I imagine there were few tears shed as we all said goodbye to 2020. It will be a year-long remembered for what happened here and around the world. It will also be the year, I suggest, that we should look back and remember what didn’t happen.
For USIBA, the first thing that didn’t happen was our National Tournament which was scheduled in Atlanta, GA to be hosted by Georgia Tech. In cooperation with USA Boxing, we canceled our Nationals just two weeks before the scheduled start of the tournament. At the time, it was an agonizing decision to make but in hindsight, it was absolutely the correct one. Thanks to Terri Moss and her team at GT for all the time and effort put into the preparation.
I am also happy to report something else that didn’t happen in 2020. No USIBA boxer/official contracted Covid from boxing before the shutdown, even though we hosted a boxing fundraising event in Richmond the weekend before. Led by our Covid Czar, USIBA board member Larry Herman, we resisted the temptation to sanction any events after the show in Richmond.
What else didn’t happen? USIBA did not forget its members even though boxing has been paused for nearly a year. We hosted Zoom calls so coaches and boxers could discuss what was happening with the lockdown at their schools and show we are a united boxing family. I always joke we are a dysfunctional family, but a family nonetheless, united by our love of boxing.
The USIBA Board did not lay dormant for 2020. Working with and getting approval from our Board of Governors (our registered clubs), talks continued with the other collegiate boxing association and we foresee cooperation in the future. We revised weight groups for the National tournament and will now ask that all boxers registering with us for the tournament have a recognized relationship with their schools, such as being a recognized club sport or registered student organization. We decided that a boxer must declare his intended weight class before Nationals and make that weight the first morning to be eligible to box. We believe these changes will enhance the safety and quality of our organization.
As we navigate our way through 2021, we hope to have a reset of college boxing in the fall as, hopefully, our students return to campus and Covid gets knocked down and out. We will always put the safety of our members first while recognizing the profound good that boxing offers for all of us.
Please reach out to us with any concerns or questions as we await the return of college boxing. No matter what adversity we may face, please remember that USIBA is always in your corner.