News

April 6 Member Survey Feedback, Provincial Championships and Updates

Information is being posted here for wider circulation, however the primary target audience is BC Soccer (full and associate) members and affiliated soccer clubs.


Amid the current suspension of all soccer activity due to impacts of COVID-19 and the various uncertainties it brings, BC Soccer has received many questions regarding what soccer programming members will deliver across the province. There have also been many inquiries about BC Soccer’s plans to deliver the annual Provincial Championships. As we all can appreciate, there are various unknown external factors; however, most importantly, the ability for teams from within the membership to participate is vital to delivering the Championships (if we are able to).

To better understand Members’ current outlooks in these unprecedented times, over the past two weeks, BC Soccer has conducted a series of surveys regarding Spring/Summer soccer activities and Provincial Cup participation. We have also been in communication with Local Organizing Committees for the Youth Provincial Championships, service providers for the Adult Provincial Championships, along with ongoing correspondence with Canada Soccer.

Generally speaking, there is strong desire amongst the membership, and BC Soccer, to get back on the pitch as soon as we can, whether it be as originally planned, or in differently structured formats.

The paragraphs on the following pages summarize the survey findings regarding Spring/Summer play across the province in more detail and, having reviewed these results in conjunction with other information gathered, also provides our preliminary assessment regarding Provincial Championships.

Important Note

It is important to state that we are currently adhering to:

Therefore, the below information and associated dates for any decisions for return to play, would only be acted upon if the above two restrictions are lifted within the stated timelines. Additionally, since the survey circulated, some municipalities have withdrawn field permits until specific dates in the future. Each municipality is handling the situation slightly differently, thus, regional decisions will also impact any return. Lastly, any form of return to play must also be done responsibly with the health and safety of all participants as a top priority.

Thank you for your understanding and patience as we work though this challenging and uncertain time!


Youth Spring/Summer Participation

Interior Play
As the Interior Primary Playing season begins April 1st, BC Soccer surveyed the twenty-four (24) Youth District Members to determine the level of soccer programming each would be able to offer at given dates depending on the suspension of soccer activity being lifted. Youth District Members that play in Interior Primary Playing season represent the regions of Thompson Okanagan, Kootenay/Rockies, and Northern BC.

Nineteen (19), of the twenty-four (24), Youth District Members responded and participated in the survey. The majority of respondents stated that May 15, 2020 would be the date their District would need the soccer suspension to be lifted in order to deliver this year’s soccer programming as originally planned. However, all respondents indicated that if the soccer suspension was lifted after May 15, they would seek to deliver alternative soccer programming. In addition to training and exhibition matches, many Districts noted providing a series of age specific jamborees and in-district tournaments would be amongst the options available. All but two Districts would seek to extend their playing season later into the Summer and/or Fall (weather permitting).

Coastal Play
The Coastal Secondary Playing Season takes place in the Spring/Summer and overlaps with the Interior Primary Season. BC Soccer surveyed Coastal Youth District Members to determine the level of soccer programming each would be able to offer at given dates depending on the suspension of soccer activity being lifted.

Generally, the majority of respondents said they would require soccer activity to resume by May 1st to continue Spring/Summer programming as planned. Approximately half of respondents would still seek to deliver alternative programming in the format a shortened spring season for organized games, summer camps, and drop-in sessions.

Many responses noted that the level of soccer programming within their District was related to participation in the Cascadia Soccer League, a BC Soccer sanctioned Youth Inter-District League. As of April 2nd, representatives from Cascadia Soccer League confirmed that they would seek to have some form of a spring/summer season if soccer resumed by July 15th.


Youth Provincial Championships 

When soccer activity was suspended the Coastal regular playing-season had completed and teams for the regional playdown/qualifying competition (Coastal Cup) had been determined. While the Coastal Cup Committee came to the difficult decision of cancelling Coastal Cup playdowns this year in a memo circulated April 1, 2020, the Committee has also stated that they would be able to provide teams for Provincial Cup should soccer activity resume and Provincial Cup go ahead.

With the Interior Playing season, under normal circumstances, about to get underway, BC Soccer surveyed all Interior Youth District Members to determine their capability to have teams participate in regional playdown competitions and/or Youth Provincial Cup at given dates should soccer activity resume. The majority of Interior Youth Districts stated that sanctioned soccer activity would need to resume by either May 15, 2020 or June 1, 2020 for them to participate in the Provincial Championships. However, some indicated that after these dates, their District would seek to provide team(s) if possible.

The holistic safety of all participants is of the utmost importance to BC Soccer. As BC Soccer continues to navigate through these unknown circumstances, we must consider the realities of teams/participants willingness or not to travel, stay in hotels and carpool, etc. Further, BC Soccer must consider logistical realities such as the potential economic impact COVID-19 has had on families; as well as, the timing of playing seasons, field/facility availability, etc.

Currently, BC Soccer has not completely ruled out delivering 2020 Youth Provincial Championships; however previously communicated dates, locations and competition formats may change.

We have been in communication with the 2020 BC Soccer Youth Provincial Cup hosts (Coastal FC, North Okanagan Youth Soccer Association and Kamloops Youth Soccer Association) regarding their continued ability to host Provincial Cup (if they proceed). In all cases, hosts remain committed to hosting Provincial Cup, if offered, and remain flexible to support BC Soccer moving forward.

BC Soccer appreciates that some Members and affiliated clubs are eager to know whether BC Soccer will proceed with Youth Provincial Championships. As the COVID-19 situation rapidly changes each day, BC Soccer has determined it more prudent to continue to gather information, so decisions are made responsibly, without haste and without potentially missing opportunities to return to the pitch. With that in mind, BC Soccer will seek to provide more resolute plans by the end of April 2020 or into May 2020.

Depending on decisions made over the coming months, BC Soccer will seek to evaluate the viability and/or explore options to host Provincial Championships in competitions that lead to national competitions (Premier Cup) should soccer activity not resume by June 15, 2020. Notably, Canada Soccer has advised that it will decide whether National Championships will proceed by June 30, 2020.


Adult Spring/Summer Participation

Associate Adult League Play
Eight (8) of the seventeen (17) Associate Adult Leagues responded to the survey which was conducted to determine the level of soccer programming each would be able to offer at given dates depending on the suspension of soccer activity being lifted.

The majority of respondents said if soccer activity was able to resume by either June 15, 2020 or July 1, 2020, their respective league would be able to continue with their regular soccer league play as planned. After these dates, approximately half of Associate Adult Leagues would still seek to deliver soccer programming by either extending the season into Summer and/or unstructured, drop-in formats of play.

Full Member Adult League Play
Of the five (5) Full Member Adult Leagues that deliver Spring league play, four (4) responded to the survey. Two (2) of the Leagues will plan to provide their regular Spring programming if soccer activity resumes by June 1, 2020. If soccer activity resumes after June 1, 2020, one League did intend to deliver alternative programming.


Adult Provincial Championships

Overall, the feedback received from participating Full Member Adult Leagues is very encouraging.  Leagues are keen to maintain current Provincial Cup allocations and size. Prior to the suspension of soccer activity, Adult Leagues were close to completing their regular season play and league cup playdowns. While the majority of Adult Leagues stated that they could determine teams to fill their allotted Provincial Cup berths without completing their leagues’ matches, there was a preference to have time to either complete league matches, or, allow time for teams to train and regain fitness levels prior to BC Soccer Provincial Cup playdowns beginning.

If soccer were able to resume in May 2020, there was general support from Leagues to play over May Long weekend, which is usually provided as a “catch up” weekend, though it was acknowledged that all players may not be available.

There was not consensus on the latest possible start date for Adult Leagues (to ensure full participation in Provincial Cup) as answers range of June 1, 2020 to July 15, 2020.

Since the survey was conducted, BC Soccer has become aware that some local municipal park boards have already determined that fields/facilities in their areas will not open until the beginning of June, so even if soccer were to resume prior to this date, there would likely be challenges for some teams/leagues to find fields. Additionally, there may be restrictions on the number of people allowed for “group” gatherings, which would potentially affect the ability to have a match.

With all the above taken into consideration BC Soccer has determined:

  • If at any point soccer activity resumes before, or by, June 1, 2020, BC Soccer will seek to host Adult Provincial Championships in all competition categories. A minimum of one week will be allotted for Adult Leagues to have any last league matches leading into the start of playdowns which would begin with Men’s B Cup round of 16 teams. Men’s B Cup preliminary matches would not take place. Based on this, the latest date to host Provincial Cup Finals would be the weekend of July 4 and 5, 2020.
  • If soccer activity were to resume at date between June 2, 2020 and by, June 15, 2020, BC Soccer will seek to host Adult Provincial Championships in all competition categories. Similarly, a minimum of one week will be allotted for Adult Leagues to have any last league matches leading into the start of playdowns; however, these would begin from a round of 8 teams (maximum) in all categories. Based on this, the latest date to host Provincial Cup Finals would be the weekend of July 11 and 12, 2020.

Over the coming months, BC Soccer will seek to evaluate the viability and/or explore options to host Provincial Championships in competitions that lead to national competitions (A Cup and Masters A Cup) should soccer activity not resume by June 15, 2020. Notably, Canada Soccer has advised that it will decide whether National Championships will proceed by June 30, 2020.


BC Soccer Premier League (BCSPL)

The BCSPL 2020 Season kick-off approximately two weeks prior to the suspension of all sanctioned soccer activity. BC Soccer and BCSPL Personnel have been in correspondence with the participating clubs which included a survey on feasibility of Phase 1 of the 2020 season (Spring/Summer 2020). Overall, the general consensus amongst the clubs is be able to get back to playing as quickly as responsible once the health authorities and Canada Soccer has lifted restrictions. There have been various contingency plans developed and communicated within the BCSPL stakeholders and final decisions will be made within the coming weeks/month.


Refunds that BC Soccer Affects

COVID-19 has impacted all of us individually, organizationally, and collectively as a soccer community. BC Soccer would like to inform the members, affiliated soccer clubs, and soccer community that any event-based activity where BC Soccer collects a fee for service that was scheduled to occur from March 13, 2020, has been or is in the process of being refunded. These refunds include, Tournament Sanctioning Applications, Team Travel Application/Permits, Short-term Player Permits, Referee Clinic Fees*, and Coaching Course Fees.
*Solely for Referee Clinics, individuals have also been provided the option to transfer their fee to a future course if they choose.

Further, we understand that organizations within our membership are working to plan for soccer to return at a point in the future. In doing so, we encourage those organizations to be mindful of the impacts that COVID-19 is having on people and families within their communities (i.e. potential employment insecurity, loss of income, etc.). Therefore, we suggest that any communications that an organization is sending out to its members and any decisions that are being made, acknowledges the current situation we are all facing and provides appropriate accommodations under the circumstances.


Programming Updates

With the suspension of soccer activity, there has been no physical programming delivery. Therefore, we continue to explore alternate formats and deliver models. We are pleased to advise the membership that as of this week, we will be offering the Annual Referee Refresher Clinic online to all BC Soccer registered referees. We will also be providing some simple at home individually soccer activities to keep players active during this time. Lastly, we continue to explore with Canada Soccer the ability to offer online coaching education for the community stream of coaching courses and hope to have more detailed information to share in the coming weeks.

Please continue to check the BC Soccer website for more information as we work to introduce the above initiatives.


CLICK HERE to view all the memos and informaiton BC Soccer has shared regarding the COVID-19 crisis.


About BC Soccer

BC Soccer is the provincial sport governing body with the mission to govern, promote and develop the game of soccer in British Columbia in a professional and progressive manner. Established in 1907, BC Soccer is the largest provincial sports organization (PSO) in BC and the third largest soccer-specific PSO in Canada with over 150,000 participants.  As a professional not-for-profit society and a member of Canada Soccer, BC Soccer is committed to providing the widest opportunities for existing and potential participants, as well as provide support in the most effective and appropriate way for current players, parents, volunteers, member clubs, leagues, and districts.

BC Soccer is comprised of more than 120,000 registered players, over 2,200 registered referees, and thousands of volunteer coaches, administrators, and soccer leaders. Working with its 40 member Youth Districts and 11 Adult Leagues as well as their affiliate member clubs, BC Soccer operates under the guiding principles of Professional Leadership, Passionate Service and Progressive Collaboration. In managing its relationships throughout the larger soccer community, BC Soccer’s vision is to ensure every British Columbian has the opportunity to be involved in soccer as part of a lifelong commitment to an active, healthy and involved lifestyle.