2021 English OPEN update
The 2019 English OPEN was such a great event and it set the bar high for future English OPEN’s. Sadly, we had to cancel the 2020 English OPEN & Bainbridge Cup last year due to Covid. The Prime Minister’s recent roadmap, initially made us hopeful that the 2021 English OPEN could go ahead. However, the pbE Board recently agreed:
- The dependency on several ‘no earlier than’ dates means that there is still risk that the ‘end of all legal restrictions’ might not be in time for our tournament.
- There is an issue with booking accommodation in Nottingham for the weekend of the tournament due to another large event taking place at the Convention Centre.
- We had reached agreement with the APP Tour that the English OPEN would be added to their schedule. This would bring professional players over to play in our tournament, giving our top players heavy competition as well as providing clinics for players, enabling us to create a story for media and underpin our sponsorship platform. We still don’t know whether the professional players from the APP Tour will have to quarantine or self isolate for up to 14 days prior to the event by the time of the tournament. If they did have to quarantine, they would probably choose not to come. We can’t put off making a decision on this.
- The 2019 English OPEN set the blueprint for the tournament and we don’t want to deliver an experience that doesn’t meet that standard
Our conclusion was that sadly, we will not stage the 2021 English OPEN. The next English OPEN will be in 2022. However, we all agreed that after a long time with no events Pickleball England does want to provide players with lots of opportunities to play and have a great time. With this in mind we agreed that we will:
- Stage 2020 English Nationals in August 2021. Save the Dates: 12th – 15th August. This later date gives us more confidence about the lifting of restrictions. We have found a venue that can take us with hotel accommodation across the road and plenty of parking. Since we have never staged a Nationals before, we can create a new blueprint for this tournament. The Nationals are not restricted to English players only.
- Stage Regional Festivals. The North West Festival dates have already been announced: 1st-2ndOctober. East Midlands, South East and the South West are also looking at dates/venues.
- Restart Doubles League in SE (there may be another venue added on different dates too), EM and NW and look to roll out to other regions when sufficient numbers.
- Look to set up some outdoor tournaments in as many counties as possible, on a pre-booking basis, pay on the day in case rain forces cancellation
Whilst we are hopeful and optimistic in our outlook for the above plans, we will of course keep a close eye on the covid situation and pivot as required.
We were really looking forward to hosting the APP Tour and players at the English OPEN. We will do our best to ensure that we can be part of the APP 2022 Tour.