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News - Details

MSYSA Return to Play Guidelines




for a phased approach to resuming

organized youth soccer in the State of Maryland

Nov 4th, 2020

As clubs and teams around the state begin or continue their safe return to play, there is a sense of excitement to return to the field. There are also many good reasons to temper that excitement with a healthy caution; the COVID-19 pandemic is still very real and affecting many states around the country; in some cases worse than ever.

It is imperative, therefore, that our commitment to the health and safety of our players, coaches, parents and officials must remain a top priority. We must continue to ask ourselves tough questions, to ensure that we are taking the most responsible actions possible and moving forward in the abundance of caution. Every organization, each participant and their families must stay informed and make educated choices about when they are ready to return to play. No one should feel pressured – or pressure others – into a decision. Soccer, most importantly, is fun. And it’s the fun we are looking to get back.

As the situation in Maryland has evolved, so our guidance has evolved to take into consideration the ever-changing environment that we are faced with and the variant county and city guidelines that are prevalent across the state. In consideration, we have made some updates to the Return To Play documents here, based on updated information that we are receiving on a daily and weekly basis.

Our stance on Return to Play remains very much the same and is driven by some key principles;

  • The MSYSA Return to Play guidelines are exactly that! They are guidelines based on best practices from US Soccer, US Youth Soccer, CDC and other local and state health authorities, etc.
  • Member clubs and affiliates are always expected to err on the side of caution in health and safety matters and at all times defer to local and state public health authorities.
  • ALL clubs and affiliates should follow the guidelines or recommendations established by your local and state public health authorities and other local entities to determine exactly what Return to Play will look like for you.
  • MSYSA in no way endorses holding practices or games in violation of any federal, state or local mandates.
  • A safe, phased approach that establishes best practices to promote the health and safety of all participants is the ideal way to return, and allows participants to safely acclimatize to the demands of soccer.
  • If you are not comfortable returning to the field, then you should not! Just because you can, does not mean you should!

Thank you for all you do to make the soccer community of Maryland a better place every single day. The bedrock principles of teamwork, respect and community that have been integral to the success of soccer in Maryland will serve us now more than ever. Together, we will move forward and thrive. We are, and will remain, “#Marylandstrong”

Please let us know if you have any questions regarding these updates and if you would like to speak to someone directly please reach out to our Director of Coaching, Alan Lydiate (

Stay safe and healthy. We look forward to seeing you out on the field in the coming weeks.

MSYSA Return to Play Committee


RETURN TO PLAY DRAFT WAIVER EXAMPLE (Provided for information purposes only. Anyone choosing to use this waiver should have it reviewed with their legal advisors prior to use)