April 15, 2020
How are you holding up?! We hope you and your family are healthy and safe and in a good place mentally. Even if you are doing okay with a new normal right now, navigating it can be taxing. Please take care of yourself and know our hearts go out to any of you who are being negatively impacted by the current circumstances.
If you or a loved one are on the frontline in the healthcare sector or are among those working to keep essential goods/services available, we are grateful for your dedication, service and hard work. Thanks to all you amazing warriors!
And if you find yourself at home managing the education of your monsters, I mean kids, well, much respect. #StayStrong
The team at Iowa Soccer has been missing the game like crazy and the fun we have trying to nutmeg each other as we move about the office. We’re looking forward to a return to inner-office competition, to seeing players and coaches hit the field and to be able to watch league and association football again!
Our update this week focuses on a shift in the calendar and the resulting competitions offerings for our youth players. Note that going forward we will now reference a “Return to Play” date (RTP), rather than use the term “Suspended Until at Least” date. In part this reflects our optimism that WE WILL RETURN TO PLAY SOON!
May 26 Return to Play Date: Youth Soccer
The date our organization will begin to sanction youth activity is on the Return to Play (RTP) date of May 26, 2020, which is an extension from our previous “suspended until at least” date of April 30, 2020. Factored into our decision-making:
- Multiple sources of information at the national, regional, state and local levels.
- US Youth Soccer’s updated RTP date – which it will announce this morning via social media – May 15 (it had been May 1).
- Although we’d previously been aligned with US Youth Soccer’s RTP date, based upon when the peak of the curve is expected to hit Iowa, we’re now pushing our RTP date beyond US Youth’s.
- An assessment of realistic competition options for youth teams, based upon multiple RTP dates starting May 15 (US Youth’s new RTP date), and the impact different RTP dates would have on club officials.
- This assessment included the increasing pressure and responsibility that would be asked of club registrars/administrators the later into May a spring league season would begin, acknowledging that by mid-May most of these unsung heroes, I mean club officials, have pivoted to preparing for the fall season. Please remember, these warriors in your club will also be tackling the new Demosphere platform during this time as well.
TBD Return to Play Date: Adult League Soccer
Due to the nature of sanctioning in adult soccer, US Adult Soccer has a significant say in when our adult members may return to play. We anticipate US Adult Soccer will extend this date in the coming days, so we will be in touch with our adult league leaders at the end of the week with a RTP update.
Spring 2020 Iowa Soccer Competitions - Youth
We are optimistic about the May 26 RTP date and as a result, our competitions team will be engaging the contingency plan it developed for a June-July calendar for each competition level we have: Select, Rec and Academy.
- The options for June through July will be event-based, not league-oriented. Events (tournaments, festivals) will be offered by Iowa Soccer as well as by member clubs on weekends in June and July.
- This means that clubs and/or coaches, in conjunction with parents, will be able to determine if they have enough currently-registered players on a given weekend to enter an event.
- There will be events for all levels to choose from: Select, Rec and Academy.
- As of today, the Iowa Games is also still a go and its youth soccer competition is July 17-19 in Ames. Iowa Games is not affiliated with Iowa Soccer, but they do use our player passes as an approved credential, so Iowa Soccer-registered players have this benefit.
- We are still firming up a few important details we want in place before we publicize events and dates, team eligibility, how to register, entry fees, etc…and we’re aiming to have an update ready to share with club leadership by the end of this week.
- We understand that there will likely be some disappointment by families that a league schedule cannot be offered. Please trust we’ve been engaged with members who have provided keen insight about what is realistic given different RTP dates and are encouraged by clubs stepping up to provide event-oriented solutions in June and July.
- We’d be grateful if your club stays with us until the end of this week (when we can share event details) before making any decisions about pulling the plug on your club’s spring season. We want you to be able to make informed decisions and/or go back to families with the dates/events to gauge their interest.
- There are two resource pages on our website