We are pleased to open registration for the upcoming season, but uncertainty remains and we are making significant changes to our program due to COVID-19. Please read this information carefully before electing to register for our upcoming season.
- We do not currently have access to sufficient facilities to conduct practice for our team. We will not be able to rent any space from the District 77 until after the 1st of the year, and we do not have any assurances that space will then be available to us. Some of the other partners we rely upon for practice space are also hesitant to rent us space due to COVID-19. We do have a small allotment of weekly practice time secured through the Lake Crystal Rec Center, but the amount is not adequate alone for us to conduct operations. We are in negotiations to lease warehouse space where practices can be conducted. We are optimistic that we will obtain space but cannot guarantee it at this time. We expect to have a decision on this in advance of our planned tryout date of November 1. If we can secure practice space, we will move ahead with tryouts. If not, we will either delay tryouts or make a final determination that conducting our season is not feasible due to the unavailability of facilities.
- We do not know how many tournaments will actually occur in our area this year, whether fans will be allowed at those tournaments that do occur and what fees might be for tournament registrations and fan entries.
- We expect that significant reductions in the number of fans allowed will be instituted for most tournaments in order to meet COVID-19 related requirements for social distancing.
- We cannot commit to hosting a tournament this year because we cannot secure facilities commitments from either the District 77 or Minnesota State University-Mankato. Considering planning requirements, the longer this situation continues, the less likely we are to host a tournament this season.
Based on those considerations, here are some of the changes we are instituting this season:
- We are suspending any of our normal program guidelines that conflict with the changes detailed below. This season simply won’t be normal and adjustments are being made to provide an opportunity to have a season.
- We are charging only $100 per participant this season. This cost should allow us to cover rental expenses for practices if we are able to secure space. If it does not cover rental, we will use cash reserves to cover the difference. The $100 fee, however, will not cover cost of tournament entries.
- We will form as many teams at all levels as our practice space availability will allow. We may have to institute more cuts than normal if needed due to practice space constraints. We hope this won’t be the case but want to be upfront about it.
- all Tournament Entry fees and spectator entry fees for this Season will be the responsibility of individual teams and families. We will provide coaches with guidance and support to help find tournaments but funding them will be up to the team. We will require payment by all players in advance in order to participate in any tournament. An exception to the above will be made for our scholarship participants. We are working with Connecting Kids to come up with a plan to provide tournament funding to our coaches for our scholarship athletes. Final details still need to be agreed upon, but Coaches will receive a tournament allotment for each scholarship athlete on their team. Non-scholarship families should expect to invest between $150-250 in tournament entry fees for the team, along with additional fees for spectators at tournaments. In some cases, the spectator fees will be incorporated into the entry fees.
- We are considering what additional requirements we need to institute to protect our participants, coaches and board members from risks associated with COVID 19. These will likely include practice facilities protocols designed to ensure we limit risk of spreading COVID such as limitations around entry to practice facilities and instituting symptom checks and certifications, potential for quarantine requirements for exposed teams and the potential to have to cease operations of an outbreak occurs. In addition, all participants will need to complete a waiver of the risks associated with COVID-19 as part of our registration process.
- To provide more flexibility to families as we seek to resolve remaining uncertainties, we are allowing registration to be completed without payment. If registrants elect to pay the $100 fee online (with Credit Card), a full refund will be issued if we aren’t able to move forward. For those that elect to register without making the payment, we will require payment in full in order to participate in tryouts. We will facilitate payments by cash or check only (no Credit Cards) when checking in for tryouts. For any groups where a tryout is not required (10 or less registrants), we will provide instructions for completing payment in advance of commencing practices.
We are disappointed by the need to make so many adjustments to our normal operations and we appreciate your understanding as we seek to make a COVID-19 affected season possible for our participants.
Dan Godfrey, President Mankato Basketball Association