USA Boxing and Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission
The rescheduled 2020 USA Boxing National Championships got underway Friday at the Shreveport Convention Center.
The tournament, which runs through April 3, was set to take place December 5-12, but the event was shifted into 2021 in November of last year because of COVID-19 complications.
The event will feature 1,000 bouts, with elite, junior/youth and peewee divisions. There are approximately 2,550 total participants registered: 1,475 boxers, 970 coaches and 100 officials.
Of those numbers, 23 percent are from Texas, 13 percent from California and 6 percent from Florida.
There are 125 titles up for grabs.
“The Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission worked hard to accommodate USA Boxing, making adjustments to their schedule to meet our needs,” said USA Boxing Event Coordinator Taryn Cass. “We feel confident that the new dates will allow us to host a successful event and enable us to provide the experience that our members expect and deserve in a safe environment.”
The virus is not the only factor which has disrupted the event, with Shreveport stepping in to replace Lake Charles as host in September of 2020 after the impact of Hurricane Laura.
“Shreveport-Bossier City will provide good accessibility, weather and hospitality for our members and their Convention Center will be ideal for the implementation of our #BackToBoxing protocols that are designed to ensure the safety of our boxers, coaches, officials and members of the community.” said Michael Campbell, Events and Operations Manager for USA Boxing.
Three extra days of competition have been scheduled this year to allow for a “soft start” to the event.
It will allow boxers, coaches, officials and staff the opportunity to adjust to COVID-19 mitigation procedures which will be in place.
Dr. Shane Barton, Chair of Orthopedic Surgery and Dr. Peter Seidenberg, Chair of Family Medicine and Comprehensive Care at LSU Health Shreveport have partnered with USA Boxing to provide safety protocols for the national championships and have engaged the Center for Emerging Viral threats at LSU Health Shreveport to handle COVID-19 testing for the event.
This strategic partnership in COVID-19 planning will ensure a safe event for the athlete, coaches, parents, as well as the community.
This year’s championships will also have other changes to help provide a safer and easier tournament experience, including staggered check-in days, set late coaches check-in hours, no general weigh-in, as well as a quota for all weight classes.
The sessions will also be live streamed on the www.Teamusa.org/USA-Boxing website.
With capacity restrictions still in place, spectators will not be allowed at this year’s championship.
Fortunately, many local restaurants have agreed to live stream the bouts so that family and fellow athletes can still be a part of the action and cheer on their boxers, while supporting local businesses. A full list of live stream locations can be found on the Shreveport- Bossier Sports Commission website.
This event is the first stepping-stone towards the 2024 Olympic Games Paris, as numerous boxers competing in Shreveport-Bossier City will have their sights on those Olympic Games, including boxers who competed in the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Boxing and look to continue into this new quad.
Although a large event, the safety of the athletes, coaches, parents and community has and will continue to be at the heart of every decision made.
The 2020 USA Boxing National Championships will bring attendees from around the nation to the Shreveport-Bossier area, with a projected economic impact of $5.2 million.