Prior to Soccer Activities:

REQUIRED: Read, understand and become familiar with the Massachusetts Youth Soccer Association COVID-19 Return to Soccer Activities Guidelines (Located on the Return to Soccer Activities Webpage)

Make sure you are fully registered, affiliated and compliance approved. Your organization’s Risk Manager or Registrar should have this information.

Coaching a Training Session:

Step 1: Player Contact - Every Practice:

Send an email regarding the date time and location of the practice session. 

Request that each player bring a dark and light shirt to eliminate the need of shared scrimmage vests.

Create a list of expected attendees to keep track of attendance.

Step 2: Prior to arrival at the practice location:

Some sports by their nature involve intense aerobic activity throughout play. For soccer players, it is required that players use facial coverings when possible, take frequent breaks when they are out of proximity to other players using caution to avoid touching the front or inside of the face covering by using the ear loops to remove and replace. Soccer players should have facial coverings with them at all times and where possible play with the facial covering on, removing it for long runs down the field, for plays without close contact, and in the goal. Participants for all sports must wear facial coverings while on the sidelines at ALL times.

A mask or face covering that wraps around the head or head and neck (i.e. gaiter) will be considered dangerous equipment. A mask that fits over the ears only will be considered safe to wear.

Select, read and understand the age appropriate Training Session Plan that you are going to use.

Step 3: Upon arrival at the practice location:

Coaches, staff, referees and other officials are required to wear facial coverings and maintain social distance of 6 feet at all times.

Upon arrival to training, coaches or staff should ask each athlete if they are experiencing any signs or symptoms of COVID-19. If the athlete has any signs or symptoms of COVID19 they should be sent home and instructed to contact their healthcare provider. They will not be allowed to return to training until they are cleared by a healthcare provider. A doctor’s note must be provided.

Assign each player to a designated “waiting area/player equipment area”. Upon arrival at the field players will be assigned to a designated waiting and equipment area that ensures physical distancing is maintained when not playing.

Remind the players regarding - No handshakes, fist or elbow bumps or any other physical contact.

Players who start the game as substitutes will remain in their designated waiting area and wear a face covering until they enter the field of play.

Starting Players who are substituted will put on their face covering as soon as they enter their designated waiting area after leaving the field of play.

Step 4: During the practice activity:

Throughout the practice, during breaks for water encourage the use of alcohol based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol). Cover coughs and sneezes with tissues or sleeves; do not use your hands. Do not touch your face (eyes, nose, mouth with unwashed hands).

Ensure the health and safety of all athletes. Coach is to be the only one to handle cones, discs, goals etc.

Ensure all athletes have their individual equipment. (Ball, water bottle, GK Glove etc.)

Ensure player’s personal belongings (bags, coats, sweatshirts) remain in their personal space and are kept physically distanced from the belongings of others. Do not allow sharing of personal items.

Coach is to be the only one to handle cones, discs, etc.

Do not allow shared team snacks.

Coaches wear a face covering at all times and abide by the physical/social distance requirements from players and parents.

STAY POSITIVE – Players and parents will be looking to you to remain calm and supportive during this transition time.

Step 5: At the conclusion of the practice session:

Monitor Players as they exit the playing area.

Ensure Social Distancing is adhered to and that PPE is being worn.

Ensure that his or her parents or guardians pick up each player.

Ensure that all social distancing is maintained for players waiting for their ride to arrive.

Remind the players to clean and disinfect their individual equipment when they arrive home.

Step 6: Post Practice Session:

Launder any and all clothing worn during the practice session.

Communicate with Parents and request that you are alerted if any players may have been in contact with COVID-19.

Reflect on the Players Performance

Reflect on your Performance.

Plan for the next practice session.

The Playing Surface:

For team and group sports, no more than 25 players or participants can be on a single playing surface/ area/court at any one time. The number of coaches and staff should be limited.

Larger playing areas and surfaces, such as athletic fields, tracks, facilities that have multiple courts or playing areas, may be used by more than one group at one time, provided that adequate social distance and group separation can be maintained.

Competitions (Games): No more than 50 people including participants, players, coaches, volunteers, and spectators, in aggregate, in, on, or surrounding any surface/playing area at one time. This is provided there is adequate space for all participants to maintain 6 feet of social distance at all times, recognizing that for some moderate risk sports intermittent contact may occur for players.

Schedule of Games: Schedule groups/teams with a minimum of 20 minutes in between the time one team concludes and the other arrives. Players must leave immediately after their session. Players should not arrive at their field earlier than 5 minutes prior to their scheduled start time.

As much as possible keep groups to 4 teams for a 6 game schedule or to 6 teams max for an 8 game schedule.

Utilizing a Home/Away format as much as possible limit travel distances for each group, for the purpose of limiting spread and to facilitate tracing if needed.