News

EPYSA and TSC Support Fall Soccer Programs

Aug 8, 2020 9:18 PM
William Sinn

As some of you may have heard, this past Thursday, August 6, Pennsylvania's governor recommended that youth sports should not resume until January.

“The administration is providing this strong recommendation and not an order or mandate,” Wolf's news release said. “As with deciding whether students should return to in-person classes, remote learning or a blend of the two this fall, school administrators and locally elected school boards should make decisions on sports.”

The Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Sports Association (EPYSA), the governing body of all state soccer programs (including the Towamencin Soccer Club), held an emergency meeting that evening to determine if soccer activities would continue for the fall of 2020. We have reprinted the result of that meeting below.

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To: All Members, Affiliates
From: Chris Branscome, Chief Executive Officer (EPYSA)
CC: Board of Directors
Date: 7 August 2020
RE: 2020-21 Season Advisory

On Thursday evening, the Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Board of Directors and senior staff held an emergency meeting to discuss Governor Wolf’s recommendation on the postponement of youth sports. The Governor and Department of Health “strongly recommended” but did not order or mandate a cessation of soccer and has left the decision up to the local governing authorities. After thoughtful discussion, the board was unanimous in its decision to continue to sanction youth soccer activities for the 2020-21 season. These sanctioned activities include team training, scrimmages and competitions.

We have complied with the directives of the Governor and the Department of Health throughout the entire pandemic. The guidance provided by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the CDC as well as US Soccer, US Youth Soccer and the US Olympic Committee has allowed us to carefully and cautiously proceed towards restarting our soccer activities. Since the allowances of camps in the Yellow Phase, and the guided stages of restarting in the Green Phase, we believe our community has carefully followed state guidance and has shown great care and respect for the children we serve as well as the parents, coaches, referees and other volunteers that make up our association.

Each of our members has appropriately followed the guidance of the Commonwealth in educating their families and staff and creating action plans and protocols for a safe return to play. Safety is always our primary concern. In addition, we have consistently understood the position of anyone uncomfortable with returning to play. Each individual and organization must assess the risk and make their own determination. To again reinforce that sentiment, if you are uncomfortable and choose to sit out this season, we respect that decision and welcome you back at such a time that you are ready.

We continue to advise you that there are still risks and possible exposure to COVID-19. Should the Governor order a postponement or suspension we will comply. Until such a time, we must continue practicing the necessary mitigation strategies of wearing a mask, social distancing and minimizing spectators and so forth. We also share with many of you, that the aspects of physical activity and mental health for our children are quite important, and that their participation in sport can be a positive contribution to their well-being.

We have recently updated our webpage with additional resources and an FAQ page. We have also created additional resources regarding quarantining and tracing, in direct cooperation with the CDC and the Montgomery and Delaware County Health Departments. Please be sure to keep your websites and action plans updated. Transparency and communication are an equally important strategy for us to safely run programs this season. With the utmost diligence, caution and care, Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer can continue on the path to play this season. "

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At TSC, we are in agreement with the EPYSA and will be following their edict for our fall Intramural and Travel programs. We have been -- and continue to be -- committed to the EPYSA Return to Play guidelines and protocols to keep our kids healthy and safe. And we are pleased to be able to offer our fall soccer programs in a safe and competitive manner.

Regards,
Jeff Hill
TSC Director

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