Maybe it was something in the water. The ANOC World Beach Games have shrunken considerably.
The Games, originally scheduled for 2017 in San Diego, were later moved from 2017 to 2019. And while organizers claimed the move had been made in order to allow national Olympic committees and international federations “optimum time to prepare their athletes” for the event, the considered opinion was that the Games – virtually unknown in the U.S. – were lacking for money and needed to gain better financial traction.
Recent news appears to support this opinion. An announcement, made in late October, stated the Games will still be held in San Diego in 2019, but will “take place on a smaller scale than first planned.”
Previously, the Games were to feature representatives from all 206 National Olympic Committees participating in nearly 25 sports. Now, according to an article in Inside The Games, San Diego Exploratory Foundation leader Vincent Mudd told the Times of San Diego that his group is aiming for around 40 countries to participate in 17 sports, with a total of just over 1,300 athletes expected. However, Inside The Games noted, all 206 NOCs will be invited to send athletes. The Games will also be shorter – six days instead of the original 10 that had been planned.
Presently, those sports are set to be:
Sand/Beach Sports (meaning sports that can take place on the sand or near the beach but not in the water):
Park Terrain Skateboarding
Karate Beach Kata
4×4 Beach Volleyball
Open Water Swimming
Water Ski Jumping
Still, there are signs this can be a boon to sports builders in the area. There are plans to use a total of three stadiums: one to host beach soccer and beach volleyball, with the second hosting the medal rounds of all other sports. The final stadium will host what have come to be called “the urban sports.” Water sports are expected to be open to the public, with live feeds in the stadiums.
And by the way, if any ASBA members have been tapped to work on facilities, let us know! We’d love to have you take a bow.