Spring Season Update - March 31, 2020
As most of you have seen by now, SYA Sports issued an email on the status of our spring sport season. I’d like to specifically address the SYA Diamond Sports aspect of the state of Virginia’s decision to basically shut down the state until June 10. Yes, there is a chance that date being rolled back, but I feel it is prudent at this time to cancel the Diamond Sports spring season and begin to look at plans for summer Diamond Sports offerings, depending on inputs from federal, state, local, and other governing organizations.
First, our travel teams: the spring season is over for both Mets Baseball and Xplosion Softball. The Mets Baseball fees, for those also playing Little League, will be refunded in full ($15.50). Two of the three of the Xplosion teams have already registered for a summer season and SYA Diamond Sports will continue to honor that registration and will plan on that season coming to fruition. Additional information from Xplosion managers/coordinators will be provided shortly. SYA Diamond Sports plans to hold tryouts for our fall travel baseball and softball teams as soon as possible given the current limitations. Fall tryouts will be announced as soon as fields become available.
For our house baseball programs: unfortunately, the spring season is complete and we are busy planning for a summer baseball season when fields become available. Please review the SYA letter and the details on spring registration fees options.
Our summer baseball season may include Little League and Babe Ruth tournament play. Of course both organizations will need to make final determinations on the nature of tournament play, if any. Our summer plans will fully consider the ultimate decisions made by Little League and Babe Ruth. I certainly don’t want to see any player miss an All Star tournament opportunity. With that said, our plans for summer season baseball offerings will include house offerings for all levels of play from ages 4-18 for baseball and ages 7-16 for softball. The summer baseball season would end by July 31. This will allow the fall baseball season to begin in August as normal. Registration fees for a summer season will be different, teams will be different, playing baseball in the summer will be different - no cold nights, just the heat!
Looking ahead to the Fall baseball season, we will be mindful of competing priorities as society opens up. We fully expect families to be catching up on family visits, vacations, schooling, etc.so team commitments and schedules will reflect such consideration.
Yes, lots of questions remain unanswered at this point but for now we are listen to the inputs from you, Little League, Babe Ruth, USSSA, NVTBL, SYA, and our government entities. We appreciate your patience through this unchartered territory and we hope that you and your family make it through the coming days with a renewed love of baseball and softball. Be sure to follow us online as we will post entertaining and informative sports information that we hope helps during our time away from the diamonds.
A copy of the SYA email on status and refunds is noted below:
SYA Spring 2020 Refund Policy
In this difficult time, we would like to thank the membership for their patience as your Board of Directors deliberated on what to do with SYA’s spring athletic programs. We understand that many of our families are hurting and we want to be here to support and assist you both now, and in the years to come. Initially, in the interest of all our participants and their family’s health and well-being, we postponed all spring 2020 programs. As things progressed and change was occurring daily, your volunteer Board of Directors and staff have continually met to determine if we would be able to provide our participants with a meaningful program. On March 30th, Governor Northam issued a statewide Stay at Home order to protect the health and safety of Virginians and mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. The executive order will remain in place until June 10, 2020, unless amended or rescinded by a further executive order. This effectively eliminates the possibility of continuing our spring season.
We hope you understand that our organization has incurred and continues to incur costs even if facilities and field/gym use restrictions prevent us from putting on those programs. These are unprecedented times, and we want to be fair to our members while at the same time being sound fiscal stewards of the club as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit entity and a long-term community resource.
After careful and extended discussion among the Board of Directors, we are providing all families who have registered for SYA spring sports with the following three options:
IN THE EVENT THAT SYA DOES NOT RECEIVE AN ELECTION FROM YOU ON OR BEFORE MAY 1, 2020, YOUR SPRING 2020 REGISTRATION FEE WILL BE TREATED AS A DONATION AND WE THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING US.
NO REQUESTS WILL BE TAKEN OVER THE PHONE
If you have previously requested a refund, we ask that you resubmit your request in an email to SPRING2020@SYASPORTS.ORG. If you do not have access to email, requests may be mailed to SYA, P.O. Box 471, Centreville, VA 20122. Admin fees will be charged for each registration. Refunds may take up 3-4 weeks to process but we will get them out as soon as practical. If you paid by credit card your refund will show up as a credit to your account. If you paid by check you will be refunded by check.
All questions should be directed to our Chief Executive Officer, Gary Flather, at CEO@syasports.org.
Note: This policy does not apply to Travel Soccer and Competitive Cheer which are multi-season sports. The respective commissioners in these sports will be communicating with you directly regarding how this situation will be handled.
SYA will be applying for assistance under the recently passed CARES Act which may help us weather this storm. If we are able to receive help from this or other government programs, we may be able to supplement the refunds at a future date.
SYA has been in existence since 1973 and has served our community continuously since that time. We have provided sports opportunities for generations of families in the area and have provided thousands of scholarships to ensure that any child who wishes to play sports is able to participate. This crisis is unprecedented in our lifetime and is causing a serious financial strain on our organization along with many of our families. We have tried to create a policy that will allow the club to survive this event and also give some relief to our families in need.
I hope everyone stays safe and healthy and I thank you for your support,
Southwestern Youth Association
COVID 19 - CORONAVIRUS UPDATE MARCH 27, 2020
We have received encouraging information that there is a possibility that fields could reopen sooner than originally anticipated. Our sports are working on contingency plans to start the season sometime in May. This is a fluid situation and we will keep you informed as new information becomes available. In the meantime, various sports are working to find activities for kids to do to keep up their skills while they are stuck at home. Please be on the look out in the next weeks for links on our website with this information. As always thank you for your patience and understanding.
Thank you for your support,
Southwestern Youth Association
COVID 19 - CORONAVIRUS UPDATE MARCH 24, 2020
As you are aware, Governor Northam has closed all schools for the remainder of the school year due to the COVID 19 Coronavirus Pandemic. Every one of us is impacted by this decision and SYA has been following the lead of our government to ensure the safety of all SYA participants. With the closure of schools, comes the closure of facilities (gyms, fields, parks) which impacts our ability to continue our sports programs and we will be forced to shut down for the remainder of the Spring season. As a nonprofit, volunteer-based organization, this will have a major impact on SYA. Registration fees are used not only for officials and uniforms, but also are used to cover all operational expenses such as insurance, field maintenance, equipment, website, processing fees, rent and mortgage expenses along with salaries for our administrative staff.
Some parents are contacting us inquiring about refunds as a result of the school closures. We ask you to be patient as we determine how best to proceed. Our ultimate goal is to get all our kids back out playing as soon as possible.
Thank you for your support,
Southwestern Youth Association
COVID 19 - CORONAVIRUS UPDATE MARCH 23, 2020
As many of you have seen by now, Virginia has closed all public schools for the remainder of the school year. This obviously impacts us and SYA as a whole as we rely on school fields for a majority of our field space. SYA is working on plans to include addressing refunds in the coming days. Please be patient as we work through this process as a general email will be coming on more details. Like you, many of our volunteers have fulltime jobs that are all in a new territory and just need a few days. Should you have other questions, please don't hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org about any Diamond Sport question.
At SYA, we hope that all of you are staying safe. We continue to monitor the situation and are currently looking forward to our Season opening. We are hard at work with our volunteers to put alternatives together depending on when Fairfax County re-opens the fields/gyms/parks. As of now, we hope to be able to start our season April 13th. We will keep you updated as we learn of any changes. Please visit our website as we will be posting messages from various sources with activities and ideas to help keep our children busy and active.
3/16 Update: Little League put out a recommendation now to suspend activities through May 11 in accordance with CDC recommendations - 8 weeks of minimal contact. SYA and SYA Little League will evaluate this along with Little League inputs, especially on tournament information, before any further decisions are made on our spring season. Stay in touch and check out our web site every few days.
3/15 Update: The county has expended their closures to include permitted use of park fields and RECenters. For more details: https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/health/novel-coronavirus
3/13: As you probably saw yesterday, Little League International has recommended to all its program that league activities be suspended until April 6, during which time they would continue to monitor the situation and provide further guidance and recommendations. Since that time, Fairfax County Public Schools have cancelled all community use of school fields through April 12 (Easter) starting today March 13 – they have also suspended all HS sports and after school programs. With this, SYA Little League has suspended all Little League practices, games, and team activities involving players through April 12. This includes the use of indoor facilities by teams.
Similarly, the SYA Mets travel baseball and Xplosion travel softball programs are suspended during this same time period for all their activities, games, tournaments that are planned. SYA Sports has suspended immediately all SYA sports through April 12.
Yes, as of this time the Fairfax County Park Authority has yet to make a decision on park fields and other park facilities, however that will have no bearing on this decision. Should they make a decision, we will inform you.
A few additional items:
SYA and SYA Little League will continue to monitor events and will provide further updates and more details in the coming days – the web site will have our latest information and we will email changes to all families. As you can see things are changing rapidly around us, forcing new situations and decisions. Please continue to follow sound healthcare advice during this pandemic and hopefully curtail its growth in a timely manner. For further information on this, see the Center for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.
We, SYA Little League, will post an FAQ in the next few days on this to keep you informed and up to date on what we learn.
SYA Little League and Travel Programs: www.syabaseball.org
SYA Sports: https://www.syasports.org/
Fairfax County Government Health Information: https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/health/novel-coronavirus
President, SYA Little League
Commissioner, SYA Diamond Sports