THE annual NORCECA (North, Central America and the Caribbean) Beach Volleyball Tour is usually winding down by mid-August.
But that is virtually the opposite this year because of the coronavirus pandemic and the first tournament in the series will serve off on in Mexico on August 14, four months after it was originally scheduled to take place there.
This is the second postponement of the start of this year’s circuit, but it is far more significant as the first one was only supposed to be five weeks in duration leading up to the opener serving off tomorrow.
Following the La Paz three-day tournament in the middle of August, the tour will return to Mexico three weeks later for the third leg in Aguas Calientas from September 4. Nicaragua will be the host country the week before, and the fourth stage will take place from September 18-20 in Cuba.
There will be seven legs this year and the last three will be contested in Dominican Republic —October 2-4 as well as November 6-8 and 13-15.
There had originally been 10 tournaments in this year’s circuit, but Cayman Islands, Jamaica and St Kitts were forced to withdraw from hosting duties after NORCECA cancelled financial support to all member countries for the year because of the effects of the virus.
Cayman Islands has been the most prolific host from the English-speaking Caribbean as a NORCECA beach tournament has been staged there in ten of the last 11 years.
Jamaica has only hosted twice and this was supposed to be the debut season for St Kitts.
There will be no NORCECA tournament in either Trinidad or Tobago in the series for the fourth year in succession.
Daynte Stewart and Marlon Phillip earned this country a bronze medal in the third of ten tournaments in last year’s circuit in Nicaragua at the beginning of May. This performance propelled the men to finish the season in the top ten while the women ended up five spots behind, in 12th.
There has been virtually no competitive sporting activity in Trinidad because of the coronavirus since the middle of March and many regional and international events have already been pushed back to next year.
However, a few non-contact sports could be returning soon since there have been no positive cases in over three weeks.