After continued evaluation of both the local and global impacts of the novel coronavirus pandemic, we have made the difficult decision to cancel all PDGA World Championship events in 2020. Events included in this decision include:
- PDGA Professional Disc Golf World Championships in Ogden, Utah
- PDGA Junior Disc Golf World Championships in Emporia, Kansas
- PDGA Amateur Disc Golf World Championships in Orlando, Florida
- PDGA Professional Masters Disc Golf World Championships in Johnson City, Tennessee
All four events will run in the same host cities in 2021, with previously awarded 2021 World Championship bids moving back to 2022. New dates for each event will be released when they are available, and future announcements will address any changes to points qualifications for these competitions.
We know you are disappointed. So are we. 2020 has been like a missed putt that catches an edge and rolls away: It wasn’t expected, it’s thrown us a bogey, and now we need to adjust.
International Travel Concerns
As much as we wanted to hold these major events in 2020, there are several reasons we have decided to wait until to 2021. First and foremost is the uncertainty related to international travel, as residents of several countries, including many of our members from Europe and Asia, are still restricted from entry into the United States. We cannot in good conscience hold a PDGA World Championship that does not provide the opportunity for all of our members from around the world the ability to compete.
Why Not Wait?
But why make this decision now, instead of in July or August? PDGA World Championship events require months, if not years, of coordination with multiple local entities, including parks departments, chambers of commerce, venue operators, and other sports and tourism stakeholders. Rescheduling events now, with only two to three months of lead time to make these new arrangements and execute required contracts, puts a considerable strain on our partners. Pushing these decisions out by an additional month or more, with no clear end dates on international travel restrictions, will further hinder our hosts’ abilities to successfully run these events.
Even if international travel restrictions are lifted, many localities are currently limiting the number of people allowed to gather in one area. This would likely mean that spectators would not be allowed.
Additionally, PDGA World Championships are awarded through a bid process that provides for nearly two years of advance planning. Cities and counties, as well as host clubs, make considerable financial investments in these events with the expectation that their local economies will benefit. If we were to hold these events without spectators, or with limited fields, these partners would not be running the event they were awarded. By pushing to 2021, we can give these events and their hosts an opportunity to realize their full potential.
Finally, we take pride as an organization in being able to provide a memorable world championship experience for our members. While competition comes first, we also know that many players travel to these tournaments for the additional side events and social gatherings that accompany a PDGA Major. The reality is that the pandemic will not allow us to provide this same experience in 2020, but we have every expectation that we can deliver on it in 2021.
We would like to thank the hosts of all of our 2020 and 2021 PDGA World Championships, who have demonstrated tremendous patience and flexibility during a daunting, unprecedented situation. Additionally, we appreciate the continued support of our members, whose voices have been instrumental in helping the association get back on track toward competition. Your passion for disc golf is felt on a daily basis.
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