News and Announcements


We have just learned that Brain Delaney (66) sadly lost his battle with cancer this past Sunday June 28, 2020 at his home in Acworth, GA. Brian joined CSSA Fall of 2017 on the Master’s League, State Farm Team – now Marietta Drywall. His passion for sports truly showed during his short tenure with CSSA along with his sportsmanship on and off the field, and will be missed by all. During his High School years, was star football quarterback and catcher for the baseball team, and an avid tennis player. He is survived by his two sons -Matthew, Kevin and daughter Mary, along with grandchildren. His full obituary can be found on Mayes Ward-Dobbins Funeral Home site.

Gentlemen: As stated in 1st announcement, please see below the Waiver that CSSA will be using for us to return to the fields starting this coming week. Upon entering the Park to play, each one of you will need to sign the form along with some temperature checking. Please familiarize yourselves with it and with everything else these days, please continue to exercise precautions with the COVID-19 virus.

In consideration of being allowed to participate in any way in the UNITED STATES SPECIALTY SPORTS ASSOCIATION athletics/sports program, related events and activities, the undersigned acknowledges, appreciates, and agrees that:
1. The risk of injury and/or illness from the activities involved in the program is significant, including the potential for permanent paralysis and death, and while particular rules, equipment, and personal discipline may reduce the risk, the risk of serious injury does exist;
2. The risk to have contact with individuals, who have been exposed to and/or have been diagnosed with one or more communicable diseases, including but not limited to COVID-19 or other medical conditions, diseases, or maladies does exist, and it is impossible to eliminate the risk that I could be exposed to and/or become infected through contact with or close proximity with an individual with a communicable disease;
3. I KNOWINGLY AND FREELY ASSUME ALL SUCH RISKS, both known and unknown, EVEN IF ARISING FROM THE NEGLIGENCE OF THE RELEASEES or others, and assume all full responsibility for my participation;
4. I willingly agree to comply with the stated and customary terms and conditions for participation. If, however, I observe any unusual significant hazard during my presence or participation, I will remove myself from participation and bring such to the attention of the nearest official immediately; and
5. I, for myself and on behalf of my heirs, assigns, personal representatives and next of kin, HEREBY RELEASE AND HOLD HARMLESS THE UNITED STATES SPECIALTY SPORTS ASSOCIATION, their officers, officials, agents and/or employees, other participants, sponsoring agencies, sponsors, advertisers, and if applicable, owners and lessors of the premises used to conduct the event (“Releasees”), WITH RESPECT TO ANY AND ALL INJURY, ILLNESS, DISABILITY, DEATH, or loss or damage to person or property, WHETHER ARISING FROM THE NEGLIGENCE OF THE RELEASEES OR OTHERWISE.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENT BY ADULT PARTICIPANT: By acknowledging and agreeing to the checkbox below, I agree and verify the following: 1) I consent and agree to assume the risks of participation in these programs; and 2) that I specifically agree to the release as provided herein of all the Releasees, and, for myself, my heirs, assigns and next of kin, I release and agree to indemnify the Releasees from any and all liabilities incident to my involvement or participation in these programs EVEN IF ARISING FROM THE NEGLIGENCE OF THE RELEASEES OR OTHERWISE.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT BY PARENTS AND/OR LEGAL GUARDIANS OF YOUTH PARTICIPANTS: By acknowledging and agreeing to the check box below, I agree to and verify the following: 1) I am the parent or legal guardian for the youth participant associated with this guardian account, 2) that the date of birth of the youth participant associated with this guardian account is correct, 3) that as parent/legal guardian with legal responsibility for this youth participant, I consent and agree to assume the risks of his/her participation in these programs; and 4) that I specifically agree to his/her release as provided herein of all the Releasees, and, for myself, my heirs, assigns and next of kin, I release and agree to indemnify the Releasees from any and all liabilities incident to this youth participant’s involvement or participation in these programs as provided above EVEN IF ARISING FROM THE NEGLIGENCE OF THE RELEASEES OR OTHERWISE.

Regarding upcoming games, policies and procedures, please see below what the BOD have issued regarding CSSA’s stance. I will also be posting a copy of the “*Return to Play Waiver”* in an announcement to follow. Please read both carefully as there is a lot of information contain in both. Any questions, please give Norm Thiem a call, text or email him. Thank you and so glad to be back on the fields again!!!


For those of you that may have missed some of the conference calls, know that we are following the guidelines set forth by CRPA to ensure proper player safety. Those guidelines are informed by the CDC guidelines which should give us confidence that we are taking more than adequate steps to ensure that the product that we are producing is safe for our players. The CRPA guidelines are as follows:
• Maintain social distancing between players especially when not on the field.
• The dugouts are not to be used except for entry and exits to the field.
• PPE’s are not required provided we maintain social distancing. Players may on their own volition use masks and gloves but CSSA will not furnish them.
• No physical contact between players before or after games to include celebrations or handshakes.
• Limit non-essential visitors / spectators

What has been made crystal clear is that playing now is a privilege. Failure to practice social distancing could result in the termination of our ability to rent the fields. CRPA generally has people at the fields during all of our events. Therefore, we all need to be extremely diligent in making sure that all players know the consequences of non-compliance. I would think that alone should be sufficient to enforce social distancing. In my experience peer pressure is more powerful than any rule that we create. What player if they are informed would want to be responsible for cancellation of the season?

In addition to the CRPA requirements, we have added our own requirement that players cannot exceed 100.5-degree temperature to gain admittance to the park. For all games except Tuesday night, players must enter at the Towne Lake Parkway gate between field #1 and #4. Anne Ryan will be there to take players temperature prior to entering the park. She will also collect money for the pickup game players. On Tuesday nights we will have a second person stationed at the Bells Ferry gate. In addition, we will have hand sanitizer for each team to use during the games.

The practical reality is that it is impossible for us to remove all risks of exposure to people with communicable diseases including but not limited to COVID-19. This is no different than our inability to prevent people from getting injured while playing. Nor should we give the impression that we have made it completely safe to play because we can’t! At the end of the day, all our players are adults and by now are fully aware of this pandemic. Some players have chosen not to play out of an abundance of caution for either themselves or someone at home. And that is completely understandable. For those that have chosen to play they will be asked to sign not only the injury waiver but also the COVID-19 waiver. Not so much to cover ourselves legally, but to make sure that they know and accept the risks that playing in this environment entails.

Our policy is to require all players that have played with a person that has tested positive for COVID-19 to be tested prior to resuming play. As John has pointed, out the incubation period may give a false negative if the test is taken sooner than three days. Also, since the incubation period could last as long as 14 days, we should require players from the week prior to be tested as well. Regarding people that have been exposed, there is no evidence that exposure means infection. Having said that, there is no difference where a person has been exposed and needs to be tested. Therefore, if a player believes that he has been in close contact with someone that has a confirmed case of the virus then he needs to be tested for his own heath as well as the rest of the players on his team.

The current CDC guidance on how the virus spreads is person-to-person close contact through respiratory droplets. This is why social distancing is the most effective means of protecting oneself. Their current thoughts on surface contamination is " it may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads" Therefore a more practical approach is to constantly sanitize our hands rather than the equipment which is why there will be hand sanitizer available to each team.

Have we thought of everything? I highly doubt it. There are no playbooks nor is the virology of the virus settled science. Some things we will learn as we start playing that will enable us to continuously improve the process. And it is entirely possible that the CDC will issue new contradictory guidance in the middle of the season (they have before no mask – wear masks – don’t wear masks). And it is also possible that by exposing players to fresh air, exercise, and sunshine we will improve players health outcomes by boosting their immune system.

But at the end of the day as Randy said we are not medical experts. All we can do to protect our players is to follow the guidelines. In the final analysis, this has to be an individual decision but social distancing works. But it only will work if we all do our jobs communicating the importance of following the CRPA guidelines. It is the players not us that will make this season a success or failure.



There will be a service on Wednesday beginning at 1:00 PM, at Pooles BBQ in Ellijay, GA.
Long time sponsor to CSSA.

POOLE, Oscar Rev. Oscar Cuthbert Poole Colonel Oscar Cuthbert Poole, age 90, of Ellijay, GA, passed away on Sunday, May 31, 2020. Oscar was born on April 29, 1930 in New Smyrna Beach, FL, to his late parents, Oscar Marie and Sallie Jeanette Cain Poole. Oscar was a member of Gates Chapel United Methodist Church and was a retired Methodist minister and founder/president of La Vie Ministries. He was internationally known and recognized in his trademark yellow suit and high-top Uncle Sam hat, as a successful restauranteur/co-owner of Poole’s BBQ in East Ellijay, GA. Funeral services will be held at 1 PM, Wednesday, June 3, 2020 outside of Poole’s BBQ restaurant followed by a private family internment at East Ellijay Baptist Church Cemetery. Oscar is survived by his wife of 70 years, Edna Shock Poole, 4 sons (daughters-in-law), Keith Poole, of Riverdale, GA, Darvin (Melanie) Poole, of Fairmount, GA, Gregory (Cynthia) Poole, of Hoover, AL, Michael (Denise) Poole, of Rockwall, TX, 8 grandchildren (spouses), Crystal (Marty) Miller, Brittany (Stephen) Jeter, Jordan Poole, Caleb Poole, Coleman Poole, Sarah (Preston) Cox, Stephanie (James) Drumm, David (Savannah) Poole, 4 great-grandchildren, Connor Browning, Andrew, Alice and Austin Jeter; and sisters, Jeanette Emery and Wynelle (Willie) Smith, both of New Smyrna Beach, FL. Oscar was predeceased by his sister Shirley Gardiner. No public visitation will be held at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to be made in honor of Oscar to: Heart 2 Heart Ministries for Him, P.O. Box 957, Cumming, GA 30028. Online condolences may be sent to the family at Logan Funeral Home & Chapel is in charge of arrangements.

Due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns, Cherokee Recreation & Parks Agency (CRPA) has decided to completely cancel the Spring 2020 Adult athletic season. Please see below the letter notification received from CRPA to CSSA dated April 27, 2020.
We at CSSA are very disappointed that we will be unable to have some of our SPRING 2020 games played after the recent easing/lifting of the Shelter in Place recommendations this week by Governor Kemp. As everyone knows, this pandemic is something that none of us have ever experienced, thus there is no schedule, nor histories for any of us to follow, nor refer to.
If you have further questions, please send Norm Thiem a message, email etc., and he will get with you asap.

Actual letter from CSSA -
“Good Afternoon Everyone,
Thank you for your patience while we were trying to find a way to continue with the spring adult athletic season. Unfortunately, due to the ongoing COVID-19 concerns, the State of Georgia recommendations, and the facility closures around Georgia for the foreseeable future, CRPA has decided to cancel the spring 2020 athletic season. This decision was not an easy one, but one that ultimately had to be made for the safety of our participants and staff. The health and well-being of our community is of the utmost importance to us and will remain our highest priority.

We appreciate your participation and support of Cherokee Recreation & Parks and the programs we provide for the community.

Let’s stay safe and optimistic that we will be playing again in our parks very soon!
Camille Thomas, CYSA
Athletic Coordinator
Cherokee Recreation & Parks Agency
7545 Main Street – Building 200
Woodstock, GA 30188"