Immediate Suspension of League Play in response to COVID-19

March 16, 2020 6:24 PM

by APA Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill

Immediate Suspension of League Play in response to COVID-19

March 16, 2020 6:24 PM

by APA Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill


 

After much deliberation and discussion with players, host locations, the national office and members at the health department, APA Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill has decided that our best course of action to maintain the integrity of our league is to suspend league play for a period of two weeks March 16 @ 6pm - March 30 @ 6pm and postpone our Team Captain’s Tournament. We have not come to this decision lightly and regret the hardships that it will place on many of our host locations and their staff. As a business owner myself, I believe it comes down to our social responsibility to help with efforts to flatten the curve on spread of COVID-19 and protect our members in the best way possible. We will continue to monitor the situation, work with the leaders at APA, and keep up with developments on the local level. If we need to extend the postponement of League play, we will let you know through email and the League’s Mobile App.

With the suspension of play, there will be NO makeup match requirements placed on teams. When we resume play it will be with a shortened remainder of the spring session. The APA National Office has already agreed to loosen player eligibility requirements for the Spring Session and any annual play that is scheduled to end at the conclusion of the Spring Session. Please continue to bear with us as this has been an extremely fluid situation and we will continue to update everyone as we have additional answers.  

To all of you that have reached out and shared your opinions, thank you. Your input on both sides of this situation have been extremely helpful. As a community, we are all in this together and I appreciate each of you and your support.  

APA is still evaluating options related to the Poolplayer Championships. We will update you as soon as possible when more information on the event is available. 

Please be safe, and continue to do whatever you can to minimize the risk to yourself and your loved ones. 

If you have questions or concerns, please send those to us at info@apa-raleigh.com and we will respond to each of those as quickly as possible.

Sincerely,

Don Ward, League Operator

APA Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill

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As promised, I want to keep all of you informed. This morning we were able to speak with our local Health Department, and they are asking that we comply with the CDC recommendation of not gathering groups of more than 50 people. While they emphasized that it is only a recommendation and not a mandate, we know that these recommendations are not created without careful thought and consideration. With that request, I am in talks with the National Office. We are trying to determine if there is a feasible solution that ensures that we are positioned to meet the expectations by our health officials. Once we have made a decision, we will let everyone know as quickly as possible. To maintain access to the most up to date information, we encourage you to install the mobile app and use the newsfeed. As we work towards a solution we are also interested in hearing the new government guidelines that are supposed to be published today. Please bear with us as we work through this unprecedented event.

Any member that has unsubscribed to emails from APA Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill will not receive our notifications, please share this information with your teammates.

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Since our earlier communication, we have received thoughtful insight from many of you. We appreciate your input, and it is one of many factors we are using to determine our best course of action. As we shared earlier, the situation is fluid, and as recommendations and mandates change, so will our response. Earlier this evening, the CDC changed its recommendation to groups of 50 people or less but also noted that this recommendation was not meant to supersede local recommendations. At this time I have spoken with the National Office and am waiting to hear back from the Health Department. Once we have all the facts, we will inform everyone of any changes that this new information brings about. You can expect to have another update by noon tomorrow, Monday, March 16, 2020. 

We appreciate your patience as we work to ensure that we are thoughtful in our decision-making process as to how we navigate the recommendations put forth by our local and national health and government officials.   

As always, if you have any questions or concerns please reach out to us!

Thank you again,

Don Ward, League Operator

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Members of APA Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill,

I would like to take this opportunity to address some of your concerns surrounding COVID-19, update everyone on the current status of league play, inform you of some changes that are to take place immediately, and make some recommendations as we move forward. I understand that people are concerned, and while this is a time that everyone must make thoughtful decisions based on their own personal situation, many of our public health officials are reminding people this is not a time to panic. 

Over the last week we have been in constant communication with the APA National Office, who is helping with guidance and recommendations, they are also working with us at every turn by allowing  modifications to national rules and local bylaws as needed. The APA National Office has a team of senior executives who are taking input from local, national and world authorities and working with us at APA Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill to implement their recommendations while following all mandates as well. We have also spoken with our host locations who are working in their facilities to ensure that they are disinfected for league play. 

After talking with our host locations, the APA National Office and considering recommendations from many different government agencies on all levels, we are going to continue with our regularly scheduled league play with some caveats. 

  1. We have requested and received approval to reduce the required number of matches for established players from 6 to 4. This will be in effect for all players in spring session.
  2. Replays will be allowed throughout the remainder of the regular session. Not extending into playoffs.
  3. If a team is unable to field 4 players in a given match, contact the League Office and you will be granted the ability to replay twice. Please consider splitting the cost of multiple replays between all players on the team. 
  4. If a team needs to forfeit a match because they have players out due to COVID-19 related issues, contact the League Office and the team will receive a discount so that others do not have to cover the cost of that forfeit.
  5. Makeups will be granted for any team that does not feel comfortable going to league due to COVID-19 and teams will have until April 19, 2020 at 5pm to turn in their makeups and team fees.
  6. As of Saturday evening, Governor Cooper issued an executive order banning gatherings of more than 100 people. In order to comply with this order, some teams in divisions with more than 10 teams will be receiving a forced bye each week. We will be reaching out to Division Reps and Team Captains to let them know if they are affected by this.

The absolute bottom line is that we do not want anyone uncomfortable going to league or feeling any pressure to do so. We ask that all players try to understand that everyone has to make the best decision they can based on their own situation.

At this time, we must insist that anyone who is elderly, a caretaker for the elderly, Immunocompromised, may be ill for any reason including "allergies", and anyone who has traveled to high risk areas or events stay home out of an abundance of caution while this virus runs its course. For those of you that have traveled to one of the areas mentioned, we ask that you do not return to league for at least 14 days after your return. At the request of the Health Department, if you or anyone residing in your home tests positive for or is quarantined for COVID-19, it is imperative that you inform the League Office so that we can take the necessary precautions for others in our league.  Remember the best way to protect yourself is by washing your hands thoroughly, not touching your face, and refraining from shaking opponents hands for the short term. A simple nod and wishing your opponent good luck is more than acceptable given the circumstances we are facing. 

Please keep in mind that this situation is fluid and as things change so will our response. The National Office is already considering additional adjustments that will allow us to be prepared to respond as the situation changes, please do not hesitate to contact us at the League Office (919) 578-4758 or info@apa-raleigh.com

Sincerely,


Don Ward, League Operator


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