On Monday, April 27th UYSA sent out the below communication to all membership:
*This is a constantly changing matter and we expect to be making updates in the upcoming days*
We hope that you are staying safe, healthy and well.
While we were optimistic that we would be able to begin league play and soccer activities the first part of May, based on Governor Herbert’s three phase plan, recommendations from our healthcare partner, as well as all school and multiple field closures, we are unable to offer UYSA League soccer games in May. This applies to all competitive UYSA Leagues. *Recreation players need to contact their recreation programs for plans and updates.
As a reminder, this suspension of soccer activity doesn’t just include league games, but also includes all activity inconsistent with Utah’s Stay At Home Directive which includes close contact and team sport activities.
UYSA has sent a letter to Governor Herbert and the COVID Task Force (see below) requesting that youth sports be allowed to resume activity in Phase Two. We are hopeful that we will be able to resume some activity during May. Should this be accepted, and we can move forward with soccer activity in May, we will need everyone’s support to make sure we are continuing to follow CDC and government guidelines to help continue to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Thank you for your patience and support during this time. Please know that the UYSA Staff is working diligently to monitor the situation and work with our government officials to be able to resume soccer activities as soon as it is safe.
We encourage you to continue to stay in contact with your players and encourage them to maintain fitness and work on their development on their own. As a reminder, we have partnered with SoccerTech, an online database with hundreds of soccer activities players can utilize to help inspire daily workouts.
To access your free membership, visit: https://soccertech.com/uysa-free/ Click on the orange “Access Your Two-Month Membership” button and follow the prompts to set up your account. No credit card information will be required to sign up. Start using your Soccer Tech membership to work on your game and development. Each day Utah Youth Soccer will post specific workouts utilizing different exercises within the platform. Share videos or pictures performing the exercises and use hashtag #SoccerTechAndUYSA and tag Utah Youth Soccer and Soccer Tech on social channels for a chance to be featured!
We look forward to the time when we can return to trainnings and playing games safely. We know that by working together we will get through these challenging and unprecedented times.
Utah Youth Soccer Association
Letter to Utah’s Governor Herbert
Governor Herbert and State of Utah Leaders,
We appreciate your efforts in dealing with the current Covid-19 virus and protecting the citizens of Utah while at the same time looking at ways to help Utah “return to normal.” We understand how complex this is and share the concerns for the safety of the citizens, particularly the youth, of Utah. We, as the Utah Youth Soccer Association (UYSA), are looking for ways to assist the State in a cooperative manner to get the youth in Utah back to normal. Consistent with the letter to you from Utah’s youth baseball programs, we concur with their arguments in support of moving youth athletics, including youth soccer managed by the UYSA, forward into Phase Two of Utah’s Economic Response plan.
UYSA, as the largest youth sports organization in Utah, with over 53,000 competitive and recreational children playing soccer in the State of Utah, agrees with baseball’s sentiment that sports, including soccer, are vital as physical and mental outlets for our youth. A safe and reasonable return to playing soccer would provide some normalcy, activity and socialization desperately needed by the youth, especially in light of the recent decisions not to reopen schools this year.
Working with our 57 member organizations (clubs) and through cooperation from the State, we believe we can restart soccer in a manner consistent with the guidance of the State and medical professionals.
For example, UYSA would propose that the clubs be allowed to start practices in small groups and the requirement that the practices take place outdoors. Also, the game of soccer naturally supports social distancing during play, for both players and spectators (when spectators are allowed to attend events).
The following is a list of guidelines that UYSA is considering in an effort to open a dialogue on this subject with the State and other sports organizations. We are open to additional suggestions or requirements deemed necessary.
Phased Return to Play Approach:
- Phase I: May- Return to practices, limited to 10-15 players, no scrimmages permitted, limited non-essential contact and families must stay in vehicles.
- Phase II: June- Return to game matches with limited non-essential contact (no handshakes/fist bumps) and limited spectators
- Phase III: July- Return to tournaments and larger competitive events, continue to limit spectators
- Healthy participants only: Any players, coaches, spectators or referees who are sick will not be allowed at games or practices. All state COVID-19 guidelines apply.
- Required hand washing: Players required to wash hands or use sanitizer before, at half-time and after the game. Team managers to provide adequate hand sanitizer for every player.
Additionally, the restart of youth soccer will boost the economy in the State significantly. Not only will it put over 1,500 referees back to work, but returning to play for youth soccer would help the 57 member organizations in the State. These member organizations operate as non profit entities and who, taking into consideration the current plan are at great risk of closing their doors and facing bankruptcy effecting the livelihood of hundreds of families should youth soccer take a much longer hiatus.
So, like baseball, UYSA requests that the Governor’s task force consider the resumption of youth soccer be moved into Phase Two of Utah’s Economic Response Plan. We feel that through working together, we can create a safe plan for a structured return of youth sports. Since your first press conference on COVID-19, UYSA has followed your direction and guidelines for social distancing in Utah. We look forward to continuing to support you as we work to keep Utah safe and healthy. If you have any questions or need for additional information, please feel free to contact us. We would be happy to be part of any committee or task force to discuss moving this idea forward.
Thank you for your time and consideration,
Bryan Attridge, CEO of Utah Youth Soccer Association
Brian Smith, President of Utah Youth Soccer Association