Concerns over COVID have reached new heights in the US, causing Newport Polo to postpone the Women’s East Coast Open and Handicap tournaments for 2020. This letter from Newport Polo’s Agnes Keating explains some of the challenges that culminated in the tournament’s cancellation:

On behalf of the HTC, we have reached the point where it is no longer advisable to go forward with the 2020 East Coast Open and Handicap Tournaments as planned for this year.

Positive Covid cases have made an untimely up-tick in Rhode Island after this past weekend, while the rest of the nation is on fire.

While the State of Rhode Island has reached Phase 3, it is tightening the restrictions to maintain its progress.  Our Governor has released official guidelines for out of state visitors, requiring the following:

  • a 14 day quarantine upon arrival – or – a negative Covid Test within 72 hours of travel.  Tests can be done prior to travel, if available, but many states do not offer asymptomatic testing, especially in states that are surging, and we have been informed that our state test results that took 2-4 days for results are now taking 7-10 days due to delays at labs that are besieged by surging states;
  • compliance registration for out of state visitors

These requirements are being enforced by the tourism industry, and also by our Club and businesses here that depend upon an opening economy.  While these are not intended as impediments to visitors coming to vacation in RI, they are impractical to organize a weekend tournament around, and could result in last-minute team/player cancellations, significant health consequences and financial losses for everyone involved.

Lastly, the updated state guidelines for adult sport competition are requiring that competing teams must be from stable groups or pods such as a polo club.  Unfortunately, we are not able to meet those guidelines, since most of our teams would be a collection of players coming together from various clubs, and many different states.

This has been a difficult decision, as our intentions and modifications were to find a safe formula for the competition to continue.  However, with the Covid-19 recovery becoming destabilized all around us, we cannot go forward with the tournament plans this year.   Much thought and planning has gone into this year’s event, that we intend to reschedule for the same time next year.  And live to play another day!

Thank you for your understanding with this decision, and your patience.

With the spirit of unity among us, let’s look forward to the next chapter of these tournaments together, and we await your return!