WALLINGFORD — It’s never too early to look ahead to the 36th annual Wallingford Invitational Soccer Tournament. At this time, TWIST 2020 is still scheduled to play in August.
While the coronavirus crisis has brought the sports world to a halt, TWIST co-director Dave Rodriguez said he and fellow organizers are hoping for the best for the area’s premier summer youth soccer event.
“We are hoping that it will be resolved and we will back to normal by August,” Rodriguez said Monday. “We are proceeding forward. We suspended our monthly meeting and have been communicating through the phone and electronically. We are still on schedule for our August date and we’ll see what happens.”
In the meantime, area youth soccer players have been affected by the pandemic. The Connecticut Junior Soccer Association has suspended play through April 15. The Cheshire Soccer Club, Meriden Soccer Club, Southington Soccer Club and Wallingford Youth Soccer League all play in the CJSA.
“We are standing down until April 15 ,” Rodriguez said of WYSL. “We will await their next announcement.”
Registration for TWIST has been temporarily delayed until there is a better indication of how the current health crisis is going unfold. Organizers have sent out “save the date” reminders and hope to have another big summer tournament.
“This is a minor thing with everything that is going on,” Rodriguez said. “All we can do is hope for the best. There’s no playbook for this. This is a first for all of us.”
Meanwhile, the deadline for the WYSL Twist Scholarship has been extended. Applications, originally due April 1, can now be submitted as late as May 1.
With schools shut down statewide — until at least April 20 per a statement Monday afternoon from Gov. Ned Lamont — this will allow the students more time to get letters of recommendation and transcripts.
The scholarship is open to high school seniors who have been affiliated with WYSL or have had a connection with the WYSL in the last three years. Detailed information is available at wysl.net.
“If you played at WYSL or were a referee or volunteer at TWIST, that’s taken into account,” said Bob Read, chairman of the TWIST Scholarship Committee. “Community service hours and GPA are also considered.”
Read noted that Ed Sheiffele and Jon Walworth started TWIST in 1984.
“Their goal was to find quality soccer for our Wallingford group,” Read said. “They wanted to find a way to raise money to award scholarships. After this year, we will be over $200,000 in scholarship money. It has a storied history.”