During the COVID-19 situation, Slo-Pitch National Regional Directors have been meeting each week to discuss updates and make decisions related to our operations and upcoming events.
Since the onset of the government mandated restrictions, the 2020 National Championships have been an ongoing conversation, and we are announcing today that we have postponed the 2020 Slo-Pitch National, National Championships until July 29 – August 2, 2021. The Divisions and Locations that were slated for 2020 will be hosted in the same locations in 2021. The Divisions and Locations that were announced for 2021 will be moved to 2022 and in the fall, we will announce the 2023 allocations.
This was not a decision that was made lightly, as the National Championships have been our premiere event every August for 30 years, however, this extraordinary situation left us with no alternative choices that would best serve the players, teams, organizers and sponsors.
It is important to address this announcement now, as many teams who travel to the Championships via airlines need to make the necessary cancellations. Participants will also need to cancel accommodations. In addition to these important factors, there is also uncertainty about interprovincial travel across Canada which may prevent participants from other provinces even travelling to another region to compete.
We also recognize that many of our members will be facing challenging economic hardships and 2020 might not be the optimal year to plan to participate at the National Championships, as members are focused on their family’s wellbeing and safety. We also recognized that teams will not have had any opportunity to fundraise, practice or prepare. Teams who had qualified for the 2020 event will still be qualified for the 2021 Championship and will receive their invites again this fall.
All teams who have entered the event, will be refunded in full. Our National Office will be contacting each team directly to coordinate the refunds.
The alternate side of the event is the event organizers and hosting cities. These groups have been planning for the National Championships since being awarded the event in 2018. During these abnormal times, hosting sites have no certainty that the facilities will be operational in time for the Nationals and need to work towards the necessary cancellations of contracts they had finalized related to the event operations. We also need to be respectful that the sponsors and local businesses that have supported this event in the past have their own concerns to focus on at this time.
Faced with the numerous challenges that are currently in play, Slo-Pitch National is disappointed about this announcement. We would like to thank the teams, players, umpires, hosting organizations, municipalities and our sponsors for their understanding and patience during the most difficult time in our organization’s history. We look forward to rebounding from the frustrations of the 2020 season and celebrating this championship again in 2021.