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Stafford Springs Soccer Club

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Greetings from Stafford Springs Soccer Club

Newsletters, Summer 2020

September 14, 2020

Logistics for Under 8 Intramurals, Under 6 Minikickers and 3 year old Microkickers

I am happy to announce that we WILL be offering soccer in all three age groups.  I cleared the wait list to continue the registration process. All three groups start Saturday September 12 at the times indicated below.  Please reach out to me if you can help our volunteers.  Here are some details.

  • All Saturday sessions will be held at the SHS varsity soccer field, parking lot level.
  • Microkickers will be held on Saturday mornings 9:00-9:45am.
  • Minikickers will be held on Saturday mornings 10:00-11:15am and Wednesday evenings 6:00-7:15pm.  Wednesday evenings are planned to be held at the SHS lighted field inside track, however please report to the SHS varsity soccer field on September 16.
  • Intramurals will be held concurrently with the minikickers and at the same fields.
  • Intramurals will follow a similar activity based curriculum as the minikickers, and won't play league match format.
  • Activities are structured in the Return To Play (RTP) phase 1 model.  We will consider phase 2 which includes scrimmage activity starting week 3 at the earliest.

Covid protocols include

  • Symptom check at home and confirmed by attendance taker at field. (We need your help with this.) 
  • Ask each player how they feel, and clean hands with a squirt of hand sanitizer.
  • Each player brings their own water bottle and soccer ball.  We have some extra soccer balls for those that need them.
  • Player wears face covering from parking lot to field.  Player doesn't need to wear a face covering when actively participating, but can if they want to.  Player wears face covering field to parking lot at end of session.
  • Coaches and spectators (parents) MUST wear a face covering and maintain social distance between households.  Siblings not participating must stay with parent.

We need everybody to comply with Covid protocols or the season could be suspended or cancelled.


September 9, 2020

Message to families who registered for Under 8 Intramurals, Under 6 Minikickers and 3 year old Microkickers

I am happy to announce that we WILL be offering soccer in all three age groups.  I cleared the wait list to continue the registration process. All three groups start Saturday September 12 at the times indicated below.  Please reach out to me if you can help our volunteers.  Here are some details.

  • All Saturday sessions will be held at the SHS varsity soccer field, parking lot level.
  • Microkickers will be held on Saturday mornings 9:00-9:45am.
  • Minikickers will be held on Saturday mornings 10:00-11:15am and Wednesday evenings 6:00-7:15pm.  Wednesday evenings will be held at the SHS lighted field inside track.
  • Intramurals will be held concurrently with the minikickers and at the same fields.
  • Intramurals will follow a similar activity based curriculum as the minikickers, and won't play league match format.
  • Activities are structured in the Return To Play (RTP) phase 1 model.  We will consider phase 2 which includes scrimmage activity starting week 3 at the earliest.

Covid protocols include

  • Symptom check at home and confirmed by attendance taker at field. (We need your help with this.)
  • Each player brings their own water bottle and soccer ball.  We have some extras for those that need them.
  • Player wears face covering from parking lot to field.  Player doesn't need to wear a face covering when actively participating, but can if they want to.  Player wears face covering field to parking lot at end of session.
  • Coaches and spectators (parents) MUST wear a face covering and maintain social distance between households.  Siblings not participating must stay with parent.
  • Players will get a shirt on Saturday to keep.

We need everybody to comply with Covid protocols or the season will be suspended or cancelled.


September 3, 2020

Message to all families of SSSC players


The fall soccer season is upon us.  Registration has been open for a while and the Return To Soccer protocols for Covid are in place.  The registration fees have just been reduced substantially for this fall season only, reflecting a more lean program.  We are delaying purchase of some equipment until next year, leveraging existing inventory because we have enough with the reduced enrollment, and have received some donations for PPE and related necessities. 

The following is an update on each of the programs.

TRAVEL PROGRAMS
The club is operating with three travel teams this fall.  This is down from 11 teams last year.  The Under 13/14/15 Girls, Under 10/11 Boys and Under 9 Boys are each prepared to participate in the NorthEast District travel leagues.  Teams are well into their RTP phases 1 and 2, in preparation for matches that start the weekend of September 12.  All other age groups will NOT be fielding teams.  From a registration perspective, all registrants were placed on a wait list until we could gauge interest.  If you are practicing with one of our three teams, you will be removed from the wait list and rostered on that team.  This will trigger an email requesting payment.  If you don't have a team and we are not fielding a team at your age group, you will be removed from the wait list without any requested payment. We are sorry we can't service everybody this year.  The fee for travel is reduced from $80 to $45.

What's next?  The three travel teams start play.  Spectators MUST understand that it is required to wear face coverings AND maintain a social distance within the spectator zone which is going to be pretty much anywhere inside the fences at the fields.  Non-compliance will result in the suspension of play for the kids, so please comply.

RECREATIONAL PROGRAMS
The club is continuing to seek to offer some play in each of the three recreational programs.  Each program needs a COVID Coordinator plus 2 other adults for about every 10 kids.  The 3 year old microkickers program has enough players (10) and one coach volunteer.  We need one more adult volunteer coach (no soccer experience required BTW) and a COVID Coordinator for that program to be viable.  The 4-5 year old minikickers program is viable now.  If more players (15 now) sign up, we may need a couple more coaches.  The 6-7 year old intramural program is very light on both coaches (1) and players (9), and won't be operating in its usual format with Saturday games.  We can focus on skill development, however and have fun doing so.  The fee for Intramurals has been reduced from $50 to $20.  The registration fee for microkickers and minikickers has been reduced from $35 to $20.

What's next?  On Wednesday September 9 at 6:00pm, I am inviting all adult volunteers for each of the three recreational programs to an organizing session.  At that time, I will make a final decision on which programs can move forward.  The meeting will be held at the Stafford High School varsity field if the weather permits.  If not, I will ask all to join a Zoom call at the same time.  Player and volunteer registration will remain open until Sept 9.  If you haven't volunteered yet, contact me and complete the volunteer registration on our new website.  Expect the kids to start play Saturday morning Sept 12 at 9am or 10am ISH.

Life remains fluid so please stay tuned and stay positive.

Thanks,
Dave Bachiochi

August 18, 2020

Message to all families of potential SSSC recreation players


There has been a substantial amount of effort to put return to play (RTP) guidelines in place that are aimed at protecting kids and volunteers during a soccer experience.  This is well documented on our website https://clubs.bluesombrero.com/staffordsprings/.  We are going to need to operate quite a bit differently this fall IF we are going to play at all.

 

If interested, please register and you will be placed on a wait list that we won't clear for you to make payment or soccer activity until we are sure there will be a program.

 

If you don't feel comfortable, don't play.  Your decision and perspective is fully respected.   No questions asked.

 

If you are willing and able to volunteer to help with running the soccer activities and / or help with the Covid mitigations at the sessions, please register as a volunteer.  We will only offer the programs if enough volunteers step up.

 

What will be required?

  • We need two coaches and one covid coordinator to volunteer for EACH team.  A "team" is about 8-10 kids in size.
  • The activities will be varied to include activities that generally maintain some sense of social distancing. (Admittedly not easy nor foolproof.)
  • We will facilitate each kid to have their own equipment, particularly a ball, to minimize sharing.
  • Families will be asked to attest they conducted a covid symptom check prior to EACH session.
  • We will have hand sanitizer (or bring your own) and there will be a mask policy.  Kids can remove their mask when actively playing.
  • The registration process includes a waiver informing each family that there remains inherent risks.


I am expecting to operate to the following schedule, heavy on daytime Saturday in case EEE returns.  Tentative start dates are Wednesday September 9 and Saturday September 12.

 

Intramurals - Saturday mornings (games eventually), one or two practices mid week.

Minikickers - Wednesday evening and Saturday morning

Microkickers - Saturday morning

 

Registration is open online on our new website.  All registrations are collected into a wait list at this time.  Payment isn't solicited until a player is moved from the wait list to a team, and this won't happen until we are sure this is a go.  I am considering lowering the actual fee as well depending on the nature of the program we end up with. Whether we decide to play or not will be determined by interest at all and by the covid situation in CT and in town.  You can expect that if schools revert to 100% online learning that we will suspend soccer, for example.

 

For some of you that have already registered, stay tuned for a final decision on or about Sept 1.


July 27, 2020

 

Message to all families of potential SSSC travel team players

SSSC registration for fall travel soccer is open.  Anyone interested in playing travel soccer is asked to register at the link below. 


I understand many of you aren't sure about playing fall soccer yet.  The season itself is contingent upon Return To Play approval AND there being enough interest in players and volunteers. All registrations are being placed on a Wait List.  The Wait List status means we won't ask for payment until we know there will be a season (approximately Sept 1).  Registering will allow you to participate in preseason phase 1 and phase 2 activities during August.  And allow us to plan for the league season.  Let us know your interest.  Anyone who decides to bow out even after the Wait List period will be entitled to a full refund.


https://clubs.bluesombrero.com/StaffordSprings is the link for the new SSSC web site where you can login to register and stay current with our Return To Play status.


Thanks,

Dave Bachiochi

SSSC Youth Director, [email protected]



July 12, 2020

Open letter to SSSC membership

There is a lot to read here, but I ask that you take the time to understand the new normal.  For those that can’t spare the time right now, the MUST DO’s to protect youth soccer and its participants are provided in the executive summary on the SSSC RETURN TO PLAY tab.

 

Return To Play (RTP) for youth soccer is taking shape.  A cautious approach is being taken to protect players, coaches, spectators and officials. The RTP guard rails have been developed according to guidance from the US CDC, US Youth Soccer, Connecticut Junior Soccer Association (CJSA), and the state of CT phases, and reviewed by our local public health office and Selectman’s office. This represents a “new normal”, introduces a phased approach and comes with several considerations.

  1.  

    1.    As we progress through the phases, we must be prepared to revert to an earlier phase if public health conditions warrant;

    2.    If you don’t feel comfortable or well, stay home.  Just because you CAN play doesn’t mean you MUST.

    3.    It is important to follow the guidelines if you want to keep playing.  Fields will be closed and our insurance invalidated if we don’t comply.

    4.    We expect changes and clarifications.  Updates will be shared when available. In an effort for full transparency, it is prudent to publish this now.

     

    The guidelines documented below cover all the well known mitigations including hand washing, face coverings, social distancing, and contact tracing that need to be followed in the context of youth soccer.  There are sections focusing on each stakeholder from parents, players, coaches and administration. Communication is more important than ever and will be critical for this to work. Please review the documents.  A Zoom call will be available to ask and answer questions. Once you have had the chance to absorb all this, I am seeking your feedback on whether your child will participate or not.  I want to know if you would be willing to assist with any of the tasks associated with the mitigations. We do need a few coaches as several mainstays of our staff are taking a necessary sabbatical this fall.  Lastly, we are open to suggestions, feedback, comments about what is working or not working.

     

    I’d like to thank Patti Kula for volunteering to be the COVID-19 director, which is a new role mandated by CJSA, for SSSC.  Patti is responsible to liaison with the CJSA office and our group / team COVID coordinators, and has already had a positive influence on this material.  She brings an expertise that will insure we get these kids playing safely and keep them playing.

     

    The club will be using its new website (SportsConnect, formerly known as Blue Sombrero) for online registration for the fall season.  We will be using a Waitlist feature for your registration.  This permits you to register for the program you are interested in but delay payment until we are sure the program is going to be viable.

     

    We are looking at a rough timetable of introducing the travel teams (ages 8-14) to the early phases in August and to be prepared to play district competition starting the weekend of Sept 12.  Our rough timetable for the Recreational programs will start on or about August 31.  This is all dependent on all going well with our transition to the new normal and with the state of the virus transmission in CT.

     

    For those that want to read more, the CJSA home page is carrying a reference set of links to phased RTP (phases 1 and 2 as of July 4) and coaching / activity suggestions at https://www.cjsa.org/

     

    The full document includes the guidelines we need to follow from CJSA (and insurance charter) in Section 2, SSSC’s implementation plan for travel soccer including summaries for each of parents, players, coaches and administrators in Section 3, and all can be found on the new SSSC website (look for SSSC Return To Play) https://clubs.bluesombrero.com/Default.aspx?tabid=754488 . There will be some additional guidance coming for the recreation programs (intramural, minikicker and Microkickers) but expect most of those in the travel plan to apply.

     

    Thanks,

    Dave Bachiochi


Recent newsletters

(June 28, 2020)

 

Return to Play guardrails

As the state of Connecticut enters phase 2 of Re-Open Connecticut today, and with that including youth sports under some conditions, it is a good time to let you know where we stand.

Organized youth sports are opening at a cautious pace in phases and generally aligned with the phases employed by the various states.  All the national and state governing bodies, including soccer, are establishing high level guidelines, and delegating the final approval to play to the local public health and local government authorities.  It is incumbent upon the local authorities to approve the appropriate health and safety mitigations, and for the local organizations to put those mitigations into place to create as safe an environment as possible.  The phases all start with no contact, individualized skill and conditioning activities; move to small groups, limited contact; move to full teams with scrimmage activity; move to games against other teams; as they progress.  There are two clear goals with the phases.  One is to devote enough time to let kids get into shape before full game action.  Two is to get used to the mitigations put in place to keep everyone healthy.

All that said, for youth soccer in Stafford to happen four things have to occur:

  1. US Youth Soccer approves return to play.  This has happened with a 5 phase set of guidelines required for any state to be sanctioned.
  2. The State of CT must permit youth sports.  This has happened effective with June 17 phase 2 re-opening CT.  The permission is subject to social distancing, size of group gathering, cleansing, and face covering mitigations.
  3. CJSA, the CT youth soccer organization that we are affiliated with (and insured by), approves return to play.  This is imminent and will include phases of increasing risk / contact with guidelines that are aligned with the state of CT phases.  The final document describing these guidelines is needed to proceed with #4.  CJSA has published a checklist of requirements (on June 20) that our club will have to certify is in place for us to get started.  The club has certified that it will follow all requirements.
  4. The town of Stafford selectman's office and public health department must approve of the mitigations in place to authorize use of the public fields / facilities that the kids will use.  We have given these offices some advance notice and in the process of seeking approval.


With all that, our club can proceed to put everything in place to start registrations, training sessions, implement social distancing and learn virus prevention behaviors, etc.  We are going to need your help.  This will be a "new normal", and I will explain the "new normal" in a separate set of documents very soon.  I plan to host a club-wide Zoom video chat to explain the new normal as soon as the new rules are clear and approved.

Please bookmark our newly released SSSC website at

https://clubs.bluesombrero.com/Default.aspx?tabid=754488


We will keep you informed from this new website and its mobile friendly interface. Look for the module "Staying Engaged At Home During COVID-19" for some fun soccer activities.


We will be using this new website going forward for online registrations and all communications.  Registration for the fall activities will open in the next few days. 

In the meanwhile, stay safe and stay healthy. 

Above all, you need to feel comfortable with the situation.  Just because you can play doesn't mean you must.

 

Thanks,

Dave Bachiochi

SSSC Youth Director, [email protected]




Newsletter, COVID-19 2020

Update: April 30, 2020
Update:
April 11, 2020

All youth soccer activities have been suspended for the entire spring 2020 season. 
Anyone who did register and pay for the spring season has received a full refund.
All school activities have been suspended through May 20 by Gov. Lamont.
The club will continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates when appropriate.  A decision regarding the viability of summer leagues or informal activities in June will be reviewed in mid-May.


Look for the module "Staying Engaged At Home During COVID-19"

compliments of Vernon Soccer and CJSA

Update: April 3, 2020
All youth soccer activities have been suspended through April 30 by the state association, CJSA.

Update: March 30, 2020
All youth soccer activities have been suspended through April 15 by the state association, CJSA.
All school activities have been suspended through April 20 by Gov. Lamont.  The CDC has issued stay at home guidance through April 30. No youth soccer activities will take place until after the schools are re-opened, at the soonest.


March 18, 2020

All winter activities have been cancelled and all spring soccer activities have been suspended due to the necessary precautions being taken for the COVID-19 coronavirus.


We have kept the spring registration portal open in the event circumstances permit a spring season.  Please check back regularly for status.  Anyone who has registered and paid will be provided a full refund if we don't play or if you personally decide not to play.  Further, anyone who registered for the shortened winter sessions can have their spring fee waived.

The Challenger summer camp registration remains open.  A decision regarding that program will be made at a future time.

I urge you to follow all the guidance provided by the government agencies, especially the US CDC, for your safety.


Thanks, 

Dave Bachiochi

 

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Field Directory

Locations

Stafford High Varsity

145 Orcuttville Road Stafford Springs Connecticut United States 06076

Lower Soccer field

(Last updated 09/10/20 at 12:41 PM )

View Directions

Field 1

11v11 full sized field

(Last updated 09/10/20 at 12:41 PM )

Field 2

9v9 North (left half of varsity field) subject to COVID mitigations

(Last updated 07/17/20 at 08:26 PM )

Field 3

9v9 South (right half of varsity field) subject to COVID mtigations

(Last updated 09/10/20 at 12:41 PM )

Stafford Middle School

Levinthal Run Stafford Springs Connecticut United States 06076

Field complex

(Last updated 09/10/20 at 12:41 PM )

View Directions

Field 1

Field 8 Softball adjacent to large field; practices only

(Last updated 09/27/20 at 06:52 PM )

Field 2

Field 9 Softball behind the hill

(Last updated 09/10/20 at 12:41 PM )

Field 3

full sized middle school adjacent to parking lot

(Last updated 07/17/20 at 08:26 PM )

Stafford High Lighted Field

145 Orcuttville Road Stafford Springs Connecticut United States 06076

On Wednesdays only

(Last updated 09/27/20 at 06:51 PM )

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Field Status

Open Open

Stafford High Varsity (12:41 PM | 09/10/20)

Open Open

Field 1 (12:41 PM | 09/10/20)

Closed Closed

Field 2 (08:26 PM | 07/17/20)

Open Open

Field 3 (12:41 PM | 09/10/20)

Open Open

Stafford Middle School (12:41 PM | 09/10/20)

Open Open

Field 1 (06:52 PM | 09/27/20)

Open Open

Field 2 (12:41 PM | 09/10/20)

Open Open

Field 3 (08:26 PM | 07/17/20)

Partially Open Partially Open

Stafford High Lighted Field (06:51 PM | 09/27/20)