TEMPE, Ariz – We hope this message finds you well. As states begin rolling out their own return to play policy, we take this time to give you all an exciting update. Given the high rates of vaccination and new State and Federal regulations regarding safe gatherings, we are excited to announce that we’re looking to host both an Open Nationals and our first ever Junior Nationals in 2021.
Junior Nationals will be held in Phoenix, Arizona from October 8-11. If you’re interested in being a part of this event contact Kaitlin Sigado or OJ Hawea and get your team registered with USA Touch (registration link here).
Open Nationals will be held in Texas from November 12-14. Exact city will be released at the end of the month, but should be finalized in the coming weeks. We will have a limited number of spots available for this tournament due to COVID-19 restrictions. The plan is to have 3 divisions; a MO Division, and WO Division, and the 3rd is TBD (MXO or Masters). Please fill out this expression of interest form to help us understand which teams you are interested in bringing.
As for logistics, you all know that our event relies heavily on referees visiting from other FIT member associations. Due to ongoing uncertainty surrounding international travel, we will not be able to secure any assistance from referees or officials outside the US. We understand the strain that this puts on individual clubs. However, we hope to work together in order to overcome this challenge.
In order to participate in this year’s event, we will be asking each team to provide at least ONE full time referee. To facilitate this process, we have put together an online referee certification pathway that abides by the newly released FIT regulations (click here for additional details). You can access the pathway here, and read about referee levels here.
We encourage all club members to enroll on this online referee certification – it will both allow you to become a certified referee, and improve your game as a result. Note that Level 1 certifications only last for one year if there is no continual official refereeing done. If you acquired your certification over a year ago, and have not refereed an official tournament since, you will need to retake your written and practical tests.
The level of play has increased significantly in the last 5 years, but our referee stocks have not kept pace. Please reach out to your local communities and encourage players to try out refereeing. The development pathway for referees is wide open with exciting prospects for attending internal competitions. In order to support local USA referees, we plan on devoting funds to referee development during upcoming events. If you are interested in learning more, please reach out to email@example.com.
Lastly, we are excited to announce that we already have the location & date set for our 2022 Nationals – so mark your calendars! We will be in Orlando, Florida from September 22-24 with the hopes of having a great tournament once again.