Dear NAGAAA Family:
During unfamiliar times, we lean on those closest to us, and our softball community is no different. We are all leaning on each other as we try to navigate this new normal.
After careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision to shift the 2020 NAGAAA Gay Softball World Series, originally scheduled to take place this August in Columbus.
We know you’re disappointed and please know we are as well. We want you to know it was a decision we didn’t take lightly. We examined every possible solution to deliver a GSWS that was both fun and safe. In the end, it just wasn’t possible. The safety and health of our players, umpires, fans, volunteers and committee members remains our priority. Our work with local and national government and sports officials, informed by the best and most recent healthcare information available, hasn’t yielded an effective way to participate in social distancing at a tournament, such as the GSWS.
We appreciate the time you took to participate in the many conversations, emails and phone calls. Your feedback helped inform our decision. Thank you for giving us the time to explore our options and work with all of our GSWS Host Cities – Columbus, Dallas and Minneapolis – and their Sports Commissions to complete our due diligence before finalizing our decision. The collaboration and willingness to do whatever was asked of all three future GSWS host cities – Columbus, Dallas and Minneapolis – and their Sports Commissions allowed us to reach this decision and find a positive way forward.
So what happens now?
After much conversation and negotiation, we have reached an agreement with all of our cities and their partners to delay the GSWS location by one year, maintaining our current host city order. To that end, Columbus will host the next GSWS in 2021 from August 30-September 4, 2021. Dallas will host 2022 and Minneapolis will host 2023. Additionally, Orlando and Las Vegas will both bid for the 2024 GSWS.
Thanks for your understanding. We know our softball family will be stronger because of this, and we look forward to a time when we all get to take to the field again.
- What was the reason for the delay on the decision? As mentioned in our previous communication, our intent was to provide you with a decision by the end of May. There were several logistical challenges to overcome when dealing with this cancellation. There are no large events allowed in Columbus right now. The NAGAAA Board worked with the Columbus GSWS Committee and their local and state government levels in Ohio. We also considered guidance at the federal government level.
- Who was involved in this process? The NAGAAA Board of Directors worked closely with the three upcoming host city committees to keep the series in the order previously awarded to them.
- What are the new dates for 2021 GSWS in Columbus and the GSWS in Dallas in 2022?
- Columbus 2021 GSWS will be held August 30, 2021 through September 4, 2021
- Dallas 2022 GSWS will be held August 29, 2022 through September 3, 2022
- Was there a financial impact to NAGAAA for the shifting of the GSWS? Most expenses have been deferred or cancelled without penalty. Shifting of the GSWS in Dallas to 2022 required a cancellation fee by one of the host hotels. This fee is being shared by the Columbus GSWS Host City, Dallas GSWS Host City, and NAGAAA, since each group had a vested interest in having the GSWS shifted. Updated details on our financials will be presented at the Summer meeting.
- Will there be any changes to the host hotel rates in Columbus and/or Dallas? All hotel rates for the 2021 and 2022 hotels remain the same as previously communicated.
- Are NAGAAA’s sponsors/partners going to still support us this year?NAGAAA’s partners are committed to supporting us during this challenging time. Some of our sponsorships are based on providing an onsite presence during the GSWS. These sponsorships are most affected right now and we are determining how this will impact their financial commitment to us.
- Where is the Summer/Winter meetings being held? We are currently evaluating the options available to us to hold the 2020 NAGAAA Council Summer meetings. We will need to consider the current travel restrictions being placed on our member cities as well as other restrictions, such as the ability to hold large gatherings. We will communicate our decision regarding the Summer Meeting by July 1st. The Winter Meeting in 2021 will be held in Dallas, Texas as was originally planned.
- Do the 2019 GSWS winning teams still have to move up (i.e., no repeat rule) and get automatic bids to play in the 2021 GSWS? Since there is not a GSWS in 2020, these teams would move up in 2021. They would get automatic bids to the 2021 GSWS. This rule is not based on when the next GSWS is held, not on the calendar year.
- Will pick-a-stick be used in 2021 and what bats will be used? We will continue to use the pick-a-stick format and will be using the same MONSTA bats that were purchased and planned to be used this year.
- Are team rosters/player ratings submission due this year since there will not be a 2020 GSWS? Due to multiple reasons including the shifting of the GSWS this year, as well as multiple associations having to cancel their spring season, we will not be submitting team rosters and player ratings this year. However, the database will remain unlocked for player rating updates, should an association complete a season.
- Will the ratings revisions we approved to be effective for the 2021 season be deferred a season, or will they remain in effect starting in 2021? All changes passed at the 2020 NAGAAA Council Winter Meeting will continue to remain in effect for 2021.
*Note: This FAQ document is released on 5/28/2020 and includes responses to questions regarding the GSWS.