Colorado Springs, Colo. (February 10, 2021)—After continued dialogue with its medical advisory committee, beach working group and local event organizers, and evaluating feedback from players and teams, USA Ultimate announced today the postponement of the 2021 Beach Championships to a yet-to-be-determined date.
Originally scheduled for May 8-9 in Virginia Beach, the 2021 event is the latest major championship tournament to be affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. With a springtime event of this scale no longer a feasible option, USA Ultimate will now refocus its attention on a possible fall date and reevaluate a variety of other aspects, including competition structure and potential conflicts with a rescheduled college series and a traditional club season in the fall.
Planning for the Beach Championships, as well as other upcoming USA Ultimate events, will continue to remain flexible to account for a rapidly changing environment that includes evolving recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), vaccine availability and testing protocols. The need to adapt USA Ultimate’s events and competition structures will continue to be emphasized, likely until a vaccination is widely available to the general public.
“While disappointing to have to postpone the Beach Championships, it is not a total surprise,” commented USA Ultimate Chief Executive Officer Tom Crawford. “Through many discussions with other sports and our medical group, we are cautiously optimistic that vaccines will be widely available and accessible by June and we can get back out on the fields and get going again. The general consensus in the sports community is that by the spring the vast majority of the most vulnerable people will be vaccinated, and that local outdoor play will be safe and extremely helpful for the mental health and well-being of our younger members.”
USA Ultimate is also finalizing with its medical advisory committee a new version of its Return to Play guidelines, a comprehensive document that will help guide USA Ultimate and local disc organizers with direction and advice on how to safely resume playing ultimate.
As previously stated, USA Ultimate will continue to put the health, safety and well-being of its members and the greater ultimate community first as it reviews and considers feedback from medical advisors, players and other stakeholders when making decisions about future competitive opportunities.
With sports at all levels returning to competition, and as planning continues for summer events, USA Ultimate remains committed to providing safe, fun and equitable opportunities for its members to engage in flying disc sports and remain connected to the ultimate community.