Dear BPW Community,
After very serious consideration and maintaining our commitment to our mission statement putting the safety of our athletes first, the BPW Executive Board has decided to cancel the 2020 season. Please know that we do not make the decision lightly and have evaluated all possible scenarios for this season to be a success. Each scenario continues to end with a less than satisfying result for the children and families of our community. We join some of our neighboring towns, New Milford, Bethel, Danbury and Pomperaug along with many Southern Pop Warner towns and the remaining states in the New England Region who have already cancelled their season. We make this decision first and foremost with the safety of our participants and volunteers in mind in addition to the well-being of our program.
Despite the CIAC’s recommendation to attempt to play fall sports, it is not a full approval from the state. The CT Department of Health has been consistent that football (and all high risk sports including Cheer) should not be played in the fall and it does not appear that they are going to change their position. We feel that the continued disagreement between the CIAC and the DPH is sending mixed messages to everyone and is not likely to end well.
Additionally, the proposed restrictions and timeline that the CIAC has laid out significantly limits the children’s ability to actually perform football and cheer skills. It also lays out a very tight timeline to return to full play, which at a youth level, concerns the Board as we have limited hours to practice during the week.
Our concern is that we get started and have the season cancelled, which can happen any day as we have seen with Danbury. We feel by cancelling the season now, it may give children the opportunity to pursue other activities that have a higher likelihood of not getting cancelled. It has been a long 2020 and we realize this is not what any of us wanted, we hope that you understand and respect the decision and will come back ready to work in 2021.
To the 8th graders and your parents, I am especially sorry. I know you were looking forward to your last year in the program. Those of you who started out as Tiny Mite football players and cheerleaders thinking one day you would be the big kids on the field, I feel terrible that this season will not happen. We just hope that your experience in the program has been a positive one and know that a new chapter awaits you up at BHS! Just because we lost the season, none of our Pop Warner participants careers are over.
For those that have paid for registration, we will determine the most economical way for us to issue a refund of your registration, minus any processing fees that may have been charged by Blue Sombrero. Despite not having a season, BPW still incurs expenses, we will be discussing how we can do some fundraising activities between now and next season and will be keeping the community up to date with ways to stay involved.
While we are not going to offer a flag alternative, we will look to potentially hold a skills camp before the weather turns too cold. There is some talk of a potential spring football season, which if the state is comfortable with, we would investigate participating in. It would be an abbreviated season but at least a chance for us to get back out there before the fall. Once we know more, we will share it with the community.
Again, we are sorry and appreciate everyone’s patience through this very difficult time. If anyone has any questions, please feel free to reach out to any of our Board members. Our contact information is on the website.
Brookfield Pop Warner Executive Board