The Charlestown Soccer League kicked off a full, in-house league last weekend that will last for the duration of this fall, with plenty of precautions and protections, but certainly also a lot of fun playing ‘The Beautiful Game.’
League President Allen Reitz said soccer will be different this year, but the numbers are not down and many kids have registered to play. However, there will be no travel teams this year, as the league will all be in-house.
“We had expected to have our travel program running, but that changed a couple weeks ago when we decided to go in-house only,” he said. “We decided as a Board rather than have that extra layer of concern with travel, to just go in-house. It will be the first year Charlestown is an in-house only program. We were surprised to see the numbers were really high for registrations and we’ll be playing schedules similar to last year. However, we’re not travelling.”
Reitz said they will have leagues divided into 1st-2nd grades, and then 3rd-8th grades. They will play games on Saturdays and Sundays at the football field, and have some practices on the Oilies (Barry Field). He said it was exciting that Charlestown families still wanted to get out and play soccer in such large numbers.
“The other towns around our league declined 50 percent or more and we are about the same as last year if not more,” he said. “That was impressive.”
The precautions taken for playing will be according to the Massachusetts Youth Soccer guidelines, he said.
Players will be expected to socially distance as much as possible, to wear masks on the field at all times, and there will be no throw ins and no header plays allowed.
“The idea is nobody should be touching the ball,” he said. “If the ball is touched, there is a break and we sanitize it and then resume play.”
Likewise, the social atmosphere for parents and grandparents and games and practices will also be curtailed and Reitz said they suggest one parent for every child.
“We recommend that during practice, they drop off kids at the exact time,” he said. “They can’t come early and they can’t stay afterward. Parents can be in the stands socially distant or in the car. If it’s a game, we encourage a one-to-one ratio. We’re encouraging parents not to bring the grandparents and everyone down to see the game. Also, everyone needs to have masks on.”
Reitz said he and his Board and the coaches in the league have spent so much time making sure a season happened this year. He said it was one of the hardest things he has had to do.
“Just preparing for the season is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done,” he said. “I have to thank my Board, the coaches and parents and everyone else as well.”