Dear Youth Soccer Families,
We hope this communication finds you, your family and friends healthy and staying safe. The Governor of Massachusetts announced reopening plans for the state yesterday including direction for the phased reintroduction of outdoor recreation and youth sports activities. Full information of the state reopening can be found using the links below:
Main website page: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/reopening-massachusetts
PDF Presentation: https://www.mass.gov/doc/reopening-massachusetts-may-18-2020/download
Based on direction provided by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the previously-announced extension of Mass Youth Soccer’s suspension of all affiliated and sanctioned soccer activities statewide is now further extended through and including Sunday, June 14, 2020 at a minimum. This suspension covers and pertains to our member organizations (towns, clubs and leagues), and continues to include, but is not limited to: all games (of all types), practices, clinics, training, tournament and in-person meetings. Per U.S. Soccer the earliest in-person Coaching Education Courses may commence is July 1. Online courses continue to be offered through US Soccer and United Soccer Coaches.
Guidance for the Phased Reopening of Massachusetts pertaining to Youth Soccer
Included in the Reopening Phases in Massachusetts document for the reopening standards for Parks, Open Space and Outdoor Education Programs (Link) is the following guidance: Athletic fields and athletic courts can be utilized only for non-contact sports, with no shared equipment, such as tennis and pickleball. No permits should be issued for group gatherings and users should not engage in pick-up games, organized games or tournaments.
Youth Sports are not permitted to return under Phase 1 of the reopening and as such all soccer activities under the umbrella of Mass Youth Soccer will be suspended through and including June 14, 2020 at a minimum.
Mass Youth Soccer has put together a series of backyard activities and self training plans that individuals or small familial groups can utilize should they wish to take advantage of open parks and recreation facilities subject to Department of Public Health Orders and Guidelines.
Click the link below to view individual and family training ideas: https://www.mayouthsoccer.org/stay-at-home-training-ideas/
Phase 2 - Cautious
Assuming athletic field operators and recreational facilities permit activities on their fields, youth sports are scheduled to return in a limited fashion at a minimum of 3 weeks after the Phase 1 reopening. As a result, Mass Youth Soccer is encouraged that Youth Sports may start mid to late June.
Assuming that circumstances do not warrant or require a further extension and athletic field operators and recreational facilities permit activities on their fields, commencing Monday, June 15 the suspension may be lifted on all soccer activities, except for league games, scrimmages, “friendlies” and tournaments (in-town, travel and club). All soccer activities will be strictly conducted under the requirements of the assemblage orders in effect at that time, which may limit some or many soccer activities. The proper use of the U.S. Soccer Play-Practice-Play training sessions and WOLI (Warm-Up, Orientation, Learning, Implementation) methodology will be permissible in Phase 2 and is highly encouraged by Mass Youth.
Massachusetts Youth Soccer is currently working on providing resources and tools to assist member organizations with considerations reopening youth soccer activities in a manner that is safe for players, coaches and families. These documents include, but are not limited to guidance regarding social distancing and personal protection, gathering sizes, facility ingress and egress, outbreak response, control plan templates and membership communication in addition to training tools and templates developed by our highly qualified Technical staff. We anticipate documents to be distributed to members as we near the end of Phase 1 of reopening to allow for additional updates and modifications based on the latest guidance and orders provided by the state.
As detailed in the Governor’s Reopening Massachusetts in Phases document, “all public health criteria ...are subject to change. As research and data on this novel coronavirus continue to develop, this plan can and will be updated to reflect the latest science and data”
Phase 3 and 4
Mass Youth Soccer continues to collaborate with various federal, state and local public health agencies. We also remain in close contact with U.S.Soccer, US Youth Soccer and other State Associations, as well as the other major sport organizations and events throughout the country. At this stage it is too early to provide dates or additional activities that will be permissible in Phases 3 and 4. Membership can expect regular updates as additional details regarding assemblage orders and guidance for phases 3 and 4 of the Reopening Massachusetts Plan are released.
Our sincere thanks and best wishes go out to our medical heroes, front line and essential workers for putting themselves in harms way to help meet the needs of Massachusetts families.
Thanks also to the many dedicated volunteers, administrators, coaches and parents who have been working hard behind the scenes to promote a return action that is inclusive, safe, affordable and fun!