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Quick FAQs

Season Return-To-Play (Fall Season)

  • 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.

AYSO encourages every Region to start their season as soon as possible according to local regulations and community needs.

The decision on whether or not to run a VIP 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.

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.

This is advisable as it not only provides time to sanitize equipment, but restricts the interaction of different groups.

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.

To understand the complexities of why this may be occurring, it is recommended that you contact your Section Director for a guidance.

Coaching, Officiating, Spectators

Face coverings are suggested for players arriving, preparing to play and departing from the field, but not during physical activity. While being physically active, face coverings may obscure vision, increase respiratory challenges, or increase other injury risk.

Face coverings and physical distancing are suggested for substitutes.

Face coverings are suggested for officials arriving, preparing to officiate and departing from the field, but not suggested for Center Referees during the game. Assistant Referees are encouraged to wear face coverings during the match due to proximity of spectators.

Face coverings are suggested for spectators until they are a socially distant (minimum of 6-feet from others).

Unless a mask is required by law or a specific requirement of the Region, other methods or alternatives should be considered (such as social distancing). Keep in mind there are health reasons that prohibit some people from wearing a mask.

AYSO cannot control public spaces. It is suggested that all participants be made aware of the importance to arrive and depart within scheduled times to ensure safe transitions between events.

Currently there are no formal adaptations to the Laws of the Game. However, it is advisable to keep the flow of the game moving, i.e., set-pieces, to limit the time players are in close proximity to one another.

For practices during Phase II, it is suggested that throw-ins and heading be avoided.

Safety & Health

It is recommended to limit the use of carpools or van pools, and limit passengers to household members.

We advise you to limit spectators to family, guardians or household members. Every location is going to have different requirements regarding crowd size. Everyone should be respectful of these rules and carefully consider contact risks before attending an event.

It is recommended that everyone should wear masks unless they are involved in active play, i.e., players and center referees.

If a player chooses to wear a mask during the game, they should have the freedom and right to do so.

  • Sanitize equipment after each training sessionaccording to CDC hygiene standards. Regularly sanitize the equipment using disinfectant wipes or disinfectant (germicide/virucide) spray.
  • Participants should not share equipment (i.e., water bottles, towels, pinnies, etc.) and field set-up should aim to use minimal equipment to limit transmission of virus. Players should not pick-up field equipment, move goals or handle other training equipment.

AYSO cannot control public spaces. It is suggested that all participants be made aware of the importance to arrive and depart within scheduled times to ensure safe transitions between events.

AYSO’s Return to Play health guidance includes information specific to youth soccer and may contain implementation suggestions that are superior to county or state guidelines. However, at a minimum Federal, State and Local guidelines shall always be followed.

We suggest parents keep track of their child’s temperature prior to each soccer-related activity (if above 100.4, do not attend).

COVID-19 Reporting

The Safety Director is the Region’s Point of Contact for COVID-19 precautions and reporting, who will follow the AYSO Guidance on Reporting.

  • The participant should stay at home and contact their physician! Currently, guidelines for possible exposure recommend 14-day quarantine.
  • For contact tracing purposes, maintain a list of all facility users, participants at trainings, and attendees, etc. (See immediate action below.)
  • For privacy purposes, the list should not be shared publicly. In the event that someone participating in your activities becomes ill, refer to this list for “tracking or tracing” to determine who in your Region may have been directly exposed to illness, and advise them accordingly.
  • Complete the AYSO Incident Report with the player/parent/volunteer who has experienced COVID-19 symptoms, tested positive for COVID-19, or has been exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19, and submit the Incident Report to the Safety Director.

The Safety Director must contact the local health officials and comply with any contact reporting requirements and recommendations, and submit the AYSO Incident Report to riskmanagement@ayso.org.

  • Contact tracing means maintaining a list of all facility users, participants at trainings, and attendees, etc. For privacy purposes, the list should be securely stored and not shared publicly. In the event that someone participating in your activities becomes ill, refer to this list to determine who at your Region may have been directly exposed to illness, and advise them accordingly. Your local health department may also offer a course or guidance on contact tracing. The CDC also has information and training on contact tracing.
  • Include the following items in your contact tracing list:
    • For minors, use a parent’s contact information.
    • Date
    • Venue
    • Name
    • Phone
    • Email Address of participants
    • Specific training session i.e. time/field/coach etc.

  • Not necessarily! There are many variables to consider regarding physical interactions. Creative scheduling to include social distancing of groups may be helpful although not foolproof. It will also be important to follow local health guidelines regarding a positive contact event.
  • Advise Sick Individuals of Home Isolation Criteria. Sick coaches, officials, volunteers, players, or families should not return until they have met CDC’s criteria to discontinue home isolation.
  • Isolate Those Who are Sick. Make sure that coaches, officials, volunteers, players, and families know that sick individuals should not attend the youth sports activity, and that they should notify the Region’s Safety Director if they or their child (families) become sick with COVID-19 symptoms, test positive for COVID-19, or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 symptoms or a confirmed or suspected case.
  • Individuals who are sick should go to a healthcare facility, depending on how severe their symptoms are, and follow CDC guidance for caring for oneself and others who are sick. Individuals who have had close contact with a person who has symptoms should be separated and remain at home as well, and follow CDC guidance for community-related exposure (see “Notify Health Officials and Close Contacts” below).
  • Clean and Disinfect. Close off areas used by a sick person and do not use these areas until after cleaning and disinfecting them (for outdoor areas, this includes surfaces or shared objects in the area, if applicable). Wait at least 24-hours before cleaning and disinfecting. If 24-hours is not feasible, wait as long as possible. Ensure safe and correct use and storage of cleaning and disinfection products, including storing them securely away from children.
  • Notify Health Officials and Close Contacts. Region’s should work with local health officials to obtain guidance and implement a reporting system (e.g., letter or email) for the Region to use to notify health officials and Regional members of COVID-19 cases, while maintaining confidentiality in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other applicable laws and
  • Anyone told of a possible case of COVID-19 is asked to complete the AYSO Incident Report Form and turn the Incident Report in to the Safety Director.
  • The names of anyone who reports a medical condition, injury or illness, must be kept confidential to protect the rights of privacy of those individuals. Disclosure of names and medical conditions is considered a breach of confidentiality/privacy protected under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other applicable laws and

  • If the Region observes a player or volunteer who appears to have symptoms of COVID-19, the Region should provide the parents or volunteer with the CDC’s COVID-19 Symptoms and 10 Things You Can Do To Manage Your COVID-19 Symptoms flyers, and ask their cooperation in helping to prevent the further spread of the COVID-19 by following the CDC’s guidelines for staying home and contacting their medical provider.

Anyone told of a possible case of COVID-19 is asked to complete the AYSO Incident Report Form and turn the Incident Report in to the Safety Director. The names of anyone who reports a medical condition, injury or illness, must be kept confidential to protect the rights of privacy of those individuals. Disclosure of names and medical conditions is considered a breach of confidentiality/privacy protected under the HIPAA and the ADA.

The Region and/or the local health officials will let families know of any possible exposure to COVID-19.

Administration

Every Region is different, and they are required to communicate their refund policy.

  • Players and volunteers are required to formally register with AYSO through the registration system, and a waiver is signed during this process.
  • Players and volunteers that formally registered before June 18th, 2020 can update their information using these instructions.
  • For all others, waivers can be found here.

  • In keeping with existing AYSO requirements for retaining other waivers/acknowledgements, the Region must keep hand-signed waivers indefinitely (until notified otherwise).
  • AYSO is exploring document retention options, but until alternatives are published, the Region must keep any hand-signed waivers, acknowledgements in secure storage indefinitely.