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MYSC Safe Return to Play Protocols and Guidelines

MYSC Covid-19 Safety Officer:

Glenn McSweeney
MYSC Vice-President
[email protected]

Please reach out to our MYSC Covid-19 Safety Officer with any questions regarding the precautions MYSC is taking in order to enable a safe Return to Play.

Connecticut Junior Soccer Association (CJSA) - Return to Play (RTP) Guidelines

Connecticut Junior Soccer Association is dedicated to protecting the health of all people in and outside of our community. In an effort to assist our players, coaches and parents with their efforts to return to play after the recent suspension of activities, due to COVID-19, Connecticut Junior Soccer Association has put together the following guidelines for our affiliate members to use. Given the nature of this pandemic, this framework may change at any time based on the most recent CDC and or Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) guidelines. Please keep in mind that local municipalities may have additional guidelines in place that will need to be adhered to.

Implementing the Return to Soccer Activities Guidelines presented here will require a cooperative relationship between the organization, coach, parent, and player. While the organization and coach must create a safe environment, the parent(s)/guardian(s) are the only ones who may make the decision for their child to return to soccer activities.

U.S. Soccer recommends approaching your return-to-play activities sequentially through phases. It is critical to assure processes, habits and strict compliance to your current phase, before advancing to the next. It needs to be recognized that across the country at any given time, teams, clubs and organizations in 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 region’s regulations. Lastly, a minimum amount of time is suggested to remain within each phase. This time provides the opportunity to build up the physical strength necessary for each phase. Clubs should carefully consider the conditions necessary to advance to the next phase and be prepared, if necessary, to stay in the current phase for longer than the timeline indicated or revert to an earlier phase to ensure the safety of all participants. Do not proceed to the next phase if it is not compliant with your region’s social distancing policies.

Please be prepared to revert back or pause based on environmental changes or a change in soccer’s risk category as defined by the local government.

CJSA Return to Play Phased Approach

CJSA RTP Phase 1 – Small Group Training

With Soccer classified as a contact sport, activities under this phase will be allowed but will be limited to no-contact drills and training exercises only. No scrimmages, league games or tournaments may be held during the duration of this phase. This includes friendlies, intrasquad scrimmages or other arranged games.

Programs must separate participants into groups of no more than 10 participants including coaches and staff.  Larger playing areas and surfaces such as athletic fields may be used by more than one group of 10 at a time, provided that adequate social distance and group separation can be maintained. To ensure group separation, groups must be spaced at least 20 feet apart while sharing a playing surface.

CJSA RTP Phase 2 – Full Team Training / Introduction of Intrasquad, Controlled Scrimmages

During this phase, full team training is allowed, but COVID-19 prevention and response protocols must be maintained.

Physical contact is allowed within the training environment; however, this should be limited to actual training and managed to avoid prolonged contact.

Travel to out of state events is prohibited.

Practice times should be set to maximize social distancing.

Limit spectators as much as possible.

30 minutes may be allocated to intrasquad, controlled scrimmage.  An intrasquad, controlled

scrimmage is defined as:

  • An informal competition between members of the same team.
  • Coaches on-field throughout the session providing instruction on position play and game situations
  • No scoreboard
  • No game clock may be used
  • No officials may be used
  • Physical contact limited
  • Play may be stopped periodically for instructional purposes.

CJSA RTP Phase 3 – Training Contact Allowed / Games and In-State Travel Allowed

Contact is allowed within the training environment; however, this should be limited to actual training and managed to avoid prolonged contact.

Clubs/teams should continue to keep intermixing of teams to a minimum.

Everyone must adhere to social distancing recommendations when participants are not playing (on the bench, sideline, etc.) including the wearing of masks when not playing and appropriate social distances cannot be maintained.

Games / Matches

Out of state travel is prohibited, regardless of game or tournament.

Players to wear masks when not playing and on the bench.

Coaches to wear masks.

Consider COVID-19 case activity level and risk in those communities when making travel decisions.

Teams and referees are not to engage in traditional sportsmanship gestures, such as post-match handshakes. Teams are encouraged to find new ways to show sportsmanship.

If spectators do attend, they should limit the retrieval of soccer balls should they go out of play and let the players retrieve the ball.

Minimize crowding at games and practices. For example, field space must be large enough to provide for social distancing or all in attendance; spectators must be distanced from the field, provide separate entrances and exits and space out practice and game times.

Spectators must follow social distancing recommendations including the wearing of masks as well as maintaining at least 6 feet of physical distance from each other. This includes distance from Assistant Referees.

Stagger start of games to ensure that there is the possibility for social distancing amongst all spectators if they are present.

Game balls must be sanitized at halftime of all games, and after games.

Any benches must be sanitized after each game.

Don’t share equipment or water.

In an effort to communicate in a safe manner - setup a staging area outside of the field where players place their belongings and water. This should also be where the coach communicates with the players while socially distanced.

Town Organization/Club (MYSC) Requirements

Assign a COVID-19 Safety Officer who will communicate policies organization-wide, to coaching staff, administrators, parents, and players. Regular updates and reminders should be provided.

Assign each team a coordinator to oversee compliance at the team level (can be a team parent who must register as an Adult with CJSA).

Train and educate all volunteers/staff on return to activities protocols.

Develop a relationship and dialog with local Health Department officials (identify risk tolerance).

Develop a plan to communicate with the local health department in the event of a confirmed case of COVID-19 within a team.

If a team member or coach contracts COVID-19, all training sessions will be canceled for that team and any additional team associated with that coach for 14 days.

Be prepared to shut down and stop operations. Develop plans for temporary closure of facilities (indoor, outdoor) to properly disinfect and ensure other adult leaders are not infected.

Provide coaches and team coordinators with PPE (masks) and sanitizing products.

Schedule groups/teams with a minimum of 30 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 arrival time.

Teams who wish to schedule warm-up time prior to their sessions must build that into their scheduled session/rental time. Warm-ups will not be permitted adjacent to the assigned field prior to the scheduled start time for a team.

Do not allow players or parents to congregate in parking lots, at drop off zones, facility entrances/exits before or after a training session.

Provide adequate space at the field to allow for proper physical/social distancing (6’).

All parents, spectators, and players should have their own chair. Chairs should be placed to allow for proper physical and social distancing (6’).

All waste should be placed by the respective parent, player, coach, and spectator in the trash receptacle. Nothing should be picked up by anybody other than the originator of the waste.

Require players to have their own water, sanitary products (hand sanitizer, facial tissues, PPE (optional for play), ball, GK Gloves (if necessary), dark and light shirt (in lieu of shared scrimmage vests)

Coach/Trainer Requirements

Ensure the health and safety of all athletes.

Understand that there may be parents/guardians who may not be ready to have their child return to activities at this time.

Understand some parents/guardians may require their child to wear a face covering. If so, it should be a   face covering which attaches around the ears so as not to cause any injury if accidentally tugged or pulled on. No around the head or neck face coverings permitted during play.

Ensure athletes arrive dressed for practice and leave immediately after practice. No recreational play, or loitering is allowed.

Upon arrival, inquire how athletes are feeling, send them home if you believe they are acting or look ill.

No handshakes, fist or elbow bumps, or any other physical contact.

Practice and encourage proper hygiene, washing hands frequently with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds at a time. Use 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). Launder clothing after training session.

Follow all state and local health protocols.

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

Ensure all athletes have their individual equipment. (Ball, water bottle, GK Gloves 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.

Ask players to bring a dark and light shirt to eliminate the need of shared scrimmage vests.

Do not allow shared team snacks. No use of public water bubblers, fountains or bottle fillers if present on site. Participants and spectators should only drink from their own containers.

Wear a face covering, when not actively coaching 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.

Parent Requirements

Ensure your child’s health. Take temperature daily. The average normal body temperature is generally accepted as 98.6°F (37°C). Some studies have shown that the “normal” body temperature can have a wide range, from 97°F (36.1°C) to 99°F (37.2°C). A temperature over 100.4°F (38°C) most often means you have a fever caused by an infection or illness.

If your child has any symptoms, even mild ones, public health urges you to stay home and isolate until:

  • You have had no fever for at least 72 hours (without the use of medicine) AND
  • Other symptoms (cough, shortness of breath) have improved AND
  • At least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared.

Anyone in your household that you have had close contact with (within six feet for approximately 10 minutes) should self-quarantine for 14 days, even if you haven’t been tested for COVID-19.

Notify the club immediately if your child has become sick.

Adhere to physical/social distance requirements posted by the organization.

Whenever at a soccer activity (training, practice, scrimmage, or game) wear a face covering if you are outside of your car.

Arrive to soccer activities no earlier than 5 minutes before the scheduled start.

Ensure that your child is picked up when soccer activities are scheduled to end.

Ensure that your child has a water bottle, equipment (ball and GK Gloves if necessary), light and dark shirt (no shared scrimmage vests will be provided).

Ensure your child’s personal equipment, cleats, balls, shin guards etc. are cleaned and sanitized before and after every training.

Ensure your child’s clothing is washed after every session.

Do not assist the coach with equipment before or after a training session.

No carpooling with other members of the team.

Be sure your child has necessary sanitizer with them at every session.

Player Requirements

Take temperature daily (see information outlining this in the parent’s section).

Practice and encourage proper hygiene, washing hands frequently with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds at a time. Use 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).

Have your own hand sanitizer with you.

Wear a face covering before and immediately after each training session. They may be removed while participating in practice and drills, provided players are able to maintain at least 6 feet of distance from other persons present.

Practice physical distancing on the sidelines. When sitting on the sidelines you should be 6’ from the next player. Your belongings should remain in your space when not in use.

Bring your own equipment (Ball, GK Gloves (if required), shin guards, jacket etc.) Do not touch anyone else’s equipment.

Bring your own water bottle and snack. Do not touch anyone else’s belongings as sharing will not be permitted.

Wash and sanitize your equipment before and after each training.

No group celebrations, hugs, handshakes, fist bumps, etc.

Contact Us


PO Box 4099 Madison 
Madison, Connecticut 06443


PO Box 4099 Madison 
Madison, Connecticut 06443

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