Dear USA Racquetball Members,
On October 18, 2020, the International Racquetball Federation sent a letter to its member federations entitled “A Letter to the International Racquetball Community from President Osvaldo Maggi (International Racquetball Federation) and President Marcelo Gómez (Pan American Racquetball Confederation).” It carried the sad but not unexpected news that the Pan American Racquetball Championships (PARC) and the IRF World Junior Championships events would not be able to be competed in Bolivia in December 2020. The IRF letter appears below the following one from US Junior Team Head Coach Charlie Pratt to US Junior Team athletes and their parents that discussed the announcement and addressed anticipated questions about how the decision would likely affect the current 2020-21 US Junior Team.
October 20, 2020
Greetings, US Junior Team Athletes and Parents,
On behalf of the US Junior Team Assistant Coaches and myself, we know it has not been easy wondering what was going to happen with the IRF World Junior Championships, and we greatly appreciate your patience over the last few months.
The IRF announced on Sunday that the IRF World Juniors will not be taking place in December or January in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, and the same is true for the Pan American Racquetball Championships (adult competition) that had also been tentatively scheduled for December or January there in Bolivia.
The IRF letter posted on www.internationalracquetball.com also appears below this letter for your convenience. In their announcement, they stated:
“The risks of international travel, quarantine variables, and the fact that so many players have not been able to sufficiently train this year, make our decision not to hold December or January championships a sad one but at the same time necessary, sensible, and responsible.”
We echo the IRF’s sentiments. As much as we would have loved to have seen World Juniors take place, the current trend of the pandemic does not lend itself to international travel. The improvement we were hoping for did not materialize. Nothing is as important as the safety and health of all of you.
Questions come to mind, and here are a few below.
When is the next World Juniors? The next IRF World Juniors has been tentatively scheduled in the event’s traditional timeframe in early November 2021, in Guatemala City, Guatemala.
What does this mean for the current team? Unfortunately, the opportunity for the current team to compete in an IRF World Juniors Championships will not come to pass. Since the next World Juniors is slated for a year from now in Guatemala, next year’s US Junior Team will compete there.
How/when can athletes attempt to qualify for the 2021-22 US Junior Team? Well, that’s a good question, and the answer is as yet unclear. We are banking on a Junior Nationals taking place in 2021 as the qualifier, but if circumstances prevent that, we know we have an already-tested plan in place (like in Summer 2020) to name the team.
Where do we stand with US Junior Team apparel? Now that we know that there will be no IRF World Juniors event taking place as we had hoped, US Junior Team members certainly have the right to proudly wear the team uniform back at home in upcoming local events, leagues, etc. Rather than offering the planned competition package, Jonathan Clay of Rollout will continue to offer ala carte purchases (individual pieces) with the special discount code. That way, you can choose exactly how many pieces you would like to purchase. The ordering deadline is Friday, November 6th.
On another interesting note…
The IRF letter below informs that the Pan American Racquetball Championships (PARC) has been tentatively scheduled for March 26-April 4, 2021, in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. This event will include a full offering of junior divisions, a great opportunity for our sport since it includes juniors along with the adults. Junior athletes will have the chance to compete against players from other countries for PARC medals as well as to watch the best adult athletes from North, Central, and South America as they compete for their countries.
Questions about PARC
Does PARC replace World Juniors? No, this is a separate event. It is not a World Juniors, but it does provide an opportunity for junior athletes to experience a major international trip/competition.
Is there a limit to the number of US Junior Team players who can attend and compete in the junior divisions at PARC? Since this is a not an official World Juniors event, there is no limit placed on the number of players who can enter from any given country.
Will the US Junior Team coaches be there? Never say never, but since this is not IRF World Juniors, coaches will most likely not be there (except in spirit).
To conclude, we are all so disappointed for the junior athletes who worked so hard to earn their positions on the US Junior Team. However, this certainly does not dim our pride in each and every athlete who took part in the unprecedented qualification process over this past summer. You were awesome!
We challenge you to stay in shape, drill, play, and compete as much as possible to stay ready for 2021 Junior Nationals. Circumstances allowing, we can’t wait to see you there! In the meantime, stay in touch, and we will, too!
If you have individual coaches you have been working with, please make sure they have the information in this letter as well. If anyone has additional questions, we will be happy to answer to the best of our ability!
US National Junior Racquetball Team
October 18, 2020
A Letter to the International Racquetball Community from President Osvaldo Maggi (International Racquetball Federation) and President Marcelo Gómez (Pan American Racquetball Confederation)
Greetings to Everyone,
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to present very serious health risks for the citizens of virtually all countries around the world, accompanied by unprecedented challenges to organizations, businesses, families, and individuals. This includes, of course, sporting events we all anticipate and enjoy for the competition and friendship they provide.
The risks of international travel, quarantine variables, and the fact that so many players have not been able to sufficiently train this year, make our decision not to hold December or January championships a sad one but at the same time necessary, sensible, and responsible.
Therefore, we are sorry to announce that the XXXIII PARC Pan American Racquetball Championships (tentatively scheduled for 1-7 December 2020) and the XXXII IRF World Junior Championships (tentatively scheduled for 6-12 December 2020) must again be postponed.
The XXXIII PARC Pan American Racquetball Championships is now tentatively scheduled for 26 March to 4 April 2021 in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia. The adult format will be the same as in past PARC events. Additionally, we are pleased to offer junior divisions* in 18-, 16-, 14-, 12-, and 10- with the same age requirements as the calendar year 2020. Challenger Cup competition will be offered as well.
*Regarding the PARC 2021 junior divisions, there must be sufficient player participation from multiple countries in each of the age divisions. Please note that this is not an IRF World Junior Championships, but we hope it will be an enjoyable and satisfying event for junior athletes who did not have the opportunity to compete internationally in 2020.
After PARC, the next championship event in 2021 will be the XXX IRF Adult World Championships, tentatively scheduled for 13-21 August 2021, in San Luis Potosí, Mexico.
The XXXII IRF World Junior Championships is tentatively scheduled for the first half of November 2021 in Guatemala City, Guatemala.
The IRF and PARC Boards of Directors wish health and safety for our entire Racquetball family around the world, and we very much look forward to seeing everyone as soon as possible.
Osvaldo Maggi and Marcelo Gómez