Though no official announcement has been made yet, Northern Mariana Islands Tennis Association head and long-time CNMI national team coach Jeff Race said the 2020 North Pacific Regional Championships is unlikely to be held this year.
“It will not be happening. After not going to school since March, the kids would have to be away for three weeks to accommodate travel, quarantine, and competition. Palau and FSM [the Federated States of Micronesia] are shut down for travel,” said Race when asked about the updates on the regional event.
The tournament was supposed to take place from Sept. 5 to 9 in Guam as per the directive from the Oceania Tennis Federation. The competition for U12, U14, and U16 age groups was originally scheduled last June, but was reset due to the COVID-19 pandemic. OTF set the new date last month, but quickly pointed out that the schedule will depend on the availability of flights for the traveling teams and other factors, such as safety.
Guam has seen a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in the last two weeks, while Palau, though has no reported case, has issued travel restrictions, and the same goes with FSM.
The four island-nations compete in the North Pacific event annually to battle for slots on the North team that will participate in the Pacific Oceania Junior Championships in Fiji.
With no North qualifiers and the East and West squads events also on hold, there’s a big possibility that the POJC may also be shelved this year. Initially, the POJC was slated for late July to early August and then was pushed back to October (14-23). There is also a plan to move the POJC further to December if the series of qualifiers will be rescheduled or totally scrapped.