At a time when what happens in the world of sports is of minor relevance compared to the health and well-being of people all around the world this is maybe not the most important article you will read today. However, the IOF does want to update all athletes, participants and fans with an interest in global orienteering about the status of the events planned for 2020. We intend on providing updated information on each event as soon as it becomes available and to provide a summary of the information once per week for the foreseeable future.
Here is the known information about events up until the end of August 15, 2020 (in chronological order):
- As previously announced the Asian Orienteering Championships 2020 in Korea have been postponed from May 1-5 to August 21-25 2020
- As previously announced the European MTB Orienteering Championships 2020 in Portugal have been postponed from May 11-16 to October 2-7
- As previously announced the Orienteering World Cup round 1 2020 in Switzerland has been postponed from May 20-24 2020 to May 13-16 2021.
- New dates for the European Trail Orienteering Championships 2020 in Finland were announced earlier this week as July 14-18. As these dates are still quite early in the summer and may be uncertain contingent upon further developments, a final decision will be made on May 31. It is of the utmost importance that the event can be held safely and with fairness for all potential participants. These are the only alternative dates available to the organiser in 2020 so if it is not possible to organise on these dates cancellation or postponement of the event to 2021 will be considered.
- For the European Youth Orienteering Championships 2020 scheduled to be held in Hungary June 19-22, the organiser has informed the IOF that a decision about holding the event on the planned dates will be made by next Friday April 3 (The date of the planned IOF Council meeting). If it is not possible to organise on the original dates postponement of the event will be considered.
- For the Junior World Orienteering Championships 2020 scheduled for Turkey June 28 – July 3, the organiser has informed the IOF that a decision about holding the event on the planned dates will be made at the latest April 30. Contingency planning is ongoing to postpone JWOC to dates later in the fall of 2020.
- Regarding the Nokian Tyres World Orienteering Championships 2020 scheduled to be held in Denmark July 7-11, contingency planning is going on at the moment for postponement of the event to later in the fall. A decision is expected shortly. The IOF will publish news about this and any potential consequences for other events in the calendar once the decision is made.
- The North American Orienteering Championships 2020 scheduled for July 25-27 is currently proceeding as planned.
- The World Masters Orienteering Championships 2020 which were planned to be held August 7-15 have been cancelled. See the separate announcement published today.
- We have been informed March 27 by the European University Sports Association (EUSA) that the 5th European Universities Games Belgrade 2020 which were scheduled to be held from July 12 – 24 have been postponed until summer 2021. Orienteering is scheduled to be on the program of the Games for the first time. The exact dates of the competition will be confirmed at a later stage once feedback from all relevant stakeholders has been considered.
- Earlier this week it was announced that the FISU World University Orienteering Championships 2020, scheduled to be held in Russia July 14-18 were cancelled.
There has not been much discussion regarding events currently scheduled after August 15 yet, with a few exceptions. These events will be included in further updates as we go forward.
For World Ranking Events no blanket decision has been made by the IOF other than the cancellation of all WRE events up to and including May 31. Any extension of the period will be discussed and decided at the IOF Council meeting next weekend.
Impact on IOF Finances
The cancellation of events will have a negative effect on the income of the IOF for 2020. Event fees, but also partnerships and sales of TV and media rights are expected to be lower than budgeted amounts by 30 – 50%. Due to this, cost savings actions are underway. The focus of these is on reducing staff costs and other operational costs while maintaining as far as possible the planned investments in sport development projects, anti-doping work and communications. More information will be made available following the IOF Council meeting next weekend.