32nd Annual BEF Junior National 9-Ball Championships Cancelled Due to COVID-19 Pandemic
Superior, Colo., May 20, 2020 – The Billiard Education Foundation (BEF) today announced the unfortunate decision of cancelling the 32nd annual BEF Junior National 9-Ball Championships presented by Iwan Simonis.
Due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the BEF in conjunction with the Billiard Congress of America (BCA) has made the difficult and disappointing decision to cancel its National Championships and remaining qualifiers for the first time in the organization’s history.
After a thorough assessment of the impact the devastating COVID-19 pandemic has had on pool room hosts throughout the country as well as in Las Vegas itself the BEF and BCA has made the responsible decision to cancel the junior national tournament and any scheduled qualifying events leading up to the
2020 BEF Junior National Championships.
“This is a heartbreaking decision for everyone involved with the BEF, but more so for the hundreds of juniors pool players who have dreamt of one day becoming a national champion and qualifying to compete in a world championship,” said Shane Tyree, managing director of communications and membership for the BCA and managing director of the BEF. “Continuous monitoring of the health advisories by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the WHO and the appropriate organizations in Las Vegas have made it clear that it is not possible to move forward with the tremendous tournament that has been held for 30+ years.”
As we assessed the feasibility of including these tournament opportunities as part of that resumption of play, a number of factors went into the decision to cancel the BEF Junior National Championships presented by Iwan Simonis, including:
– The inability to play qualifying tournaments in many of our local qualifiers.
– An indication from players and parents around the country that they will be unable or uncomfortable participating or traveling to these tournaments.
– The lack of testing and mitigation protocols that would need to be in place at these events should an individual participating or attending an event be diagnosed with COVID-19.
– The temporary closure of Las Vegas, as well as the uncertainty of how the city will reopen.
“Delivering this news comes with a very heavy heart,” said Rob Johnson, BCA CEO and director of the BEF. We have never had to cancel the BEF Junior Nationals, but, right now, as our world comes together, we must do everything we can to help stem the spread of this deadly virus. While we take this pause from the Junior Nationals this summer, we will remain committed to working with our volunteers and staff to continue to provide an unparalleled youth sports experience to all junior pool players and be back stronger than ever in 2021.”
Sponsors for this year’s event were to include:
- Diamond Billiard Products
- Iwan Simonis
- J. Pechauer Custom Cues
- Master Chalk
- McDermott Cues
- Predator Cues
- Ultimate Team Gear
- Billiards Digest
About the Billiard Education Foundation
The Billiard Education Foundation (BEF) was formed in 1993 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity committed to promoting a love of pool and building the next generation of players through youth programs and academic scholarships. The BEF is managed by the Billiard Congress of America. For more information about the BEF or to learn how you can support the foundation please visit BilliardEducation.org.