A group of volunteers has had its request approved to run an adult co-ed soccer league this fall.
“With COVID-19 this year, most of the soccer seasons were cancelled in our area,” said Joe Estrela, one of the organizers. “Everyone was discouraged that they couldn’t play soccer, especially the hardcore soccer players.”
Estrela and three other volunteers, Nuno Francisco, Darnell Bernardo and Rick Pereria, came together to organize the six-on-six recreational co-ed league, which they hope will begin play in early September for six to eight weeks with a one-day playoff tournament in October.
“We’re running this as a purely recreational fun league,” said Estrela. “It’ll be a chance for all of these players to get out and kick the ball around.”
The league will be following Ontario Soccer’s return to play guidelines.
COVID-19 safety protocols in place for the players will include sanitizing the ball, kick-ins instead of throw-ins, no head balls or any other skin contact, distancing on the bench, and only six people per team on the field at a time.
The referees will be using digital whistles.
Spectators will be limited to one a player.
Online registration information can be found on the simcoethunder.ca website.
Registration fee is $80.
There is a limit of eight teams, with a maximum of 10 players a team. Teams will be decided through a player draft.
Games will be held on Friday evenings and Saturday mornings on smaller fields in the community.
Estrla thanked the Simcoe Elite Soccer Club, the Simcoe and District Youth Soccer Club and Norfolk County for helping with creating the league.