The Board and Staff of the League hope that all who are reading this are safe with their families and have had the best Easter or Passover season possible under these challenging times.
We are offering the following updates as to the options that the Board is discussing with respect to the 2020 Season. We communicated with you on March 17, 2020 (see article below) as to the plans for the season were being based upon what was the hopeful assumption that the schools could reopen on April 20, 2020. As we all now know, the schools are closed until at least April 30, 2020. This date is the same as those that are included with the guidance and directives of the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) and the United States Youth Soccer Association (USYSA).
It was hoped that circumstances would improve enough for school to reopen and life to begin to return to normal by April 20th and that a “restart” on this date would provide enough time for clubs to also restart training and prepare fields or allow enough time for those fields that are maintained by local government entities and school districts to be made ready.
As we are now all looking at a minimum restart date of May 1, 2020 that no one has received any insight on as to whether it is realistic, the Board has looked at pushing back the “go-no go” decision date of starting on June 1, 2020 to May 15, 2020. Therefore, IF current restrictions on public events such as youth sports are lifted by May 15, 2020, the League will strive to begin on June 1, 2020 with an eight game schedule as previously announced. While we understand that this might be a stretch for some clubs with respect to fields it is recommended that if you have not already reached out to the owner/operator of your fields, that you do so immediately to get a sense of what the provider of the fields is planning and if they can still accommodate your field needs. It is very important that you share this information with the League Administrator as soon as you have information relative to your being able to begin to play home games June 1, 2020.
The next logical question you may ask is “what if the restrictions are NOT lifted by May 15th?” In that case, the schedule will immediately be reduced to a six (6) game schedule that will begin on June 15, 2020. To be able to execute this schedule, the current restrictions on public events such as youth sports must be lifted by June 1, 2020.
The League has extensively debated the question of what should the minimum season length as defined by the number of games played be? The consensus is a five (5) game season. It has also discussed at length how late into August can the League schedule games. Per the current League Policies, games are to be scheduled for play between April 23rd and August 10th of each year. Therefore, to play a five game schedule that will conclude by August 10, 2020 and to account for divisions that must have a bye week included due to the number of teams in the division, the season must begin no later than June 29, 2020 with final games targeted for August 8, 2020. Therefore, the restrictions currently in place must be lifted by June 15, 2020 for a season to take place this year.
By Friday morning April 17th a questionnaire will be posted on the website that we are asking each club to complete so that the League can get a sense of the current state of your travel teams status and field status as well as any major roadblocks to playing games under these scenarios. Please try to complete the questionnaire by Sunday evening.
Thank you to all of you for your efforts and hopefully we can all get outside soon to enjoy the Beautiful Game!