Today the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) released it’s guidance for youth and amateur athletics. As a result of this the soccer our kids will be participating in will look different than we are used to.
If you are not comfortable with your child playing within these guidelines could you please let us know you would like to opt out before the end of day tomorrow, Friday August 14. You can do so by submitting a message via our contact form here.
Should you choose to opt out you will have the option to receive a credit for the following season or a refund via check.
- Soccer is classified as a moderate risk sport
- Deliberate contact during practices and games will be eliminated (I.e. no body tackles, slide tackles, scrums for the ball, or throw-ins
- Players will be expected to wear masks during games and practices unless in goal or sufficiently social distanced
Here are the details of the new guidance and what it means for the kids playing the game.
The EEA guidance breaks sports down into three categories: Lower Risk, Moderate Risk and Higher Risk.
Soccer has been classified as Moderate Risk
The guidance lays out four levels of plays.
- Level 1 is individual or socially distanced activities
- Level 2 is competitive practices
- Level 3 is competitions (games)
- Level 4 is tournaments (outdoor only, no indoor tournaments are allowed at this time).
As a moderate risk sport soccer can only participate in Level 1 — this means that players can participate in individual or socially distanced drills. No contact can occur. Essentially the kids can participate in individual skill work and drills.
In order to conduct a soccer practice (Level 2), the following requirements must be met:
- Training activities must be performed in groups (cohorts) of 10 or less. These same groups must be used for every training session or class.
- Boundaries must be marked so that those groups remain at least 14 feet apart. No more than 25 people can be on a playing surface at once.
- Groups can only compete against each other if they remain separate and no contact occurs.
In order for the kids to participate in a game against another team the following requirements must be met:
- Eliminate Deliberate Contact: Deliberate close contact must be eliminated. Deliberate close contact includes but is not limited to collisions, tackling, and running in packs.
- Minimize Intermittent Contact: Game situations that result in intermittent close physical or face-to-face contact must be modified or eliminated, including: restarts, throw-ins, scrums for the ball, or similar activities. These activities may be allowed if face masks are used during contact.
Will masks be required during play?
The answer is yes. Coaches and players are expected to wear masks while engaged in activity where ever possible, with following exceptions:
- When distancing of six feet or more is possible
- For individuals who are unable to wear a face covering due to a medical condition or disability.
Players are expected to wear masks during the course of play, only removing their masks when they have distance from other players.
With these restrictions in place practices and games will look different than what we are used to seeing.
Here is a link to the guidance that has been released if you would like to review it: https://www.mass.gov/doc/safety-standards-for-youth-and-adult-amateur-sports-activities-phase-iii-step-1/download
If you do decide that you would not like to have your child play with these guidelines in place, please let us know before the end of the day tomorrow Friday August 14. You can do so by submitting a message via our contact form here.
The Leicester Soccer Club