[Originally posted March 27, 2020]
I hope that you are all healthy and staying safe. In this letter, I will provide you with new confirmed dates for Dartmania to take place later in 2020 than originally planned. Please read on for more details.
Since my letter on March 17th (see below) suspending league play, there have been important developments with the COVID-19 coronavirus as it relates to our darts community, so on behalf of the board and the tournament committee I would like to provide a summary.
With Governor Tim Walz’s recent ‘stay at home’ order that goes into effect this evening Friday, March 27th, we will not see bars and restaurants able to be open again until May 1st at the very earliest. As we all know, until the spread of this virus is better contained, even that May 1st date could be subject to possible change and delay. Obviously with Dartmania originally scheduled to run from May 1st-3rd, we simply have no choice but to make adjustments.
You will be pleased to know that your TCDA Tournament Committee, led by Tournament Director Jason “Alice” Wiese, has been working tirelessly behind the scenes on a solution. Our new date for the 20th edition of Dartmania will be September 25-27th, 2020. The new weekend in September has already been confirmed by the Radisson in Brooklyn Center, with whom we are grateful for their partnership and collaboration during these unprecedented times. Click here for the updated Dartmania schedule and event details.
It is the opinion of the tournament committee and myself that September 25-27th is far enough out that it should hopefully give the authorities time to contain this virus, allow time for businesses to open back up, and importantly for some normalcy to have returned to our daily lives. Additionally, we wanted to allow time for people traveling to the tournament from out of state to manage their calendars with work and family.
We will push out some new social media announcements shortly to reflect this change in timing as well, so please look for those and share them with your friends online if you would like to help spread the word.
Thanks for your time and attention, and stay safe!
P.S. – at this time we do not have any fresh updates for you on regular league play for the currently suspended Spring 2020 season. When we have updates on that, any other dart calendar items, I will share that information with you all.
[Originally posted March 17, 2020]
Dear TCDA Captains, Advisers, and Members,
The primary takeaway of this message is to tell you that until further notice from the TCDA, our Spring 2020 league season is cancelled. This encompasses Classic C, B, A, AA, and Gold Division. To provide background as to why, please read on.
Presumably all of you are by now familiar with the fact that a virus labeled COVID-19 (a.k.a. Coronavirus) has made its way to the USA and the upper Midwest. This virus has wreaked havoc in its origin point in mainland China, and then did the same in South Korea. At present it is working its way through mainland Europe and the UK/Ireland, forcing border closings, bar/restaurant closings, quarantines, and causing a great number of illnesses and, sadly, losses of life. The losses of life are more common among those 60 or older and/or those with respiratory ailments, to name but the top two most at-risk communities. Despite some attempts to downplay the seriousness of this virus by some in the media early on, thankfully at this point it is safe to say that no one is debating that this is a highly contagious disease worthy of international attention and aggressive safety precautions. There is no vaccine for this, and the incubation period is long with no symptoms while still being contagious to others, hence the risk of communal transmission is high. As a result, we have all learned the phrase “social distancing” recently, and have been asked to practice that along with increased amounts of hand-washing. Here is a link to the World Health Organization (WHO) and their page on the virus, for those who would like to learn more about it from a non-partisan source: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
In light of the seriousness of the situation, on Mar. 16, 2020, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has ordered that all bars and restaurants in Minnesota only serve to carry-out or delivery customers beginning at 5pm on Mar. 17th, which means there are no more pub venues for us to play out of anyway. Gov. Walz is not alone in this. Other states have enacted similar safeguards. In addition, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has recommended that all levels of government ban gatherings of 50 or more people. President Donald Trump went a step further than that in his address to the nation on Mar. 16, 2020, when he asked the country to not have any gatherings of more than 10 people anywhere in the country.
Around the world, it’s clear that the darts community is taking this very seriously. As of Mar. 16, 2020, the PDC (Professional Darts Corporation) has postponed and delayed all upcoming events. Here in North America, the CDC (Championship Darts Circuit) has already stated they will not hold the PDC North America Qualifier in Toronto. No decision has yet been made on the second PDC North America Qualifier in Chicago in May, but it is definitely up in the air at this time. Regular darts leagues have been cancelled in Ireland, UK, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, and pretty much all of Europe. And with the bans on bars and restaurants in nearly all 50 states, no one is playing league darts in the US any longer either.
While we all hope that these aggressive actions are enough to limit the spread of this virus, we as your board of the TCDA cannot predict at this time what will happen. At this time we are prepared to accept that it is possible we could be delayed from playing darts face-to-face for quite some time. In his address to the nation on Mar. 16th, President Trump did state that it was possible this new situation where we practice social distancing could last until July or August of 2020. If that is the case, then the impact to TCDA steel-tip darts would include not only cancellation or delay to the Spring 2020 season, but Dartmania and possibly our summer banquet as well.
When we are able to share news about each of these activities in more detail and with more certainty, rest assured we will do so. At this time, all we know is that there will be no weekly league darts scheduled until further notice. We will not issue new schedules until such time as we are certain that we will play matches. If we do not ultimately play matches for the rest of Spring 2020, then the board will issue a follow-up statement at that time to help answer further questions.
In a similar vein, we will not have more to say about Dartmania until more time passes. We must await further guidance from the relevant health and government officials, as well as check with the venue, and this will take some time. We ask for your patience in the coming weeks as we check on those things, and we pledge to share information with you all as soon as it comes available.
Please feel free to share this message with other members of the TCDA general membership on your teams, or otherwise. We place the safety of our members and their families above all, and as a board we are of course saddened to issue a notice to cancel darts, but at the same time we are proud to do so in knowing it is best for the protection of the health of our Twin Cities community.
Let’s all practice diligently to do the following five things to help stop the spread of this virus:
- Wash our hands
- Cough into our elbows
- Don’t touch our faces
- Stay more than 3 feet apart from one another
- Stay home if you or a family member are sick
Thank you so much for your attention.
Bottom line, this is serious.