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South Jersey

Soccer League

Coronavirus Update

May 2nd, 2020

As we all continue to deal with Covid-19 and the challenges presented, SJSL hopes that everyone is remaining safe and healthy. This pandemic has forced all of us to adjust our lives in the name of safety for everyone. As this crisis continues, we will strive to keep everyone as updated as we can. We know that many of you are anxious to return to the field, but we must stress the continued need to conform with all applicable state and federal health guidelines and safety procedures.

At this time, US Club Soccer has extended the suspension of all game related activity (practices, training, tryouts, friendlies, games, etc.) until May 18, 2020. *See Letter from Kevin Payne below. In addition, the State of New Jersey has restricted group gatherings and closed schools at least through May 15, 2020. While the Governor has eased the limitations on county and state parks, activities in those locations are limited to passive recreation. Team sports remain prohibited. Further announcements will be made by both organizations later in mid-May.

As a result of these decisions, and in light of the concerns that many players and parents have expressed even if the state restrictions are eased, the SJSL Spring 2020 season has been cancelled. It is not practical at this point to attempt to extend and play the season through the summer. Assuming that US Club and the State of NJ allow play during the summer months, opportunities for friendlies to be played or used as tryouts will be up to each club. The league will offer its support once we are assured the restrictions by US Club and the State of NJ have been removed.

The SJSL Executive Board met on 4/30 and the following was determined:

  • All Clubs who had teams registered for the Spring 2020 season will receive full credit ($80 per spring registered team) towards the Fall 2020 season. The clubs will each decide how to administer that credit within their club.
  • Fall registration will open June 1st and will close on approximately July 15th. Additional time may be afforded to select teams if needed. How this will be handled, and additional dates and information will follow as we are apprised of guidelines imposed by US Club and the State of NJ.
  • The registration fee for the SJSL Fall 2020 season will be $80 per team.
  • Clubs will be emailed their Fall invoice which will include the credit from their spring registered teams.
  • Any additional fees owed may be mailed in by August 1, 2020 to the SJSL Treasurer. The contact information will be included on the invoice. There will be NO meeting to make payments this year. More details will follow.
  • Dates will be flexible depending on when the New Jersey restrictions are lifted.
  • The start of the Fall season will be September 13th. (Labor Day is late this year)
  • All of the above is conditioned on all restrictions being lifted as to gatherings by New Jersey and as sanctioned by US Club Soccer.

We know that you are frustrated. Stay strong! SJSL hopes everyone stays safe and healthy and looks forwarded to the return of SOCCER!!

SJSL Executive Board

* The following is the update from US Club:

MEMBER UPDATE:

Letter from Kevin Payne regarding COVID-19; extension of suspension until May 18

April 27, 2020

Dear members,

As a number of states and local jurisdictions begin planning for a phased return to normalcy, US Club Soccer has targeted May 18th as the date we hope to return decision-making authority to our local leagues. This is subject to change, of course, but it is our hope that our members can begin to sensibly return to the fields after that, subject to some requirements and recommendations.

The return-to-play decision is a complicated one. We understand just how important it is for clubs, coaches, parents and players to play organized soccer again. But, as parts of the country begin to open up over the coming weeks, we encourage everyone to exercise extreme caution and continue to abide by public health experts' guidelines for hygiene, physical distancing, facemask use, etc. You can read about those guidelines on this CDC web page.

When play does resume in your area, we'll require compliance with safety measures that adhere to the CDC and federal and local governments. We will share a comprehensive list before returning to play.

The federal guidelines for states to resume business activities are outlined on this federal "Opening America" web page. In this phased approach, "schools and organized youth activities" - including sporting venues - are listed in the second phase, which is applicable for states and regions with no evidence of a rebound and that satisfy all establishing criteria.

We're hopeful that the continued suspension of activities until May 18th puts us in a position to begin Phase 2. We will continue to monitor the situation and follow up the week prior with a return-to-play decision.

Stay strong and stay safe.

April 4th, 2020

SJSL hopes that everyone is staying safe and healthy during these challenging times. It is important to take all of the recommended precautions seriously, to stay educated, and to protect ourselves and our families. On the youth soccer front, we offer the following update.

SJSL held a virtual Executive Board meeting on April 2, 2020 and discussed options for the foreseeable future. As recently mandated by USSF and US Club Soccer, all SJSL matches are cancelled thru April 30th. This includes all soccer matches, makeups, friendlies, practices, tryouts, tournaments and social gatherings. While the outlook for league matches during May is not promising, we remain hopeful that some soccer may be played later this spring or early summer. That decision, however, will depend upon the directives that we receive from the Governor of New Jersey, the CDC, US Soccer, and the various national agencies. Safety remains our number one priority.

The status of the current pandemic and the future of youth sports may change from day to day as we learn more. We expect that US Club Soccer will release another statement sometime mid-April. Please be assured that SJSL will not take any steps to resume play unless thoroughly approved and vetted by the appropriate medical and national soccer authorities.

At this time, SJSL is proactively taking steps to address the viability of the upcoming GM meetings, board elections, the continuation of the spring season, and the fall registration dates. Accordingly, please understand that the scheduled May 7th SJSL GM Meeting has been postponed and will be rescheduled at a future date. We are reviewing our options to meet virtually since there is business that the league must conduct over the next 2 months. As well, the June 8th SJSL Annual GM Meeting is also on hold. Once we have confirmed the new dates and new meeting arrangements, everyone will be notified.

All updates will be sent out through our email portal in Got Soccer to all club reps (registered under "SJSL Boys" and SJSL Rep) and club presidents listed in Got Soccer, and the information will be posted on the league web site. As the information becomes available, these updates will address, among other topics, the remaining status of the Spring season, the possibility of summer makeup games, the opportunity for refund credits, the new meeting dates and meeting procedures, the Fall registration period, and all upcoming important league dates.

Please stay safe and healthy during these troubled times and until some normalcy resumes in all of our lives.

SJSL Executive Board

March 23rd, 2020

SJSL has been continuously monitoring the Covid-19 pandemic and the reports released from the US Soccer Federation, US Club Soccer, and the various national and state governmental agencies. We are aware as well of the steps already taken by our member clubs, and associated local schools and towns.

As has been previously announced, many of our schools are closed until April 20th, and US Club Soccer has suspended all covered activities until at least April 12, 2020. US Club has specifically suspended all activities by member organizations, including league and tournament play, scrimmages, practices, training and tryouts.

While we remain hopeful that some portion of the spring season may be played, given the current state of the pandemic and the unsure future, SJSL has determined the following at this point:

  1. All SJSL games originally scheduled for 3/15 and 3/22 and previously suspended, including any scheduled make up games, will not be made up.
  2. All SJSL matches scheduled for 3/29 thru 4/19 are now postponed, including any scheduled makeup games, and most likely will not be played.
  3. No game reschedule requests or TBAs will be considered until further notice.
  4. SJ Cup games will be addressed as we get closer to those dates.

Another review and update will take place over the next couple of weeks with the hope that the pandemic takes a turn for the better over that time period.

We are in uncharted territory here. There is always the possibility that the entire spring season may need to be cancelled. Many factors will be considered in reaching that ultimate decision, as well as any rescheduling alternatives, if that decision becomes reality. Safety will always be the foremost factor. The priority right now is to protect our players and their families.

Please stay safe. We encourage all of our members to stay educated on the precautions and proactive measures published by the CDC, WHO and NJ Department of Health. Thank you for your support and understanding in this challenging time. We will get through this together as a community and as a nation.

SOUTH JERSEY SOCCER LEAGUE

March 12th, 2020

To everyone - having reviewed the recommendations from the US Soccer Federation and US Club Soccer, and in light of the concerns raised by our member clubs, the South Jersey Soccer League (Boys) has decided the following:

  1. All games for the month of March (3/15, 3/22, 3/29) are suspended, including any scheduled make up games.
  2. We will reevaluate our position and email all member clubs on Wednesday, March 26th regarding whether the games scheduled for 3/29 will remain suspended or will be played.
  3. Round 2 games (3/15) will not be made up.
  4. Round 3 games (3/22) will not be made up if the league also cancels Round 4 games (3/29), otherwise a decision on the round makeup will be made at a later date.
  5. Matches played in violation of this policy will not be sanctioned by the league.

We encourage all of our members to stay educated on the precautions and proactive measures published by the CDC, WHO and NJ Department of Health. Player and family safety should be our first priority. Thank you for your support and understanding in this challenging time.

SJSL Executive Board

March 7th, 2020

SJSL is working hard to stay up to date about the warnings and advice offered by the United States Soccer Federation, the CDC and other health organizations regarding the Coronavirus outbreak. Our concern is always with the health and safety of our players, coaches, referees and their families in and around the game of soccer. The guidance from US Soccer notes that:

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed. Everyday preventive actions should be taken, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow the CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
  • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including Coronavirus.
  • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms to help prevent the spread of the disease.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

Several sports organizations have looked for and imposed alternatives to the pre and post game handshaking rituals. Proposed ideas have included: waving, fist bumping, elbow bumping, inside foot touches, among others. Please discuss these alternatives with your players and teams and feel free to utilize those ideas that you feel are both safer and continue to encourage sportsmanship among our players.

Thank you,

SJSL Executive Board