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2020 Wilson Premier Championships : Summer Event Update

By WP Staff, 04/30/20, 3:00PM CDT

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Due to COVID-19, and in the best interest of the WP community we love dearly, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 WP East and WP West summer events.


Dear WP Community-

Since it was founded, Wilson Premier has sought to build a community of players, parents and coaches while inspiring a deeper connection to the game of baseball by investing in the future of the sport through world-class events that foster life-long memories. In light of the circumstances surrounding COVID-19, and in the best interest of that community we love dearly, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Wilson Premier Championship West (June 5-8) and Wilson Premier Championship East (June 13-17, 26-30, July 6-10) summer events.

This decision did not come lightly, but we felt it best served the entire Wilson Premier community to act swiftly and decisively so as to not further complicate players’ and parents’ plans, and to do so in the name of safety. We are saddened to do it, but we believe it is for the best.

We recognize many teams and families have made arrangements to participate in our events. For information on refunds and cancellations, please reference the FAQs below.

We look forward to the return of baseball as much as anyone, but in order to facilitate world-class national events, it requires the commitment of significant time and resources. At Wilson Premier events, every detail is addressed – event branding, staffing, premium facilities, industry-leading product and apparel – and the competition travels from all over the country and is unmatched. With so many unknowns, we did not feel we could host the world-class summer events to which our participants have grown accustomed.

At this time, we fully intend to host the 2020 Wilson Premier Classic – our signature annual fall event – and will share more information as the situation develops. The Classic has always been a baseball celebration of the greatest kind, and we expect 2020 to be the best yet.

We apologize for any inconvenience the cancellations of the Wilson Premier Championship West and Championship East summer events may cause, but we look forward to seeing you all again soon at a Wilson Premier event. In the meantime, please know that we are thinking of all of you during this unprecedented time.

For more detail on this decision, please visit our FAQ below. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Matthew Bliven, our National Director, at matthew.bliven@wilson.com.

Sincerely,

The Wilson Premier Baseball Team

 

FAQs

  • With the situation evolving so quickly, why are you canceling right now?

Wilson Premier is eager for baseball to resume at all levels and we agree getting back on the field represents an important return to normalcy for multiple reasons.  However, we believe that player safety is of the utmost importance, and we also feel that we cannot, in good faith, host a national tournament to Wilson Premier standards considering the current circumstances. Nearly 80% of Wilson Premier event participants travel across state lines, and other Wilson Premier event standards – from pitcher arm care to travel logistics and infrastructure, umpire and field staffing, college coaches and MLB scouts being pulled off the road – would simply not be met at this time. We have made this decision after careful consideration and with the most information we have available to us today.

 

  • I’ve already made hotel accommodations through the Wilson Premier lodging partner. How can I cancel?

The Wilson Premier lodging partner, Traveling Teams will cancel all reservations booked directly through them. You do not need to contact Wilson Premier, the lodging partner or the hotel directly. If you do not receive notification of your cancellation by May 15, please contact Traveling Teams at contact@travelingteams.com.

 

  • I’m a coach who already paid a tournament entry fee. What are my options?

We have outlined multiple options for organizations that have already paid an entry fee:

  1. Full refund
  2. Partial refund plus full credit toward future Wilson Premier event
  3. Credit toward product from Wilson family of brands (Wilson, DeMarini, EvoShield, Louisville Slugger, ATEC).  Redemption valued at Wilson Team Pricing.

Please submit an application with all requested information. Our National Tournament Director will contact you promptly to discuss your refund options.

 

  • What are my options for participating in a 2020 Wilson Premier event?

If you are a player interested in participating in a world-class event, we encourage you to contact us about potentially playing on a Wilson Premier Classic scout team, where you will have the opportunity to compete against the best travel ball clubs in the country and play in front of college coaches and MLB scouts. If you are interested in playing on a Wilson Premier Classic scout team, please register here.

If you are coach/organization, we will evaluate team participation for the Wilson Premier Classic on a case-by-case basis, depending on capacity and other factors. If you are interested in playing in the Classic, please send an e-mail to Matthew Bliven at Matthew.Bliven@Wilson.comYou can also register here to request an invite to participate.

 

  • What are your plans for the 2020 Wilson Premier Classic?

We have every intention of hosting an all-time great Wilson Premier Classic in mid-September 2020 in West Palm Beach, Fla., and are continuing to plan for a marquee event. Stay tuned to @WilsonPremierBB on social media, and WilsonPremierBaseball.com for updates.

 

  • Is there another way to purchase Wilson Premier apparel and SWAG?

Glad you asked. We’ll be launching a Wilson Team Shop with brand new WP apparel that was originally planned for Championship West and Championship East. Follow @wilsonpremierbb on Instagram and twitter for notification on when that store will go live. Orders will be shipped directly to your doorstep. 

 

  • Other national tournaments have yet to be canceled and/or are saying they are going to be played.  Why are you canceling Wilson Premier Championship West and East this far in advance?

The Wilson Premier Championship events are more complex to execute than other tournaments given the numerous logistical requirements necessary to put on a best in class event. We pride ourselves on exceptional experience and the lack of certainty surrounding infrastructure elements – air travel, hotel availability and service, facility limitations, local government restrictions, etc. – is significant enough to the point we don’t feel comfortable hosting a tournament that may not deliver on expectations. Additionally, players, parents, and coaches have grown accustomed to the presence of college coaches and pro scouts being a part of, and justification for participation in, all Wilson Premier events.  The fact MLB, the NCAA, and various colleges and universities have grounded their scouting/recruiting staffs as a result of COVID-19 is a major contributor to this decision.   

 

  • Other tournaments are still on schedule for Phoenix, AZ and Auburndale, FL.  Why are you choosing to cancel?

Each tournament provider has their own respective standards of quality.  Given the uncertainty surrounding the multiple facets of executing a Wilson Premier event, we don’t feel comfortable expecting a team, player, or parent to incur expenses for services and experiences which may or may not be delivered.  We discussed options surrounding modifying WP Championship West and East by limiting teams to local only, reducing our Operations Staff, and opting to prohibit experiential elements that define our events.  Ultimately, we don’t feel comfortable hosting a tournament that doesn’t meet our standard of quality. 

 

 

  • If local governments, facilities, and travel/hospitality businesses deem it safe to travel and play, why are you still canceling WP Championship West/East?

There are clearly a number of safety factors in play.  Safety from the actual COVID-19 virus is the obvious concern but we also evaluated ‘baseball related player safety’ in this decision.  Those that have participated in a Wilson Premier event are aware how we prioritize a safe and healthy baseball environment. Arm care and strict enforcement of USA Pitch Smart guidelines dictate decisions regarding pitcher eligibility, even to the extent of having to forfeit games in cases of violation of those rules.  Tournament formats are structured to limit the number of games/innings a team plays per day, even in the event of rescheduling due to weather, to mitigate the natural wear and tear a player experiences during a summer season.  With the cancellation of spring high school seasons across the country, we know arms aren’t in shape like they are during a typical summer.  We understand many athletes have been throwing and working to stay in shape, however, replicating competitive game action against national level talent simply isn’t happening right now.  Nobody wants to be playing baseball more than us, but we have to hold ourselves accountable to our mission of always putting the health and safety of the player first.