May 20, 2020
Dear Club and League Representatives:
As of the date of this communication, Governor Whitmer’s ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’ Executive Order is still in place. Michigan is also still in Phase 3 (Flattening) of the Governor’s MI Safe Start Plan . Thus, out of an abundance of caution for our participants and families, MSYSA’s return-to-play date is now June 15, 2020 , at the earliest. With the exceptions noted in MSYSA’s 2020-2021 Travel Team Formation Policy , MSYSA has suspended all of our soccer activities*, all MSYSA sanctioned tournaments, and all other affiliated soccer activities through June 14, 2020.
*MSYSA affiliated activities includes scheduled games, team practice/training sessions, or sponsored activities that are under the direct supervision of a team official; or sanctioned local or national tournaments as a member of a contestant team (e.g., any activity that MSYSA sanctions and insures).
MSYSA will not sanction, affiliate, or insure any in-person (traditional) try-outs, in-person player trainings or assessments of any kind, team practices, trainings, scrimmages, matches, or soccer travel to other states until communicated otherwise. Team officials, clubs, and players who ignore, do not adhere to, or violate these protocols before (or after) a return-to-play, are not insured by MSYSA. In addition, these individuals/groups are subject to disciplinary measures, such as being placed in bad standing, suspension(s), and/or fines, as determined by the MSYSA Board of Directors.
MSYSA has been unable to secure definitive clarification from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) on what youth soccer activities, if any, will be permitted when the state enters Phase 4 of the Governor’s MI Safe Start Plan. At this point in time, MSYSA believes that Phase 5 represents the specific time period in which statewide youth soccer training will be allowed to resume in limited-size groups and with adherence to social distancing. For now, a return-to-training may occur when Governor Whitmer has indicated that the entire state of Michigan has entered Phase 5. MSYSA does not believe that the entire state of Michigan will enter Phase 5 in the immediate future or before June 15, 2020. In the event that MSYSA receives favorable clarification on potential youth soccer activities from MDHHS during Phase 4, MSYSA will update our guidance to be consistent with MDHHS.
MSYSA will be sharing our return-to-training guidelines with you later this week or early next week. In the interim, please review US Youth Soccer’s general guidelines . MSYSA’s return-to-training guidelines will include additional guidance/recommendations from the CDC and state/local health departments. During an initial return-to-training, MSYSA expects to implement guidelines such as avoiding activities that require direct or indirect contact between athletes, players exclusively using their own equipment, and on-site coaching as long as social distancing is maintained throughout the activity. Also, we anticipate that clubs will be required to create, distribute, and enforce specific safety protocols to members and participants (more detailed information will be provided soon). Our goal in sharing this information with you is so that our affiliated clubs, team officials, parents, and players can safely and adequately prepare for return-to-training on or after June 15, 2020.
In addition, MSYSA is restricting, for the foreseeable future, soccer travel to other states (e.g., training sessions, scrimmages, matches, tournaments, etc.). While other states around us may be reopening, or returning to play before Michigan, it is important we do our part in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 to other areas of the country.
Finally, MSYSA is implementing use of a communicable diseases waiver . The waiver needs to be reviewed and completed by those desiring to participate in MSYSA’s Director’s Academy, NLC, MSPSP, ODP, ODP 101, State Cup, Junior State Cup, etc. As part of MSYSA’s duty of care, the waiver is intended to advise persons that there is a risk of acquiring communicable diseases, including COVID-19, in group settings. MSYSA recommends our affiliated clubs and leagues also utilize the waiver as part of your duty of care as well. MSYSA’s waiver has been reviewed by MSYSA legal counsel and conforms with state statutes.
Our next teleconference (Zoom) update will occur with club and league representatives on Friday, May 29, 2020 at 4:00 pm . A separate email communication will be disseminated to club and league representatives with the call-in number and meeting ID. Please note: This call is limited to club & league representatives only.
Thank you for your continued patience and support.