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Coronavirus Soccer Program Updates

Below are updates that we are sending via email and posting regarding the status of our upcoming programs as it relates to the restrictions and bans due to the coronavirus pandemic

May 16, 2020 Update - Rec League

With recent changes to the stay at home order in Wisconsin and as well as in Fond du Lac County, I want to provide an update as it pertains to our Youth Rec Soccer Program which you are registered for. This may seem long but please take the time to read it. I try to keep things short but there is so much information to share, it is tough.

The safety of our players, coaches, refs, parents, and community is our #1 priority. As you are aware, we live in very fluid times and everyday it seems there are new rules and new guidelines (or in some cases lack of guidelines). Our board is taking this pandemic very seriously but also know after being stuck at home the past 2 months, many players and parents are hopeful to be able to get out to the complex for some soccer.

US Youth Soccer and the Wisconsin Youth Soccer Association are working on return-to-play protocols that will help guide us. We still do not know if we will indeed be able to have a rec season, but want to provide an update on some anticipated dates to at least try and plan to move forward, and for those that do not wish to participate (even if we do play) the opportunity to withdraw from the league and/or get a refund.

If we are able to play, here are a few key changes I want to share that may help in your decision to play or not play, but again, keep in mind these are fluid and may be adjusted in the coming weeks and months.

· Season would begin week of June 29th and run for 7 weeks ending week of August 10th.

· There likely would not be any weekend tournaments due to number of people at the complex at one time conflicting with crowd size and mass gatherings.

· Your Day of Play by age group would not change unless we need to combine age groups.

· Some rules of play may be modified (based on guidelines when released).

· We would ramp up our sanitation of common areas and equipment and do our best to space out games on fields.

We ask for anyone that no longer wishes to participate (players and/or coaches) to let us know by June 1st so we can evaluate how that looks, and if we continue to move forward be able to form teams, get jerseys on order and create a schedule.

If you wish to withdraw and/or request a refund, visit https://fondysoccer.demosphere-secure.com/_registration - pick “Register a Participant” and select the option for “2020 Rec League Withdrawal/Refund Request”.  Please note that if you wish to get a refund, at the end, it will show $0, but that is how the system is built. We will process the request for the amount you requested (full refund, partial, etc).  It is important to use this online system vs sending an email so we can track it efficiently and ensure no request gets overlooked. As you can imagine tracking hundreds of emails could be an issue.

Donations Welcome!

As you hopefully are aware, the Fond du Lac Soccer Association is a 501c3 non-profit organization. We DO NOT receive any funding from the city, county, or school district. We operate 100% on our own through the support of our programs, sponsorships, and private donations. Losing out on program fees for our leagues will have a MAJOR impact on our program.

Just because there are no soccer games on our fields right now doesn’t mean the big expenses just stop. Maintaining a 53 acre complex is not cheap. During this downtime, we are taking advantage of the open fields to address safety concerns and beat up fields by making many repairs to our fields. Re-sodding goal boxes, filling and seeding holes and low areas on the fields, fertilization, adding drainage, and much more. In fact, over the past 2 weeks, we have spent over $20,000 just on field maintenance with more in the works. Games or no games we will need to cut the grass this summer and with a 53 acre complex, cutting the grass ranges from $1100-$1700 per cut.  

We know that some families have taken a significant financial hit during this pandemic and if you need the money please request a refund. If you are able to afford it though, we ask that you consider turning your refund into a donation to the Fond du Lac Soccer Association. Any bit will help us tremendously as we weather this storm and lack of active programs. And, any donations are tax deductible!

If you do not withdraw from the league now and we do cancel it, we will make the ability to request a refund available at that time as well. We just ask that if possible, adhere to that June 1st time frame so we can gauge the amount of players remaining to formulate teams and a league. These numbers could also impact our ability to have a league, or cause us to re-group age groups. If that is the case, again, we would offer the ability to withdraw and request a refund.

These are very complex times and please know that we are doing the best we can as volunteers. It is our hope to keep everyone safe while at the same time trying to provide youth soccer if possible.  Please let me know if you have additional questions or concerns.

Thank you.

Stay Safe. Stay Well.

I hope to see you on the pitch soon.

Chad R Collett
President
Fond du Lac Soccer Association
president@fondysoccer.com


May 9th Update - Select Soccer

With the recent cancellation of the spring select soccer season here in Wisconsin, I know it was a real disappointment to many. Personally, this is the first May in over 10 years that my wife and I haven’t been running our kids to soccer practice and games. If you are like me, you might find yourself a bit “lost” without all that chaos we have gotten so used to in our lives.

As we look toward the summer and fall (and hopefully the return to some kind of normalcy) I want to provide a few updates. I was hoping to keep this short, but there is a lot to share. (Or you can watch my video on it).

Spring Season Fees: With the spring season cancelled, we want to provide the option of getting a refund to all our players. For our full year players (U10-U14/15) many of the costs associated with your fees are associated with the summer, fall, and winter months including the summer training camp, winter indoor trainings, league and district team and player fees and the fall season. I want to point this out as the fee structure is really not a fall/spring 50/50 split in regards to the expense from the club.

If you would like to request a refund for the spring season, U10-U14/15 players can request an $80 refund and our High School Boys players are eligible for a full refund since your season never really began and you were included in the 2019 events.

Due to a multitude of reasons of issuing credits towards future play, we are not doing those at this time.

Please Consider Donating Your Refund to the Club!

As you hopefully are aware, the Fond du Lac Soccer Association is a 501c3 non-profit organization. We DO NOT receive any funding from the city, county, or school district. We operate 100% on our own through the support of our programs, sponsorships, and private donations.

Just because there are no soccer games on our fields right now doesn’t mean the big expenses just stop. Maintaining a 53 acre complex is not cheap. During this downtime, we are taking advantage of the open fields to make many repairs to our fields. Re-sodding goal boxes, filling and seeding holes and low areas on the fields to ensure player safety, fertilization, adding drainage, and much more. In fact, over the past 2 weeks, we have spent over $20,000 just on field maintenance. Games or no games we will need to cut the grass. A full day’s job for 2-3 people that costs us on average $1,500 per cut to do the entire 53 acre complex - an expense that will continue until after the fall season.

We know that some families have taken a significant financial hit during this pandemic and if you need the money please request a refund. If you are able to afford it though, we ask that you consider turning your refund into a donation to the Fond du Lac Soccer Association. Any bit will help us tremendously as we weather this storm and lack of active programs and revenue. And, any donations are tax deductible!

If you still wish to request a refund, visit https://fondysoccer.demosphere-secure.com/_registration  - pick “Register a Participant” and select the option for Select 2020 Refund (the process works just like registration). We ask that if you wish to request a refund (or partial refund) you do so before June 1st. Any fees remaining after that date will be considered a donation to the club. Please allow 4-6 for refunds to process. We have to follow a specific process to get them done via Demosphere and we are under their timetable as they get approved and processed.  If you paid via credit card the funds will be refunded to that card. If you paid in person, a check will be mailed to you to your address on file in Demosphere.

Finally, we are also offering the opportunity in lieu of getting a refund to get one of our fundraising donation bricks that will be installed at the pavilion by the new concession area (that sadly is sitting empty right now). If you wish to select this option you can use the refund link provided earlier and pick that option. I will follow up with those that pick that option to get additional information as we plan to install those this summer.

Tryouts:

Tryouts for the 2020/2021 Season have been postponed (by rule of WYSA) until the week of July 13th and first date of offers on July 21st.  For all our returning players we WILL NOT BE CHARGING A FEE FOR TRYOUTS THIS YEAR. As we receive guidelines from US Youth Soccer and the WYSA that will help us prepare and plan for tryouts, which will very likely be much different this year. I wish I had more concrete information for you right now but hopefully we will get a clearer picture over the next 2-3 weeks. We are also working on resctructuring the Select Season Fees for 2020/2021 to make it more affordable to everyone and spread the costs out over the full year. Again, more on that to come in May/June timeframe.

Rec Soccer:

I have had a few emails asking if select players can still play rec (if we have the season). The answer is YES. Unlike other communities around Wisconsin, our Rec program is only on hold for now and NOT cancelled (yet). We are optimistic that we can get something of a season in yet, but remain in a holding pattern. When we know if we can still hold our rec season we will email everyone to see if you wish to register to play). Fingers crossed but we plan to make a call on the season no later than June 1st.

Again, we are all truly sad with the cancellation of the spring season and hope that you can return to play very soon and we appreciate any donations or financial support to keep our club afloat during these difficult times.

Thank you. Stay Safe. Stay Well.

I hope to see you on the pitch soon.

Chad R Collett
President
Fond du Lac Soccer Association
president@fondysoccer.com


May 1, 2020 Update

Hello!

Hard to believe it is May 1st already.  Normally at this time the soccer complex would be bustling with activity but unfortunately 2020 has been a strange year to say the least.

I wanted to offer a quick update on our Rec League Program. I also posted a quick 3 minute video on our Fond du Lac Soccer Facebook page if you want to check it out.

Yesterday, we were made aware from the WYSA (Wisconsin Youth Soccer Association) that they cancelled all affiliated programs for the spring and summer. For Fond du Lac, that ONLY includes our competitive/travel select teams and NOT our Rec League.

First, we are truly sad to see the spring season cancelled for our Fondy Phoenix players who work so hard all year long to improve their skills. Tryouts for Select has been postponed from June to July and as of now the Fall Season for Select is on target.

For our Rec League. While many other communities that run their Rec Programs through the WYSA have seen their seasons cancelled, Fond du Lac is unique. With our 53 acre complex, and 1300+ rec league players, we 100% run our own leagues in-house – from fields, teams, game play, scheduling, refs, etc. We do not register our Rec League players with the WYSA so therefore can make our decisions regarding our programs and seasons.

We are continuing to be optimistic that we can have a 6-8 week rec league season this summer. I know both players and parents are itching to get out of the house and get back to a social atmosphere. As we continue to monitor the current environment and rules from the State of Wisconsin and CDC, safety of our players, coaches, refs, parents, and community remain #1. We will not return to play if we feel anyone’s health is in danger or violates the current rules.

We hope that you will hang with us for another month as we evaluate the possibility of a rec season – even if that turns out to be a shorter season. Some soccer, is better than no soccer at all.

I will continue to send updates as we meet and gather new information. Should the Rec Season get cancelled, we will offer refunds of your registration fees.

As we push on, we are working hard to not only maintain, but improve the Fond du Lac Soccer Complex. Just because there are no games, doesn’t mean the grass stops growing, or the fields do not need fertilization. We are busy repairing goal boxes, filling in low spots with dirt and new grass seed, re-sodding where possible, and installing drainage on some fields to increase our chances to play after those big rain storms (although we still are striving to get a turf field).

As a 501c3 non-profit, we rely on our program families, and the community to help us provide a great atmosphere for our families to play and watch soccer. We receive no funding from the City, the County, or the Fond du Lac School District. We are 100% self-supportive. Please keep that in mind in the near future as we do our best to keep the 53 acre complex looking great, and continue to offer youth soccer programs in our community. We know many families and businesses are struggling during this pandemic, and it is very likely that many non-profits and youth clubs may close their doors when this is all said and done, but Fond du Lac Soccer does not intend to be one of those statistics.

With the support of the community, we will only grow stronger.

Stay Safe. Stay Well.

Chad R Collett
President
Fond du Lac Soccer Association
president@fondysoccer.com   


April 30th Update: Spring Select League

It is with a heavy heart that I am communicating bad news. I was informed this morning from the WYSA (Wisconsin Youth Soccer Association) has cancelled the Spring Select Season. All sanctioned tournaments for May and June have also been cancelled.

As they reviewed Wisconsin's Badger Bounce Back Plan and consulted with medical professionals on the WYSA return to play guidelines they could not realistically meet their June 1st return to play date they had hpoed for.

I have called a (virtual) meeting for our board of directors to discuss this and finalize how we will be handling spring fees and returning those in the form of future credits and refunds. As you hopefully are aware, the FDLSA is a non-profit, solely supported on our own (we do not receive any financial support from the County or Fond du Lac School District) so this is very significant for our club financially. I will have additional communication that I will be sending out tomorrow (Friday, May 1st) regarding that. Please hold any questions until after this next communication.

Also, in regards to 2020/2021 Tryouts, those have been pushed to begin the week of July 13th (obviously pending due to guidelines). More on that to come as we learn more.

Again, I was really hopeful and optimistic we would get our players back out on the field this spring so feel terrible being the bearer of bad news.

Stay Safe. Stay Well.

Chad R Collett
President
Fond du Lac Soccer Association
president@fondysoccer.com


April 15, 2020 Update on Rec League

Hello,

I hope that your family and friends are safe and well. I am sure everyone is ready for this to be over and life to get back to normal.

I want to provide a quick update on the status of our youth rec soccer league season that was slated to begin the week of May 18th.

This week we held our monthly board meeting (remotely of course) and decided to delay the start of the rec season by two weeks for our U5 to U14 players to the week of June 1st and also extend the season by two weeks until July 23rd. The High School rec teams were not slated to start until the week of June 15th so there is no change to that timeline. Given that we do not know how things will play out yet, these dates are fluid, but it is our goal not to cancel the rec season but still get it in this summer. After being stuck inside, once this is lifted it is more important than ever to get these kids outside (and us adults) and enjoy the game of soccer.

At this point, the dates for Picture Day and Spring Games (June 6-7) remain the same as well as our (almost) end of the season tournament (July 11-12).

The safety and health of everyone in our community is our #1 priority. We are continually monitoring information provided to us by the Wisconsin Youth Soccer Association as well local and state government.

We are in the process now of finalizing our rec team rosters, assigning coaches, and assigning sponsors and working to get jerseys on order. A schedule will not be in place until we know (for sure) when the season will begin.

We are also taking this time at the soccer complex for some much needed field maintenance including the repair of goal boxes and holes/ruts on the fields across our 53 acre complex so that the fields can be ready to play when we do get back on the pitch. While we do miss seeing kids out there kicking the ball around, it does give our fields time to heal as we repair them. Please be aware though, due to Stay at Home order we are keeping the complex closed to any players.

I will continue to provide updates as we learn more and head into May.

Stay safe, stay well, and remember to support local the best you can during these tough times.

Chad R Collett
President
Fond du Lac Soccer Association
president@fondysoccer.com


March 18th Update: Fondy Youth Rec Soccer Update

With all the craziness of the coronavirus and closures of schools, restaurants, bars, etc I know for many they are looking ahead to spring and wondering about activities and sports - in our case, our youth rec soccer league.

I want to preface this all by saying that the safety and well being of our players, coaches, refs, parents, and everyone in our community is our top priority. We are closely monitoring all the news and updates that are taking place from multiple resources.

We are still two months away from the start of this program, and I am an eternally optimistic type of guy, so hope that the pandemic has subsided, bans have been lifted, and we can start soccer on-time in May. Should any delays occur that affect starting on time, we will push back our season to start later in June, and then schedule it go longer (late July or early Aug) so we don't shorten the season for the kids. After being stuck inside for weeks, these kids (and parents) will need all the fresh air and activity they can get and we hope to provide that at our soccer complex.

So, at this point, no decisions have been made as monitor the situation and we are progressing with forming our youth teams, assigning coaches, assigning sponsors and keeping things on track so we can be ready to pull the trigger when this is all over.

Should anything change with our timeline, I will be in contact. Until then we encourage you to stay safe but hopefully get outside for fresh air and to kick the ball around, but again, please know we are doing our best to stay on top of all the changes and our options.

See you on the pitch (hopefully soon),

Chad R Collett
President
Fond du Lac Soccer Association
president@fondysoccer.com


March 18th Update: Academy Training Program

With the timeline of the corornavirus and the restrictions in place, we have decided to cancel our spring Youth Soccer Academy Training that was due to start in April. We will be issuing refunds for fees paid.

We are still VERY optimistic our rec league will start on time so hoping that this is the only soccer that we need to make a change to. You can expect an email on that to hit your inbox shortly as well.

Any questions please feel free to contact me.

Chad R. Collett
President
Fond du Lac Soccer Association
(920) 539-6059
president@fondysoccer.com


March 16th Update: Select Soccer Season Games Postponed

We received an update from the WYSA (Wisconsin Youth Soccer Association) today that the spring Select Soccer season start date is being pushed back until after April 30th. They are allowing teams to reschedule April games and have extended the season until July 12th to make up games if teams need that long. There also may be no tournaments in April, so if you team has scheduled a tournament, those will likely not take place. The WYSA is allowing each club to make their own decision regarding that but do ask they follow CDC recommendations for any events. I do NOT know if they will go on, be outright canceled, or if they will try to rescheule them. We need to wait until those clubs contact us.

As we continue to get additional information we will provide it to you. As the weather gets nicer, we HIGHLY encourage our players to get outside in the yard and work on skills and stay in shape. We have no time table yet when we will return to practices but hope it is early-mid April (maybe I am just being optimistic).

I know these are uncertain times which makes it hard to plan, but we will continue to communicate as we get more information and direction.

Thank you,

Chad R Collett
President
Fond du Lac Soccer Association
president@fondysoccer.com


March 16th Update: Suspension of WYSA Activities

Dear WYSA Members, 

As a result of the ongoing health crisis, and in consideration of the safety and wellness of our members, WYSA is suspending all activities through April 30, 2020. This is a rapidly changing environment, where we are responding to guidance from many organizations including the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), US Youth Soccer and US Soccer. The most immediate concern is the health of the WYSA family, followed by a proactive plan to reconvene WYSA activities when the situation permits. WYSA Staff will begin contacting affected parties immediately regarding their participation in specific programs. The following is a summary of WYSA activities and planned changes:

Club Activities 
•    WYSA strongly advises clubs to suspend local activities until guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other local authorities indicate it is safe to resume. It is the discretion of each member organization to make decisions about their programming, including sanctioned tournaments through the April 30 suspension. 

WYSA Administered Leagues
•    WYSA administered leagues including State League, WDA, SECL, SWCL and Youth Academies are suspended until April 30. The reschedule window will begin today and end on April 3. The deadline for games to be played is being extended to July 12. (Use of the extended dates is discretionary to clubs, with the understanding that tryout dates will remain unchanged. 2020/2021 WYSA Tryout Policy)

State Cup 
•    There will be no qualifying (play in games) for the Spring State Cup event. Instead, teams seeded 1-16 will enter the tournament directly and those teams seeded 17+ may choose to participate in Presidents Cup. (Note, certain age groups (G14U, B15U, B18U & B19U) will accept seeds 1-12, which is based on the total number of tournament applications in that age group.) 

Presidents Cup
•    Presidents Cup applications are being accepted through March 27. The tournament is planned to proceed as scheduled. 

Coaching Education
•    All Grassroots and Y courses scheduled now through April 30 are postponed, with future dates and locations to be determined. Candidates scheduled to participate in a course may immediately elect to reschedule for a future date or wait for new dates to be announced. 

Olympic Development Program
•    The remaining State Pool and Winter Developmental trainings for this program year are canceled.
•    Spring Developmental programming scheduled to begin in April is being postponed. 
•    No decision has been made about future State Team activities. 

TOPSoccer 
•    The Border Battle previously scheduled for April 4 has been postponed until November 15 in Illinois. 
•    It is recommended that local programs suspend activities until at least April 30. 

Referees
•    Referee certification courses are scheduled (and canceled) at the discretion of the Wisconsin Program for Referee Development; please refer to WisRef directly for information regarding their immediate plans. 

U.S. Youth Soccer Programming
•    All 2020 USYS Leagues Program and Conference activities are suspended through April 15. USYS will be evaluating conditions on a bi-weekly basis to determine when it’s appropriate to reinstate USYS activities.

Thank you for your patience as we react to an ever-changing environment. WYSA will evaluate the situation on an ongoing basis and provide regular updates on the status of soccer activities. We look forward to safely resuming the game we all love, as soon as reasonably possible. Stay safe and well.

Sincerely, 

Melissa Zielinski 
Executive Director
Wisconsin Youth Soccer Association


March 11th: WYSA Response to Coronavirus

Below is the official statement and response from WYSA regarding the Coronavirus as it relates to WYSA santioned events.

Date:       March 11, 2020
Re:          WYSA Response to Coronavirus

With the increasing number of Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases being reported across the country, WYSA leadership has reviewed and will continue to monitor all intrastate and interstate programming and competitions. As part of this review, we are closely following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), US Youth Soccer and US Soccer (who is working in partnership with the CDC and international agencies including the State Department, United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC), International Olympic Committee (IOC) and FIFA in real time to guide decisions on travel and participation.) Our main priority is the safety and well-being of our players, coaches and referees and we will continue to update you as the situation requires.

WYSA Programming

  • All WYSA programming will proceed as scheduled, unless we advise otherwise as new information becomes available
  • Cancelation of local events sanctioned by WYSA is the discretion of the host organization

US Youth Soccer Programming

  • The National TOPSoccer Symposium has been postponed
  • National League Play in Las Vegas has been canceled
  • All spring ODP international travel is being canceled
  • Interstate competitions remain under review, but can proceed at discretion of participating teams, (based upon locations and the presence of the virus); this includes Midwest Conference Leagues
  • Decisions about future programming including Regional and National events remain under review
  • Official travel and event recommendations from US Youth Soccer are forthcoming

No Handshake Policy:

As sanctioned competitions near please expect guidelines on a "no handshake" policy. Clubs can exhibit good sportsmanship and respect for opponents and match officials in other ways, such as lining up and saying "good game" or exchanging an "air high 5" with no physical contact involved.


Best Practices for Health:
There is currently no vaccine to prevent the Coronavirus. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed. Everyday preventive actions should be taken:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow the CDC's recommendations for using a facemask.
    • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including Coronavirus.
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms to help prevent the spread of the disease.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.


Additionally, there are a number of different resources and communications from the CDC regarding the Coronavirus that you can watch HERE. Our primary commitment and focus at all times is the health and safety of our WYSA members.