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Billiardclubs and players between hope and fear

Posted by on October 13, 2020

Billiardclubs and players between hope and fear

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Billiard balls still roling, but for how long in the league competitions

The world of billiards is fearfully waiting the decision from the UMB about keeping the World Championship for men, juniors and ladies in Turkey on the January 2021 calendar. There is a real chance of course that the three big events will be cancelled. The Dutch billiard players are facing the start of a new Grand Prix with over 100 players, which should be launched tomorrow (Wednesday) with the first pre-rounds. Three Belgian teams played for the league last night on Monday, one match will be played tonight and Biljart Expres, the champion, refused to take action for safety reasons. In the French league, matches in the premier league are played later this week and in the German Bundesliga all matches, except one have been postponed to next year. The only competition on its way these days is the UMB 4x10 OneCarom Virtual Challenge, where players perform safely from home.

The clubs and players in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and France are living between hope and fear. Rules and measures are constantly being adjusted and they all have to wait and see whether matches and competitions can continue. Today (Tuesday) is an exciting day for the Netherlands. The Dutch cabinet comes with a gloomy announced press conference today at 19.00, in which tough measures for amateur sports and cafes will be announced.

The main question is: will the cafes, including the billiard cafes in the Netherlands, close daily from 18.00 or will it be a total closure. According to the leaked reports, the measures will be at least for the next two weeks. That may have consequences for the Dutch Premier League, in which a full program is scheduled for next Sunday, and presumably for the Grand Prix as well, which starts with more than 100 players and takes about two weeks. The KNBB board will decide and judge for the coming weeks after the press conference.

In the Belgian league, where Mr. 100 Lier remains the team on top last Monday evening after four matches, but Biljart Expres has not yet played one single match, is great irritation and uncertainty about the future. Most teams are surprised by the decision of Biljart Expres not to take action for the time being. Guy van Litsenborg, the team boss, wants total safety and has no intention to play for the time being.

The sports leader, Louis Masson, responded to the hard situation today. ''Most teams want to play billiards, but for sure it has to be safe. That can change day by day. The federation and sports committee in this Corona era can hardly oblige people to play. The position for now is: a delay of matches is allowed, but we want everything to be made up by the end of November. I have to admit: we have no guarantee. It is possible that measures will be announced very soon, that we have to postpone matches in the next two weeks to May or June 2021. In the worst case, there will be a total lockdown for Antwerp. And then we have to postpone it all, because two-thirds of all our teams play in Antwerp and the surrounding area.''

The sports director would like to reconsider Guy van Litsenborg's decision to stop playing with his team as long as safety is not guaranteed. ''That decision is rather strange, because the lower teams in his cafe keep on playing matches and even without masks. And also strange is, that I spoke with him on Sunday and that he didn't tell me about not playing with his team on Monday. I don't understand that, because I am available for anyone.''

The French team competition in the D1 class, with eight teams in two groups, will head into the first round on Thursday 15 and Friday 16 October. The matches can continue for the time being, however Morangis and Courbevoie play close to the COVID hotspot in Paris, but just outside the red zone. The two matches on Thursday in Group A are:
Laxou-Andernos with the top match between Torbjörn Blomdahl and Dick Jaspers.
On Friday in Group B:
Douarnenez-St. Quentin.

German league sports leader Markus Dömer corrects that not all matches in the 1st bundesligas have been cancelled for next weekend. In the premier league this only applies to the following competitions:
BC Elversberg-BC International
BC Munich-BSV Velbert
St. Wendel-BC Magdeburg
BC Stuttgart-BCC Witten
BC Elversberg-BC Magdeburg
BC Munich-BCC Witten
St. Wendel-BC International
BC Stuttgart-BSV Velbert.

The only match in the highest division that will be played is
Xanten-Weywiesen. In the 2nd Bundesliga, three matches will be played in the locals of BC Elfenbein Höntrop, BCC Witten 2 and BC Weywiesen.

The Virtual UMB OneCarom Challenge, where players can perform in their home situation


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