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What you need to know about COVID-19: September 24, 2020
Jubilee Trophy, Challenge Cup competitions will each involve four teams when they kick off their delayed seasons later this month
It’s the latest the two premiere soccer leagues have kicked off their respective seasons, but the Johnson Insurance Challenge Cup and Breen’s Jubilee Trophy circuits are poised to finally open their 2020 campaigns at the end of the month.
Newfoundland and Labrador Soccer Association president Doug Redmond confirmed both the Challenge Cup men’s league and Jubilee Trophy women’s operation will each go with four teams this summer.
Joining the three-time defending champion Holy Cross Kirby Group Crusaders in Challenge Cup are Feildians, who lost 1-0 to Holy Cross in last year’s league final, St. Lawrence Laurentians and C.B.S.
Paradise is not back in Challenge Cup this summer.
As for the Jubilee Trophy league, joining Holy Cross Avalon Ford Crusaders, the four-time defending league champions, in the circuit are Feildians, C.B.S. and a new adult squad from St. John’s. Mount Pearl and a pair of under-17 age group teams from St. John’s are not returning.
Feildians finished fourth in the Canadian championship played in St. John’s last fall. The Holy Cross men placed seventh at nationals.
The 2020 soccer season will see one minor change as a result of COVID-19, and that involves corner kicks.
On corners, the offensive team can have four players inside the 18-yard box, while the defending team can have five, counting the keeper.
“The game,” Redmond said, “for the most part is normal except for corner kicks. On corners, you could have as many as 22 people in a confined space.
“Everyone is conscious of the social regulations. And everyone just wants the game to be as normal as possible.”
There was some discussion as to whether throw-ins would be permitted, so as to limit the number of players touching the ball. Redmond said they will be allowed.
“It’s a fluid situation,” he said. “A lot of these things could change as we go further into the season, and we get more information.”
Redmond said this 2020 season is “by far” the latest the NLSA has opened senior men’s and women’s soccer. However, because Canada Soccer has cancelled its Toyota national championships – scheduled for the Oct. 7-12 Thanksgiving Day weekend – and because there is no Memorial University intercollegiate soccer this fall, the NLSA will likely stage local Challenge Cup and Jubilee Trophy playoffs on Thanksgiving Day weekend.