Coronavirus Uncertainty Delays Start to 2021 World Tour
Ongoing coronavirus restrictions are still causing huge uncertainty in 2021 with nearly all countries still in various forms of lockdown. This is posing big challenges for all sports and after much communication with our Tournament Directors, the FIR has been forced to make a decision which means there will now be no World Tour tournaments until the end of June 2021 at the earliest.
With so little certainty about when coronavirus restrictions will be lifted in different countries, it makes planning tournaments with sponsors, venues, local government and hotels virtually impossible. On top of all of this, it’s also too early to know how and when international travel will be able to start up again.
This decision has not been taken lightly and it’s been taken with the full agreement of all the Tournament Directors that have been affected – another big thank you for all their hard work. Every tournament director who has now had to cancel this year has said they are really looking forward to welcoming back the Racketlon community in 2022!
Cancelled or Postponed Tournaments
26th – 27th – Sihlsports Open, Switzerland: Cancelled, to return in 2022.
9th – 11th – Czech Open, Prague: Postponed to November (See below).
16th – 18th – Nick Matthew Steel City Open, UK: Cancelled, to return in 2022.
28th – 30th – King of Rackets, Belgium: Cancelled, to return in 2022.
11th – 13th – Rotterdam Open, Netherlands: Postponed to October (See below).
Hopeful Signs for an Exciting Second Half of the Year
With promising signs that the vaccination programme may lead to the lifting of some coronavirus restrictions, we are hopeful that the second half of the year will see some great tournaments. We are proud and excited to announce the following World Tour dates:
25th – 27th – IWT Swiss Open, Zurich
9th – 11th – IWT Latvian Open, Riga
23rd – 25th – IWT London Open, Roehampton
6th – 8th – IWT German Open, Nussloch
20th – 29th – WC 18. FIR Racketlon World Championships: Doubles, Teams & Singles, Vienna & Graz, Austria
17th – 19th – CHA Alicante Open, Spain
1st – 3rd – IWT Rotterdam Open, Netherlands
29th – 31st – IWT French Open, Paris
12th – 14th – IWT Czech Open, Prague
10th – 12th – IWT La Santa Open, Lanzarote
Malta Open to be confirmed in October.
Indian Open to be confirmed in November.
Luxembourg Open and Finnish Open to return in 2022.
First-ever Norwegian Open postponed until 2022.
A decision about the Champions League – scheduled in Zurich (June) and Paris (Oct) will be made in the next few weeks.
Please also note that the FIR Council recently took a decision that in order to avoid any confusion, no tournament entries will be opened more than 3 months in advance of a tournament (and the FIR Council will make a decision about whether to open entries or not at this 3-month point).
Particularly when most countries are still in some sort of national lockdown it sends the wrong message for us to have entries open under those circumstances. As and when the situation changes, we will review this decision.
We cannot wait to see you all back on Tour!
Coronavirus Measures at World Tour Tournaments
As and when tournaments are able to return, the FIR will work closely with all tournament directors and publish in advance of each tournament a set of detailed coronavirus guidelines that will comply with all official local health directives.
All players will need to understand and closely follow these guidelines. The FIR and all our tournament directors are committed to implementing all necessary measures to ensure the health and safety of all those attending our tournaments.
I hope you are all finding different ways to keep your spirits up and hopefully the efforts we are making across FIR’s social media are helping in some small way. It’s vital for the future of Racketlon that our worldwide community stays together, stays connected and supports each other.
I will be outlining some key plans and projects over the coming weeks which we will now need to undertake in order to keep our sport operating going forward. We are going to need your help.
I wish you all the best.
Duncan Stahl / FIR President