June 3rd, 2020
Dear WSA members & families,
We hope this note finds you and your loved ones well.
On Friday May 29th our Governor announced that youth sports are allowed to return to some form of activity, starting Monday June 22nd. This is an exciting development and it shows that we are on the right track. Our club is very eager to return to the fields that we were forced to leave so suddenly mid-March. However, we do have to keep in mind that although we are allowed to return to some form of activity, there will be many restrictions in place.
During the press conference, it was also made known that details on how sports can return will be released prior to June 22nd. Based on the limited amount of information available we expect that the return to youth soccer will be rolled out in phases and during the early stages we should expect that it will not look anything like what we are used to.
Based on the above, we want to make sure that we not only focus on when we return, but also on how we return. The health and safety of all our members, families, coaches and others involved is still our number one priority. We are excited about the positive developments taking place but want to return to activity properly. Our state governing body for youth soccer, New Jersey Youth Soccer Association, did work out a timeline and a preliminary list of recommendations for all member clubs. This timeline and these recommendations were shared with the member clubs about a week ago. We expect to receive an update on this before June 22nd.
These recommendations limit the number of players and teams on the field; participants still need to social distance and should also wear protective gear (e.g., train with a mask on and wear protective gloves); and participants and coaches need to keep a close eye on their overall health. These are just a few examples of items to consider when returning to the field. Given all the restrictions in place, although we are waiting for more information from our state and local government, we will not rush our return to the field.
We do also need to stress that no matter how we return that there will always be risk involved. Our members therefore must decide for themselves whether they feel comfortable returning to play. No one should feel any pressure to come back out and play.
We are hopeful that at some point this summer the restrictions will loosen up. We will consider running summer programs for those members that are interested but this will largely be based on how the weeks ahead unfold. Stay tuned for further updates as we continue to monitor the situation.
Monday March 30th, 2020
Dear Club Members,
I wanted to share with you that the WSA is actively monitoring this unprecedented COVID-19 situation. We’re planning for multiple contingencies regarding the spring season for all programs. At this time, we still don’t know when or if we will be able to begin training and playing games. I want to assure you that as soon as we have any clear direction from any of our leagues, we will share it with you.
Our first priority is to the health and safety of everyone in our club. This includes players, trainers, volunteers and employees. Second, we want to make sure that we continue to provide our players with fun soccer training that can be done without jeopardizing anyone’s health or safety. WSA’s and Union County FC’s professional coaches have been busy providing our players with innovative soccer exercises and techniques that players can do at home. I’d like to recognize our Director of Coaching, Ruben Vloedgraven and his professional coaches for their extraordinary efforts. Please take advantage of the information and training that our professional coaches are sharing either directly or through our social media outlets. Make sure you check out our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube pages.
Nearly all of our professional coaches rely on soccer training as their sole source of income. At this time, WSA is paying its professional coaches for their training efforts. It is the WSA’s intention to continue to support our professional coaches during this difficult time as best as we can.
As a parent, I know all too well the struggles our members are dealing with. Please keep your families safe. Soccer will be back, the WSA will be back and Westfield will be back. In the meantime, let’s make the best of it and encourage your sons and daughters to take advantage of the individual soccer drills that our professional coaches are offering.
I look forward to the time when I can see you all on the soccer fields once again.
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Monday March 16th, 2020
Hopefully, this message finds you healthy and safe. Following the lead of our schools and leagues, WSA is suspending all soccer related activities until further notice. WSA is monitoring the guidelines put out by our state and local government officials, as well as our governing soccer associations. In addition, effective immediately, the Town of Westfield has closed all Town playgrounds and fields (as well as those on Westfield Public Schools’ properties).
WSA will not re-start soccer activities until they are deemed safe to do so for the health and safety of the community as a whole. Under no circumstances should any of our teams conduct any training, scrimmages, practices, pickup games, or other group activity. We are also asking all of our players and professional trainers to forgo any individualized or small group training until further notice.
The following is summary of all of our spring programs and the organizing leagues as they stand now:
- Travel and Union County FC programs — All training and games are suspended until further notice. Both the EDP and MNJYSA leagues have postponed all games through 3/29, and will be issuing further guidance in the next couple of weeks.
- Intercounty program — SYSL, the league our Intercounty teams participate in, has postponed the start of its season until 4/15 at the earliest. At that point, they will reassess the situation.
- Westfield Winners – Winners is suspended until further notice.
- U9 - U11 Age Group Academies – Academies are suspended until further notice.
- U8 Academy Spring Pre-Travel Program – Pre-Travel program is suspended until further notice.
- U5 - U7 Rec programs — All rec programs are scheduled to start on 4/17. We will provide further guidance on these programs in the coming weeks as the start date approaches.
We thank all players, parents, coaches, and employees for their patience and cooperation during this crisis.
Westfield Soccer Association Board of Directors