Black Press file photo

Black Press file photo

Space, regulations biggest hurdles to indoor soccer season

Ponoka players may be able to join ‘mini-leagues’

Ponoka soccer players may be able to participate in an indoor season this fall and winter, although it would come with many added regulations and involve a lot of travel.

“There are some possibilities for an indoor season, but it would be heavily regulated,” said Ponoka Minor Soccer Association (PMSA) president Rob McArthur in a phone interview Sept. 8.

Regulations include capped numbers for particular cohorts to limit cross contact between athletes and participants, symptom screening, and other precautions designed to curb the spread of COVID-19.

“Our biggest hindrance is facilities,” he said.

For six to seven years, Ponoka’s indoor teams have been running out of school gymnasiums, but now during COVID-19, when no outside users are allowed in schools, McArthur says PMSA is “up the creek.”

In a letter to soccer families, McArthur explained that other central Alberta soccer associations are facing the same predicament.

“Every soccer association within central Alberta has extremely limited availability of space for play due to the prohibition of school space.”

PMSA operates under the governing body of Central Alberta Soccer Association (CASA).

McArthur says CASA has been “working tirelessly to come up with solutions that would be equally beneficial to everyone.”

Currently, the possibility of mini-leagues is being looked at. The mini-leagues would run out of Camrose, Red Deer, and maybe even Millet, and would start in late November.

Under that format, Ponoka teams would travel every Saturday, for limited training time and games.

The mini-leagues would follow strict Alberta Health Services protocols regarding cohorts and health checklists.

Due to limited space, these leagues would only be open to U11, U13, U15 and U17 age groups.

“Our hope is that by the new year, regulations will have loosened allowing us back into school where we could potentially run shortened seasons for our U7 and U9 age groups.”

PMSA typically runs a spring season and fall/winter indoor season, although the spring season was cancelled, and the association decided against trying to hold a shortened summer season.

A post on their Facebook page stated, “Our programming, our volunteer base, and our coaches are simply not prepared to run an altered season at a wholly different time of year.”

Ponoka has put together teams for an indoor season for the past 10 years.

The fall/winter season is under Central Alberta Youth Soccer League-Indoor (CAYSLI) in cooperation with the Red Deer City Soccer Association (RDCSA) and CASA.

As the indoor soccer facility in Camrose is the only one in Ponoka’s area, the indoor season is run in coordination with Red Deer, as Red Deer has a few facilities, including the Collicutt Centre.

READ MORE: ‘World-class’ multi-sport facility is in Ponoka’s back yard

Last year, about 85 to 90 Ponoka players from U7 to U17 participated in the indoor season, and McArthur says it keeps growing each year.

“What our association is doing now is gauging the interest in participating in these mini-leagues,” said McArthur.

A pay-later registration is opening this Friday, Sept. 11 at www.ponokasoccer.ca. There will be no upfront payment, and all interested players are asked to register.

“We need an accurate picture of who we have available to play and coach before we can commit teams to this new regulated structure and format.”

For more information, email president@ponokasoccer.ca.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CoronavirusLocal Sports

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Heath, Dr. Deena Hinshaw. Black Press file photo
COVID claims 25 more Albertans

100-year-old among those who died

An x-ray tech demonstrates the new equipment in use. (Photo Submitted)
New diagnostic equipment now operational at Sylvan Lake AACS

In August it was announced that Stephen and Jacqueline Wuori donated $850,000 to AACS

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, which causes COVID-19, emerge from the surface of cells isolated from a patient in the U.S. and cultured in a lab in a 2020 electron microscope image. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-HO, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories
Alberta adds 463 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday

The central zone has 818 active cases

As of Friday, Alberta has under 10,000 active COVID-19 cases. (Image courtesy CDC)
Alberta identifies 573 new COVID-19 cases, 13 deaths on Saturday

There are currently 9,727 active cases of the virus in the province

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

Red Fraggle, one of Jim Henson Company’s Fraggle Rock characers, is shown at Time To Play Holiday Show, Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2010, in New York. The Jim Henson Company says production has officially started in Calgary on a reboot of the original 1980s children’s puppet series, which was filmed in Toronto.THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Mark Lennihan
‘Fraggle Rock’ children’s puppet series reboot starts production in Calgary

A spokesperson says the new series will stream on Apple TV plus

Black Press file photo
Wetaskiwin RCMP investigate fatal pedestrian collision

A 37-year-old man from Maskwacis has died in hospital as a result of his injuries.

A registered nurse prepares a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in Halifax on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. Yukon’s Minister of Community Services, John Streiker, says he’s outraged that a couple from outside the territory travelled to a remote community this week and received doses of COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan-POOL
Couple charged after travelling to Yukon to get COVID-19 vaccine

The maximum fine under the emergency measures act is $500, and up to six months in jail

Metis Nation of B.C. President Clara Morin Dal Col poses in this undated handout photo. The Metis Nation of B.C. says Dal Col has been suspended from her role as president. The Metis Nation of B.C. says Dal Col has been suspended from her role as president. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Metis Nation of B.C. *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Metis Nation of B.C. suspends president, citing ‘breach’ of policies, procedures

Vice-president Lissa Smith is stepping in to fill the position on an acting basis

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks in the in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Payette shouldn’t get same benefits as other ex-governors general: O’Toole

Former governors general are entitled to a pension and also get a regular income paid to them for the rest of their lives

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Blackfalds RCMP investigate fatal collision

Preliminary investigation revealed a south bound pickup truck collided with an eastbound car

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

Most Read