It’s now official: there will be no minor soccer season this year in the Glengarry Soccer League, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The sport’s governing body had been extending no-play orders month-by-month, with the latest restricting activity through the end of June.
At the time of that announcement on May 11, the GSL stated that it would convene its board and committee members to explore options. Yesterday, the league announced there would be no minor soccer for the 2020 season.
“The Glengarry Soccer League has made the difficult decision to cancel the Outdoor 2020 season for the MINOR division. An email will be sent out to all participants with information regarding refunds. At this time, a decision has not been made for the Senior and Tier 2 divisions.”GSL announcement, May 24
Matthew Houlzet, who serves at the GSL referee assignor and GSL minor referee-in-chief and works as a soccer official himself, tells me that the league is still hoping that there will be adult soccer in some form, though the schedule will have to be adjusted and/or compressed.
Typically, senior soccer begins in the latter stages of May, concluding in August. At best, this year, play could begin in July, unless Ontario Soccer extends the prohibition on play through that month.
The GSL will be looking at various schedule options that could see play (if it happens at all) extend into the fall, perhaps as late as October.
The only certainty at this point is that there will be no youth matches in the Glengarry Soccer League this summer.
In terms of other area leagues, today the Cornwall-based Seaway Valley Soccer Club announced the cancellation of its house league and Coyotes (semi-competitive, all-star program) seasons.
“Due in part to the closure of facilities, the uncertainty of distancing orders surrounding recreational programming, the amount of time it would take to properly organize a recreational soccer program, SVSC must in the best interest of all, unfortunately, cancel its House League and Coyotes programs for spring/summer 2020. It should be noted that this decision did not come lightly, but the safety for all is the most important to the club and we appreciate the patience from parents, players, coaches, and officials.
Should the situation change with current conditions of COVID-19, SVSC will be looking at other options to provide possible soccer training activities once it is deemed safe to do so.”Seaway Valley Soccer Club statement, May 25
At this time, the East Region Soccer League, the top competitive youth loop in this area, continues to explore options for a 2020 season. The GSL via Glengarry Hearts and the SVSC through its Cornwall Blazers teams participate in this league.
The ERSL has not cancelled play for this summer, but has suspended all in-person activities per direction from Ontario Soccer. Updates on modifications to rules and potential play can be followed on their website here.