Wednesday, March 18, 2020

LPRT cancels San Antonio due to COVID-19 situation, plus US & Canadian Nationals

The COVID-19 situation continues to effect the racquetball world. The Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) announced Tuesday that the Battle at the Alamo event scheduled for April 17-19 has been cancelled. That was a sad announcement, but not surprising given how the COVID-19 situation has been developing in the USA.

It’s also entirely sensible, and we’re surprised that the announcement on Facebook has garnered some “angry” reactions. We understand being sad about this decision, but anger? Come on.

According to LPRT Commissioner T.J. Baumbaugh, the YMCA that would host the event has forbidden group events until further notice, and she felt the uncertainty on whether the event would go ahead was too great to ask players to make travel arrangements to be in San Antonio at this time, so it was best to cancel it.

US & Canadian Nationals

USA Racquetball sent an email today stating they remain “fully committed to hosting our National Singles and Junior Championships… there is no need for any drastic decisions. Any speculation at this moment would be counterproductive.” But they will be guided by two principles: “to protect the health of everyone involved and to support the containment of the virus” and “to safeguard the interests of the athletes and all involved with USA Racquetball.”

It’s good for USA Racquetball to get in touch with its membership, but a little optimistic to think that everything’s going to be fine in two month time.

Last week (that is, last Thursday, not today, Wednesday), Racquetball Canada sent an email about their Nationals, which happen at the same time as US National Singles. In their message, Racquetball Canada states “we are working closely with our National Team and High-Performance Committee to ensure our athletes and coaches are not put into an unsafe situation. As of today, we are still planning our National Championships. Registration is on hold while we wait for further information” in the coming weeks.

Furthermore, Racquetball Canada is working on “contingency plans” to use “if the situation escalates.” A message on their website states they recommend “NOT [purchasing] flights or [making] travel arrangements until registration is open.”

Both USA Racquetball and Racquetball Canada are hopeful their National events will go ahead, although the latter’s message seems more pessimistic, and speaks to actively planning for alternatives. USA Racquetball should be doing that too, and perhaps they are even if they are not stating that publicly at the moment.

It’s not the best of times, but it’s not the worst of times either. There isn’t fire and brimstone raining down on us, but the situation isn’t normal either. We will go through some pain and discomfort, but overall, we will get through this.

And when we do, racquetball will be waiting.

Follow the bouncing ball….

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