ERSL 2021 Season Plan Update
We continue to develop our plan for a 2021 season and while the province-wide lockdown and its subsequent extension have set us back a number of weeks in our projected timeline we want to share our current plan as best we can. More information will be forthcoming (including at the EODSA Town Hall on May 2) as we move out of lockdown and have a better picture of the return-to-play landscape within all of our health units.
Season Calendar and Fees
The ERSL plans to open the 2021 season with a 6-week schedule. The start date remains to be determined. Teams who wish to participate in this 6-week ‘season’ will register with a fee of $177.00. This is half of the approved $354.00 Team Fee for 2021. Once first season has begun, we will open registration for a second 6-week ‘season’ whose start date will be determined based on the end-date of season 1 and any changes to existing restrictions. The registration fee for this period will also be $177.00.
Your Club Membership fee of $300.00 will be due at the same time as you enter your first teams with us. Clubs can elect to enter teams in both season 1 and season 2, season 1 only, or season 2 only. Bubbles will be maintained as much as possible across seasons as currently required by health restrictions.
We will remain flexible at every step of this process to adjust to any changes to return to play and health guidelines which may impact the format of our competitions.
Game Formats and Roster Sizes
The ERSL conducted a survey in March with all of our Member Clubs seeking input on game formats and roster sizes based on a 50 player bubble. The results determined the following game formats for the 2021 season:
- U9/10: 7v7 in a 4 team bubble with a roster of 12
- Regional: 11v11 in a 3 team bubble with a roster of 16
The following divisions had a split-vote on formats. For that reason, there will be an additional survey sent to EODSA Club Technical Directors (TDs) that narrows choices for formats to the top 2 answers we received. The results of this survey will help to determine final game formats for:
- 7v7 in a 4 team bubble with a roster of 12; OR
- 9v9 in a 4 team bubble with a roster of 12.
- District Competitive U13-U18
- 9v9 in a 4 team bubble with a roster of 12; OR
- 11v11 in a 3 team bubble with a roster of 16.
Should the 50 player bubble restriction be lifted, or expanded, we will revisit the game formats and roster sizes for all divisions with you at that time in order to provide the best competition we can while respecting protocols and restrictions.
Your Team Entries
EODSA District & Development
The survey being sent to EODSA TDs which will help us finalize game formats in the divisions listed above will also ask about your Club’s intentions to enter teams in our District Competitive and Development divisions. This will be a key piece in planning discussions with EODSA Technical Advisory Group (TAG). The survey will be sent to TDs in the coming days and a TAG meeting will follow shortly after the established deadline for the submission of responses.
Clubs who have earned team spots at the Regional level for 2021 have now been approved by Ontario Soccer and entered to the ERSL website. You can view these teams either in the ‘Games > Standings’ section of the website (for all teams in the divisions) or from your Club account under ‘Club > Roster Report’ (for just teams within your Club).
If you know for sure at this time that you will not be entering a team in a Regional spot that your Club has earned you may withdraw the team now, directly on the website. If you are unsure about your Regional team entries, there is no need to make a decision right now – this can be addressed once we establish team entry deadlines.
EODSA U13 Regional team entries have been provided to us by the EODSA. If you wish to enter additional teams in these divisions, please contact the EODSA directly and they may be added.
Regional divisions as currently presented on the website will be broken down into their required smaller bubbles once we have team entries finalized.
Team rosters will be limited to the number of players outlined in the roster sizes listed for each division above. New players can be rostered on any date as long as they have not already participated in another player bubble, and if you have space on your roster to add them.
If a player is removed from the roster after the season has begun they will remain attached to your team, occupying one of your roster spots, and a new player cannot be added in their place. This ensures that the 50 player cohort is maintained from season start to finish. There will be no play-ups or guest players permitted for the duration of the season unless restrictions change.
For Development teams, your rosters will be changed from a Club roster to Team roster in order to facilitate implementation of these restrictions within our system. Players will need to be uploaded to our website by Team Officials instead of Club Officials for 2021. They will follow the same steps as U13-U18 teams in this regard.
In order to give an optimal number of games during each 6-week season we will use the secondary game days (Saturday or Sunday) as outlined in our contingency plans for the season; especially in those bubbles with an odd number of teams.
Rules around rescheduling games will be relaxed in order to accommodate any conflicts presented by a secondary game day and limited roster sizes with no play-ups – participating teams will be given greater flexibility overall to rearrange their schedule with their opponents if needed. For this reason, the traditional Game Reschedule Policy with regards to blackout dates, reschedules related to conflicts with other competitions and team choice reschedules will not be employed in 2021.
Any competition that the ERSL organizes will be in line with all Public Health regulations and OS Return to Play Policy. Additional deadlines such as team activation and home field assignments will be established to align with registration deadlines and season-start dates. As we learn more we will share more.