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To the coaches, players, and parents of the Mountain West Youth Football League (MWYFL).
The MWYFL board of directors and town representatives have made the unanimous decision to cancel the 2020 youth tackle football season. Please know that this decision did not come lightly, as we love the game and understand its positive impact on the youth in our communities. Numerous community, school district, and state officials were contacted on multiple occasions in order to develop a possible way forward during this trying time. However, there was just too much uncertainty within and between communities related to the COVID-19 issue to be able move forward on planning for competition this year.
The decision was made to cancel the season now so that our communities could move forward with planning alternative activities for our players. We recognize that it is socially and physically critical to keep our young people active and we do not want to continue to delay what we consider to be the inevitable decision to cancel the season. Moving forward, individual towns will be able to structure activities that will fit with the unique elements of their own schools, recreation departments, and values.
The primary concern, as always, is the safety of our young players. The MWYFL felt that even with the best-recommended protocols in place, it would have been impossible to guarantee the safety of every player throughout the season. Although USA Football and other youth organizations have provided some guidelines for safe play, the immense burden of implementing those complex recommendations would fall on the coaches and parent volunteers and be exceedingly difficult to implement.
The recommendations include the continuous equipment cleaning, daily monitoring and recording player temperatures, maintaining small player groups, purchase of additional supplies and equipment, etc., all of which would be a nearly impossible task to manage. Although a few town reps indicated that they had the manpower to manage the stringent requirements, the great majority could not commit to such an effort. Consequently, continuing on this season would not be worth it if even one of our players became seriously ill.
A second consideration was that the league has been unable to secure assurances from the great majority of the local governments, recreation departments, and school districts that facilities will be available for practice and games. In addition, there is still no consensus among the school districts about returning to regular classroom programming. The dates when such decisions will be made will be too late in the summer for the league to complete preparations for a 2020 season. A final issue that arose is the possibility that several of our communities may not even be able to field a team due to possible reduced rosters associated with parental health concerns about the virus and their children’s safety.
With all of the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 issue, and the continuously changing regulations and recommendations, we believe that it is in the best interest of our players, parents, coaches, and volunteers to make this decision now. The safety and well being of every person involved in the Mountain West Youth Football League is our highest priority, and it is not in their best interest to move forward at this time.
We are grateful for your continued support, and look forward to resuming competition in 2021 to play the sport that we all love so much. Please feel free to call Cliff Colia at 970.319.4811 or Bill Zambelli at 970.309.6353 if you have any questions or concerns.