Health and safety concerns due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic outweigh all other factors
After consultation with medical experts and the various Tournament Organizing Committees (TOCs), the World Flying Disc Federation (WFDF) today announced that it is cancelling or postponing all scheduled world championship events for at least the next six months of 2020, due to the impact of the Covid-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic. This decision takes into consideration first and foremost the safety and health of WFDF athletes, in addition to the uncertainties around the spread of this disease, and resulted after extensive deliberations this last weekend among the Executive Committee of WFDF’s board, staff, and WFDF Medical Officer, Dr. Jamie Nuwer. This decision will affect the following events, at minimum: the WFDF 2020 World Ultimate & Guts Championships (11-18 July in the Netherlands), the WFDF 2020 World Junior Ultimate Championships (18-25 July in Sweden), and the WFDF 2020 World Masters Ultimate Championships (5-12 September in Australia).
“We regret having to take this extraordinary decision, but the health and safety of our athletes, team support, volunteers, staff, and spectators is our paramount concern,” stated WFDF President Robert “Nob” Rauch. “We know that this decision will disappoint many athletes who have been extensively training for these competitions, but it is difficult to imagine moving forward given the current environment of border shutdowns, individual lockdowns, and other exceptional governmental actions. We appreciate the understanding of our incredible TOCs who have been working on these events for the last three years. Further, WFDF appreciates all of the medical personnel around the world, working tirelessly at reducing and eradicating this unprecedented threat, and we are in solidarity with the whole of society to contain the virus.”
WFDF is currently in consultation with the TOCs to discuss alternatives. WFDF Vice President and Chair of the Ultimate Committee, Brian Gisel, stated “We are looking at the possibility of postponing the World Masters Ultimate Championships to September 2021. It may be far more difficult to postpone to next year either the World Junior Ultimate Championships or the World Ultimate & Guts Championships, given the already crowded summer schedule featuring The World Games, World Under-24 Ultimate Championships, and the World Championships of Beach Ultimate. We are considering the possibility of a smaller event toward year-end that could serve as a qualifying event for The World Games, which are being held 15-25 July 2021 in Birmingham, Alabama, USA. We will continue to evaluate the rearrangement of the WFDF schedule, and will remain flexible as events warrant, with the hope of resuming normal operations as soon as possible.”
With regard to team fees and player fees that have already been paid, WFDF is instructing the TOCs to use all unspent funds or prepaid amounts that can be reclaimed from the vendors and suppliers of the events in order to reimburse teams and players, to the extent possible. WFDF appreciates the patience of the teams and athletes as the TOCs work through this complex process over the coming month. We ask the teams to follow instructions supplied via email on the appropriate channels to ask questions and seek information, instead of emailing the TOCs or WFDF directly.
Nothing is more important to WFDF than the health and safety of its athletes, staff, and spectators. WFDF continues to observe the precautions and practices recommended by public health experts. We encourage the entire Flying Disc community to follow the advice of your local authorities as to best practices in this difficult situation, and refer you to the World Health Organization for definitive guidance: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public WFDF sends its best wishes to all individuals and communities that are affected by Covid-19.
WFDF will provide additional updates as new information develops.