By Michael Lewis
In an unprecedented and proactive move, the Long Island Junior Soccer League has canceled its 38th annual convention, which was scheduled to take place this coming weekend.
The league of directors cited series concerns from the recent outbreak of the Coronavirus. The convention, which has been held at the Huntington Hilton in Melville, N.Y. since 1990, has attracted in the neighborhood of 10,000-12,000 people each year. The LIJSL holds its Hall of Fame and Volunteer of the Year dinner on Fridays and then the convention proper on Saturdays and Sundays.
In a statement posted on the LIJSL website (www.LIJSLsoccer.com) on Tuesday morning, the league said:
“We have continued to monitor directives and information from both government authorities and municipal agencies regarding the escalating COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease) outbreak. With the recent confirmations of cases here on Long Island, and with the health and well-being of all participants; membership, clinicians, exhibitors, guests, League volunteers and staff, we have made the decision to cancel this weekend’s Long Island Junior Soccer League annual convention in its’ entirety.”
The activities that have been cancelled included the Hall of Fame and Volunteer Awards Dinner on Friday night, sportsmanship presentations, coaches’ meetings, college forum, LIJSL Academy/PDP Meeting, technical seminars, AED course and 4 v 4 Coaching Education Course.
“This is the first such time that the event has been canceled in its 38 years,” the LIJSL said in a statement. “Please give us time to respond to some of the questions that this decision will surely initiate regarding specific distribution of award presentations, potential rescheduling of meetings, etc.
“Thank you again for your understanding in what was a difficult but proactive, correct decision.”
The convention long has been a famous staple of the league. Usually held in early March, it has marked the kickoff of the spring soccer season on Long Island.