What are phases and who created them?
- Phases in soccer have been prepared by U.S. Soccer in conjunction with the CDC, and provide structure for a gradual approach to return to play during COVID-19. Each Phase includes specific steps to be considered and implemented. They are universally accepted within youth soccer for applicable guidance to COVID-19.
- Please note that at any given time, different Regions will be operating under differing state and local regulations – and thus will be operating in different phases. All phases must be first based on, and compliant, with your local regulations.
- Click here for an infographic outlining each phase.
When can we start our season?
- AYSO programs genuinely offer so much more than soccer to the children and families within our communites; therefore, we encourage every Region to start their season as soon as possible according to local regulations and community needs.
- If feasible, open registration earlier and stay open a bit longer to accommodate. If you don’t normally offer a spring season, is there a (modified) program you could offer?
Can we operate our EPIC program? Do we have any specific guidelines for EPIC?
- The decision on whether or not to run a EPIC program should be made with the same consideration for the health and safety guidelines provided by the CDC and leading experts for the youth sports activities. These guidelines include recommendations for personal hygiene (hand washing/sanitizing), preventing the spread of disease (face masks), physical distancing and avoiding contact with others.
What about teams traveling to neighboring states to play where the regulations are less strict, is this allowed?
- George Chiampas, Chief Medical Officer, U.S. Soccer: “Individual pods, individual families going to different states playing and returning home in the same day, or playing and staying in a hotel while following all the mitigation strategies and adhering to state regulations are generally safe. You should obviously follow your state guidelines, such as restrictions with regards to quarantine upon your return, i.e., California. Obviously, adhere to those. What I would be concerned about are tournaments where players are traveling collectively in buses or staying in hotel rooms together for multiple days. Those are without question high-risk environments.”
Should we schedule a certain amount of time between training sessions and games to allow for cleaning and sanitizing equipment?
- This is advisable as it not only provides time to sanitize equipment, but restricts the interaction of different groups.
We have inter-Regional teams, are we restricted from traveling to other Regions?
- It is generally acknowledged that staying within the same group (or groupings) limits the transference of COVID-19, however, follow the guidance of your local jurisdiction/authorities. If they permit playing between cities or counties, then Regions can decide if they wish to inter-play. If the local authorities tell you you cannot play between cities or counties, then Regions will have to follow that guidance.
Can I arrange my teams into smaller playing groups to minimize interaction of teams within an age division so that I only have to potentially quarantine a group of teams and not a whole division?
- Any creative scheduling to limit group size while maintaining the same cohort will help limit transference, potential exposure and support tracking efforts. We also have Alternative Play Models which will help with grouping.
What about indoor?
- Indoor considerations need to be taken seriously when determining whether indoor sports should be played. Adjustments to regular activity may need to be implemented in order to mitigate risk of COVID exposure of players, coaches and spectators.
- Prior to moving to indoor training and matches all considerations to remain outdoors should remain as a first option. This can be done safely with colder temperatures while following safety guidelines.
Do we have a Spanish version of the Return to Play Notice?
- We are revising and will be posted soon.
Is there a forum to connect with other volunteers and share practical execution about Return to Play?
- Yes, a BAND group has been started, which you can join for free here: https://band.us/@aysorestart