For the second consecutive year, the Long Island Junior Soccer League has been forced not to hold its annual convention.

In its place, however, there are plans to hold a Virtual Summit on the weekend of March 13-14. This digital event will kick off the 2021 spring season with two days of soccer-related content.

“The convention has routinely served as the bridge between our fall and spring seasons, as well as, the ceremonial kickoff of soccer on Long Island in the spring for 37 years,” LIJSL managing director Steve Padaetz said. “With the fluidness of the COVID-19 pandemic and uncertainty to hosting an in-person event, the league wanted to ensure that we could continue providing all levels of our membership with the engagement that they look forward to each spring.”

Over both days attendees can expect meetings, interactive forums, workshops and educational presentations, among other events. Summit components are designed for diverse aspects of the league’s membership: players, families, coaches, club administrators and club presidents.

“If the past year has taught us anything, it is the ability to adapt to virtual events and presentations,” Padaetz said. “We, as a league, are eager to offer the Virtual Summit to our membership this March.”

Until last year, the LIJSL had held its annual convention since 1983.

Front Row Soccer editor Michael Lewis has covered 13 World Cups (eight men, five women), seven Olympics and 25 MLS Cups. He has written about New York City FC, New York Cosmos, the New York Red Bulls and both U.S. national teams for Newsday and has penned a soccer history column for the Lewis, who has been honored by the Press Club of Long Island and National Soccer Coaches Association of America, is the former editor of He has written seven books about the beautiful game and has published ALIVE AND KICKING The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers. It is available at