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700 Little League players sidelined in wide suspension

March 15, 2014|By Steve Virgen
  • Opening day ceremonies for Newport Beach Little League.
Opening day ceremonies for Newport Beach Little League. (Newport Beach Little League )

More than 700 Little League baseball players have been sidelined in Newport Beach: The city’s entire league was suspended for having too many coaches on its board.

The league was suspended Wednesday, forcing the cancellation of Thursday and Saturday games for hundreds of Little League players.

Joe Jennings, a board member for Newport Beach Little League, told the Daily Pilot that the punishment seemed like an “extreme action that has been harsh for so many kids.”

Little League rules say coaches can’t total more than half the number of people on the board, according to Jennings. He said five board members immediately resigned to bring the league into compliance -- but not soon enough to get the young players back on the field.

It was unclear when games would resume.

Gregg Olson, a former Major League Baseball relief pitcher who lives in Newport Beach, went to Twitter to ask for help.

"We need help in Newport Beach. Our Little League has been suspended without giving us a cause. We have 800 kids that will not be playing baseball.... We need help!" he tweeted.

Phone calls and an email sent to District 55, which oversees the Newport Beach league, were not immediately returned.

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steve.virgen@latimes.com

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