NORCECA Age-group Continental Championships will not be held

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic, November 30, 2020. - The Sport Organizing Commission held a virtual meeting to discuss the 2021 competition calendar and agreed to cancel the NORCECA age-group Continental Championships scheduled in January and February, pending on the Board of Administration approval.

The meeting was requested by the Mexican National Volleyball Federation President, Jesús Perales Navarro during the XXV NORCECA Congress, concerning the NORCECA 2021 Competition Calendar.

The meeting was chaired by NORCECA President Cristóbal Marte Hoffiz who in his opening words stated his optimism of a safe return to competing sometime next year “as leader of the NORCECA Confederation I maintain hopeful that volleyball will return but with the current situation originated by the Global Pandemic COVID-19, I am realistic that decisions must be taken in order to continue its proper functioning in our region”.

The commission members overviewed several possibilities presented by the commission President and NORCECA First Vice-President Ariel Sainz, in order to take the proper decisions to carry out the first four events scheduled in January and February, which qualify for the U18, U19, U20 and U21 FIVB World Championships.

Looking ahead, as February 28th is the FIVB deadline for the qualification process; it is unlikely to ensure health and safety protocols for competition, reaching to the conclusion of canceling the events in discussion and determining the qualifying countries by the 2019 NORCECA ranking allowed by the FIVB regulations.

Sainz indicated “taking in consideration our current situation we must contribute with our National Federations training programs knowing they are qualified for these international highly competitive events and not jeopardize our athlete’s wellbeing”.

The qualified national teams have until January 31st to confirm their participation in the corresponding FIVB Age-group World Championships; the next team in the NORCECA Continental ranking will be eligible to participate for those who do not confirm.

Qualified for the Girls’ U18 category are United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and Cuba, as well as Mexico as hosting country.

In the Boys’ U19 category, the qualified teams are Cuba, United States, Puerto Rico and Guatemala.

Dominican Republic and Cuba are qualified in U20, with four more vacancies provided by the FIVB to be determine thru the FIVB U20 World Ranking for those national teams not qualified through their continental qualification process or continental ranking, while Cuba and Canada take the spots in the U21 category, with five vacancies to be determine thru the FIVB U21 World Ranking for those national teams not qualified through their continental qualification process or continental ranking.

In addition, it was decided to meet again on January 18th, having a 90 day window to analyze the U23 Pan American Junior Games Qualification Tournaments to the I Junior Pan-American Games of Cali, Colombia, scheduled to be held in September 2021, as well as the discussion of the NORCECA safety measures and health protocols to be included in all competition regulations.