Dear Club Leadership, Coaches and Team Managers:
As a follow-up to our League communication from last week, EDP Soccer and the EDP Leadership Council have been working diligently to identify viable solutions for Spring League play. While there are still data points yet to be defined, we have made significant progress to date.
As part of our efforts to identify a working model for league play, which we can utilize when it is safe to do so, EDP Soccer is considering all internal and external parameters. Here are some of the parameters that have been kept in mind as this process has progressed:
As it relates to teams who do NOT play in the US Youth Soccer Conferences managed by EDP (Premier I and Premier II), EDP Soccer is looking at options that would shift the schedules of these divisions back and extend the season into late Spring and Summer. This will provide a larger timeframe within which games may be played, which will allow for a more natural cadence and balance of league, tournament and showcase play.
With regard to teams that compete in the US Youth Soccer Conferences managed by EDP (Premier I and Premier II), EDP Soccer is considering multiple parameters, which will ultimately determine the structure of the league season. Some of these parameters include:
- Start Date - This will be determined by local health and government officials as well as US Youth Soccer's determination of when to resume Conference play.
- End Date - EDP Soccer is working closely with US Youth Soccer at a National, Regional and State level to ensure that all Premier I divisions comply with all rules and regulations of the National Championship Series (Regionals and Nationals) for the 2019/2020 season and National League for the 2020/2021 season. Once the dates have been finalized, EDP will create a league structure that will ensure that all games are played within the given timeframe.
- Reduced Travel - In an effort to reduce travel, which may be important if mid-week games become necessary, all Premier I teams will be re-bracketed based primarily on geography, as opposed to club-based vs. team-based formats.
- Note, EDP will attempt to preserve any games that have already been played this season by placing those teams in the same brackets during this re-bracketing process.
- Reduced Game Load - We anticipate a smaller timeframe within which games will need to be played. So as not to overwhelm teams/players with too many games in too short a timeframe, EDP will reduce the game load on each team.
- Note, while league play will see a reduced number of fixtures, we will ensure that all teams receive no fewer than the minimum number of games, as required by each State Association.
- Double-Counting - EDP Soccer recognizes that Tournaments and State Cup are also considerations for teams/clubs. As such, EDP is working internally, regarding tournament play, and with State Associations, regarding State Cup, to ensure that the option of double counting games across multiple competitions is available.
- For example, as part of our strategy to postpone the EDP US Youth Soccer Conferences Showcase, each team could use this event, on its newly scheduled dates, as an opportunity to not only Showcase their players, but to also play multiple league games.
- Facilities - We recognize that not all clubs control their own facilities. Accordingly, we will need to ensure that teams/clubs who do NOT have facilities are placed in divisions with teams/clubs who do have facilities, which will provide a venue for games to be played.
As EDP Soccer and the EDP Leadership Council continue to gather information and work towards a final league structure, we will keep you informed. In the meantime, know that we are doing everything in our power to provide a full and meaningful spring soccer experience for our membership.
Until our next communication stay healthy and stay safe. And remember, we are in this together. #inittogether
Yours in Soccer,
Steve Shilling, CEO, EDP Soccer
John Ellinger, Chair, EDP Leadership Council