerous government regulations being enforced to contain it and concern for the safety of all members of the American Legion Family, the American Legion National Executive Committee (NEC) agrees that present circumstances constitute sufficient reasons to cancel the 2020 American Legion National Convention; and, be it further

RESOLVED, That due to these serious and sufficient reasons, the following American Legion events in Louisville, Kentucky, are canceled: (1) the Pre-Convention National Executive Committee meeting scheduled for August 31, 2020; (2) The American Legion’s 2020 National Convention scheduled for August 28–September 3, 2020; (3) the Post-Convention National Executive Committee meeting scheduled for September 3, 2020; and (4) all regular-scheduled national commission and committee meetings that would have been held in Louisville; and, be it further

RESOLVED, That all nationally elected and appointed officers continue serving in their current positions until the close of the next National Convention scheduled in Phoenix, Arizona, from August 27 through September 2, 2021; and, be it further

RESOLVED, That all national commission and/or committee chairpersons and the current commission and committee members continue serving in their current positions until they resign or are either reassigned or reappointed at the 2021 Fall Meetings scheduled in Indianapolis, Indiana, October 12–15, 2021; and, be it further
RESOLVED, That the National Executive Committee recommends that departments retain their current member of the NEC if they so desire until the post-Convention meeting of the NEC at the Phoenix, Arizona, National Convention on September 2, 2021; and, be it further

RESOLVED, That any resolutions needing to come before the American Legion National Executive Committee, including the re-adoption of our legislative agenda, with the exception of those legislative initiatives that the national Legislative Commission deems to have been fulfilled or are no longer relevant, may be brought forth to the National Executive Committee and subsequently considered and voted on by video meetings, electronic mail or any other allowed means prior to the 2020 Fall Meetings in Indianapolis, Indiana; and, be it further

RESOLVED, That the per capita dues for the American Legion National Organization remain at $18.50 for 2021; and, be it further

RESOLVED, That due to numerous health and safety reasons and needs of our members, the American Legion National Executive Committee strongly urges that the national Sons of The American Legion, the national American Legion Auxiliary and all American Legion departments follow a similar course of action, to-wit: (1) cancel their 2020 conventions and elections; and (2) maintain the status quo of their officers until next year; and, be it finally

RESOLVED, That due to the community of Louisville, Kentucky, accommodating the American Legion 2020 National Convention’s cancellation decision in such a prompt manner without penalty or other financial cost to The American Legion, the American Legion National Executive Committee is hereby awarding the 2026 National Convention to the community of Louisville, Kentucky, via the American Legion Department of Kentucky Convention Corporation.

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