I first want to wish each of you and your families all the best and I hope this finds you healthy!
The State of California has announced that effective February 26, 2021, youth sports may be reopened for play. Cal North, along with our member leagues and clubs, has been planning for this day for nearly a year, and we are excited that Return to Play has officially arrived.
The safety of our athletes, coaches, referees, and spectators must, as always, be our foremost concern. The State of California and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), in their “Guidance for Youth Sports”, have set specific requirements that must be followed by all. In addition in order to conduct a safe and successful Return to Play, it is imperative that we also adhere to those guidelines that have been set by your City, County, park districts, and local health departments.
Many of the original guidelines and requirements remain in place and include:
- Masks must be worn at all time by coaches, spectators, and players who are not on the field of play
- Players on the field are encouraged to wear masks while playing
- Sanitizing liquids and equipment must be available for all to use
- Spectators, coaches, and players on the sidelines must be “socially distanced” (6 feet)
- Spectators should be limited to immediate families
- There are limitations on team travel (please check the guidelines for your County)
- “Stable cohorts” are required, player movement between teams is not allowed
- Players and coaches are limited to playing in no more than one game per day
The leadership of each team, club, and league are responsible to make sure information is given out to their players and parents so that there is no misunderstanding about requirements as we Return to Play.
We do not want to risk an increase in infection rates that could force the state or counties to declare another setback or to reverse course. With each of us doing our part to act responsibly, the season can be a success and the path forward to “normalcy “will continue.
We recognize the importance that social interaction with peers is vital to our players. We understand the value that sports can bring to the lives of our athletes. We must work together and abide by the restrictions and guidelines that have been developed. Only if we all pull in the same direction and follow the guidance of the CDC, the State of California, counties, and municipalities will we achieve the goal of keeping our players and their families involved in the game we all cherish and support.
Cal North is committed to supporting our clubs and leagues as they seek to resume registering players, complete background checking of coaches and team administrators, and returning to standard operations. In an effort to encourage registration, give parents, clubs, and leagues some financial relief, and get players back on the field, our Board of Directors has approved player registration for the 2021/2022 season to take effect immediately and remain valid until the conclusion of the 2021/2022 season on 8/31/22.
Additionally the Board authorized entry fees for the 2021 CCSL Spring season to be waived. Teams and players registered and approved through a Cal North affiliated league may enter CCSL and play at no cost!
Current State and local guidelines will restrict how CCSL brackets can be created and still adhere to the requirement of only playing teams from within one county or an adjoining county. But we are committed to exploring every option in order to offer programs with the goal of getting players on the field. As the season progresses, we will continue to monitor and adapt to any future changes to existing guidance and rules. We will keep you informed of any updates that come our way.
I urge you to visit our website where you can find more Return to Play information. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or our staff if you have any questions or concerns. We look forward to taking steps to playing games in the future without restrictions. In the meantime, we are excited to work with our members to take this initial step as we all Return to Play.