The 2019 IWT Czech Open will proudly host the first Seniors Showdown event in April.
The Seniors Showdown is an exciting new initiative for 2019 aiming to make racketlon more affordable and enjoyable for the +65 and +70 age classes.
This follows the results of a survey conducted by the FIR. It found that, while interest is high for players of this age category, there is often not enough suitable participants to make the expense and time taken worthwhile.
These age classes will now be offered at a restricted number of tournaments, distributed throughout the year, to concentrate participation.
Other additions for the +65 and +70 classes includes a reduced entry fee and an assurance that the classes will only take place of a maximum of two days to reduce transport and accommodation fees.
What is the Seniors Showdown?
Following the results of the 2018 survey, the FIR has introduced the Seniors Showdown to help improve player experience in the +65 and +70 age classes.
These two classes have been restricted to a maximum of eight tournaments to ensure a higher number of players at each event.
Previously, these classes have been offered at most World Tour events. However, this left numbers sparse at some events leading to uncompetitive and unfulfilling competitions.
As part of the survey, players were encouraged to suggest tournaments that they felt were best suited to the new Seniors Showdown.
The guaranteed events are the World Singles Championships, the two SWT’s in Austria and Belgium and four IWTs.
While the full list of IWTs is yet to be confirmed, the Czech Open was identified as a popular option by players. Therefore, the tournament will host the first Seniors Showdown event of the 2019 season.
Early Tournament Registration is Important
Two of the major concerns that players noted when responding to the survey was a lack of opponents and the expense of travel.
Our intention moving forward is to promote Senior Showdown events in advance to encourage early booking and, therefore, cheaper travel. The full list of Senior Showdown events will be released in the coming weeks.
We would encourage players in the +65 and +70 age categories to register for tournaments as early as possible. The more players that enter early the more this will encourage other players to also enter. This should ensure that we get a larger number of participants in these categories.
Information about the Czech Open
As previously noted, a further new addition is the reduction of fees for +65 and +70 players. There is a 10 euro discount in Prague with tournament registration costing 45 euros.
Matches at the Czech Open will begin from lunchtime on Saturday, April 6th. The finals will take place on the morning of Sunday, April 7th. This will ensure that categories are completed within 24 hours.
All information about the Czech Open including transport, accommodation and the player’s party can be found here.
Registration for the 2019 IWT Czech Open is available here.
Sam Barker / FIR Media Officer