As many of you will have seen on the Live Video announcement last night, the FIR has released a variety of different information to the playing community about this year’s FIR tournaments including the World Championships. This is all aimed to give the playing community complete clarity of the situation re upcoming tournaments so that they can make appropriate plans, but also to clearly show what our plans are for the whole year. The FIR is working hard to put plans in place that will give us the best possible chance to have some Racketlon to look forward to in 2020!
Here is a summary of the announcements that were made last night:
- Based on advice and information from governments across different countries and also from information that has been shared with the FIR from different international federations (WSF, ESF, ITTF, BWF and ITF as well as others), we expect a gradual lifting of restrictions which will allow people to get back playing sport over the next 1 to 3 months in most countries. But there will be many restrictions on how people can play and getting back to actual tournament play is still a long way off. There is also no consensus about when international travel will return to anything like normal levels.
- Based on the above information, no FIR tournaments will take place until September 2020 at the earliest.
- The Swiss Open (June), Latvian Open (July), London Open (July), German Open (August) World Champs (Aug) will all NOT take place
- But we have now made plans to reschedule the following tournaments:
- World Doubles + Czech Open from 5th – 8th November
- World Champs Singles & Teams at Enskede in Stockholm (date tbc – should be confirmed within a few days)
- Nick Matthew Steel City Open, Sheffield from 18th – 20th December
- It should be emphasised that all the FIR tournaments from Sept until Dec (original tournaments and re-scheduled ones) will obviously have to be reviewed in light of the corona situation…but we will make those decisions at a later date over the summer when we have more information.
- The main unknown about whether these tournaments between Sept and Dec can take place is likely to be around international travel.
- The FIR firmly believe it is vital that we try and do everything we can to have a World Championships this year. It might end up not being possible, but we all believe that we should give ourselves the best possible chance for it to happen. After the world champs team for Rotterdam made it clear that they could not postpone their date to later in the year, we’ve worked hard to try and get a deal with an alternative city/venue. We’re excited to now have a deal in place with Enskede in Stockholm where we know an excellent World Championships can be staged. The date will be towards the end of the year which again will make it more likely that the tournament can take place (exact date will be announced soon).
Finally, I would like to send a huge thank you to all the tournament directors who have been forced to cancel their tournaments this year. I know how much work is involved in staging tournaments which makes these decisions all the more painful. Particularly, I would like to thank Erik and Guus for all the work they have already put in to prepare for the World Champs in Rotterdam – it is not easy to have all that work come to nothing, but I’m determined to try and bring some big tournaments back to the Netherlands as they have some of the best Racketlon venues in the world.
I hope everyone is keeping well, please do get in touch if you have any questions or ideas that you would like to put my way.
All the best,
Duncan Stahl / FIR President