September 3, 2020

Dear Club and League Representatives:

This afternoon, Governor Whitmer signed Executive Order (EO) 176, effective 12:01 AM on September 4, 2020. In brief, the EO allows for organized sports practices and competitions to resume, subject to strict protections meant to limit spread of the COVID virus. In addition, the EO does not subject athletes to previous social distancing requirements, but instead, athletes must maintain six feet of distance from one another to the extent compatible with our sport. They must also wear a facial covering, except those athletes participating in the sport of swimming.

As a result of the new Executive Order(s), MSYSA will carefully review and consider modification(s) to our Return-To-Play (RTP) guidelines with our team at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health. If/when any modifications are made to MSYSA’s RTP guidelines, they will be communicated to our affiliated club and league representatives.

Governor Whitmer’s decision today is exciting news for our affiliated players, coaches, clubs and leagues. Obviously, MSYSA is pleased with the opportunity to move forward. Your continued patience is required at this time. It is vitally important that all of us do our part to ensure the health and safety of our members, and their families. In addition to MSYSA’s RTP guidelines, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) released guidance today on organized sports. The MDHHS considers youth soccer to be a ‘contact’ sport. While the MDHHS does not recommend contact sports at this time, the recommendation does not preclude MSYSA from moving forward, provided safety protocols are followed. The MDHHS recommendation is intended to warn parents/guardians that the sport of soccer involves more than ‘occasional and fleeting’ contact. 

MSYSA is very aware that the past 6 months have been extraordinarily difficult for players, coaches, clubs and leagues. Please share your enthusiasm on having a fall season with your players/coaches despite the fact that the fall season will start later than normal, or you may have fewer games than you would traditionally have. As previously relayed, when MSYSA formally announces that games may resume, things will look a lot different. Unfortunately, this is the new ‘normal.’

In closing, a ‘Zoom’ conference call scheduled for Friday, September 4, 2020 at 4:00 PM. This call is limited to Club and League Representatives only. Should you need the call-in information, please email stateoffice@michiganyouthsoccer.org.

Sincerely,

Thomas Faro
Executive Director

cc.:      MSYSA Board of Directors