MARCH 11, 2020, in a statement recently made public, the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) has referenced they will be “working closely with the venue management regarding the status of the tournament“. This communication was released amidst rumors that the event was on the verge of being canceled. The IBJJF also referenced that they will be making a more definitive statement on the affairs of the tournament at noon (12 pm) Pacific Standard Time, although Irvine’s UCI campus (where the Pans Championship was to take place), has already stated that all public gatherings with over 100 people have been canceled until further notice.
The news has come after the sport’s 2nd largest governing body, the UAEJJF announced the cancelation of their own biggest event of the year, the Abu Dhabi World Pro earlier last week – details on that here.
If the rumors prove to be true, this will be the first time IBJJF cancels the Pan American Championship since its inception back in 1996. The “Pans” is one of the oldest and most prestigious tournaments in the sport of jiu-jitsu, one that traditionally gathers over 3000 competitors over the course of the 5-day event. It is also widely recognized as the second most important tournament on the sport’s yearly calendar.
According to scientific media outlets, the United States, where the tournament was/is to take place, has severely lacked in taking efficient measures to tackle the coronavirus outbreak, which has made traveling to the country a possible public health liability. In a recent article by the Science Alert publication:
As of Sunday, 1,707 Americans had been tested for the novel coronavirus, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. South Korea, by contrast, has tested more than 189,000 people. The two countries announced their first coronavirus cases on the same day.
Considering the ICU campus has now canceled public gatherings, the IBJJF will be assessing all options, including that of a possible venue alternative before making a final decision. More details on this soon.