Hello All Town Presidents, Treasurers, Registrars, Travel Directors, and Referee Assignors,
It is with great reluctance that I share this news. Based on Governor Charlie Baker’s decision to close Massachusetts schools through June, the Boston Area Youth Soccer League’s Board of Directors has decided to cancel its Spring 2020 schedule.
We have consistently maintained that if the schools were closed many parents would be uneasy about having their children participate in an inter-town travel soccer program. Functionally, many towns noted that if the schools were closed, they would not have access to the field space required to run their clubs.
This was a tough decision to make, but we believe that it is the right call to keep our children safe.
As we mentioned during the April 8 BAYS board meeting, the league will return roughly 75% of the spring team registration fees that we collected from towns to run the spring schedule, net of any previously outstanding balances due. We will process the checks as quickly as possible.
The money we retain will be used to pay for our technology contract, pay the salaries of our two part-time employees, start paying off the debt of $56,000 that was inadvertently deposited in our account, cover anticipated audit related costs, and other fees expenses required to support the league.
BAYS has published the final placements created for the Spring 2020 season. You can find that information here: https://bays.org/bays/placement. We have published the placements because if the bans are lifted on large gatherings and all authorities have determined that it is safe to play soccer again, we want you to have a list of similarly ranked teams made into divisions and sections in case your town club wants to organize friendlies in the late spring or summer. Where assigned, coach contact information for all the teams is available on the Teams by Town pages.
Regarding insurance, any child who was registered with Mass Youth Soccer in the Fall 2019 season will be covered through August 31, 2020, if they are playing in town sanctioned and organized activities. Any child who wants to take part in tryouts or other activities for their town but is NOT registered with Mass Youth Soccer would not be covered. If towns already completed/paid for their spring player affiliation, the town can either apply to Mass Youth for a full refund for those players who will not be stepping on a field, or let the affiliation stand so that those players may be covered for any sanctioned tryout or organized summer activities that occur.
We have spoken with Mass Youth Soccer Executive Director Michael Borislow and he is committed to trying to find ways to get as many children on the soccer field as soon as it is safe. So, while BAYS may have canceled its spring schedule, there may be opportunities for our children to play later this spring or summer. We and Mass Youth Soccer will keep you informed.
Looking ahead to the fall
There will certainly be challenges kicking off the fall season. For example, we don’t know when it will be safe to hold tryouts. Many families will have suffered financial hardship. Those families that can afford to pay registration fees, may be reluctant to do so until the last minute.
As a result of all these uncertainties, we are putting together a fall task force that will help our league and towns prepare for the fall season, if we have one. We are looking for volunteers from the towns to help with this task force. Please reach out to me directly if you want to be a part of this critical team that will help us chart a path forward through unfathomable waters.
This is a difficult time and filled with lots of disappointment and regret. At BAYS, we are committed to putting as many children on the field as possible in a fun, safe, and competitive environment. I look forward to a time when it is safe for our children to play the sport that we love.