COVID-19 Update

Information updated 5/11. Key points to understand are:

+ All Spring league activities have been cancelled.

+ We hope to resume play with a new season as soon as we are safely able.

+ All Spring participants will be compensated for their cancelled leagues. Credits for use in future seasons are being processed and added to player accounts.

+ If you would like to forgo credit, and contribute your league fees to help us sustain as an organization during the COVID-19 crisis, you can do so here.

Read the full message below for more information on options available.

To see a list of ways District Sports players and organizers are giving back during this period, click here.

 


District Sports Players:

We hope you are staying safe and doing well.

We wanted to thank you all for your support and kind words towards our organization during this time.

As you know, the Spring 2020 District Sports season has officially been cancelled. Our previously circulated COVID-19 updates can be found on our website.

Unless you have opted to contribute your fees back to us (thank you!), you will be receiving credit for future District Sports programming. No need to do anything else at this point – your credit will appear on your account in the coming weeks.

Please be aware of the following as it relates to the credit: 

  • Credits can be used for any District Sports league or tournament through May 2021
  • Credits will be issued at a rate of 75% of what you paid to District Sports. The 25% withheld accounts for average costs associated with games played before the pause, transaction fees, insurance payments and staff time required to organize your league.

If you’ve valued the experiences you’ve had and the relationships you’ve built through playing with us, and have the financial ability, please consider forgoing a credit from your Spring season. Contributions will go a long way to help us cover some losses and ensure that we can sustain ourselves and continue making a positive contribution to life here in D.C.

If you would like to contribute your Spring 2020 fee to District Sports, please do so here. Please be aware that this is on an individual basis, unless your team has decided to donate its entire league fee and your captain has notified us.

Be on the lookout for our social(ly distant) events via our Facebook and Instagram. We’d love to stay engaged with you all during this time that we can’t physically be together.

We sincerely thank you all for being a part of our community and we can’t wait to be back on the pitch with you.

District Sports


Third update, dated 4/17/2020.

 

All:

I’m writing with sad, but likely not unexpected news.

As of today, we’ve elected to officially cancel our Spring 2020 District Sports season. 

Our decision was made on the basis of two factors: First, Mayor Muriel Bowser recently extended the Stay-At-Home Order for DC until May 15th. Second, in light of the unfolding COVID-19 situation, a rush back to normal does not take into account the health and wellness of our players. 

What does this mean for you and your teammates?

In short, we are offering three options for all who were participating or slated to participate in the Spring 2020 season:

Option 1: Get Credit for Future District Sports Leagues  

Option 2: Apply for a Refund Due to COVID-19 Hardship  

Option 3: Opt Out of Credit to Help Sustain Our Organization 

Full explanations of all options are described below. Please read each to determine which is right for you.

Option 1: A Credit to Use in a Future Season

All Spring players and teams can receive credit toward a future season of play. 

Your credit can be used anytime between now and May 2021.
By opting to receive credit, you help us more easily absorb the losses we’ve already sustained this season and cover our overhead in the coming months, including our employees’ salaries and benefits.

If you choose this option, no further action is necessary. Your credit will be calculated based on league fees and costs, then applied to your District Sports account online (unless you choose another option). 

Option 2: A Refund for Those Who Truly Need It

We understand that there are players in our community who are experiencing their own sudden financial uncertainty and hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We have reserved as much money as we can to provide refunds to those among us who truly need it.

This option is intended only for players for whom a refund will make a difference in their immediate lives. Applying for a refund simply because you would prefer to get money back versus using a future credit will lessen the amount we have available to offer others. 

Our goal is to help out those among us who need it (e.g., community members in hard-hit service industries, those who have lost their jobs, and others experiencing acute hardship due to COVID-19), and will do so as long as our budget permits.

Applications for refunds will be accepted until April 24th. We will review and process them as quickly as we are able.

 

Option 3: Opt Out of League Credit to Help Us Sustain District Sports

As a nonprofit organization, we aren’t in this for the money. We run soccer leagues and tournaments to create positive experiences for you, while supporting community groups and initiatives that make a difference in the lives of D.C. residents. 

We know you will be ready to play again once conditions improve – whether it’s this Summer or next Fall – and we want to be here to make that happen.  

If you’ve valued the experiences you’ve had and the relationships you’ve built through playing with us, and would be willing to forgo a credit from your Spring season, it would go a long way to help us cover the operating budget for a lost season and ensure that we can continue to make positive contributions here in D.C. 

If you’d like to forgo your league credit for the Spring, please click here.

What does this mean for future seasons?

We know that you may have questions, and we promise to do our best to field them in the coming weeks. 

We promise, we’ll be back on the field as soon as it’s safe and sane to do so. The logistics of future leagues will be more flexible than in seasons past. Inevitably, registration announcements, scheduling, and planning will have to happen a lot quicker than normal. 

All league announcements are made on Facebook, Instagram, and via our mailing list. Make sure you stay up to date by following us and subscribing!

As always, thank you for being a part of our community. We miss you, we miss soccer, and we can’t wait to be back on the field with you, soon.

Sincerely,

Alex Bearman
Executive Director

——–

Second update, dated 3/24/2020.

All:

In her most recent public statement, Mayor Bowser extended closures of the DC Department of Parks and Recreation and DC Public schools until April 27th with a ban on public gatherings until the 25th. Given this guidance, we hope to resume spring play on April 27th and either extend league games into June and July or play a shortened version of the season (though we are realistic that this may change).

All teams will be kept as up to date as possible regarding changes to schedules and plans. If, ultimately, games cannot be made up, teams will be given a prorated credit (keeping in mind games you’ve already played) for use in future 2020 seasons. Whatever the outcome, you will hear from us with full detail on plans by no later than April 17th.

District Sports has been a part of the fabric of DC life for the past 14 years. We now find ourselves in the same uncertain boat as countless other small businesses and organizations, restaurants, bars, event venues, gyms, and others, and more importantly, the individuals who work in these fields.

As a nonprofit organization running community leagues, we are faced with the challenge of how to strike a balance which ensures our existence for years to come, while still fairly addressing the needs and concerns of both our players, employees (including referees) and charitable partners.

Our goal is to do right by you and your teams AND come out on the other side of this period ready and able to continue running excellent soccer programming. We have to imagine that you and yours will be more than ready to hit the field once our current situation improves. We want to still be here to make that happen.

You may have questions over the next days and weeks, especially about team fees. Our ability to provide an accurate response relies on information we are still in the process of gathering about our needs and costs related to staffing, field credits/refunds, insurance payments, and other incidentals associated with running our operation. We are committed to providing honest explanations and taking fair actions for you and your teammates, once this process is complete.

Apologies for the extended email but we hope it provides a sufficient update on where we are. Thanks for being a part of our organization and we’ll be in touch.

Alex Bearman
Executive Director

 

——–

Original message, dated 3/12/2020.

District Sports Community:

I’m writing to you with difficult news. We have been fielding many questions over the past few days regarding league play and COVID-19 (coronavirus).

Given the evolving state of affairs, both locally and nationally, we have decided to suspend all league and tournament activities for at least two weeks, starting tonight — March 12 and running through March 25.

This decision reflects our desire to take the safest course of action available at this time, in the effort to best protect both our players, and our community at large.

We know how much people look forward to games each week, but as a league where thousands of people play, we have a distinct responsibility to do our part in preventing the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). This includes recognizing that recreational soccer leagues ultimately fall into the category of non-essential activities, regardless of the size or number of people in attendance.

We will continue to reevaluate plans based on available information, as the situation regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus) develops. In the interim, we recommend players follow the guidelines for health and safety as provided by public health professionals.

Our expectation is that all leagues will still feature full seasons this Spring– with all teams playing 8 games and playoffs, just on a slightly delayed schedule.

We understand that there are many questions you may have about future schedules and specifics related to your team and league. We will be in touch with team captains soon about how we plan to move forward with your Spring leagues.

Alex Bearman
Executive Director

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