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DSA planning to run fall soccer program

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After the Manitoba Soccer Association (MSA) released its Return to Play guidelines, last week, the local group decided the phase 1 regulations were too restrictive, so the spring soccer season was cancelled.
Instead, the Dauphin Soccer Association will run a fall program, from Aug. 31 to Oct. 2.
One of the items in the protocols is there are no games allowed until phase 3. Also contact with the ball above the waist (hands or head) is prohibited. Social distancing is also required throughout all training drills and spectators are not allowed on the pitch unless they are properly screened by administration. Parents are urged to stay in vehicles.
Nathan Fleck of DSA appreciated the Return to Play protocols MSA put together to get something going for the spring season.
“But when we sat down as a board and looked at it, there were a couple of big ones that just didn’t quite work with the way that Dauphin soccer has always been structured, where parents aren’t allowed to be at the pitch unless we have somebody sitting in the parking lot able to screen every adult that’s coming through,” he said.
“That was a big one. And then, not being able to play any games. Well, Dauphin soccer, we try to develop skills as much as we can. We also play a game every night. So we felt that waiting until the fall gives us a much better chance to have a season that looks a little bit more like what DSA has always been. And hopefully, things get a little bit better and we can get pushed into phase 3 by then.”
Timing also played a role in the decision. Fleck explained the board had decided to give parents at least seven days notice before they started, so had they decided to go ahead with the season, June 15 would have been the start date.
“That would take us right into summer months, which, again traditionally, Dauphin Soccer Association has never gone into the summer months, other than some travelling club team type stuff,” he said.
“We felt that avoiding the summer months is best, especially the way it was going to look where parents weren’t allowed out there, we aren’t playing any games and it’s in the summer months. We felt like that was a lot of strikes against what we would try to create.”
It was also felt there would be reduced participation had they gone ahead with the spring season.
“So we thought this was the best chance to keep as many kids participating in soccer as possible. And also to try and keep the product, or at least the structure of soccer as close to what it’s always been. And that’s what our parents are expecting,” he said.
Anyone wishing a refund can fill out the refund request form on DSA’s website at dauphinsoccer.ca until July 1.
Online registration for the fall season will reopen, Aug. 1. The refund request form will also be reactivated on that date. Families can ask for a refund and re-register if they chose to do so.
Anyone who has registered and does not request a refund will remain registered for the fall season and their fees paid in March will cover the fees for the fall season.
“Hopefully, by then, we know that we will be kicked into phase 3 and go from there,” Fleck said.

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Doug Zywina
REPORTER
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