Update: Since Governor Baker has now closed the schools until May 4, it is obvious that the BAYS season cannot start until May 9, at the earliest. The key takeaway here, is that things change rapidly and we must be flexible.
3/25/2020 - BAYS Season Update
Mass Youth and MIAA
On Sunday 3/22, the Massachusetts Youth Soccer Association (Mass Youth) sent an email that extended the ban on soccer activities through April 26. This means soccer activities (tryouts, practices, in-person meetings, etc.) cannot begin until April 27 at the earliest. The email also said soccer games may not begin until May 2.
Mass Youth has promised to provide additional guidance on or about April 1.
Obviously, all this is subject to notification from the state that we will be permitted to gather in large numbers. And, as discussed on the All-BAYS 3/17 conference call, we will not play until the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) deems it okay for high school athletes to take the field.
MIAA will be issuing updated guidance on their tournament structure by March 31. Once we understand what their guidance is, we will share that with you, as it’s likely to impact field availability for many BAYS towns.
Looking at the Doodle poll for high school team participation in the Massachusetts Tournament of Champions (MTOC), it seems that BAYS Club Presidents are strongly in favor of having high school teams participate in MTOC, if it remains scheduled.
After attending the Leagues’ Committee meeting this past Saturday, I am not sure that the tournament will happen. A number of the leagues are like us and would rather skip the tournament this year, preferring to use the playoff and tournament weeks to have more kids play more games. At that Leagues’ Committee meeting, the presidents agreed that there was a tipping point; if enough leagues declined to participate in MTOC, it would not be worth holding the tournament. We will keep you updated.
Recap of March 17 All-BAYS call
Based on what we currently know, the spring soccer season will now kick off on Saturday, May 2 (see Update above). BAYS will schedule the 10 season games with a start date of April 25, but this first game will be considered an automatic “rain-out” to be made up if possible, but without penalty of a forfeit. Games will now be scheduled on Memorial Day weekend, with the last scheduled game on June 27.
Additional news is that to allow for more game weeks in the regular schedule for all Grade 3-8 teams, BAYS will not participate in the MTOC for either the eligible Grade 6 or Grade 8 teams. BAYS HS Competitive 11v11 Teams will still participate in MTOC (if it happens) since their season is only seven games, which allows for enough time for BAYS Playoffs. HS teams will also start on May 2 (see Update above).
If there are additional start date delays, BAYS will reduce the length of the season as necessary. BAYS will provide towns with at least a two-week notice before the season starts. On the call, we decided that a five-week season is the shortest season we would play. This means that the latest season start date could be May 30 to allow for at least a five-game season. BAYS will decide by May 16 whether to cancel the season or play this five-game schedule.
For guidance about when to play the season, BAYS is looking to the sources listed below. The season will not start unless all these sources agree that it is safe for children to play outdoor sports this spring.
- Massachusetts Youth Soccer
- Status of schools
- Centers for Disease Control & Mass. Department of Health
- Federal and state authorities
- MIAA – controls high school sports
As always if you have any questions, please let me know. And please practice social distancing. Be safe, we need you!