Letter from US Club Soccer CEO Kevin Payne regarding COVID-19; local guidelines to take precedence beginning May 18
May 14, 2020
These past two months have been like nothing any of us has ever experienced before. The novel coronavirus pandemic has caused disruption of every aspect of our daily lives, including the organized soccer activities we all enjoy so much. Throughout this unprecedented and confusing time, we have guided our decision-making by the fundamental principle that the wellbeing of all of our players, staff, parents and loved ones is always our first priority. We thank you for your patience, understanding and cooperation.
Removal of national suspension of activities on May 18:
We recognize that different parts of our country have been affected to a different degree by the impact of COVID-19. Therefore, we are lifting our national suspension of activities and delegating return-to-play decision making to our local members, effective May 18.
To be clear, this decision by no means is a blanket permission to return to the fields. Each member is expected to strictly follow state and local guidelines for the resumption of play. Please note: Our insurance is only in effect if your activities are consistent with local health and safety requirements and guidelines.
Please also note that any organized activities by our member leagues, clubs or teams require that players and staff have current 2019-20 passcards in order to qualify for insurance coverage.
Editor’s note/clarification (May 22): For activities to be sanctioned with the normal US Club Soccer-provided insurance coverage in effect, members returning to play must be in compliance with requirements/mandates established by the applicable local and state public health authorities. If members are not in compliance, the activities are unsanctioned and US Club Soccer-provided insurance coverage is not in effect.
Beyond the requirements/mandates, US Club Soccer also encourages members to follow optional guidelines or recommendations established by local and state public health authorities, to the extent applicable and possible. Members are always expected to err on the side of caution in health and safety matters.
Members must abide by the requirements/guidelines established by their state and local public health authorities. Beyond that, here are some other resources to consider when planning for a return to play:
- CDC – Considerations for Youth Sports (Updated May 22, 2020)
- USOPC – Guidance for Return to Training and Sport Event Planning
- U.S. Soccer’s return-to-play resources are forthcoming and will shared on usclubsoccer.org/coronavirus
Summer 2020 events:
Last week, we officially canceled our 2020 National Cup series, including all of our regional events and all our summer championship events. Prior to that announcement, we had canceled the ENPL National Playoffs and Finals, Girls NPL Finals and National Cup XIX Finals. You can read those Member Updates: here for the National Cup Regionals decision and here for the championships decision. We regret that we had to make those decisions, and we look forward to resuming those activities in 2021.
The cancelations were made in consideration of not only health and safety, but also in an effort to allow leagues around the country to potentially complete their spring seasons by extending into the summer. We hope that most of our members are able to safely resume play over the next several months.
US Club Soccer’s coronavirus web page:
If you haven’t yet visited usclubsoccer.org/coronavirus, we encourage you to do so. You’ll find consolidated information about the impact on our programming, as well as helpful information related to employment, the federal stimulus bill, CDC guidelines and safety requirements for virtual training sessions.
This time in which we find ourselves is an extraordinary one, and it has produced an extraordinary response from people all across the world. We have all come to recognize the everyday heroes who are part of our lives every day: our health care workers, police, fire, and ambulance personnel, and those who care for the elderly, of course, come immediately to mind. But think of the others we don’t usually consider heroic: grocery store workers, freight haulers, farmers, food processors, mail carriers, garbage collectors, and many others who show up and do their job every day, even when that puts them at risk. Perhaps the silver lining in this long dark cloud will be a greater appreciation of those who everyday work on behalf of all of us.
US Club Soccer made a commitment to Player Health and Safety as part of our Players First promise long before COVID-19 changed our world. We’re proud that is our commitment now, and that will be our commitment always.
We’re all in this together!
ABOUT US CLUB SOCCER
A National Association member of the U.S. Soccer Federation, US Club Soccer fosters the growth and development of soccer clubs in order to create the best possible environment for players of all ages.
Anchored by Players First and its five pillars of Club Development, Coaching Development, Player Development, Parent Engagement & Education and Player Health & Safety, US Club Soccer offers registration, league- and cup-based competition platforms, player identification and a variety of other programming, resources and services.
US Club Soccer is sponsored by Nike, DICK'S Sporting Goods and Gatorade.