AAU continuing with Junior National Volleyball Championships in Florida despite COVID-19 concerns

One of the largest volleyball tournaments in the world is going to be played as schedule despite the coronavirus pandemic. On Wednesday, the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) announced that its Junior National Volleyball Championships will still be held on June 16-28 in Orlando.

The organization will be taking several precautions as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, though. They include:

  • No neutral spectators
  • No international teams
  • No handshakes
  • Temperature checks at each section of the tournament
  • There will not be an opening ceremony for the event.

The AAU is not forcing players and coaches to wear face masks, but it is strongly encouraged that "some type of face-covering being worn whenever possible." The AAU highlight in the announcement the economic impact that the tournament will have on the state of Florida.

"This event brings significant economic impact to the Central Florida area -- hotels, restaurants, and other local area businesses -- all benefit from this event as it has become a staple of the local community each year," the AAU said.

So far, there are more than 500 teams in the girls division that have registered to participate in the event. Each team has 15 players, five coaches, and 10 chaperones that attend the games. That means that there could be as many as 15,000 people attending the tournament altogether. According USA Today's Tom Schad, there were originally 1,800 teams registered for the tournament that  have since elected not to attend.

This announcement from the AAU comes after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said on Wednesday that sporting events can be held in a safe fashion in the state. DeSantis urged professional leagues that don't have a safe place to play to have their events Florida.

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