Plymouth Return to Play plan, players, coaches, parents, and facilities

5 September, 2020

In accordance with COVID-19 order no 43 issued by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on July 6, 2020, with supporting documentation issued and amended on July 24, 2020 by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, youth soccer has been classified as a Moderate Risk sport and is permitted to participate in Phase 3 training activities. In this phase, youth sports are allowed to train and begin inter-League play.   In response, Massachusetts Youth Soccer Association has developed their Return to Play Guidelines.  (

Plymouth Youth Soccer Association (PYSA) has prepared this document, with strict adherence to the requirements set forth in Mass Youth Soccer Return to Soccer Activities Guidelines – August 13-17, 2020, to codify the expectations for all participants and spectators at PYSA training and game events.  This document will serve as the reference document for the training of all adults associated with youth soccer through PYSA, including coaches, administrators, referees, and parents/guardians.  Meeting the requirements of this document is the minimum requirement for any PYSA soccer related activity, whether in-town or travel.

The Facilities

  1. Players and participants are limited to no more than 25 per single playing surface at any one time. The number of coaches and staff should be limited. A full sized field may be used by more than one group, provided that adequate social distance and group separation at least 20 feet apart can be maintained.
  2. Six feet of social distancing will be enforced at all times throughout Plymouth fields (Forges, West Elementary, West Rec, and Elmer Raymond), unless directly involved in active play.  This means that all spectators must maintain six feet of separation from the playing surface and from other spectators not a member of your family group.  PYSA will mark appropriate viewing spacing on the touchlines using paint on the grass surface.  Coaches, substitutes, and support staff must also maintain six feet of separation while in the technical areas.
  3. No more than 50 individuals will be allowed around a playing surface at any time, excluding rostered players.  That includes coaches, referees, team officials, and spectators.  Unless in active play, a social distance of six feet must be maintained and face coverings are required for all (including players in active play).
  4. FROM MASS YOUTH SOCCER: During this current COVID-19 Pandemic state of emergency as proclaimed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Mass Youth Soccer requires all member organizations to limit the number of spectators at all sanctioned soccer activities to One (1) per player. Spectators are defined as a Parent, Legal Guardian or Chaperone.
    1. ​Exceptions: Any Spectator who is responsible for other minors and is not able to have them cared for by others is permitted to be in attendance as a spectator with such children with them at all times.
  5. Upon arrival to training, coaches or staff should ask each athlete if they are experiencing any signs or symptoms of COVID-19. If the athlete has any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 they should be sent home and instructed to contact their healthcare provider. They will not be allowed to return to training until they are cleared by a healthcare provider. A doctor’s note must be provided.
  6. Be sure appropriate infection prevention supplies (e.g. hand sanitizer, facial tissues, facial coverings) are present in multiple targeted areas (outlined later in this document).
  7. Participants should use their own equipment and be instructed to sanitize their equipment after every training session. This includes, but is not limited to, water bottles labeled with their name, towel, and personal hygiene products (hand sanitizer, facial tissues, face coverings*), shin-guards, Goal Keeper gloves as needed, and pinnies.  Players are encouraged to bring their own age appropriate soccer balls to training.
  8. Players should arrive to the field dressed for play.  Personal effects will be placed away from the playing surface and at least six feet apart.
  9. Only coaches will be allowed to touch common team training equipment.  Coaches are responsible for cleaning of equipment (cones, goals etc.) with disinfectant before, during, and after training.  PYSA will provide the disinfectant.
  10. Be aware that porta-potties may not be available at Forges as they may be removed due to Covid-19 related town activities.
  11. Trash Removal - To continue to provide minimized risk opportunities at this time there is a strict “Carry In” – “Carry Out” policy.  Please take your waste with you, what you bring in – you take out.
  12. Face coverings will attach around the ears so as not to cause any injury if accidentally tugged or pulled on. No around the head or neck face coverings permitted. 

The Game:

  1. Some sports by their nature involve intense aerobic activity throughout play. For soccer players,  it is required that players use facial coverings when possible, take frequent breaks when they are out of proximity to other players using caution to avoid touching the front or inside of the face covering by using the ear loops to remove and replace.  Soccer players should have facial coverings with them at all times and where possible play with the facial covering on, removing it for long runs down the field, for plays without close contact, and in the goal. Participants for all sports must wear facial coverings while on the sidelines at ALL times.
  2. The Laws of the Game (LOTG) have modified due to COVID-19 restrictions:
    1. Heading - All intentional heading of a soccer ball is suspended for all ages. Any intentional heading will be treated as a violation of IFAB Law 12, Playing in a Dangerous Manner, Indirect Free Kick restart
    2.  Shoulder to Shoulder contact is suspended and or any other intentional physical  contact is to be considered a violation of Law 12, Playing in a Dangerous Manner, Indirect Free Kick restart or other applicable foul or misconduct based on the referee’s decision.
    3. Slide Tackling whenever within 6 feet of another player is suspended and is to be considered a violation of Law 12, Playing in a Dangerous Manner, Indirect Free Kick restart or other applicable foul or misconduct based on the referee’s decision.
    4. Throw-Ins as defined by IFAB Law 15 are suspended and to be replaced by a Kick-in. The modifications for the procedure for a Kick-in is:
      1. The player taking the Kick-in must be facing the field of play and need not keep both feet on the ground during the Kick-in.
      2. Must put part of the ball on the touchline or on the ground outside the touchline
      3. The ball may not be kicked directly into the opponent’s penalty area.
      4. All opponents must stand at least 10 yards (8 yards for small sided) from the point on the touchline where the Kick-in is to be taken.
      5. IFAB Law 15 Offences and Sanctions for Throw-ins apply to Kick-ins.
    5. Corner Kicks as defined by IFAB Law 17 are suspended and to be replaced by a Corner Kick-in. The modifications for the procedure for a Corner Kick-in are:
      1. The ball may not be kicked directly into the opponent’s penalty area.
      2. Opponents must remain at least 10 yds (8 yards for small sided) from the corner arc until the ball is in play
      3. IFAB Law 17 Offences and Sanctions for Corner Kicks apply to Corner Kick-ins.
    6.  For all restarts, all players must comply with the 6 -foot distancing from both teammates and opponents. Opponents must remain at 10 yds (8 yards for small sided) from the ball prior to the kick. The use of a traditional defensive Wall is currently suspended.
    7. No handshakes/celebrations/team meetings are allowed.  Sportsmanship can be demonstrated without contact.
    8. Referees require a mask and an electronic whistle.  PYSA should supply whistles and require referees to sanitize after use.  Assistant Referees will provide their own flag.  Once referees return to the technical area, they must social distance to six feet and/or apply a mask.
    9. Players are required to sanitize their hands prior to substituting onto the pitch and after substituting off the pitch.  Handling of the game ball should be limited to players in active play only.
    10. If pinnies are required, each player must use one that they brought to the field themselves.
    11. Do not allow shared team snacks. No use of public water bubblers, fountains or bottle fillers if present on site. Participants and spectators should only drink from their own containers.
    12. If there is a stoppage of play (due to injury, etc), all players must maintain a social distance of six feet until play resumes.

PYSA Responsibilities:

  • Operators must post visible signage throughout the site to remind all of hygiene and safety protocols.
  • All coaches will receive PPE kits with masks and hand sanitizer to last throughout the Fall season.
  • All Referees will be provided with electronic whistles.
  • Entrance to and exit points West Elementary Field will be separated and clearly marked.  Suggest gate closest to Baseball diamond for entrance and gate nearer to field be used as exit.  To ease the movement of people through these points, no equipment or play will be allowed within ten yards of entrances.
  • Additional PPE (face coverings, sanitizer, etc) will be provided to coaches for emergency use in case a player should forget theirs.  Spectators without face coverings should be asked to leave the facility by the coach.
  • Do not allow congregating in the parking lot, common areas, entrances, and exits before and after practice.
  • Schedule groups/teams with a minimum of 20 minutes in between the time one team concludes and the other arrives. Players must leave immediately after their game/practice session. Players should not arrive at their field earlier than 5 minutes prior to their scheduled practice time.
  • Warm up time will be build that into field use schedule.   Warm-ups will not be permitted adjacent to the assigned field prior to the scheduled start time for a team.
  • Avoid using benches and bleachers at town soccer fields. Players & spectators must bring their own chair. All chairs must be spaced according to physical distancing rules. (6’ apart)
  • Assign a COVID-19 Safety Officer who will communicate policies organization-wide, to coaching staff, administrators, parents, and players.  Regular updates and reminders should be provided.
  • Assign each team a coordinator to oversee compliance at the team level (can be a team parent who must register as an Adult with Mass Youth Soccer).
  • Violations of social distancing and mask wearing requirements by players and/or spectators should only be addressed by individuals in a position of authority (ie coaches, COVID-19 team representatives, PYSA Board Members). Suspension of play until the individual/s are in compliance is one potential outcome.  All instances of non-compliance must be recorded and notifications sent as required in PYSA/CYSL Zero Tolerance Policy Game Rules (under revision).
  • A list of all attendees and participants in a practice or game must be taken and submitted to the PYSA COVID-19 Safety Officer in case contact tracing is necessary. The mechanism for this recording will be determined by the PYSA Board under the guidance of the COVID-19 Safety Officer.  
  • Train and educate all volunteers/staff on return to activities protocols.

The above guidelines are to be followed in addition to ALL applicable State and Local issued Covid-19 Safety Guidelines.

Requested Field Access:
Dates in Effect: 05 SEP through 07 November



Return to Play

Update 5/18/2021

Tuesday 18th May, Mass Youth Soccer has updated Spring 2021 COVID Protocols for member organizations based on  Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) COVID Guidance Documents and current Safety Standards for Youth and Adult Amateur Sports Activities. (Effective 5.18.21)

Mass Youth Soccer Covid Hub has additional resources and videos

Massachusetts Previous CURRENT STATE: Phase IV, Step 2 for certain industries.

PYSA is focused on providing our community with skill building, fun, and and most importantly safe soccer activities...

PYSA Covid coordinator - Phil Krueger email :

As we approach the return to the soccer pitch, Plymouth Youth Soccer is committed to keeping our children safe and healthy by adhering to the appropriate state and local guidelines, with particular attention to the recommendations made by Massachusetts Youth Soccer.  As you know, this situation is constantly changing. We will do our best to keep our families updated with the changes. Please read emails sent by PYSA and your coaches.

In accordance with COVID-19 order no.66 issued by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and effective March 22, 2021 by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA), soccer remains classified as a Moderate risk sport. Moderate risk is defined as a sport or activities that involve intermittent close proximity or limited incidental physical contact between participants. Sports in this category are permitted to participate in Level 1, 2, and 3 training activities.

Mass Youth Soccer Covid Hub has additional resources and videos

Mass Youth Soccer requires all adults involved in soccer activities to read, understand and conduct themselves in accordance with the Massachusetts Youth Soccer Association COVID-19 Return to Soccer Activities Guidelines as provided by the following link:

Massachusetts Youth Soccer Return to Play Guidelines

Mass Youth Soccer Covid Hub has additional resources and videos