Hello GTYSC Families,
The following blast email was sent out on May 31, 2021.
In light of the Ontario government’s Roadmap to Reopen announcement, the GTYSC is planning for a return to soccer. We are still waiting for more information from the government with regards to the specific return to play guidelines, restrictions and protocols, but we are confident that there will be a 2021 season in some capacity. Ontario Soccer and the Niagara Soccer Association are determined to have a season so we are working with these governing bodies to ensure we can safely get our players back on the pitch. In order to get players insured and eligible to participate in soccer activities, we will need to complete player registrations and collect fees. We will be starting with Travel player registrations and then circling back to Soccer School and House League. We ask that you please carefully review the following update.
Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopen
According to the recent Ontario announcement, the Roadmap to Reopen is a cautious three-step plan for a safe and gradual reopening of the province. Each step will last a minimum of 21 days. Public health measures will continue to apply in all three steps, including maintaining physical distancing, capacity limits and wearing face coverings, when necessary.
The three steps are as follows:
Step One: tentative start date of June 14th:
- If 60% of Ontario’s adults have received at least one dose of a vaccine and public health indicators are positive, organized sports training will be permitted for up to 10 participants (including coaches) at physical distances of 3 metres.
- This stage will allow Travel teams to start training with rostered players in two small groups.
Step Two: tentative start date of July 5th:
- After 21 days, if 70% of Ontario’s adults have received at least one dose of a vaccine, 20% of adults have received two doses of a vaccine and public health indicators are positive, outdoor activities will be expanded to allow outdoor sports and leagues.
- This stage will allow Travel and House League teams to run practices and play games with restrictions.
Step Three: tentative start date of July 26th:
- After another 21 days, if 70%-80% of Ontario’s adults have received at least one dose of a vaccine, 25% of adults have received two doses of a vaccine and public health indicators are positive, outdoor activities will be expanded to allow outdoor gatherings with larger capacity limits.
- This stage will continue to allow Travel and House League teams to run practices and play games with less restrictions than Step Two.
As mentioned, we are still waiting to get clarification on the restrictions for each step. Based on the government guidelines from the previous return to play framework, these restrictions could include maximum numbers of participants and spectators as well as other restrictions.
In all three steps, there will continue to be COVID protocols in place including: sanitizing, pre-screening, physical distancing, face coverings (to, from, off the field) and contact tracing via team sign-in sheets. Players, team officials, referees and supporters must respect and adhere to these protocols. Non-compliance will result in removal from the Club without refund. While we understand some protocols may be inconvenient, they are mandatory and in accordance with public health.
2021 Season Details
To facilitate a season, there will be many challenges including field availability, scheduling and referee shortages that the Club will need to manage. This means that 2021 will not be a ‘normal’ season. Players, coaches, referees and supporters that choose to participate will need to be flexible, understanding and patient as we work through any challenges. Because of the later start date and in anticipation of the government restrictions and protocols, some ways that this season could be different include the following:
o weekend games (especially for travel teams)
o later kick off times for older teams and later than normal game times for younger teams (U8 & up)
o the possibly of 2 games per week for travel and house league teams
o a shortened season (if there is a 4th wave of COVID)
With regards to the overall season schedule, the GTYSC is tentatively planning the following:
- June 14th - Travel soccer training starts
- July 5th - Travel soccer league starts (pending NSL scheduling)
- July 5th - Soccer School (U4-U6), House League (U7-U18) & Women’s 30+ start
If we are able to start games in early July as proposed, we will plan to run the season until the end of August for Soccer School and up to September 12th for house league and travel. We want to stress to all of our players, coaches, referees and supporters that this season is going to be non-traditional and may be modified due to government restrictions. The season may not be what we are used to, but playing soccer safely is the Club’s priority.
**Before committing to the season and making registration payments, please remember that we will all need to be flexible and understanding. Changes may happen without notice that are beyond our control. After payments have been made, we are unable to provide full refunds. We are a not-for-profit with a zero-based budget so our fees are representative of our actual costs. Before the season starts, any refunds requested will be subject to a $25 admin fee to cover unrecoverable bank and registration fees. For travel players that have been rostered and received uniforms, there will be additional fees of $35 and $81, respectively, that cannot be refunded. The full 2021 GTYSC refund policy is detailed in your registration and on our website at www.grimsbysoccer.com. **
In anticipation of Travel team training opening up with Step One on June 14th, we are asking all of our travel players to complete registration with payments made in full by this Friday June 4th so that we can roster players and confirm insurance coverage. Payments can be made by credit card online via the registration confirmation email you received. The payment link is at the bottom of the email. You must use a browser on a computer to access the payment platform (not a cell phone). For eTransfer payments, please email payment to [email protected] with player’s name and division clearly identified.
Please remember that only travel players that tried out and were selected for 2020 teams have been carried over to 2021 travel teams. All other players interested in Travel Soccer should register for house league first until we can confirm: a). if tryouts are needed in any divisions; and b). if tryouts will be permitted under the reopening steps. Any tryout sessions being offered will be communicated via email blast and posted to our website.
When we have rostered the travel players and we have more information about Step Two return to play, we will circle around to Soccer School, House League and the Women’s 30+ league to request payment and provide updates. The Club’s volunteers are working very hard to get soccer up and running safely and successfully. If you have any questions about a specific division, please contact one of the following Convenors.
We hope to see all of our soccer families back for a fun and safe 2021 season! Thank you again for your continued patience as we navigate our way through all of the changing information. As details are released, we will continue to send out communications and post information to our website.
Thank you and take care,
Grimsby Town Youth Soccer Club