May 31, 2020
US Soccer Play On and USASA Return to Play (15515 KB)
Since my last message on April 28, 2020, Texas-South has received guidance from the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) and the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA) concerning the resumption of play during the C-19 pandemic beginning on June 1, 2020. Texas-South honors its commitment to the health and wellbeing of all soccer players, fans, coaches, administrators by complying with the USSF and USASA Guidelines. Texas-South thanks Catlin Carducci of USSF and Duncan Riddle of USASA for their prompt and efficient assistance.
There will be two (2) links or attached pages posted with this message (both documents listed below are combined in the pdf at the top of this page):
- the USSF “US Soccer Play On” Guidelines (“USSF Guidelines”), and
- the USASA “Return to Play” Guidelines (and accompany CDC “Opening Up America Again” Guidelines)(“USASA Guidelines”).
(collectively “the USSF-USASA Guidelines”). Texas-South accepts the USSF-USASA Guidelines.
Texas-South further accepts all of these guidelines as complementing each such that each guideline should be construed in a manner to render all of the other guidelines enforceable to accomplish the goal of health and wellbeing of all soccer players, fans, coaches and administrators. However, in the event of an irreconcilable conflict among two or more guidelines, then Texas-South accepts the USSF Guidelines as controlling because the USSF is the highest ranking domestic soccer organization and governs all subsidiary organizations like USASA, USSSA and US Club Soccer.
Texas-South believes that starting to play too soon (even though we all want to play as soon as possible) is bad public policy for the soccer community and for the community at large. Texas-South therefore requires all leagues and teams within Texas-South to follow the USSF and USASA Guidelines.
Texas-South must not only enforce the USSF and USASA Guidelines, but Texas-South can institute policies to help implement the USSF and USASA Guidelines. In that regard, each league should consult with a physician, virologist, infectious disease specialist or other qualified expert to assist league to meet the USSF and USASA Guidelines. There will be different ways in which a league may meet the USSF and USASA Guidelines based upon:
- the location of the league,
- the conditions and improvements available at a field complex;
- the status of the spread and transmission of the C-19 virus where the league is located,
- the availability of testing where the league is located,
- the downward trajectory of documented cases within a 14-day window, the downward or upward trajectory of positive tests as a percent of total tests within a 14-day window period (flat or increasing volume of tests),
- the availability of hand sanitizer and other hand sanitation processes, and
- other considerations as we learn more and more about the C-19 virus.
This recommendation seeks practical solutions.
The USSF and USASA Guidelines begin with the requirement that no soccer play may resume until all applicable governmental orders permit it. The USASA Guideline arguably applies a more rigorous starting point when the USASA Guidelines incorporate the CDC Guidance which states no phased re-opening may begin until there have been a series of downward trajectories of symptoms, reported cases, documented cases, positive tests and hospital treatments over a 14-day window.
Governor Gregg Abbott issued an order on May 26, 2020 that recreational sports may begin practice on June 1, 2020 and begin competitions on June 15, 2020 with no additional requirements. That order meets the threshold to start the USSF Guidelines. If the order actually or constructively meets the CDC’s 14-day windows, then that order meets the threshold to start the USASA Guidelines. If there is an irreconcilable conflict among the USSF Guidelines and the USASA Guidelines whether Governor Abbott’s order meets the triggering threshold, then the USSF Guidance controls.
I hereby adopt the USSF Guidelines, and therefore, it is ordered that:
Beginning on June 1, 2020, soccer play may resume following the USSF
Phase I: Small Group Training may begin and continue for 4-6 weeks (or through June 26, 2020 – July 10, 2020),
Phase II: Full Team Training may begin and continue for 3-6 weeks (or through July 17, 2020 – July 31, 2020), and
Phase III: Matches may begin and continue through the end of the soccer season which ends on August 31, 2020.
Please remember that, pursuant to separate guidance from the insurance broker, the regular player insurance does NOT cover exposure to C-19 or any other virus. The USSF and the USAS determine what play is authorized. Training or matches which do not conform to the USSF Guidelines may be an unauthorized training or match such that the insurer may deny a claim for a physical injury at unauthorized training or match. If anybody is injured, that player should make an insurance claim, but the players need to be told that there could be a problem if they are injured during an unauthorized training or match.
We have accomplished a great deal in the fight against the C-19 virus. It appears that we should continue those efforts for, at a minimum, through August 31, 2020. This has been touch when the weather is nice or when foreign leagues resume play. We must let the tough measures beat the spread and transmission of the C-19 virus. We take these measures not because they are easy, but because they are difficult.
Even when we are able to play again, we should still practice CDC hygiene procedures. Before and after June 1, 2020, please follow some basic best practices:
- STAY HOME IF YOU ARE SICK, FEELING SICK, OR HAVE SYMPTOMS
- wear a mask
- avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
- don't shake hands
- cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- if soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
- always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
Please refer to these resources for further information:
Center for Disease Control
World Health Organization
Pace e salute
/s/ Pascal Paul Piazza
Pascal Paul Piazza,