COVID-19 Update: May 15, 2020 Club members, Please see the update below.
It is with sadness that I announce the board has decided to cancel the 2020 season due to COVID-19. I know some of you think it is too early to make this call. I have listed a number of the reasons for this decision below. Based on these factors, we do not feel that it is safe or reasonable to play the 2020 season.
- Youth Soccer would fall under Phase 4 (recreation) and, at the earliest, would not start until June 26. Our latest scheduling plan calls for a June 21st start to the season. This cuts an already compressed season possibly more depending on when organizations can work on our fields. This also does not consider time to prepare fields, practice time, uniform delivery issues, etc.
- Social distancing requirements are going to make playing games challenging, at best, and impossible, at worst. In addition, policing social distancing for the spectators is an issue that most clubs are not prepared to handle. The safety of our players, coaches, officials, and spectators is our primary concern.
- Several clubs have already expressed issues in obtaining fields this year. We have a real concern that we will not have enough fields to play even the shortened season. Clubs that depend on school district fields are having significant access issues. The league typically plays 40% of all games on school fields. The closure of those fields will present a substantial scheduling issue.
- Several clubs have indicated they have teams that will not be returning in 2020 due to coach, player, and parent concerns. We still have not heard from all the clubs, but scheduling is going to be very difficult with just the preliminary number of teams dropping and the impact to the divisions.
- Club Presidents have expressed additional concerns with schedules, fields, coaches, etc
- NYS continues to revise guidelines and dates. This is creating a constant moving target for clubs, teams, and the league as to what requirements and guidelines we need to follow.
- The Referee unit has not been able to train new officials for the 2020 season and thus has a significant shortage. Additionally, many referees may choose not to work games this summer due to the crisis which will only add to the shortage.’
- The State guidelines state we must have a plan to keep our “employees and customers” safe. In our case employees and customers would refer to players, parents, and referees. Wearing masks and social distancing would be difficult to accomplish if not impossible during a match.
RDYSL will credit each club the full amount of player registration fees already collected by RDYSL and apply to the 2021 season. If any clubs would like a refund instead of a credit, please contact me. In addition, all player red cards suspensions that would be carried over from 2019 will be forgiven so that they may play as soon as the 2021 season starts. Those players’ status will be reinstated for 2021.
There are a few tournaments still available in July that your teams may want to register for once NYS is finally opened back up. Hopefully, this will give your teams a few chances to play together this season. If you need physical passes for these tournaments, please reach out to your RDYSL Registrar.
I would also encourage your teams to look at scrimmage opportunities once the State allows recreational activities, but please keep in mind player insurance is still required.
Insurance is not valid until Phase 4 starts when practicing as a team.
As always, please stay safe and enjoy your time with your families.