The effects of the COVID-19 virus are truly unprecedented in the sports world. As we at the American Cornhole League had to determine what's best for our players and our sport at this time, we had to take in many factors including safety, integrity of our points system, and many other factors. After lengthy discussions, we feel that we have determined the best possible path forward given all of the challenges that we have in front of us. Below are the outlined changes that will go into effect immediately. The ACL Player Guide will be updated within the coming days to reflect the changes outlined in this press release.
ACL National #3 - Bag Brawl
This event has officially been cancelled. Based on current scheduling of ACL Conference events in June, USA Cornhole's event in June, the lack of availability for West Coast locations, and the continued uncertainty of the virus preventing many locations from committing to any agreements, we are having to cancel the third ACL National of the season. We would not know for certain if a 700+ player event would even be possible until just 2-3 weeks before the event. With the majority of our players having to purchase flights and reserve lodging, we just did not feel there will be enough time to execute an ACL National event to our high standards
ACL Non-Pro Points
With two ACL Nationals being cancelled, we need to address the changes to the ACL Rankings that need to take place. We have decided to make the 2020 ACL World Championships count for ACL National points. ACL Overall points count a player's 10 best local, 5 best regional, 2 best conference, and 1 best National event. We don't feel that there is a need to alter the 10 local events, especially with the new launch of ACL virtual. For Regional events, we will be extending the last points day from June 30 to July 31 to give players an extra month to get their Regional event in that was missed during this 1.5 months of downtime. Additionally, if ACL Directors missed a second Regional in the second half of March, we will allow Directors to "double up" one month at the end of the season to make up for a missed Regional.
All conferences except one were able to get two conference events finished before the second ACL National. Conferences should be able to schedule their third event for the month of June, assuming that state and federal restrictions permit it. Finally, with only one National being counted for points, we feel that adding the ACL World Championships as National points increasing the total number of Nationals to three is a fair compromise to the points system. The primary reason for ACL Overall Standings is for ACL Pro Qualification, which is outlined below.
ACL Pro Qualification for 2020-2021
Because of the two Nationals being cancelled for the season, there is a need to address the qualification for becoming an ACL Pro for the 2020-2021 season. We have decided to allow all ACL Pros from this season to come back for the 2020-2021 season. If all Pros accept this invitation, that leaves 32 spots available for new pros next season. The top 32 players from ACL Overall standings at the end of the season will be invited to fill those spots. Any remaining spots will be continued to fill top-down from the ACL Overall Standings. Players who wanted to compete as an ACL Pro next season should already have planned to go to the ACL World Championships, so with the new change to count the event for National points, everyone should be able to get their minimum one National event in for ACL Overall Standings. Simply making the ACL World Championships a qualifier for the Pro Division would have penalized players that traveled to the Kickoff Battle and that will travel to the Final Chase.
Current ACL Pros
We have extended opt-out options for ACL Pros given the current situation. For all others, we are giving them options of how they would like to allocate the $60,000 guaranteed prize pool from the Cornhole Mania and the Bag Brawl. Additionally, the ACL will be hosting some ACL Pro-only Virtual events, as well as hosting seven Pro Invitational qualifier events in June, two (or more) of which will have ESPN televised coverage, all of which will have a player cap. All other ACL Pro information will be communicated directly with ACL Pros.
The 2020 Final Chase and ACL World Championships
As of now, both of these events are being planned according to the original schedule. We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation to determine if any modifications to the plan need to be made. Registration for the 2020 Final Chase (July 3-5) will open on June 1st and will be on a first come, first serve basis. Registration for the 2020 ACL World Championships (August 4-9) will open on July 1st. We are still discussing the registration process and singles tournament format for the Championships in order to keep ACL Pro qualification as fair as possible.
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