LUFC COVID Programming Update
May 6, 2020
Dear LUFC Families, we hope this finds you well and that your families and friends are safe and healthy. As you may be aware, the Wisconsin Youth Soccer Association (WYSA) in conjunction with the US Youth Soccer Association (USYSA) had previously made decisions to delay the start of the Spring 2020 soccer season until June 1, 2020.
On April 30, 2020, The Wisconsin Youth Soccer Association (WYSA) Board cancelled all competitions for the remainder of the 2019/20 registration year due to ongoing risks presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. While this was a difficult decision, it was made with the health and safety of players, families, spectators, coaches and officials as the primary concern.
In this communication, we will provide some additional information from WYSA relating to this decision and then share how Lakeshore United FC (LUFC) is planning on pushing ahead with our next phase of programming…. all are dependent on our state reaching the appropriate levels of safety protocols, as outlined by our state government and experts in the various infectious disease and health departments.
Additional WYSA Information
League games and other competitions at the District, State, Regional and National levels have all been cancelled for the remainder of the 2019/20 registration year (August 1-July 31). Initially, these events were postponed and there was extensive contingency planning aimed at offering limited or reduced options for play. However, ultimately, a pathway for Return to Play (RTP) was determined to be neither safe nor feasible.
WYSA will await and be actively engaged in the formulation of a safe and feasible RTP protocol based on expert guidance from numerous, relevant organizations which include but are not limited to: Centers for Disease Control, State and Local Health Departments, US Soccer and US Youth Soccer. This protocol will inform when and if teams, clubs, Districts and WYSA can return to play.
Lakeshore United FC (LUFC) Impacts
The information we are providing can be grouped into two distinct areas: financial impacts and operational impacts. While somewhat independent to discuss, they are completely interdependent; and we are hoping that with everyone’s patience and generosity, we will be able to work through this and continue to provide the highest level soccer skills training, sportsmanship and life’s lessons reinforcement, combined with camaraderie building, that you have come to expect from our organization.
To discuss this fully, our Board of Directors believes it is in the best interests of our membership to better understand the operations of LUFC. Our soccer club has approximately 1,500 players over three programs, Recreational, Academy and Select. Each group operates within the 501c(3) non-profit status of the club. The club is financially diverse and complex with almost $500,000 in annual revenues and expenses.
Additionally, here is a synopsis of how LUFC operates.
Because LUFC is a non-profit organization, it does not keep significant reserves on hand and generally works to balance its budget every year. Annually, any excess revenues are typically placed back into the general operating fund for additional program development or player scholarship opportunities.
Generally speaking, our Board of Directors works hard to keep costs low in order to promote the value of our operation, but more importantly this is done to help ensure every child that wants to play soccer has that opportunity to play.
In accordance with that philosophy, our general soccer operations revenue (fees to play) does not fully cover the operating costs of all our individual players for the Recreational, Academy or Select programs. During the year, the club hosts multiple tournaments, camps, social events and fundraisers. The net proceeds of these events are used to help cover the additional costs needed to operate the club. Put another way, those events cover the losses generated by keeping our fees to participate low.
Prior to the pandemic and Safer at Home orders, LUFC has paid out substantial fees to leagues, tournaments and general expenses outlined above. Most of this was paid out in the summer/fall of 2019. During the suspension of the spring season, in anticipation of a resumption of play at some point, LUFC has taken steps to reduce all possible costs, while keeping many programs operational where possible.
Our coaches have been an integral part of operational continuity and have created virtual training materials that have been posted to our website, and for our Select and Academy programs, have had team virtual meetings as well as other communications, and worked to keep our kids engaged and active during this challenging time.
As we continue to work to provide value, finalize this past season, and prepare for the new season, our board is offering these solutions to our membership
General Statement 1: While WSYA has canceled spring programing such as leagues, tournaments and Cups, as mentioned above, LUFC will continue to engage with our players/teams and work to provide programming through the summer as RTP is safely implemented. This includes:
General Statement 2: On a case-by-case basis, outside and in addition to what is being offered below as well as situations involving financial hardship due to the COVID situation, we will assist any member in providing a prorata refund for that portion of the spring season/training that was not provided.
General Statement 3: For families with children who intend to not return for next year’s programming, outside and in addition to what is being offered below, we will assist any member in providing a pro-rata refund for that portion of the spring season/training that was not provided.
General Statement 4: As mentioned above, we are a 501c (3) non-profit organization. We would be humbled and most appreciative if members would agree to provide their fees, or any other amount you would be willing to donate, as a charitable contribution. We would provide a receipt to document for your potential tax deduction purposes.
Recreational Program – Spring 2020 Registrations: We will apply full registration fee paid to next year’s registration. Refunds may be requested per general statements above. We will also provide a $25 discount to a summer STARS camp registration.
Recreational Program – Full Year Registrations: We will provide additional games in next year’s fall and spring seasons to make up for lost games this past spring. Refunds may be requested per general statements above. We will also provide a $25 discount to a summer STARS camp registration.
Jr Stars Program: We will provide a season this summer to offset the missed spring games. We will also provide a $25 discount to a summer STARS camp registration.
Academy Program: We will apply a $50 credit towards next year’s registration. Refunds may be requested per general statements above. We will also provide a $25 discount to a summer STARS camp registration.
Select Program: We will apply a $75 credit towards next year’s registration as well as waive the $28 tryout registration fee. Refunds may be requested per those general statements above. We will also provide a $100 discount to the summer ELITE camp registration.
Select Program – High School Boys U16 and older: We will apply full registration fee paid towards next year’s registration. Refunds may be requested per those general statements above. We will also provide a $100 discount to the summer ELITE camp registration.
Credits and discounts will be added to the registration process for this summer and next year’s programs.
It is our hope that conditions will allow us to provide late summer programming. In the meantime, we will continue the activities we have undertaken during this challenging spring timeframe. As our registrations open for later summer and fall programming, we encourage you to register early. This will allow us to plan and prepare, especially if there is a need to accommodate for varying degrees of social distancing and group activity protocols.
Until then, we are grateful for all of the support, patience and understanding everyone has shown during these difficult times. Together we will get through it and collaboratively create our ‘new normal’.
Tony Klockow, President
On behalf of and with our LUFC Board of Directors