soccer 1444 for 072920

UK International soccer coach Albert Crosdale, right, explains some of the finer points of the game to one of the kids taking part in the annual UK International Soccer Camp in Enterprise on Monday, July 27. The camp, which was held this week, precedes the annual regular soccer season organized by the Wallowa Valley Youth Soccer Association. The deadline to sign up for the season is Friday, July 31.

ENTERPRISE — The deadline to sign up for this year’s Wallowa Valley Youth Soccer season is drawing near, as the last day is Friday, July 31. No late registrations will be accepted, according to Jeff Yanke, president of the soccer association.

Although there are still openings for players, volunteer coaches are in short supply, Yanke said.

“We really could use some more coaches,” he said.

If they don’t get enough, the association could be forced to cut divisions or teams, he said.

“We would really like to avoid that,” he said.

Part of the reason the association could have to cut participation is the extra guidelines imposed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, the association has lowered player-to-coach ratios to 10 to 12 players per team.

Other restrictions, Yanke said Monday, July 27, are that players and coaches must wear masks during play and maintain social distancing. He said he doesn’t know how state-imposed restrictions could change by the time practice starts.

“Masks are just one component of the overall strategy,” he said, adding that he’s still not sure if they’ll be required during play. “A lot can change in a month.”

Two weeks of practices start Monday, Aug. 31. The first games will be an all-day “jamboree” Saturday, Sept. 12, Yanke said.

This week has been the annual UK International Soccer Camp in Enterprise, where “soccer educators” — primarily from the United Kingdom — teach kids the fundamentals of soccer. The annual camp is a regular feature that precedes the local soccer season. Attendance at the camp was a bit down this year, said Jeff Fields, the association’s liaison with the soccer camp. He said there were 36 kids attending the camp, down from the usual of about 50. He said about 200 kids usually take part in the regular season.

Registration for the season can be done on the league’s website, wallowavalleysoccer.org. The cost is $40, plus a $3 surcharge to Sports Connect, the association’s online registration/payment system. Families can get a discount of $5 for each additional player.

For more information, email wallowavalleysoccer@gmail.com.

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