After a long sabbatical from soccer, we are excited to kick off the fall 2020 season with our first league games scheduled on September 19.
But first please remember, if someone in your ecosystem tests positive for COVID-19, please immediately contact your Board of Health and Massachusetts Youth Soccer Association (MYSA) and follow their instructions.
A number of towns have elected not to play other teams unless everyone on the field is wearing a face mask, no exceptions. You can find a list of those towns here. It is incumbent on the team that is not allowing face mask exemptions to email their opponent on the Wednesday prior to the game and let the opponent know of the restrictions. All games canceled in advance because of non-mask wearing exemptions will be treated as unplayed games.
The safety of our referees, players, and team officials is our main concern. Soccer will look a bit different this year as we follow regulations and guidance from Massachusetts, MYSA and Massachusetts State Referee Commission (MSRC).
MYSA has provided return to soccer guidance and has made some temporary modifications to the Laws of the Game. We strongly encourage you to review the most recent Mass Youth Soccer Return to Soccer Activities guidelines at https://www.mayouthsoccer.org/return-to-soccer-activities.
Please note, this current version of the guidance is fluid in nature and is expected to change as circumstances evolve. Further, each referee should also review the MYSA presentation on return to soccer activities, found on the web page from the hyperlink above, as it is an excellent example of how players, coaches, and staff are being guided.
Here are some highlights you should share with your coaches:
- All coaches on the sideline (maximum of 3) must have MYSA 2020-2021 credentials. The game may not kick off if there is not a credentialed adult in each technical area.
- Coaches supply a paper roster to the referee. They can place it on the ground for the referee to collect. Home coach provides a sanitized ball and should have backup sanitized balls in case the game ball needs to come out of play. Absent players and coaches must be crossed off the game roster and player numbers annotated if needed before giving the roster to the referee.
- If a coach wants a copy of the opposing team roster, they can request an electronic copy from the opposing coach when communicating earlier in the week.
- If the ball is touched by hands other than the keeper, it must be taken out of play and sanitized.
- Goalkeepers are permitted to touch the ball, preferably with gloves. If goalkeepers touch their face during play (with bared or gloved hands) and then touch the ball, the ball must be removed from play and sanitized – if wearing gloves, then the gloves must be sanitized. It is recommended that goalkeepers sanitize their hands before and after their shift in goal.
- Coaches should keep their division director in the loop as to the status of games.
- Coaches should use appropriate strategies to avoid running up the score in lopsided games. Review these strategies here, but keep in mind the temporary modifications to the game currently in place: https://bays.org/content/lopsided-score-management-0
- And finally, coaches should be reminded about the BAYS Zero Tolerance policy which can be found here: https://bays.org/content/zero-tolerance-policy
We wish you all a safe and fun-filled season. Remember, it is all about the kids playing soccer. This season should be a Celebration of the Game!
The BAYS Executive Committee