Frequently Asked Questions
Return to play will not occur in a vacuum. Training and/or games will not begin if the CDC and/or Commonwealth are mandating Stay-At-Home. The lifting of restrictions by the CDC and/or Commonwealth will occur before the risk of infection has completely subsided but that risk will likely be in line with other possible infectants. Coaches and parents will need to make an informed decision as it relates to their personal situation.
What sources is PA West Soccer using to decide if/when the season will start? PA West Soccer is utilizing the guidance of US Soccer, USYS, USASA, CDC, PA Advisories, and directives from local government. We also monitor resources like the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Real Time Map and the IHME Covid-19 Projection web site. Decisions are made in accordance with directives that keep everyone safe.
If the state and local governments permit the season to begin, how will you take into account the indefinite suspension of PA schools and the other state (OH and WV) governments? The suspension of PA schools is one of many tools used by the state to help prevent the spread of the virus. It’s speculation to suppose that the state will lifts bans but keep the school suspension in place; it’s also speculation to assume that the suspension will be lifted with the other bans. The school suspension shouldn’t affect our decision to return to play but we recognize that access to school facilities will affect some clubs’ options for training and games. Actions by neighboring states have no direct effect on PA West Soccer but we will work with any of affected clubs from those areas.
When do you plan on starting games? If we are able to start on May 1, how long will the season last? Into June or beyond? Possibly May 31st or June 7th. Our rules require leagues play a minimum six (6) game schedule.
Can individual clubs cancel their own season if they do not feel comfortable playing? If so, what are the potential repercussions? Would we still owe registration fees in this case? Clubs always have the option to participate or not participate. There will be no repercussions and registration fees won’t be owed for teams not participating.
Would you consider asking clubs if they do or don’t want to participate this spring, then schedule accordingly? The district/division directors should be communicating with their clubs to ascertain contingency plans.
Are there any thoughts of having scheduled doubleheaders if we are able to play a shortened season that would allow for more games to be played?
Doubleheaders are an option for helping address a variety of issues related to scheduling.
If parents and coaches are not comfortable playing is PA west going to allow teams to un-declare? Yes, the club that they play for would make that final decision.
Where do we stand with the Open Tournament assuming we can play prior to the event dates? Edinboro’s campus has been made unavailable by PASSHE. The Open has yet to be rescheduled.
For referees awaiting a third clearance document, will there be a waiver so they can get on the field until they acquire their FBI clearance? PA West Soccer does not have the authority to waive a state law.
If a coach is waiting for an FBI Clearance or to get an affidavit notarized will there be a waiver? There will be lag time between the lift of the Stay At Home directive and the begin to play which should allow those needing an affidavit notarized to complete that task. The FBI clearance might be more challenging and we’re exploring options currently. We should have a directive within 7-10 days.
Do the clubs still owe any spring registration fees for in-house or travel if the season is cancelled? If the playing session is cancelled clubs will not owe payment for registration fees. Clubs that have paid will be issued a refund of the fees they’ve paid. Rolling over the fees is not a preferred option due the accounting challenge related to switching fiscal years on September 1.
Can rosters reopen so that we can rebuild to fill holes if we can no longer field a declared team with the minimum required? Teams will be able to reconfigure rosters. Remember, we permit club pass on game day as well as dual-rostering but reorganizing teams prior to start of play will be permitted.
If PA West Soccer shuts down the league for the spring, will teams still be able to participate in tournaments after Governor Wolf’s Stay-At-Home Order is lifted? A team’s ability to go to tournament relies on the players being properly registered and rostered. If the players/coaches meet the requirement and the roster/passes properly activated (this requires fee payment) then the team will be permitted to go to tournaments.
Will the coaching requirements be relaxed since many of them can’t obtain the in-person portion (affidavits, classes)? We’ve adjusted our in-person courses to include virtual field sessions to allow coaches to complete the course they need during this time. We are also looking at what will be required.
Referee certifications stopped. Can we still have games with or without refs? PA West Soccer rules require a certified referee for all league games and friendlies. Scrimmages can be played without referees. Recerts are online and can completed right now. Entry level course requires both an online and in-person component; the online components can be completed now so the in-person portion can be completed as soon as they are available.
Will there be any kind of waiver or carryover on referee certifications should the season be terminated? There will be people out there who will pay to recertify for spring 2020 but will only referee games in Fall 2020. Would consideration be given to changing the certification cycle to match the playing cycle, or is that a decision made above PA West? USSF sets the calendar and registration cycle for certification. Certification is for the entire year and must be renewed annually per Federation policy.
What is the latest date into the summer that an actual season can officially be played? The season year ends on July 31.
Will the current status of all teams with respect to division and bracket carry over for the fall if the season is terminated? Keep in mind, the fall is in a different seasonal year with new age group configurations. The carryover of status will be dependent on team continuity and the district/division approach to league creation. Member clubs are allowed to declare in any division that is offered. Please work with the District Directors.
Where will teams play if schools / fields / parks are not open? There are a number of communities that have closed their parks and facilities, as well as the school districts, so we understand the availability to fields will be a challenge for some members. Working with neighboring clubs to help solve field issues is another option.
What is PA West Soccer’s intention of use for collecting and administering the players being turned in to for exposure to COVID19? We are collecting the info at the direction of USYS. The info is collected without names, just affected age groups. This info will be used to attempt to avoid exposing an entire age group in a manner that would require shutting down the league.