COVID-19 Update (May 25th)
We hope that you all have been doing well and that you and your families have all been staying healthy and safe during these unprecedented times. Below you will find the latest update on the state of our Summer 2020 season as well as the league as a whole.
After thoroughly reviewing all of the state and local guidelines that are currently in place, speaking with the Orange County Health Agency (OCHA), and talking it over as a family, we have decided to further postpone the start of our next season. Instead of having practices begin on June 10th/11th as originally planned when we postponed the season back on April 1st, practices will now begin on September 30th/October 1st. First games will be pushed back to October 10th and the last day of the season will now be on December 19th. While the situation continues to change as new information surfaces every day, we are basing the revised start dates on the state of California’s four stage reopening plan (i.e. the Resilience Roadmap) which states that sports can resume play in stage three (possibly stage four for indoor sports according to an update released by the city of Orange on May 19th [see pg. 16]). While there is some variance from county to county in terms of what can open when and the speed in which counties can move through these four stages, at the time being Orange County is still in stage two, and while there have been reports that the county could be moving into stage three in a few weeks, the overall consensus seems to be that it will most likely be a matter of months before the county is able to moves into this next stage. With this being the case, we have decided to err on the side of caution and start the season at a later date versus trying to start too early, which in turn would most likely end up in us just having to postpone the season once again. Plus, even if we were cleared to start in a few weeks, both of the gyms we use for practices and games are either still closed or only offering their services to small groups and/or for private training, so needless to say starting the season in the near future is not an option. As we move through the Summer, we will continue to closely monitor the situation as well as continue to formulate contingency plans should the season need to be further postponed. If the county is able to safely move into stage three and there is clear guidance in place for youth sports leagues to follow before Fall hits, we may consider starting the season at an earlier date (i.e. August), but for the time being we feel that it is ultimately safer and more realistic to aim for the aforementioned start dates. If everything goes as planned, team assignments and practice schedules will be finalized on September 26th/27th and you will be receiving a phone call from us on on one of those days letting you know whose team your player is on and what night/time they practice. We will make sure to keep you all updated should any changes occur in the meantime.
Now that the season has been further postponed, we are sure that many of you once again have questions regarding things such as the season timeline, age group/team placement, sign-ups, and other things of that nature, all of which we have tried our best to address below (most of the following information mirrors what we posted in our last update).
Season Timeline: From now on we will be referring to this upcoming season as our Fall 2020 season instead of our Summer 2020 season. By forgoing our Summer season, we hope to get ahead in terms of the timing of our seasons and to be able to resume our normal three-season per year format next year. Players who are currently registered for Summer 2020 do not need to re-register for Fall 2020 (the name change is more a formality than it is us signaling the start of a new season).
Age Group/Team Placement: While the majority of the players who are currently enrolled in the league are still set to be placed on a team in the age group that they signed up for, it is important to note that some players (more now than when we posted our last update) may be asked to move up to an older age group this season due to them having a birthday between now and the start of the season and/or them going into a higher grade this Fall (i.e. if you have a player who is currently 8 years old and about to turn 9 [or who is already 9 years old] and/or in 3rd grade and about to go into 4th grade, or a player who is currently 11 years old and about to turn 12 [or who is already 12 years old] and/or in 6th grade and about to go into 7th grade, this may apply to them). All players’ age group placements will be considered on a case by case basis and all players will be placed in the age group that we feel suits them best based on their age, grade level, size, strength, skill, experience, and maturity level. No decisions like these will be made until it gets closer to the start of the season and we are in fact cleared to start the season as planned. We just wanted to give those of you who have players that fit the descriptions outlined above and who were planning to have the Summer season be your players’ last season in the 8U/11U a heads up so that you are prepared to have your players move up if deemed necessary. Even if the Summer season were to have happened as planned, the players described above were still going to be asked to move up to an older age group this Fall seeing that they were still going to age and/or go into a higher grade level.
- Sign-Ups: Once we have finished restructuring all of the age groups, we anticipate that we will have room to take a limited number of sign-ups. Since we don’t plan on doing this until it gets closer to the start of the season and we are in fact cleared to start the season as planned, our plan is to hold off on taking sign-ups until Monday, September 7th. On that day, we will send out an update about the league as a whole, and if we are cleared to start the season as planned, we will post the link to sign-up for the season and release an official count of how many openings there are in all three age groups. Players who are currently on the wait-list and still wish to play this Fall will be given first priority to sign-up if there are enough spots open in the age group that they are wait-listed for (unless they fit the description of the players mentioned above who will be too old and/or in too high of a grade level to play in the age-group that they are wait-listed for). Seeing that we do anticipate a small number of new players to sign up for the season, we will be having an evaluation/sign-up day on Saturday, September 12th at the gym at Covenant Christian School in Orange (1855 N. Orange-Olive Rd. Orange, CA 92865) at the times posted below to give all of those players a chance to have their skill levels evaluated and to get fitted for their uniforms. If you have a player currently enrolled in the league who has never played for us before (i.e. this season is going to be their first season playing for us) it is mandatory for them to attend this evaluation/sign-up day because at that point in time over six months will have gone by since we last saw your player, so there is a chance that after we evaluate them again their evaluation score may differ from the one they received the first time that we evaluated them (six months is a long time to be away from the game for a lot of players). Returners are also encouraged to attend the evaluations so that they can have their skill levels re-evaluated after a six month absence from the league and so that they can get in some scrimmage time before the season starts. It should be noted that the evaluation times posted below are tentative seeing that we may have to hold multiple evaluation sessions throughout the course of the day in order to limit the number of players that are in the gym at once so that there is enough space for the players to follow any and all of the physical distancing guidelines that may be in place at that time.
Although there are currently no official guidelines in place for youth sports leagues to follow upon reopening at this time, we suspect that there is a good chance that the league (and youth sports in general) will look a lot different once we are able to resume play. The growing consensus among the youth basketball community is that in order for leagues to reopen, things such as conducting practices and games with no fans, administering temperature checks for all players, coaches, and staff before all practices and games, requiring all coaches, staff, and parents to wear masks/face coverings while in the gym and/or on the property of a practice or game location, limiting the number of players that can be on the court at once and/or having players practice physical distancing while in the gym, and carrying out enhanced sanitation procedures before, between, and after all practices and games may be required. Nothing has been set in stone yet, but we still wanted to give you all a heads up that these guidelines are being considered because at the end of the day our number one priority is the health and safety our players, their families, and the Orange County Shooting Stars community as a whole, which means that we will be following any and all guidelines that are in place once we are cleared to start the season and that we are already preparing for how we will follow, carry out, and enforce all of these guidelines.
While all of this is very unfortunate and we hate to disappoint everyone who was looking forward to the season starting up, as previously mentioned, at this point in time our number one priority has to be the health and safety our players, their families, and the Orange County Shooting Stars community as a whole. Once we are able to return, we are committed to providing all of our players with a fun and safe environment to learn and enjoy the game of basketball as well as what we expect to be one of our best if not our best season yet. We appreciate all of you being understanding during this time and before we sign off, we want to say thank you to all of you who have reached out over the past few weeks. We have missed everyone very much during these times and it’s been nice to hear from so many of you and to hear that the players are still excited to play once the season is able to start. This probably goes without saying, but if they haven’t been doing so already, please make sure that your players are making use of this time to work on their games! We’ve had a few families send us videos of their players practicing at home, which have all been great to see. If you’re not sure what your player should be working on, please feel free to contact us as we would be happy to send over some drills for your player to do.
In closing, we want to remind you all that all of us are part of a very special community that we are very proud of and that at the end of the day we are all in this together. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Stay safe, be well, and we will see you all in the Fall. Thanks!
Evaluation Times: (September 12th)
- 8U: 1:00pm – 2:30pm
- 11U: 3:00pm – 4:30pm
- 13U: 5:00pm – 6:00pm
- Retired 8th Grader Scrimmage: 6:00pm – 7:00pm