A letter from Dr. George Chiampas
Dear Soccer Players, Coaches, Parents, Referees and Administrators,
It’s been a long time since we’ve been able to enjoy the game we all love, and I know you’ve all missed it as much as we have here at U.S. Soccer.
Now that we’re starting to get back to the field around the country, we are all excited about the prospect of sharing in the positive elements of playing, coaching, refereeing and simply being fans of this great sport once again.
While it’s a new, and at times uncertain, environment, we are going to navigate this together through knowledge, information and shared responsibility. Of course, the health and safety of all involved is everyone’s main priority.
To further that mission, the U.S. Soccer Federation has conducted extensive research and utilized expertise inside and outside the organization to assemble guidelines and best practices to provide all Members in effort to inform, educate and assist in the process of return to play.
During the next few weeks, we will share a host of resources in line with federal, state and national sporting organization guidelines under a new initiative called U.S. Soccer PLAY ON.
These guidelines and best practices are intended for use WHEN AND IF your local authorities have deemed it safe to return to the practice field. U.S. Soccer is in no way endorsing holding practices or games in violation of any federal, state or local mandates.
That said, we all know the game of soccer is important to the physical, mental and emotional wellness of our youth players. In consideration of how COVID-19 is transmitted, it is vitally important that EVERYONE involved in the process of return-to-place does so with extreme diligence and attention to the widely-agreed-upon standards and guidelines.
While U.S. Soccer is providing this information as recommendations, these guidelines are intended for consideration by national and state soccer associations, clubs, players, coaches, referees and parents as a consistent and risk mitigation pathway to return to play. At all times, please defer to your local and state public health authorities for specific modifications and/or alterations.
Our approach to return to play is divided into five phases, representing the different stages of progress required to achieve the ultimate goal of playing with no restrictions or recommendations related to COVID-19.
The U.S. Soccer PLAY ON initiative is being launched with this Phase I Grassroots Soccer Recommendation guide, a comprehensive model to allow soccer to operate under key safety plans and considerations. We will provide additional guides to follow. These guides include a detailed approach to social distancing, screening, training, and interactions to ensure consistent and best practices are followed to promote the health and safety of all participants
As we progress into and beyond Phase 1, the campaign will grow to include helpful videos, info graphics and other resource materials. Just as the situation continues to evolve, so too will the information we share. All of the resources will be available in a virtual information hub, www.ussoccer.com/playon.
At the outset and throughout the process, please remember it’s important that each participant and their families stay informed and make educated choices about when they are ready to return to play. No one should feel pressured – or pressure others – into a decision. Soccer, most importantly, is fun. And it’s the fun we are looking to get back.
The bedrock principles of teamwork, respect and community that have been integral to the success of soccer in the United States will serve us now more than ever. Together, we will move forward and thrive. We are, and will remain, “One Nation and One Team.”
Yours in Soccer,
Dr. George Chiampas
U.S. Soccer Chief Medical Officer
ABOUT U.S. Soccer PLAY ON
During the next few weeks, we will share a host of resources in line with federal, state and national sporting organization guidelines under a new initiative called U.S. Soccer PLAY ON. These guidelines and best practices are intended for use WHEN AND IF your local authorities have deemed it safe to return to the practice field. U.S. Soccer is in no way endorsing holding practices or games in violation of any federal, state or local mandates.