Last night, after a thoughtful discussion, the Board reached the very unfortunate conclusion that the Spring 2020 season would be cancelled. Primary drivers from this course of action are around the challenges and logistics that the League and many teams are going to face to start play, naming a few:
- Insurance: there isn’t a timeline when liability insurance will be available to the League. That protection enables many of our teams to secure fields and also provides all of us necessary protection when unfortunate circumstances come to pass. It wouldn’t be prudent to take that additional risk until it’s back in-place.
- Fields: With the cancellation of in-person school for the remainder of the year, it is also apparent that many localities are not going to make fields available. We know some youth club and town leagues are looking to find a way to field a season which could help open fields, be we also know several towns that have fully pulled out of their youth sports. The result of all this is a field shortage that, at best, might take some time for teams to solve.
- Schedule: to find fields, teams need a schedule. We as a board worked through multiple contingencies to provide options for 6 and 4-game seasons, but to create a schedule requires other unknowns to be solved meaning it will be from a few days to a week to create a schedule further exacerbating efforts of teams to organize their fields
- Teams: We are aware that some teams are going to choose not to play. This is a reasonable choice given the circumstances that we’d not question. But, we’d need to devise a policy to handle it fairly (i.e., how do we balance divisions?). There are no good options.
- Players: Similarly, some number of individual players are going to choose not to play which will result in teams not having enough players. Treating these circumstances as ‘normal’ forfeitures would most definitely not be appropriate – and so again, no good options.
Of note: All fees paid for the Spring 2020 season will be fully credited to that team’s next registration.
We aren’t abandoning hope for some soccer for teams and players who feel comfortable, at the appropriate time, to get some games in. Our state organization, MASS Soccer, is looking at options to give opportunities for organized activities in the late spring or summer (assuming appropriate clearance from state and local health officials). We’ll work with them on those efforts and share with you as we learn more.
Until we next see you on the pitch,