The United World Wrestling bureau voted Tuesday on a large number of changes to the 2020 and 2021 competition calendars, including a blanket delay on all competitions until no earlier than September 1, 2020. The changes are an optimistic outlook to the return of competition and will be reviewed again in August.
The recommendations reviewed by the bureau were first considered and drafted by the Technical Commission.
“I thank the Technical Commission for their hard work and consideration in this difficult time,” said United World Wrestling president Nenad Lalovic. “We will only return to the mat when it is safe for our athletes, coaches, referees, and spectators.”
The Cadet, Junior, and U23 Continental Championships will be the first to potentially return to competition, with a window of September 1 to October 30 to organize a competition. A continent may also choose to cancel their championships depending on the pandemic status of each region.
Due to the athletes’ schooling requirements, there will be no Cadet World Championships in 2020, nor will there be U15 championships organized in 2020.
The Junior World Championships are being proposed for the end of November in Belgrade SRB or the beginning of December, while the U23 will remain in Tampere, FIN and be competed on the same dates in November.
Due to the increased risk of travel and transmission for the age group, the Veterans World Championships will be postponed to 2021 where Greece will be the host of the competition.
Two Beach Wrestling World Series events in 2020 will remain on the calendar for Romania and Greece, with one of the nations to also host Cadet & Junior World Beach Wrestling Championships. The Beach Wrestling Commission is currently reviewing all dates and details.
The “Best Wrestler of 2020” awards will only be handed out if there is a Senior World Championships in 2020. A bid process will take place immediately for all new competitions including the Senior World Championships and postponed events where the organizer can no longer host. All competitions are conditional based on the ongoing situation of the global pandemic. If the World Championships do not take place, the money for Best Wrestler will be shifted to the 2021 season.
The 2021 calendar has also been impacted by COVID-19 and the delay of the 2020 Olympic Games.
It’s been proposed to change the current 2021 schedule to reflect what occurred in 2020, with the Senior Continental Championships scheduled before the Continental Olympic Qualifiers.
The seeding system for the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games will consist of results from the following tournaments: 2019 Senior World Championships, 2020 Ranking Series in Roma (ITA), 2020 Senior Continental Championships. Ranking Series Events 2021 will not be included in the seedings of the Olympic Games due to IOC qualification criteria already fixed.
Members also approved to adjoin the ranking of the 2021 Senior Asian Championships for wrestlers from China, North Korea and Turkmenistan because they were not able to participate in the 2020 Senior Asian Championships.
The Ranking Series will consist of two events in 2021, both will provide points to be factored into the “Best Wrestler of 2021” awards but again will not be factored into seeding at the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
The 2021 Senior World Championships are scheduled for October 2-10 in Oslo. There will be no World Cups in 2020 or 2021.