We hope you’re doing well in these unusual times. Normally, we would be getting ready for tryouts in October, but we’ve been in a holding pattern as we await word from the State and from MetroWest, the travel league in which the LYBA teams play.
Like everything lately, the below is highly likely to change but we need to start to gather information for planning purposes.
MetroWest has just let us know they are hoping to have a shortened season, starting in January. The season would run for eight weeks, and then have the usual playoff tournament at the end, likely with no “non-league” games during the season, meaning one game per weekend per team.
The games will most likely be played under modified rules, likely with masks required, and potentially other rule changes as well (like how fall soccer is not allowing throw-ins). The state agency that oversees youth sports had their first meeting last week to discuss options for the winter. It is relying on input from various organizations to drive its decision-making process. Also, the state’s approach to winter basketball (played inside) and summer/fall basketball (played outside) will be different. High school sports will be the priority, with youth sports following the lead, similar to fall sports protocols.
Two major challenges we’re facing this winter are gym space and player/family willingness to play indoors. If the State does allow basketball games to go forward, the schools, on which we rely for the vast majority of gym space, still may not allow us to use their facilities. It may mean using private facilities, some of which may be as far as central and southeastern MA, for both practices and games. As a result, in addition to only 1 game per week, we may be limited to one practice as well.
If we have a season, the team formation process may also look different this year. A lot will depend on access to facilities, the number of families interested in playing this winter, and the number of teams we will realistically be able to support.
There may be options aside from playing in MetroWest, including a travel league with only a few surrounding towns, an in-town only league, or just skills and drills sessions/practices with some in-team-only scrimmaging. We’ve been in touch with other programs in the area to understand what they are planning to offer.
While we know it can be tough to make choices on a season given so many unknowns, we have put together a short survey on your family’s willingness to participate in winter basketball. We would greatly appreciate it if you could please fill this out by Wednesday, 10/7. With this data, along with more guidance from the State and MetroWest, we will let you know our latest thinking and any developments in the next several weeks.