Looking for More Information on Why We Cancelled?
The organizing committee cancelled the tournament because we were growing concerned with our ability to manage our resources going in. The health and safety of our participants, is of course, of utmost importance. With the Omicron variant increasing in case numbers, it was leading to more and more individuals who were faced with mandated isolation requirements. We couldn’t predict which teams would be forced to withdraw, which pools/divisions would be left short, and whether we would be able to replace any volunteer or refereeing shifts left empty. We didn’t want participants spending their time and money coming to a tournament where their risk of contracting COVID-19 was higher and which we weren’t confident would meet their expectations. Specifically:
- If a team withdrew due to COVID, our options for teams to replace them was small because of the high participation rate of teams from Alberta.
- If teams withdrew, their games would be forfeited to their opponent. It could have meant that an opponent would not get to play their guaranteed 3 or 4 games despite having spent thousands of dollars to attend.
- We would expect that our volunteers follow AB Health recommendations and stay home if they are exhibiting symptoms and with over 400 volunteer shifts spread out over 15 different facilities the task of ensuring our facilities were staffed and tournament supplies were available at each of the facilities was insurmountable.
- Esso Golden Ring requires a large number of officials to work all levels of games. Every year we require more officials than we
have in Alberta and we recruit officials from across Canada. We do not have an extensive back up system in place to replace numerous officials who may be required to stay home.
We had 163 teams slated to compete in the Esso Golden Ring, that’s over 2,200 players and 979 coaching staff. If we include officiating staff, volunteers and participants we are looking at well over 5,000 individuals involved with the event. Of the teams registered to participate 46 were travelling from within Alberta to Calgary and 18 were from out of province. Managing all the different aspects of such a large tournament is a completely different animal than a tournament held in one or two facilities, or a mini-series with six teams from Calgary.
We believe team sports and physical activity are an important part of youth well-being. We have had a regular season to date with many tournaments that were held so far this year and it’s just really unfortunate timing for Esso Golden Ring. League games are continuing but they are spread out over a longer period of time and can react and adjust more readily.
We would like to thank our major sponsor Imperial for standing by our decision and giving us their support. They are truly the best sponsor we could ask for as they are able to recognize that a tournament of this magnitude is virtually impossible in the current environment.
Thank you to our tournament organizing committee, our volunteers and the facilities that were very understanding of our decision to cancel the tournament.