It’s no surprise that these are very trying and frustrating times for youth soccer (and frankly for any youth sports activities).
Over the last few weeks, we’ve found ourselves trying to sort through myriad of rules, regulations and guidelines for return to play. We’ve been reviewing documents from the State of Pennsylvania, Montgomery/Bucks/Chester counties, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Association (EPYSA). While many of these organizations contain the same basic concepts, each have slight variations, and in some cases, conflicting requirements.
Several sports, including baseball and softball, are classified as non-contact sports, and have been granted less stringent return to play rules. Other sports do not have a state controlling organization, so they are left to create their own return to play rules based within State/County guidelines. In the case of soccer, we have EPYSA setting the return to play rules. EPYSA’s rules stipulate that teams cannot have club run in-person training until a county is in the “Green” status (which we are not in yet).
Our belief is that our area is very close to being classified as “Green” (hopefully by Friday, June 26th) and we are proceeding with plans to resume general soccer activities as of Saturday, June 27th. Keep in mind that the return to play protocols from EPYSA have limitations on what can be done, as there are a series of progressively phased in activities. If we are not declared as “Green” by June 26th, we will retool our plans to offer soccer “camps” until our classification is changed to “Green”.
What does this mean for our travel and intramural programs?
• Travel Program: Our expectations are that many of our travel teams will begin holding tryout sessions after Saturday, June 27th (schedules and fields as yet to be determined). Our travel registration remains open so any player who is interested may still sign up to try out for our competitive program.
• Intramural Program: Our current plan is to begin our intramural program on Monday, August 17 (schedules and fields as yet to be determined). IM registration has been open for several weeks and will remain open until Wednesday, July 17. Late registration will be open to Wednesday, July 29. No soccer registrations will be accepted after July 29.
All of us at the Towamencin Soccer Club appreciate your patience and support as we work through all these issues. I have attached our current Return to Play protocols which are designed to help ensure a safe return to play framework. There could be a few more rules added if we remain in the “Yellow” phase. We are now working to prepare our coaches, set up field assignments, and acquire the proper equipment to carry out this plan. You will hear from your coaches on next steps.
Watch for more updates over the next few weeks. Stay safe and stay healthy.