SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The South Dakota Youth Soccer Association (SDYSA) is the largest youth organization in the state of South Dakota.
Much like many other club sports in South Dakota, the SDYSA has had to cancel part of their season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have been following directives from US Youth Soccer Association as well as our local South Dakota lawmakers. US Youth Soccer had all programming suspended through May 15th, while we had recently extended through all of May due to our later expected peak date,” SDYSA Director of Operations Polly Dean said. “We had a number of clubs completely cancel their Spring Recreational Seasons, while some hoped to recover some competitive activity pending the effect the virus had on our various communities.”
The association has suspended all state programming which means that there will be no sanctioned tournaments in S.D. or travel outside of S.D. That is in effect until the end of May.
“With the recent changes pushing towards reopening we have been maintaining direct communication with the various clubs throughout the state regarding their plans for return to play,” Dean said. “At this time a few clubs in the state are developing safety protocols for the players and their families to get some practices scheduled and implemented in a safe way that follows all the CDC guidelines laid out.”
The pandemic has kept South Dakota’s youth off of the field, but it has also had a financial toll on the clubs.
“The SDYSA has been so impressed with the leadership of all the clubs in our state as they put the health and safety of all our players before anything else,” Dean said. “A lot of clubs took huge financial hits as seasons were cancelled and in a competitive environment like youth sports they are going to be working overtime to continue engaging their membership and players to stay involved in the sport and come back when it IS safe.”
This COVID-19 pandemic has been hard on everyone and the SDYSA hopes that they can be involved in getting South Dakota back to its’ new normal.
“I would encourage parents and players to hang in there, youth sports is valuable not only in the lives of the player’s families, but the impact in our communities is vital and when the time comes we will be ready to get everyone back out on the field safely. “Polly Dean, SDYSA Director of Operations