Dorchester Town Youth FC have received the following statement from the Dorset Youth Football League (DYFL) concerning the rest of the 2020/2021 season
You will be aware the Government has indicated grassroots football can resume in the week commencing 29th March, and 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 that very regrettably it is not feasible to offer satisfactory completion of its Leagues and League Cups to clubs as an option, and those competitions therefore should be declared “Null and Void” for 2020/21.
Instead, it is proposed to offer games on a group basis to all teams wanting to play. Those groups would run over April and May and take account of team strengths and locality. They would still be regarded as “official” fixtures with normal rules applying. Player transfers would be allowed to the end of the season to allow players to move from teams electing not to play to those wishing to continue. In reaching this conclusion, the factors considered were:-
· 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 any cancellations or Cup matches.
· 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 take precedence over any DYFL games and further reduce available playing dates for those teams involved.
· 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.
I hope you will be able to see that the decision not to offer full completion of the season was taken for entirely practical reasons and after considerable thought.
Once DTYFC receive anymore updates, team managers will be updated ASAP, this will accompany posts on our website and social media pages