ECYSA Town Hall - June 16, 2020
The link below is a video recording of the ECYSA Town Hall Meeting from June 15, 2020:
Important Dates/notes for FALL 2020
- Thursday, August 13, 2020 Electronic registration files due to Registrar
- Thursday, August 20, 2020 Age Group Directors placement meeting
- Saturday, September 12, 2020 Fall season starts
Update on covid-19
UPDATE JULY 10, 2020
Dear Soccer Leaders,
Last night many of us participated in a webinar with MA Youth Soccer on the Phase III, Part 1 reopening plan. As many of you know from past MYSA and ECYSA webinars and town hall meetings we had expected that with Phase III would come some loosening of the restrictions for youth sports including soccer that would allow us to move closer to a "return to the way the sport was intended to be played".
As most already are aware, the EEA guidelines for Phase III, Part 1, soccer has been classified by the EEA as a High Risk Sport. (see attached EEA memo) Mike Borislow who serves on the sub task force for Mass Reopening shared in the MYSA webinar that the task force was once again surprised that the main task force had not taken their recommendation as it relates to youth sports return to play. They have asked for a meeting with the department of health to get clarity as to why soccer and other sports have been placed in each category.
Phase III has identified 4 levels of play. Based on soccer's placement in the high risk sport category only Level 1 play activities are allowed for soccer.
So what does this mean for us? It means that very few of the restrictions that came with Phase II have changed. The limit on practice participants has been increased to 25 players or coaches, but practice drills still need to be run with physical distancing. Practice plans continue to be available on the MYS website coaches tab. An added requirement is that coaches need to wear a face covering at all times and remain at least 6 feet away from all players.
It appears that we will be in Phase III, Part 1 for the next three weeks. MYSA is encouraging organizations to reach out to their state representatives and ask them to help set up a meeting and conversation with the Board of Health and MYSA to move this issue forward. Getting a direct single sport conversation with the BOH is the main way to determine why soccer is in the high risk category and find ways to mitigate those concerns with the BOH.
The hope is that we could move from Level 1 to Playing Level 2 and or 3 in August and demonstrate that a return to regular play in the game of soccer could be possible for the fall season.
At ECYSA we will be working on the various options for the fall and will be sending additional information after our July meeting.
Take Care and Stay Safe,
UPDATE June 8, 2020
As you know Governor Baker has opened up Phase II of the states reopening plan. In Phase II limited youth sports activities are permitted under certain gudielines and steps of mitigation. Please see the MYSA links to the guideliens for retrun to play during Phase II.
Please plan to join the MYSA webinar on Wednesday June 10th and the ECYSA Town Hall meeting on June 15th both at 7:00 PM. Links will be sent out in advance.
Please visit www.mayouthsoccer.org/return-to-soccer-activities/ to download the Mass Youth Soccer Return to Activities Guidelines and additional resources for administrators and coaches.
April 29, 2020 - Update sent to all parents, players, coaches
Dear Players, Coaches and Parents,
As a follow up to my last communication. ECYSA has received many emails asking about refunds of player fees. Player fee refunds are handled through your town organization not through ECYSA. For questions regarding player fee refunds, please reach out to your town organization if they have not already reached out.
April 29, 2020 - Notice sent to all parents, players, coaches
Dear Players, Coaches and Parents,
Due to the extended school closures through June and the moratorium on assemblage until at least May 18th Essex County Youth Soccer has made the difficult decision to cancel the spring schedule. As hard as this is, we understand that it is for the safety of all members of our soccer community. We are hopeful that the actions we take now will help us to be back on the field in the fall.
Even though group soccer activities continue to be suspended, I would encourage all of you to stay active with the soccer ball and keep honing your skills.
ECYSA is working with Mass Youth Soccer to potentially plan some summer programming if the limitations are lifted and or expanded enough to get players on the field in July or August. This could include regional friendlies, a High School age event sponsored by Mass Youth Soccer or even a month-long program for all age groups sponsored by Mass Youth Soccer. As we know more, we will pass this information on to you and your organizations.
We are already planning for the fall and watching closely as US Youth Soccer and Mass Youth Soccer work on health and safety guidelines that could be in place for the fall. We have adjusted our registration schedule to give local organizations the extra time they may need to complete assessments, register their players and form their teams.
As we work through this pandemic and look forward to better weather and more time outside, please continue to be diligent and follow the advisories issued by the Commonwealth. Our efforts this spring could help us return to the field this fall.
Stay Safe and Healthy,
April 29, 2020 - Notice sent to all town organization leadership
Dear Presidents and Soccer Leaders,
Just last week Governor Baker announced the continued closure of all public and private school facilities through June 29th. As you know from our Town Hall meeting this was one of the significant limitations in our ability to implement a spring soccer season. That coupled with the extension of the limited assemblage order until at least May 18th make it impossible for ECYSA to deliver a spring soccer schedule.
At our monthly board meeting held on Monday night April 27th the Board voted unanimously to cancel the spring schedule for 2020. It was not what we had hoped for, but we all understand that it is being done for the safety of our players and the entire soccer community and with a hope that the efforts we have in place now, will allow us to return to the field in the fall.
As we previously communicated, ECYSA committed earlier this spring to providing our organizations with a full credit or refund for all of the spring registration fees paid to ECYSA. The Board also decided to waive all ADT fees for changes made during this spring. ECYSA Treasurer, Justin Walters, working with our accountant, Jackie Chee, will reconcile all accounts and be in touch with each organization to coordinate the process.
Thank you for taking the time to fill out the league survey so quickly. Your responses were very helpful in guiding the board in our planning. On the question of summer play there was no real consensus as a league and a lot of ambiguity, which is understandable under our current circumstances. As we continue to follow the changes in the moratoriums placed by the Commonwealth and MA Youth Soccer (MA Youth Soccer’s latest notification) there may be some potential for soccer this summer. Here are some of the potential opportunities:
- Regional Play: Friendly games arranged by neighboring organizations. Contact and team information will remain available on the ECYSA website for use in scheduling these games.
- Potential High School Age Soccer event sponsored by MA Youth Soccer.
- MA Youth Soccer District Select Program has not been cancelled at this time and may be a playing option for some players.
In each of these cases limitations would need to be lifted, coaches would need to be registered and credentialed and all players would need to be registered with MA Youth Soccer.
Another big question at the Town Hall meeting was about the timing and flexibility around fall registration. ECYSA has adjusted our normal schedule for fall registration. Team registration and strength charts will be due August 13th which is a full month later than normal. We hope this will give all of you time to accomplish your assessments, if allowed, and get players signed up for the fall. In addition, we will be relaxing the ADT rules and waiving ADT fees through part of the fall. Finally, we are in the process of reviewing changes in the player pass program to provide more flexibility for the fall at all age groups. More details on that will come later this spring.
Please let me know if there are any questions. We will be holding another Town Hall meeting as more details of what a phased opening could look like become available.
Thanks for all you do for your players and the furtherance of the game of soccer in MA.
April 23, 2020 - Notice sent to all town organization leadership
We all have heard the Governors latest, closing schools for the balance of the year through June 29th.
The ECYSA Board is meeting on Monday (April 27) and a full communication about the spring and the results of the recent town survey will follow shortly after the meeting.
Thanks for all you continue to do for your program and players.
Dean Sidell, President, ECYSA
April 17, 2020 - Notice sent to all town organization leadership
Dear Presidents, TD and other Organizational Leaders,
Thank you for your participation in our Zoom Town Hall meeting last night (April 16). We had 84 people who participated which shows the level of commitment you all have to making soccer happen in your communities.
I wanted to provide a summary of the action items we discussed.
Below please find the link containing a communication from the head of US Youth Soccer and some of his thoughts on what it might look like when we do return to the field. This was the article referenced during the meeting last night.
We expect an update from the Commonwealth of MA regarding the current May 4th date for restrictions around the 23rd of April. As soon as that takes place we will be in touch regarding next steps for us a league. MA Youth Soccer’s latest notification
- REMINDER: In order to provide all of you with the greatest level of financial flexibility with your families, ECYSA has committed to refund 100% of fees if we do not play games this spring.
- ECYSA survey to gauge interest in potential summer play either regionally or across the county if we are not able to play this spring. Please complete this 4 question survey ASAP so we can communicate the data to the Leagues Committee this weekend. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSd1IvxihwzKLPw4BEG8e7P4XQEwUXzqJe0SfduYR-xQPCELHQ/viewform
- ECYSA will revise its deadlines for the fall registration to provide as much time and flexibility as possible for towns to evaluate players and form teams.
- ECYSA will consider loosening restrictions on transfers and possible player pass options to help with spring play if we have it and fall team configuration if needed.
We continue to encourage you to be in communication with your players and families and keep pointing them to the many online resources for them to stay active in the game of soccer individually. (ECYSA Drills - FIFA 11+)
Please let me know if there are additional questions or concerns that ECYSA should be considering or with which we can be of assistance.
Stay Safe and Healthy.
April 7, 2020 - Notice sent to all town organization leadership
Dear Presidents, Travel Directors and Organizational Leaders,
ECYSA is committed to maintaining connection with our members and providing as many resources as we can for all of our players to keep their passion for the game alive to celebrate the game of soccer, even if it's only in their own backyard.
We are in weekly contact with MA Youth Soccer who is in turn speaking with US Youth Soccer regularly and monitoring the varied decisions that need to be made to determine if and when we may get our players back on the field - MA Youth Soccer’s latest notification
Under the current moratorium that ends on May 4th, ECYSA would plan a 7 game schedule followed by an ECYSA Tournament. The Leagues Committee is in conversation about cancelling MTOC so that each of our leagues would have more time to allow more players to play more soccer.
We all know that based on the current data and trajectory of the virus it is very possible that the state could extend their current shut down. But we also want to be prepared, so we are asking towns to consider a couple of things should the season move forward. Will your families and players be anxious about returning to small gatherings and participating in spring soccer? Will this impact the number of teams and placement of those teams?
To be ready for a May schedule we would need this information by April 22nd. We would ask you to reach out to your people and make the best determination you can as to what if any adjustment you will need to make to the current spring registration. Obviously, there will be no fees or limits imposed on these changes.
ECYSA will be hosting a Town Hall style meeting on Wednesday April 15th at 7:00 PM for all organizational leaders. We will host this meeting through zoom and you will receive the link next week. At the meeting we would like to discuss the following:
- Plans and questions on potential spring schedule
- Interest in a summer program schedule
- Impact on fall planning and registration
We hope that at least one member of each organization will be able to attend. If you have other items you would like to have on the agenda please let me know.
Thank you for your continued dedication to the game and to all of your players.
Please let me know if you need any assistance or have additional questions.