The following guidelines and timelimes were provided by Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association in accordance with NY State and US Soccer return to play guidelines. To read pdf, please click here.


While we are all anxious to resume play, we need to be cognizant of our State’s rules and requirements, and more important, the health and well-being of our children. Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) and its participating leagues are governed by two bodies. One is the New York state and local government and the second is US Soccer. ENYYSA places our players, coaches and parent’s health and security as our primary concern. All leagues, clubs and teams are to follow US Soccer phases when New York State reaches Phase 3. US Soccer Phase 1 should be how the start of practices should look. The table below clearly shows the path we believe secures a safe return to game play. The following are projected dates for soccer activities to begin (see Chart above). These dates are subject to change.


ENYYSA is recommending the following criteria to educate its members on CDC guidelines, New York State Department of Health, and US Youth Soccer Guidelines to maintain a healthy environment once players, coaches, volunteers, and spectators return to the field:

❖ Participants should have no sign or symptoms of COVID-19 in the past 14 days and have not been exposed to someone that has been ill in 14 days. Common Symptoms include Trouble breathing, Pain or pressure in the chest that persists, Experience confusion or trouble waking up , Bluish lips or face

❖ Live in a general location for 14 days prior to beginning group training. This requirement reduces the risk of introducing COVID-19 into the training group by someone traveling from a different region.

❖ Take temperature at home before going to training.

❖ Upon arriving to training, coaches or staff should ask each athlete if they are experiencing any signs or symptom of COVID-19. If the athlete has any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 they should be sent home and instructed to contact their health provider. Players will not be allowed to return to training until they are cleared by a healthcare provider. A doctor’s note must be provided to return to training.

❖ Participants, organizers, spectators, volunteers and facility employees in high risk categories should not participate or attend organized sport activities. List of high risk categories can be Found Here.

❖ Small group training should take place in an area where physical distancing (6 ft. apart) can be maintained.

❖ Spectators, nonessential visitors, staff, volunteers and activities involving external groups or organizations should be limited as much as possible. Cleary designate and mark spectator viewing sites to allow for social distancing. All must practice social distancing including wearing face coverings.

❖ Be sure appropriate infection prevention supplies (i.e. hand sanitizer, facial tissues, facial coverings) are present in multiple targeted areas.

❖ Each participant will be required to have their own water bottle, towel, and personal hygiene products: o Hand sanitizer should be readily available and must contain at least 60% alcohol o Face coverings can include masks, scarfs, and bandanas over nose and mouth

❖ Players are not required to wear face coverings during physical activities but must wear them when arriving and leaving training.

❖ No sharing personal items. Participants should use their own equipment and instructed to sanitize their equipment after each training session.

❖ Coaches and spectators will be required to wear face coverings when within 6 feet of others.

❖ Practice respiratory etiquette by covering coughs and sneezes with tissue or inside elbow.

❖ Tissues, wipes or disposable gloves must be properly disposed in the appropriate receptacles.

❖ Follow cleaning schedule protocol of equipment (cones, goals, etc.) with disinfectant before, during and after use.

Club Responsibilities

❖ Create and distribute protocols to its members.

❖ Contact any additional insurers if your club holds any policies outside of what is included in your Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association’s membership to ensure all coverages.

❖ Post signs in highly visible locations (i.e.., at entrances and exits, and in restrooms) that promote everyday protective measures and describe how to stop the spread of germs such as by properly washing hands and properly wearing a cloth face covering. Click Here for Sample Signs

Return to play guidelines

❖ Maintain a complete list of coaches, youth athletes, and league officials present at each event to include the date, beginning and ending time of the event, name, address and phone contact to be made available upon the request from the local health department.

❖ Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces on the field surface at least daily, or between uses as much as possible. Use of shared objects and equipment should be limited or cleaned between uses by each individual if possible.

❖ Have an effective communication plan in place, identify strategies for working with public health to notify adult leaders, youth and their families if the organization learns a player or coach has contracted COVID-19 and may have been infectious to others while at a youth activity, while maintaining confidentiality.

❖ Be sensitive and accommodating to parents that may be uncomfortable with returning to play too quickly.

❖ Train and educate all staff to protocols and requirements, including state and local regulations, CDC recommendations and other necessary information.

❖ Be prepared to shut down and stop operations. Develop plans for temporary closure of indoor facilities and cancel outdoor activities or camps to properly disinfect and ensure other adult leaders or youth are not infected.

❖ Provide adequate field space for social distancing.

❖ Provide hand sanitizing stations and waste receptacles at fields.

❖ Develop a relationship and a dialog with local health officials. (identify Risk Tolerance)

Coach Responsibilities

❖ Ensure the health and safety of all players.

❖ Inquire how the athletes are feeling, send them home should you believe they act or look ill.

❖ Follow all state and local health protocols.

❖ Ensure all athletes have their individual equipment (ball, water bottles, bag, etc.)

❖ Coach is the only person to handle all practice equipment. (cones, disk etc.)

❖ Coach to sanitize/clean all personal training equipment before and after each session (e.g. cones, discs, etc.)

❖ All training should be outdoors and ensure social distancing per state or local health guidelines.

❖ Always wear a face mask, when not actively coaching, maintain social distance requirements from players based on state and local health requirements.

❖ Have fun, stay positive – players and parents are looking to you to stay calm, supportive and caring during this time.

❖ The use of scrimmage vests or pinnies is not recommended at this time.

Parent Responsibilities

❖ Ensure child is healthy and check your child’s temperature daily.

❖ Limited or no carpooling with other players.

❖ Stay in car or adhere to social distance requirements, based on state and local health requirements.

❖ When at practice wear mask if outside your car.

❖ Ensure child’s clothing is washed after every training session.

❖ Ensure all equipment, cleats, ball, shin guards etc. are sanitized before and after every training.

❖ Notify member organization immediately if your child becomes ill for any reason.

❖ Do not assist coach with equipment before or after training.

❖ Be sure your child always has sanitizer with them

Player Responsibilities

❖ Take temperature daily.

❖ Wash hands thoroughly before and after training.

❖ Bring and use, hand sanitizer with you to every training.

❖ Wear mask before and immediately after all training.

❖ Do not touch or share anyone else’s equipment, water, snack or bag.

❖ Practice social distancing, place bags and equipment at least 6 feet apart.

❖ Wash and sanitize all equipment before and after every training.

❖ No group celebrations, no high 5’s, hugs, handshakes etc.


Additional Resources:
CDC Considerations for Youth Sports
CDC and New York State Department of Health assemblage and distance guidelines.
CDC COVID-19 New York State
CDC COVID-19 Symptoms
CDC: Sample Signs with Symptoms, Stopping the Spread of Germs, etc., from the CDC website
CDC: How to Protect Yourself and Others
NYS: Re-Opening Phases & Updates
US Soccer Return-to-Play: 5 Phases Overview
US Soccer Play-On Guide