In conjunction with Minnesota Health Department (MDH), Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission (MASC), and Twin Cities Soccer Leagues (TCSL), we created a Return to Competition Protocols that all clubs must adhere to starting this fall.
Our previous Return to Play plan did not necessarily take into account the resumption of a typical league season. This Return to Competition Protocols is meant to cover various situations and rules in detail in order to safely resume club-to-club league competition.
These recommendations do not supersede or replace any applicable local, state, regional or federal health guidelines or requirements, which should be adhered to by all clubs. These guidelines are subject to change based on changes to the trajectory of COVID-19 and clubs should monitor these guidelines consistently and often.
All clubs need to familiarize themselves with the protocols and follow all the guidelines set forth. The Return to Competition Protocols was reviewed and endorsed by MDH.
This morning we had a call with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) about their latest guidance and recommendations. We updated our Return to Play Plan accordingly, and pass along additional information.
After Governor Tim Walz's press conference on Friday and our MASC meeting this afternoon, we are modifying Phase 2 to align with Minnesota Department of Health's guidelines.
Starting June 10, training pods can have up to 25 total people and no more than 2 of these pods on a full-size field. All other Phase 2 guidelines must be followed (including social distancing between all participants) as we are still in Phase 2 of our Return to Play Plan. We just modified the total number of people per training pod to coincide with MDH guidelines.
Please note, clubs do not have to expand trainings to 25 people. If clubs want to continue with training pods of 10 people and up to 4 of these pods per full size field that is acceptable.
Our updated Return to Play Plan and Phase 2 guidelines can be viewed here.
MDH's guidelines for Youth Sports were updated on June 6 and can be found here.
On Wednesday, Governor Walz held a press conference and provided a details on the Stay Safe Plan that includes organized youth sports. With this information, we are officially entering Phase 2 of our Return-to-Play Plan beginning June 1. We are excited to be able to progress in our plan and are relying on clubs, coaches, parents, and players to adhere to the plan that was made in collaboration with Twin Cities Soccer Leagues (TCSL), Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission (MASC).
We can move forward or backward between the phases, and potentially jump phases so please keep in mind that this is just one step in the plan. We will continue to rely on Governor Walz for direction on when to move phases and remain vigilant on creating a safe environment for youth players.
Return to Play: June 1
Clubs may start offering and hosting modified training sessions that strictly follow Phase 2 guidelines in our Return to Play plan. These modified trainings are the only in-person activities that are allowed, and in addition to our guidelines, MDH's guidelines for youth sports must be followed. Registered players and coaches will be insured if they are adhering all the guidelines.
Phase 2 Overview
If clubs want to resume training, they must adhere to each of the guidelines laid out here. These rules were created with players’ and coaches’ safety as the top priority, and we fully expect everyone to follow them.
We made a few slight changes or clarifications to this plan after talking with an Epidemiologist at MDH and other sport organizations within MASC. MDH was able to provide additional information and specific details, so we updated the plan to reflect their advice. All changes are noted in green. Please use this information and plan as it is the most updated.
* Please note we understand that families may have circumstances, views, or opinions that compel them to refrain from participation. Out of respect for these families, under no circumstance should a player/family be penalized or otherwise pressured should they choose to not participate under these guidelines.
We know many players, coaches, and families can’t wait to get back to the field for a variety of reasons including social interaction, emotional well-being, and the physical benefits. We share those sentiments and hope many of those needs can start to be met on June 1.
Over the course of the last two months, we have been evaluating the situation and adjusting programs and events in hopes to be able to provide meaningful, fun, and above all safe soccer opportunities this spring/summer. We talked with US Youth Soccer, other state associations, and most recently, other youth sport organizations in MASC, MDH, and our local government to get their guidance and recommendations on how to proceed safely.
Even though we are able to enter Phase 2 on June 1, the virus continues to spread making it less and less likely we will be able to provide a safe league while upholding the integrity of the game and league itself.
We are sorry to announce that Minnesota League One, Black & Blue Leagues, Futures League, and Summer State Championships are canceled for the summer. We delayed making this decision as we understand the important role soccer plays in the lives of our youth. However, player health and safety are our top priorities and we will never compromise that—especially in this pandemic. Player health and safety, an uncertain timeline, family and club consideration, and integrity of the leagues are all factors that led us to make the difficult decision to cancel.
As witnessed in press conferences and in the MASC meetings, our state and local government do not have a clear understanding of when we will be able to progress to future phases.
By cancelling all leagues and events, that alleviates pressure on clubs, teams, and families Also, we realize that a summer league timeline may never coincide with a safe timeline set by Governor Walz.
Club & Family Consideration
We want to give clubs and families a chance to reset and return to soccer activities at a pace that makes sense for them without pushing the boundaries of health and safety. Every club, family, and player has a different perspective of the virus and we want to be respectful of that.
This will also allow clubs to have more control over their programs and services. Clubs may not have access to fields, coaches may not be willing to return to coach, or clubs may not have teams with intact rosters so we will remove the pressure for clubs to operate as they did prior to COVID-19.
We will continue to communicate with you with information on phases and when we are able to progress.
Integrity of the Leagues
To date, several MYSA teams have indicated they will not participate this summer if leagues or events are offered, and we believe more teams will follow suit. This reduction in teams naturally challenges the integrity of the league. We know clubs and teams don’t want teams extended travel and potentially lopsided games.
Promotion/relegation is an important piece to Minnesota League One, and the integrity of the league must be intact in order to properly execute promotion/relegation. The uncertainty of a restart date, varying levels of field access for teams, and a potentially shorter timeframe to play games, all chip away at the league’s integrity, and is unacceptable.
All Minnesota League One teams’ statuses will roll over to next season and team fee credits will reside with the club (as stated in previous emails). We will be in contact with the Minnesota League One 13U and 14U clubs as the future of those teams are a little different than everyone else’s.
Credits for Team Fees
Clubs will hold a credit equal to the dollar amount paid for any team fees remitted in anticipation of the league season. MYSA will apply the credit amounts to team fees incurred for the upcoming 2020-2021 soccer seasons, for the corresponding leagues.
Example: credits held for Minnesota League One teams will be applied to 2020-2021 Minnesota League One team registrations and credits held for Black & Blue teams will be applied to 2020-2021 Black & Blue team registrations. Clubs who have outstanding team fees do not need to pay that portion of their invoice, but also will not be issued credits.
Please contact AylaLokkesmoe@MNYouthSoccer.org with any questions.
Summer State Championships
For all the reasons stated above, we also cancelled Summer State Championships. Without a league and with tournaments not until Phase 5, we feel confident in our decision to cancel the event.
Directory to Scrimmage
Even though we canceled our leagues this summer, we hope players and teams will be able to come together on the field and return things back to “normal”. Once we are able to enter Phase 4, we will publish a directory of all MYSA registered teams to allow them to set up their own scrimmages. We want to encourage and help facilitate safe opportunities to play so we are committed to doing everything we can when the time is right.
We plan to have a "normal" fall season with tryouts beginning in July. Should any of this change, we will let everyone know immediately. Please keep in mind, that we will continue to follow our Return to Play Plan and the Governor's guidance on how to progress.
Fall 2020 Tryouts:
9U-11U Tryouts: can begin July 16
12U and Older: can begin July 26
Club Commitment Date: August 3
In collaboration with Twin Cities Soccer Leagues (TCSL) we created a Return-to-Play plan and sent it to the Governor. Below is a summary of the plan.
Click here to view the entire Return-to-Play Plan.
First and foremost, we will continue to abide by all guidelines and restrictions set forth by the government. These phases are designed to ease our way back into soccer, allowing children to resume some activities outdoors in a safe manner. We will determine which phase is appropriate based on guidance from governmental authorities.
Phase 1 (Current): “Internet-only” soccer, where players do individual sessions at home guided by their club.
Typically teams begin training in early April with a majority of their season taking place between May-July. A month-and-a-half into this Phase, players are yearning for a gradual return to soccer.
Phase 2: this phase allows for outdoor, 10-person trainings, with specific protocols in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Phase 3: This phase allows for the resumption of full team trainings, with specific protocols in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Phase 4: This phase allows for the resumption of League matches, with specific player and spectator protocols.
Phase 5: This phase allows for resumption of youth soccer as we knew it prior to COVID-19. This includes tournaments.
These Phases are fluid and will always follow government restrictions and guidelines as well as governing body guidance. The Phases are not linear as both the federal and state governments have indicated that varied levels of mitigation restrictions may be imposed to slow the transmission of the virus.
We welcome input from the medical authorities and are currently seeking their advice.
In light of Governor Walz officially shutting down school buildings, extending e-learning until the end of the school year, and field closures throughout the state, we are pushing back our return-to-play date to June 1.This new return-to-play date does NOT change any of our current plans, which are outlined below:
More than 20 clubs' fields are closed until June 1, and we anticipate the list to grow over the next week or two.
USYS canceled all ODP camps, showcases, and events for this spring and summer so we cancelled all local tryouts and trainings.For players born in between 2003 and 2007, the Inter-regional events in Florida are still scheduled for November and December, as of now. We are awaiting further instruction from the Midwest Region regarding the selection process for these events.
ODP tryouts for next year will be held in September for 11U-14U and November for 15U+ (after high school championships). More information will be sent later this summer.
We are closely aligning ourselves to Governor Walz and the school districts, along with the CDC and local & federal governments. Should there be any change in the following plan, we will let clubs know immediately.
Return-to-Play: May 4
Black & Blue Leagues
Our goal is for all Black & Blue teams to have 8 games this season. This will vary slightly due to bracket size and regions.
May 1: Schedules Published
May 1-7: Field & Referee Assigning Period
May 8-22: Team-team Reschedule Period
May 23-27: Final Field & Referee Assigning Period
May 28: Schedules Finalized
June 1: Games start
July 15: Games end
There is no change in Summer State Championships.
Minnesota League One
Our goal is for all Minnesota League One teams to have 7 games, but total number of games will vary by age group and level.
State, Presidents and Junior Cup
Due to USYS cancelling regionals and nationals we have flexibility in when we host these events. We are going to use that extra time and move the events to June 17-24.
USYS Weekly Call
The weekly call hosted by USYS was brief this morning. Below are the major items that were discussed:
East & South ODP Championships are cancelled due to the fact USYS did not want to “crowd the calendar” with these events and State & Presidents Cup. Right now, ODP Regional Camps are still on.
This week they will be meeting and discussing the timeline of suspended activities. Skip Gilbert (USYS CEO) said they will most likely be extending the suspension until April 30, but no official announcement has been made yet. As soon as a decision is made (even if it’s before April 1), they will let us know immediately. We will pass along this and any other information to clubs ASAP too.
COVID-19 Assessment Timeline
Starting April 1, USYS will begin reassessing the COVID-19 situation every two weeks and will communicate any changes immediately. MYSA will also follow that timeline.
On April 1, USYS determines nothing should change based on the CDC, World Health Organization, and other health experts’ recommendations. USYS will let everyone know and plan to reassess on April 15.
On April 15, USYS determines air travel is safe and recommends State Associations resume activities and events. MYSA will communicate this to members immediately and provide detailed plans on how leagues and events will operate.
Please note, these are only examples of the 2-week assessment timeline—should anything change from our immediate ban on MYSA-sponsored events, we will communicate that to club members immediately.
USYS’ National Championship Series and Presidents Cup regional and national event dates will remain the same due to venue constraints. Exact details on format, eligibility, and more will be given once the COVID-19 situation changes.
USYS is recommending that we request that registered players and coaches "who have come in contact with anyone diagnosed with coronavirus, or if they become infected themselves, should alert their club. The club should then notify the State Association. The State Association will then incorporate that information in decisions on future matches for that club and its league.”
We created a quick form for clubs to report any cases regarding registered players (no personally identifiable information required) and ask that only one person per club such as a DOC, President, or administrator complete the form to avoid duplicity.
See more about this form and other USYS recommendations here.
Due to the growing health concern of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), we are suspending all activities including MYSA games, events, and coaching courses until April 15, 2020. Earlier today, US Youth Soccer (USYS) suspended all Leagues, Program, and Conference activities until April 15. In the interest of helping limit the spread of the virus in our community, we are following suit.
We will participate in weekly US Youth Soccer conference calls regarding the virus. We will continue to pass along information as it becomes available.
We strongly recommend clubs continue to make decisions with the health and well-being of its members as the top priority. Also, we encourage clubs to continue to monitor the situation closely— especially when travel is involved and/or gatherings of large crowds.
We understand this is a difficult time for everyone, but safety is our number one concern. We will continue to communicate frequently, and please check our website (MNYouthSoccer.org) for the most updated information.
You have questions? We have answers.
Click here to view the FAQS
The Minnesota Department of Health produced guidelines that all youth sports need to adhere to once they are able to resume on June 1.
Click here to view the guidelines
We made a simple graphic to show the responsibilities of the club, coach, parent, and player during the Return to Play plan.
Help us make informed decisions about future youth soccer events by reporting any cases of COVID-19.
Complete the form here