On December 28th, the Board for the USA Southwest Regional Championships announced that its upcoming tournament will be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The tournament was originally scheduled to take place in Mesa, Arizona, March 16-21, 2021. The Southwest region encompasses pickleball powerhouse Arizona and New Mexico. Prior to the cancellation, 1,206 people had registered to participate in the tournament.
Larry Lite, regional director, released a statement on behalf of the Southwest Region’s board in which he cited rising COVID-19 deaths in Arizona and said the City of Mesa had restricted use of the Mesa Tennis Center complex to 50 people at one time.
“The CDC and health experts predict that there will be a surge in new covid cases and deaths through the 1st quarter of 2021,” Lite said. “They say that travel is a big contribution to this, particularly after major holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years.”
Lite also said that “vaccinations will not likely be generally effective until the 1st half of the new year.”
Those who registered for the tournament will be automatically pre-registered for the 2022 tournament unless they request otherwise.
Normally, top placers at the regional championships are eligible to pre-register for the national championships, which will take place this year in Indian Wells, Calif., on November 6-13. This year, gold medal winners from last year’s Southwest Regional Championships will be eligible to pre-register for the national championships.