Dear Friends (March-2020)
We refer to our earlier communique announcing the postponement of the SA Masters IPT due to the uncertainty created by the spread of the COVID – 19 virus and our undertaking to provide a proposed date as soon as possible. We have reviewed a number of possible dates but have decided to put forward 5-8 November 2020 as the proposed date for the tournament. We will start the first matches at 12h30 on Thursday, 5 November to allow teams to fly to Cape Town on Thursday morning in an effort to reduce the number of annual leave days required as well as to reduce the accommodation requirement. The finals are planned for Saturday late afternoon with Sunday earmarked as a travel day.
Our proposal is based on the view that it will be at least 12 weeks for things to return to a semblance of normality. We do not expect astros to be available in sufficient numbers in June and July due to schools and club hockey programmes. A decision to hold the tournament in August or September will exclude the 230 members of the SA World Cup squad, which will negatively impact on a large number of teams. We are concerned that October will still be used to play catch up from a hockey season point of view and will also be too close to the World Cups to allow significant WC squad participation. Hence, our proposal to hold the IPT on the abovementioned date.
We are fully cognizant of the fact that this date will not suit everybody, but we are trying to “do the greatest good for the most.” We ask for comments or feedback with regard to the proposed date as we do not profess to have all the knowledge in hand. It will be open for comment until close of business on Wednesday, 25 March 2020 as we want to finalize the date by 28 March 2020 to enable participants who have already booked flights and accommodation to engage with service providers timeously. Please send any comments by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We want to urge everyone to act responsibly, stay calm and take all necessary precautions to safeguard yourself and your loved ones. We thank you for your patience and understanding in this time.
A special word of thanks to Rich Berry and the team at WP Masters who have been very supportive throughout this whole process. Andy Stofberg of Marmalade Sports, who is responsible to organize the IPT, has really been exceptional in difficult times.
For the Love of the Game
SA Masters Hockey Association