UPDATE - February 19, 2021
Dear ECYSA Members,
The Spring travel season is ON!!
I know you have received two very detailed emails from Bill Clark containing all the registration information for the spring season.
Please take special notice of all of those details.
We at ECYSA are excited about getting our players back on the field playing soccer this spring, but we know there is much to do prior to the first games on April 10th.
A couple of updates for you to be aware of as you complete your registration:
1. Mass Youth Soccer is prohibiting any player 14 years old or younger to play on a team with any player 18 years old or older. This would include players who turn 18 during the season. So please be sure to pay attention to the ages and birthdays of your high school players on your G 11 and G12PG teams.
2. Extending the Transfer Player Limits and Deadlines: For the spring season you will be able to transfer up to 6 players from any team (up from the normal 3 players limit). VP's can approve additional transfers as needed. We have also reduced the fees related to a transfer to what we pay the registrar for that administrative work.
3. Pre-Season Meetings: We will host three pre-season meetings (Zoom invites and links will go out prior to each)
- February 24 - 7:00 PM - TD's and Presidents - This is an optional informational meeting for those who wish to attend. We will cover an overview of the spring season, the registration process and some anticipated bumps in the road as we move forward as well as answer any questions.
- March 30 - 7:00 PM - Coaches Meeting - This is our traditional coaches meeting and we would strongly encourage you to have at least one coach from each of your teams attend. We will review the spring season and have a special presentation on the changes to the Laws of the Game since the last time we had league play. Coaches will be responsible for all fo the information shared at this meeting.
- April 1 - 7:00 PM - NEW COACHES MEETING - This meeting will be designed to provide all of the nuts and bolts tips and instructions for new coaches. All coaches are welcome but we will be focused on Coaching 101 during this session.
There is still much about this spring that is in motion. There continue to be lots of moving parts related to state and local restrictions and we anticipate lots will change in the next few months. There will likely be a need for an extra measure of patience and understanding as we work through it all.
Please let us know if there are other questions and we look forward to seeing you all at the upcoming meetings.
SPRING 2021 UPDATE II (Jan. 21, 2021)
Dear ECYSA Members,
As we move forward with our planning for the Spring 2021 season, I wanted to reach out and give you an update. ECYSA is continuing to monitor the state guidelines and COVID restrictions surrounding youth sports. We are encouraged by the fact that the EEA has lifted the required modifications to the game they instituted in the Fall and that to date, there have been no known COVID transmission traced back to soccer.
The state also doesn't feel that the red/yellow/green designations assigned to towns should be applied to limitations on youth sports (or schools for that matter). There have also been reports that with the expansion of vaccinations and the better weather coming in the Spring that the EEA could choose to lighten some the restrictions that currently exist. However, ECYSA is moving forward with our planning for the Spring travel season based on the current restrictions.
A couple of things to remember as you work with your town organization boards in planning for the travel season.
- Field Availability/ Game Slots - there is a current requirement to have a 20 minute time frame between games to allow for change over without a significant overlap of teams and spectators at a single field. This will likely require an earlier start on Saturdays and potentially an extended day to get all the games in with this additional time added. Spacing - Adjacent fields where games are being played at the same time must be at least 20 feet apart. This may impact many of us who use full size fields for two G6 fields.
- Spectator Limitations: There continues to be a limit of 50 people per playing surface, excluding the players. The MA Youth Soccer limit is one spectator per player. All spectators need to wear a mask and maintain social distancing
- Guest Player: This spring we will return to our G4 Guest Player program only.
- Pass Cards: All players and coaches will be required to have an ECYSA picture pass card.
- Laminated Rosters: Rosters will be required and all players must be on the roster (or completed G4 player pass form) and have a valid player card.
- Coaching Credentials: All coaches and volunteers must be registered and affiliated with MA Youth Soccer and have completed Commonwealth and Federally mandated training and background checks. Organizations must print a valid MA Youth Soccer Credential from the website for coaches to display at each game for them to be present on the team sideline.
- COVID Safety Officer: MYSA is requiring a covid safety officer for each organization. If you did not play in the fall and register your covid safety officer with MYSA then you will need to do so in preparation for the spring season. Many organizations simply added the CSO role to their current Rick Manager responsibilities.
Please let us know if you have additional questions as you plan.
SPRING 2021 UPDATE (Dec. 29, 2020)
Dear ECYSA Members,
The ECYSA Board met last week and we have updates to share about the Spring season. We are optimistic about playing a league season this spring but want to stress to each of you that things are still in flux and we are watching the federal and state guidelines for any changes that might impact our ability to play. So what is different this spring than from the fall?
- First, many towns and organizations had very successful fall seasons, followed the modifications of the game and the required mitigation and there were no known cases traced back to playing the game of soccer.
- Second, the EEA has removed the requirement for modifications to the game. This spring, if things don't change, we will be able to play the game of soccer as it is intended to be played. At present wearing masks is still required.
- Third, MA Youth Soccer has secured an insurance carrier that will include pandemic related claims in their Directors and Officers coverage. This new policy will be in place for January and will protect all of you who officially serve on your organization's boards.
- Fourth, the covid 19 vaccines have begun to be distributed and given. Phase Two is expected to begin in February and include K-12 educators and others in high contact positions. Phase Three, for the general public, is expected to begin in the late spring.
All of these factors give us a level of confidence to move forward with the planning for the spring season. We want to give our organizations as much time and flexibility as possible as they prepare for spring so we have set the following registration schedule for the Spring 2021 season.
- February 22st - Registration Opens
- February 27th - Registration is DUE - Team Registration and Strength Charts submitted on Manage Your League
- March 6th - Player / Coach Cards and team packets to ECYSA Registrar
- TBA - Virtual Coaches Meeting
- April 10th - Opening Day
- June 14-20 - ECYSA Championship Tournament (IF ALLOWED)
- June 25-27 - MTOC (IF ALLOWED)
Also, as you plan for the spring remember that for this year we have extended the PG registration for one extra year. Players who have been out of HS for two years and meet the age requirements can play on the G12PG teams. We would ask that you be cognizant of the age and strength differences and work to not place younger high school students on the G12 PG teams.
We are excited about what the spring holds and our ability to organize a full league travel schedule.
Please let us know if you have additional questions as you plan. And don't forget to follow us on Facebook. HERE
Happy New Year,
Dean Sidell President,
HAPPY HOLIDAY !!
Wishing all our member players, families, coaches and officials a happy & healthy Holiday season from your Board of Directors at Essex County Youth Soccer Association. Essex County is looking forward to seeing everyone for Spring soccer and is actively planning a spring soccer season. Details on team registration for Travel Directors will be sent out in the next few weeks based on what we know now.
`ECYSA ANNUAL GERNERAL MEETING 2020
Dear ECYSA Members,
Thank you all who attended Wednesday's Annual General Meeting (AGM). For those who were not able to attend we have posted a version of the presentation on the website. See the link below.
On behalf of the ECYSA Board of Directors I want to thank you for your support and continued confidence in our leadership and the unanimous results of the elections at the AGM.
I also want to take this opportunity to welcome our newest members to the board. Amanada Laflamme, Keith Totten, Jeremy Derby and Sharon Clement. It is vital to have quality people stepping up to serve to keep ECYSA thriving.
The following were elected at the AGM
President: Dean Sidell ***
Vice President NS – Jill Thresher **
Secretary – Amanda LaFlamme *
Boys Commissioner: Kevin Brothers**
Education Director: Jose Isidro ***
G11-PG – Jen Houlihan ***
G8 B: Greg Buser **
G8 G – Keith Totten *
G6 B – Mike McGoldrick ***
G6 G – Jim Talbot ***
G4 B – Jeremy Derby *
G4 G – Charles Yorke **
The following At Large Directors were appointed by the board at our November meeting following the AGM
Jeff Chambers **
Michael Kilkelly ***
Sharon Clement *
Bob McGarvey **
In accordance with the bylaw amendment passed at the AGM the board appointed Justin Walters *** as ECYSA treasurer for a two year term.
The following continue to serve on the board in the second year of their elected terms:
VP NE - Bill Clark ***
Girls Commissioner - Dan Dailey ***
The following are three compensated non-voting roles who continue to serve ECYSA and advise the board:
Registrar, Janet Gargan
Referee Assignor, Ben Reed
Accountant, Jackie Chee
* New to ECYSA Board of Directors
** Prior Board Member in a new Board position
*** Prior Board Member in same Board position
As we communicated at the AGM the board continues to look at the possibilities for the spring. There are some encouraging signs. The EEA has lifted the requirements to implement the modifications to the game of soccer. We can now play the game as it is intended to be played but must wear masks at all times. There have been no outbreaks connected to soccer or other outdoor youth sports and MA Youth Soccer is working towards possible solutions to the liability coverage we lost over the summer.
But we know the winter will be a volatile time and we will need to stay flexible as we approach the spring. It is our intent to set a spring calendar including registration deadlines at our December meeting on the 21st. Following that meeting I will send another update.
Please let me know if you have questions or suggestions.
May you and yours have a Happy Thanksgiving and focus on all those things that we can be thankful for.
The link below is a presentation recap of the ECYSA AGM held November 11, 2020:
Fall 2020 Season Update
August 17, 2020
Dear ECYSA Members,
As promised, I want to give you an update on the results of tonight's ECYSA Board Meeting.
At tonight's meeting we discussed the 11 towns that had already opted out of fall travel season, additional towns still in consideration, and the impact of the 10 towns rated Red and Yellow in the Commonwealth's new ranking system. In addition, we reviewed feedback from some medical professionals, the trend of Covid-19 cases in Essex County, and the modifications to the game mandated by MA Youth Soccer.
All of these factors have led the board to the very difficult decision of not continuing with the planning and scheduling of the Fall 2020 ECYSA League Season.
We made this decision for a number of reasons:
- The increasing cases of covid 19 in Essex county
- The increasing number of ECYSA member towns rated Yellow and Red
- The decreased value of playing with the significant modifications to the game turning soccer into what one member described as "a game of keep away."
- The overall complexity of implementing and enforcing all of the mitigation and changes throughout the league.
Despite the reality of no ECYSA Fall Season there are still a number of options for you as an organization to provide a soccer experience for your players.
- Play all of your age groups as an in-town intramural program.
- Form a mini-league with towns close to you and play games against each other.
- Operate a series of Grade Group Soccer Clinics throughout the fall or weekly.
In any case or with any program you decide to run you will need to do the following:
- Complete the Adult Registration with Mass Youth Soccer for all adults in your program including all board members. This maintains your affiliation, Director and Officer, Cyber and Liability coverage.
- Register all players who will participate in programs this fall with Mass Youth Soccer.
- Incorporate all Mass Youth Soccer modifications into your games and scrimmages.
- Follow all other guidelines for practices and games contained within the Return to Play website of Mass Youth Soccer (https://www.mayouthsoccer.org/return-to-soccer-activities/).
In addition, if you wish to have certified referees at your games, one of the many referee assignors in ECYSA would be willing to assist you in assigning referees. (Ben Reed at firstname.lastname@example.org, Jeff Chambers at email@example.com, and Janet Gargan at firstname.lastname@example.org)
We will also be holding an open Zoom meeting for town organization administrators on Monday August 24 at 7:00 PM. Invite and RSVP will follow.
These last few months have been unprecedented for all of us and the Covid pandemic has impacted so many areas of our lives including this game we all love. It is disappointing that we will not be able to play out a normal league schedule this Fall, but our hope is that the limitations and mitigation we practice now will help make it possible to be back on the pitch in the Spring.
Thank you for all that you do to serve the players in your towns and organizations. Thank you for your support of ECYSA throughout this time.
I look forward to seeing many of you on Monday. Please know ECYSA is here to support you even as you finalize what you will do this Fall.
Take Care and Stay Safe,
ECYSA Town Hall - August 13, 2020
The link below is a video recording of the ECYSA Town Hall Meeting from August 12, 2020: