Last year at this time, nobody could have or would have predicted that in April 2021 we’d still be working our way out of the pandemic that had shut down the United States and basically canceled summer 2020.
Similarly, right now, nobody can foresee what this summer will look like in terms of pandemic rules, or if we will even still be in one. But unlike last year at this time, we inch our way toward the summer months with much more optimism that things could be more normal than not.
For kids involved in youth football, summer often means attending camps or joining leagues. In order to be part of them, you have to register ahead of time. For most camps and leagues, the “ahead of time” to register is now.
However, unlike a normal spring, this year there could still be some doubt in minds as to whether or not the camp or league will take place.
If you’re one of those “wait and see” types and prefer to hold off until you’re positive the activity will really happen before registering your child, just realize that other parents are probably not. What this means is that slots are being taken and could result in your child being put on a waiting list once you finally do decide to sign them up. This happened to me in the spring when I delayed signing my youngest up for flag football to make sure the league would actually play. It did … he didn’t. He never got off the waiting list.
My guess is that whatever the fee is to register your child now, the majority of it will be refunded if the activity gets shut down because of a re-surge of the virus. It may not be a complete refund – sometimes there is a nonrefundable $20 administrative fee -- but it will probably be a large enough one to warrant taking the chance and signing your child up now to guarantee them a spot.
We all hope that summer 2021 looks more like summer 2019. That probably included your child attending a football activity of some type. The best way to ensure they can again is to get them signed up on time.
And remember, for most camps and leagues, that sign-up time is now!
Jon Buzby has been involved in and writing about youth sports for the past 30 years with perspectives as a parent, coach and board member. Jon is an award-winning writer and his latest book, “Coaching Kids Made Easier,” is available on Amazon. Send comments or future blog topics you'd like to see to JonBuzby@hotmail.com and follow him @YouthSportsBuzz on Twitter.
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