MIFC Coronavirus Message to Families and Players
Update: Thursday, June 18th
Hello MIFC Families,
In our last message to you on May 20th, we communicated that the club would not be returning to play until King
County is in Phase 3 of the State’s Phased Approach. In that short period of time things have evolved. King
County moved to Phase 1.5 and is expected to be in Phase 2 very soon. Many businesses including youth sports
organizations are exploring resuming operations on a limited basis and making plans for the fall. In addition, the
club has heard from many families who are interested in returning to some activity. MIFC is continually looking
at the evolving situation and we are making plans for our Select and Juniors soccer programs to resume safe,
limited training in early July when we have access to fields.
With that in mind, we are reaching out to all families who are considering registering for our Recreational and
Micro soccer programs. We are planning for a full fall season. In a normal season our registration would be
closing at this time and we would begin our team formation process. Obviously, we are not in normal times. So,
we want to let you know of the following information regarding fall soccer:
- Eastside Youth Soccer Association (EYSA) – our local soccer association – and each of our sister clubs
are working together, along with Washington Youth Soccer, to determine how our players will be able
to return to play for a fall season.
- The next EYSA meeting is on July 8th and by that time we should have the information that we will need
to finalize our plans for the fall season. We will be communicating with you as soon as possible after
- In the meantime, we are planning on having a fall season! Registration is currently open. Please
register as soon as possible. The number of interested players is an important factor as we attempt to
form teams. If King County reaches a phase that allows youth team sports to play league games, we
want to be ready with coaches, teams, and competitive divisions for everyone who wants to play.
- There is no upfront fee to register for Recreational and Micro soccer. When we get confirmation that
the fall season is on we will ask families for payment prior to the first practices. If you have already
registered and paid a registration fee a refund will be provided if we are not able to have a fall season.
We will be also closely watching what happens with the public schools. As you may know, we rent
many of our practice and game fields from our local school districts, so any decisions that they make
will affect us as well.
MIFC has prepared Return to Play Health Guidelines and Protocols for a safe training and playing environment with help from medical
professionals and following all available guidance from public health authorities.
For more information regarding Washington Youth Soccer’s path forward please visit their Return To Play site.
If you have questions regarding specific programs here are the contacts:
Juniors Soccer: Justin Bell – [email protected]
Micro Soccer: Marc Chappell – [email protected]
Recreational Soccer: Mindy Rowe – [email protected]
Select Soccer: Shelly Johnson – [email protected]
Update: Wednesday, May 20th
Hello MIFC Families,
In an effort to be as forthcoming and informative as possible, the Board at MIFC is sending you this message to provide you with our recent decision regarding Return To Play (RTP).
After careful consideration and debate, MIFC’s Board has decided to begin operations, including group/team training, when all of the conditions have been met to enter Phase 3. We feel this will provide the best balance of safety for families, players, coaches and others while providing a realistic outlet for players to return to play and prepare for the fall season. We are further constrained by the availability of fields, as Mercer Island Parks and Recreation has told us they will not be renting fields to any sports organizations until after June 30th.
We are taking the next couple of weeks to develop specific guidelines on what procedures we need to follow when we return in Phase 3. Those considerations may change our approach to many things such as the types of activities we allow (non-contact), modification of rules (such as throw-ins), monitoring of health, use of masks, etc.
MIFC's decision to return to play in Phase 3 was made in accordance with guidelines outlined by US Youth Soccer and Washington Youth Soccer, and was informed by the following resources:
- US Soccer Federation
- Washington Youth Soccer (WYS)
- Washington Health Departments
- Medical Professionals
Additionally, we are guided by Washington’s Phased Approach in reopening businesses. We have considered our decisions carefully and will continue to do so as conditions change with the health and safety of our families foremost in mind.
We are hopeful that there will be a full fall soccer season, and we are making plans for that as recommended by Washington Youth Soccer. This is why we have opened registration for all of our programs and recommend you register so that we can plan accordingly. MIFC is a volunteer run, community non-profit organization. If you are planning to register but have not yet done so, please do. Uncertain registration numbers make it difficult for us to plan effectively, including projecting the number of coaches (who depend on this income) MIFC will need to hire to support our programs. When we have a more solid date for returning to play, we will begin planning a more definitive timeline for fields, referees, etc.
If you are planning to play Select Soccer, a $500 deposit is due upon registration with the full registration fee due prior to the beginning of the season (we will establish a date when that is known). All fees will be prorated and/or refunded if the season is materially shortened or cancelled.
If you have registered for Recreational Soccer programs, we will prorate or refund fees as well, if seasons are shortened or cancelled.
*The club offers financial aid for families for whom COVID may have affected their ability to front registration fees.
The model for RTP recommended by WYS follows Washington's Phased Approach. This model does allow for some group activity in Phase 2 and we are aware that other soccer clubs in the area may make different decisions and decide to open sooner or later. We also recognize that families may make different decisions about when to allow their players to return. MIFC has decided as a Board that returning to training in Phase 3 is the best approach for our community with the information we have at this time.
Please take a minute to look at the Washington Youth Soccer Return to Play Guidelines at washingtonyouthsoccer.org.
Expect more communication soon on specific plans and updates.
Update: Tuesday, April 7th
Hello MIFC Families,
As part of the community we wanted to reach out to offer information and support to you as parents and players.
We hope you are all staying healthy and safe. In our previous communications we indicated that the club is cancelling all in person team activities as mandated by the Governor Inslee. That date is now extended to at least May 4th. Now that schools are cancelled for the rest of the academic year we will likely be prevented from in person activities after May 4th due to field closures and other restrictions. We are monitoring the situation and making alternate plans for Select tryouts, Juniors and summer activities. We will be sending out those plans as soon as possible.
During this time of social distancing and downtime at home it can be a struggle to stay positive and motivated. We will get through this together by supporting each other and using the resources we have at our disposal to keep active in mind, body and spirit.
The club has a few resources to offer:
· See the link here to get ideas on how to maintain your fitness to stay physically active and be ready once we have reached a time where normal soccer activities can resume. There are also game footage and mental training ideas you can watch and learn from. We will try and post more videos and content here throughout the school closure to keep it fresh.
· We began play in our MIFC FIFA 20 XBOX Island Cup. See the details here. We will do another tournament after the conclusion of this one if there is interest.
· For Select players, your coaches will be reaching out to you to check in and give you ideas on how to stay in shape. Feel free to reach out to your coaches as well.
For parents and families, we know this can be a difficult time juggling working from home with children who are bored or looking to you for attention and support. Here are some links from the MISD that may be helpful.
· Talking to your Kids about Coronavirus
· Helping Children and Teens Cope with Anxiety
· Parent and Caretaker Resources
Here are a couple of more that are more sports related from Positive Coaching Alliance
· Using the Sports Shutdown to Recover the Joy of Sports
· Dealing with Disappointment During Coronavirus Cancellations, Postponements
With respect to the club’s plans at this moment our plan is to provide resources and support to our community as much as possible during this time. Registration for our programs – Recreational soccer and Juniors is open but at this point we do not know enough about how activities will resume to address the Select Soccer tryouts and season. We are planning to be ready for tryouts in May should we have access to fields. If we do not have access to fields, Washington Youth Soccer is providing guidance to us to plan to have “virtual tryouts” and form teams without on-field tryouts. We would then have tryouts when fields to open for our youngest ages (U10) and to fill out teams that have already been formed. These are contingency plans and by no means are set in stone. We will keep you updated at things progress but we will have plans for situation as it changes.
To any of you who are medical professionals and health care workers please know we appreciate what you are doing and the sacrifices you are making for our community. Our sincere thanks!
Please keep safe and healthy. We look forward to seeing you on the fields when we get through this.
Update: Saturday, March 21st
Per Federal and King County Public Health guidelines, no team trainings should be happening until further notice. In addition, MIFC does not condone any of our coaches conducting individual trainings at this time.
Update:Thursday, March 12th
Dear Mercer Island FC Family Members,
As we communicated earlier, at a press conference on Wednesday, Governor Inslee announced a ban on large gatherings and events of 250 people or more across three counties, including King County. Since the press conference, most of the regional school districts, including Mercer Island SD have proactively announced school-wide closures. Additionally, Washington Youth Soccer has postponed all competitions and NPSL has postponed their spring season. We have been in close contact with partner clubs in this region and we all received additional guidance from Washington Youth Soccer that all in-person training sessions and matches should be suspended until April 1.
All Mercer Island FC training and matches are cancelled until at least April 1, 2020.
We will continue to monitor guidance from the governmental and health organization and our regional soccer organizations regarding a timeline and structure for resuming club activities.
The health of our soccer community will always be our highest priority. We appreciate your cooperation to help promote a healthy environment for all. Please contact [email protected] if you have any questions.
Mercer Island FC