June 2, 2020

Dear Club and League Representatives:

Yesterday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-110 , which rescinded the ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’ order and moved the entire state of Michigan into phase four of the  MI Safe Start Plan . One section (14a) of this new Executive Order permits the following:

(a)    Outdoor fitness classes, athletic practices, training sessions, or games, provided that coaches, spectators, and participants not from the same household maintain six feet of distance from one another at all times during such activities, and that equipment and supplies are shared to the minimum extent possible and are subject to frequent and thorough disinfection and cleaning.

MSYSA had previously relayed we would amend our return-to-training (R2T) guidance in the event we received favorable information from the State of Michigan and/or from MDHHS. In accordance with yesterday’s update from Governor Whitmer, the Michigan State Youth Soccer Association (MSYSA) is announcing the following:

·       Return-To-Training is now permitted as early as Friday, June 5, 2020 , provided affiliated clubs and leagues have created and distributed appropriate safety protocols consistent with MSYSA’s R2T guidelines . MSYSA has identified Friday, June 5, 2020 as the new R2T date to give affiliated clubs and leagues time to plan and implement these protocols. Affiliated leagues/clubs should not proceed with R2T until they are adequately prepared to enforce their respective protocols. This new June 5, 2020 R2T date replaces the June 15, 2020 date that MSYSA had previously communicated.

·       MSYSA has amended our R2T guidelines to maintain consistency with the latest Executive Order. Previously, MSYSA communicated an initial R2T could occur when Governor Whitmer had indicated the entire state of Michigan had moved to Phase 5. MSYSA has now amended our guidance to reflect that an initial R2T can occur in Phase 4.

MSYSA’s updated R2T guidelines are available here . The primary changes in this update include the following:
·      Small group training activities (which were previously permitted as of Phase 5) may now take place within Phase 4.
·      Under ‘Player Responsibilities’, verbiage was modified to: ‘Wear mask before and after all training sessions. This protects others in the event that you are unknowingly carrying the virus.’

Although MSYSA will permit a R2T as early as Friday, June 5, 2020, initial training activities must adhere to social distancing requirements and gathering size limits. Also, during R2T, players are not permitted to share equipment, clothing, or other items, and participants must avoid any activities involving direct or indirect contact between athletes. As a result, MSYSA will still not sanction, affiliate, or insure any in-person (traditional) try-outs this year. Furthermore, pursuant to MSYSA’s Travel Team Formation Policy , clubs are not permitted to initiate contact with, offer roster spots to, or otherwise commit to players outside their club prior to June 13. Likewise, players still may not commit, sign, or register with a new club until June 13, 2020 (for those players who have not already committed, signed, or registered with their existing club for the 2020-2021 seasonal year).

MSYSA also wishes to highlight two other relevant portions of Executive Order 2020-110:

6.      Outdoor social gatherings and events among persons not part of a single household are permitted, but only to the extent that:
(a)    The gathering or event does not exceed 100 people, and
(b)    People not part of the same household maintain six feet of distance from one another.
·      While Section 6 outlines that outdoor events may take place with not more than 100 people and with appropriate social distancing maintained, MSYSA strongly encourages our affiliated clubs and leagues to pursue a graduated R2T by starting with small group training activities. Guidance from several organizations, including CDC , US Soccer , US Youth Soccer , recommends an initial R2T may be safest when done in small groups.

7.      Unless otherwise prohibited by local regulation, outdoor parks and recreational facilities may be open, provided that they make any reasonable modifications necessary to enable employees and patrons not part of the same household to maintain six feet of distance from one another, and provided that areas in which social distancing cannot be maintained be closed, subject to guidance issued by the Department of Health and Human Services.

·      Affiliated leagues, clubs, and their members, should work with local parks and recreational facilities to understand local criteria. Application, and approval for use of fields, needs to be directed to your county, local officials, city councils, and parks departments. Please use the MSYSA R2T documents as a resource in your application process for field usage. We are here to support you. 

·      There has been no change in MSYSA’s liability coverage for outdoor facilities that were requested for the seasonal playing year that runs from September 2019 to the end of August 2020 by our members. Those COIs (certificates of insurance) remain on file and were issued to respective landowners and outdoor facilities, as requested in the past nine months.

Going forward, MSYSA will continue to update our R2T guidelines pertaining to Phases 5 and 6 as we receive additional guidance and clarification from the State of Michigan and/or MDHHS. Also, MSYSA expects that any progression into Phase 5 of MSYSA’s R2T guidelines will be permitted by MSYSA once Governor Whitmer has moved the entire state of Michigan into Phase 5 of the MI Safe Start Plan. In the event that MSYSA receives guidance and/or recommendation from the State of Michigan, MDHHS, and/or local public health officials on the ability to permit affiliated clubs/leagues from different regions to progress through the R2T guidance at different times based on their region’s current Phase, MSYSA will communicate that accordingly.

For additional information, please visit our website at www.michiganyouthsoccer.org . Should you have any questions, you may also email the MSYSA State Office at stateoffice@michiganyouthsoccer.org .


Thomas Faro
Executive Director

cc.:      MSYSA Board of Directors