First of all, I do hope that you, your families and all others you love are all safe & healthy. In spite of the fact that in quite a few European countries slowly the “normal” live does, or will start soon again, it is still a fact that this Covid-19 pandemic still does make casualties, does make people sick and does influence our daily live. After 3 months, March – May, the figures of infections are going down but the situation is still very fragile everywhere and we can only hope that the relaxation of the measures and the step by step opening up of the normal life, doesn’t lead us into a second wave of infections. We all should keep our fingers crossed.
The uncertainties reported above still have a major impact on the planning of the EPBF events in the near future. The fact that the measures and loosening of the measures also differ from country to country it makes planning even more difficult. As we did mention before, we are looking now at the first event that is at our calendar which is the European Championships U17, U19 & Girls in combination with the Euro Tour Men & Women which is planned in Petrich / Bulgaria.
After having almost daily contact with the host, the Bulgarian Billiard Federation, and the Municipality of the city Petrich, it is with regrets that we have to inform you that it is not possible to host the above mentioned events in Petrich / Bulgaria at the planned dates in July / August. As you can imagine this decision is not taken easily. Both, the Bulgarian Federation as well as the Major of the City of Petrich, are very disappointed that this decision had to be made but we are all of the same opinion that the risks are to big at the moment. Besides of the health risks there is also no assurance that the EPBF members, or certainly a large percentage, will have the opportunity to participate in these events. Even if it would become possible to organize the event in Bulgaria, the question is whether the EPBF members will be able to travel to the hosting country to participate.
There is no guarantee at the moment that borders will be opened on time, airlines are operating again and that all measures will be down to a minimum in all European, and then especially those countries who do have an EPBF member, countries.
By announcing the cancellation of the event in July / August, we also did have a look what the possibilities are for this event. The next step that we did make is to look whether it is possible to find new dates in September 2020. If these new dates can be found, then we will contact you again in order to find out if our members have the intension to send their delegations or not. We realize of course, that these new dates, if they can be found, are not in combination with holidays. This will make it more difficult, but we still want to have a look at it and at least try what ever is possible in order not to cancel the event completely. The EC Youth is the major event each year for our young athletes and therefore we are exploring all possibilities before a definite cancellation will be announced.
We, as the EPBF Board, we will keep you informed when it comes to the next steps in this matter.
During this Covid-19 crisis we also see quit a few new initiatives in different areas. People are getting creative in these difficult and uncertain times. We were contacted by a company called PoolStars who are situated in Spain. This company did ask our co-operation to host the first online European Championship Pool billiard. They already did have some experience because they did host already the Spanish Championship 8-Ball in 2019.
After a few video conferences and discussions, the EPBF board decided to give this new initiative a try and we did sign a contract with them. This means that soon there will be the first Online European Championship 8-Ball in the history of the EPBF. We want to ask you as the EPBF member to inform your members about this initiative and of course we as the EPBF will also advertise the event via our social media and our mailing list. Here are some details that are important:
Website address of the event (will be online at 31.05.2020): www.poolstars.eu
Event dates: See website
Registration Open: 01.06.2020
The final of the event is planned at 25.10.2020.
Here a link so that you can get an impression how it does work: www.poolstars.es/en/youtube/
Attached also the poster of this Online European Championship 8-Ball. All further details will be explained at the website www.poolstars.eu
Hope this information does help for the moment. As mentioned, we will soon come back to you with regards to the situation around re-scheduling the EC Youth.
On behalf of the EPBF board undersigned wish you all the best, stay safe and healthy.
With kind regards
Gre Leenders, President EPBF