Regional Championships, Nationals and Presidents Cup Canceled Due to the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic
The disruption in soccer around the globe is continuing to have a massive impact. This entire spring soccer season for both youth players as well as professionals is slowing being wiped out.
Here is the latest in cancelations in American youth soccer:
As of March 31, 2020, US Youth Soccer (USYS) is canceling the 2020 Presidents Cup, our 2020 National Championships and all of the Regional competitions leading up to those two events.
In addition, as of March 31, USYS has decided to push back their earliest return-to-activity date to May 1st, 2020.
USYS had previously joined with other national sport organizations and announced a suspension of activities through April 15.
In news was sent out in a letter from Dr. Pete Zopfi and Skip Gilbert to all State Association Presidents, ED/CEOs, USYS Board Members, Committee/Advisory Chairs, and USYS National Staff.
Social distancing is still in full force for most of the USA and 80% of Americans have been told to follow stay-at-home orders issued by States. And, President Donald Trump has extending federal guidelines recommending people stay home and away from one another for another through April 30.
In addition to the current health guidelines to slow the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak, USYS cited COVID-19’s financial impact on many USYS families and how many youth soccer teams are unlikely to attend or attend with reduced rosters the upcoming USYS championship competitions. “At this time, we feel it would be unfair to place that additional burden on USYS families in need,” stated USYS in the announcement.
“If it were possible, however unlikely, that we could return to play in May, many families will still be hesitant to travel on an airplane or stay in a hotel.”Excerpt from Dr. Pete Zopfi – USYS Chair and Skip Gilbert – USYS CEO Letter
“Again, we do not want to place that additional burden on our USYS families.”
“Not being able to join their team in a run for the Cup and fulfill their dreams and goals is extremely hard to fathom, especially for our oldest players hoping to make one last run at hoisting the National Championship Cup.”
It is a heartbreaking time with so many hopes, dreams, and plans put on hold by the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. And it is understandable that USYS does not want to diminish the integrity and meaning of their Championships by trying to have players compete immediately after this pandemic.
To read the full USYS Programming and Advisory Notice please click here. The following are a few noteworthy excerpts:
While millions of medical personnel around the world are doing everything possible to contain the COVID- 19 virus, all of us at USYS are working hard to ensure the health and wellness of our entire USYS Family.
As the largest and most influential youth sport organization in the country, we take that responsibility very seriously.
We said at that time that we would update this programming suspension and today’s notice will likely be disappointing to many of you.
Our decision embraces four core priorities:
- Financial Impact to Families – COVID-19 is likely to have a devastating financial impact on many USYS families. As a result, many teams are unlikely to attend or attend with reduced rosters. At this time, we feel it would be unfair to place that additional burden on USYS families in need.
- Stress on Families – If it were possible, however unlikely, that we could return to play in May, many families will still be hesitant to travel on an airplane or stay in a hotel. Again, we do not want to place that additional burden on our USYS families.
- Integrity of USYS Competitions – If teams that would normally qualify for a Championship do not have the opportunity because of the impact of COVID-19, is it really a Championship? We must ensure that every club within the USYS Family has an equal opportunity to succeed and if they don’t, we diminish the integrity and meaning of the Championship. As of today, many States will not be able to complete their State Cups in time to qualify for Regionals, thus eliminating all of their potential teams from qualification.
- Focus on Local USYS Leagues and Communities – many soccer clubs and their employed coaches survive on registration fees. At a time where every community will be struggling to find fields to start and complete even a part of their spring schedule, our focus should be on those local leagues to bring our communities back together through sport, not distracted by a national tournament. 2020 must be about coming back together, not just winning.
The letter closes with “Be safe, stay healthy and since you all have a soccer ball at home, try to also have some fun.” These are good words to share.