Update: Return to Play and Refunds, News (Glencoe Minor Soccer)

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Update: Return to Play and Refunds
Submitted By Neil Johnson on Friday, June 12, 2020
First, we appreciate your patience as we waited for guidance from Ontario Soccer (OS) and our local district (EMSA) on Return to Play protocols. Now that the Ontario Government is relaxing restrictions on amateur sports and allowing some modified activities to resume, we have a path forward. 

First, we appreciate your patience as we waited for guidance from Ontario Soccer (OS) and our local district (EMSA) on Return to Play protocols. Now that the Ontario Government is relaxing restrictions on amateur sports and allowing some modified activities to resume, we have a path forward. If you’re interested in the full OS guidelines for phases 1-3, they are available here. A few key points from the guidelines:


1)    Allowed Now - Modified soccer activities can resume, but there are still strict limits on group sizes and physical distancing. In other words, we have to modify any soccer sessions to ensure kids don’t come within 6-feet of physical contact and no more than 10 people are allowed on one field at a time.


2)    Next Phase - If/when restrictions are further relaxed, there will be the possibility to run in-house scrimmages with less physical distancing requirements, but there is no guarantee when this will be allowed. It will be 100% based on guidance from health authorities.


3)    Final Phase – Games with other clubs may be allowed if health authorities give the green light, but we expect the chances of this happening this summer to be slim.


Based on the guidelines, the GMS Board met last night to make decisions how to proceed in a way that we thought was best for our community and the health of all the kids. There is no perfect solution, but we do want to offer some modified soccer activities to the older children and give them an opportunity to get out of the house, play, see their friends and get some exercise. We hope everyone understands that we’re only trying to do what’s best, but if you don’t feel comfortable returning to play, then please do not. You know what’s best for the health and safety of your family.


Here is how we are proceeding:


1)    U4-U6 Program – We made the difficult decision to cancel the season for all kids U4-U6 kids (2015-2017). It will be simply too difficult to ensure the little kids maintain physical distance. We hope everyone understands.


2)    Modified Activities for U7 and Older – We have decided to start modified soccer activities for kids age U7 and up. Our aim is to start the week of June 29, if not sooner, and we’ll run the program for at least 4-5 weeks and evaluate things as we go. Important: You must fill out our Refund and Return to Play form if your child will participate - https://glencoeminorsoccer.com/Forms/2219/. Also, our return to play plan will only work if we get enough volunteers to run the activities. If your age group does not have enough volunteers, then we won’t be able to offer the program for that group. If you have questions about what measures will be taken to ensure safety during the modified activities, please take time to review the OS guidelines here. We will be following them, and more specific information will be coming to participants with other important information, like (i) Project 2000 washroom and water facilities will not be open, (ii) kids will be expected to bring their own water and hand sanitizer if available, (iii) volunteer coaches will need to bring hand sanitizer for a “sanitizing station”, (iv) parents will be expected to stay at the facility, especially for U7-U9 kids, but maintain distance from the fields and/or remain in their vehicles.


3)    Equipment – Given that there is no guarantee of games this season, and no players will be coming in physical contact for the foreseeable future, we won’t require soccer shoes or shin pads for the modified activities. We understand that it’s a difficult time for many families, and spending money on sports equipment is not a necessary burden at this time. Kids should wear what they have. Shin pads may be required for safety if/when we’re allowed to play games, but we will cross that bridge when we come to it.


4)    Refunds – We’ve decided to give everyone a refund for the season and participating in the modified activities will be 100% free of charge, courtesy of GMS and our sponsors. You have two refund options; (i) request a full refund that will be mailed to you, (ii) have your fee deferred to next season. To request a refund, you must fill out our Refund and Return to Play form - https://glencoeminorsoccer.com/Forms/2219/ - and we must receive your request by June 30. As you can appreciate, coordinating such a large number of refunds will be a painful administrative task for our volunteer Board, so we appreciate your patience. Our aim is to have all refunds issued and mailed by July 30. If you do not fill out the form and we don’t hear from you, your fee will be deferred to next season by default.


Again, we appreciate your patience as we’ve been waiting and watching for guidance on how to proceed. If you have questions or concerns, please post them on the private Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/371428819684602) or contact a member of the Board.

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