Dear Club Secretaries, managers, coaches, referees, players and parents,
Return to Football
Following the Government’s indication that grassroots football can resume in the week commencing 29th March, the F.A. has confirmed it is up to individual Leagues to decide how they complete the current season, with the facility to play until the end of June, if feasible.
The Dorset Youth League Committee has considered the possibilities, and concluded, very regrettably, that given the number of outstanding fixtures it is not feasible to offer satisfactory completion of its Leagues and League Cups to clubs as an option. As an alternative the League is offering to organize group-based football to all teams wanting to play.
Club Secretaries have been asked to confirm those teams who wish to resume playing matches on that basis and fixtures will then be compiled and notified.
In making this difficult decision the following factors were considered:-
- Including all of June, a maximum of 13 weeks are available. Of those, the first is Easter which could be problematic for player availability as it is holiday weekend and outdoor group and household gatherings are being allowed for the first time.
- If competitive leagues were to re-commence the last of those weeks would also have to be reserved for potential championship/promotion play-offs, leaving 11 “clear” weeks.
- 13 Divisions within the U12 to U16 age group already have teams with more League fixtures to play than weekends available, requiring mid-week games before accommodating any cancellations or Cup matches.
- Continuation of the League Cup would provide football for those teams remaining in the competition, but take up playing dates to the detriment of teams already eliminated.
- The Dorset F.A. has confirmed County Youth Cups will be completed as normal and all ages have either 3 or 4 rounds to complete. Those matches while taking up to 3 or 4 of the available dates will provide competitive opportunities in the most senior competition in the County for those teams still in the competition.
- recent feedback from clubs has indicated playing in June would be difficult or impossible for some teams, either through pitch unavailability or shortage of players. Reasons quoted have been transfer to playing cricket, school study and other education activities. This would be in addition to some anticipated parental reluctance to re-engage with football at all during the current pandemic. For those teams it would reduce available playing weeks to no more than 9 over April and May.
- while not all teams or Divisions have as many fixtures to clear as others, League competitions cannot fairly and consistently be completed if some age groups and Divisions within age groups finish fixtures and receive awards while other Divisions are abandoned. There would also be complications over promotion and relegation for next season in those circumstances.
It is appreciated that the decision will be a considerable disappointment to those teams wishing to play competitive football but has been taken in the interests of offering an equal amount of football to all teams, irrespective of ability and playing level within their age groups.
Dorset Youth Football League Chairman
Just a little reminder that the DYFL AGM is on Tuesday 30th July at Corfe Mullen Royal British Legion, Blandford Road, Corfe Mullen for a 7.45pm start.
Please ensure that your club is represented at the AGM.