It appears the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel is growing brighter for some poolplayers. As more and more leagues across the country are resuming, APA is also set to host its first championship event since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last March.
The 2020-2021 U.S. Amateur Championship, featuring some of the top amateur poolplayers in the United States, will be held at Stroker’s in Palm Harbor, Fla., March 17-21.
The Womens Division, consisting of 50 players, will compete March 17-18, followed by the Open Division, featuring 128 players, March 19-21.
Both 2019 U.S. Amateur Champions Blake Baker of Las Vegas and Tina Larsen of Westville, Ind., will lead their respective fields. In total, 8 former U.S. Amateur Champions will compete.
To successfully hold its first event since the pandemic, APA will implement a number of COVID-mitigation measures to try and make the event as safe as possible for all participants.
Overall occupancy inside Stroker’s will not exceed 70 total people, with masks required (and strictly enforced) for all who enter. Six-feet of distancing will be encouraged while all occupants will be required to remain seated when not shooting or moving around the facility. A large tent will be constructed outside of Stroker’s and will include food service, televisions, music and more. Participants are strongly encouraged to utilize the outdoor seating area when they are not competing, and to enjoy the fantastic weather Florida has to offer in mid-March.
Registration will take place onsite at the host hotel, The Godfrey Tampa, with the Player’s Meeting held virtually on March 4, two weeks prior to the event.
“We need to do everything possible to keep our participants and staff safe during this event. The U.S. Amateur Championship is a good test for what we’re likely to face in terms of COVID mitigation at our Vegas Championships later this year. We’re excited to get back to hosting pool tournaments, but we need to do it as safely as possible, and I’m asking our participants to help us lead the way” said APA President Greg Fletcher.
The U.S. Amateur Championship had originally been scheduled for November of 2020, but had to be postponed due to the pandemic.
The U.S. Amateur Championship is conducted by the APA, and is the only tournament produced by the APA open to both members and non-members. Preliminary qualifying rounds were held throughout the country with top finishers qualifying for the Championship Rounds in Tampa. The event is a double-elimination tournament that offers the nation’s top amateur players the opportunity to showcase their skills through a combination of 8-Ball and 9-Ball matches, in the only APA event that does not use The Equalizer® handicap system.
The 2020-2021 U.S. Amateur Championship will be live-streamed at facebook.com/poolplayers with commentary by APA’s Jason Bowman and Mosconi Cup Captain Jeremy Jones.