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Youth Girls Jun 04, 2020

U.S. Soccer unveils PLAY ON campaign to assist in return-to-play

CHICAGO – To assist in the process of organized soccer returning to play across the nation during the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Soccer Federation has created the U.S. Soccer PLAY ON campaign which provides recommended guidelines and best practices for all soccer players, coaches, parents, administrators and referees.

“We are all excited about returning to playing, coaching and refereeing soccer,” said U.S. Soccer Chief Medical Officer George Chiampas. “During these uncertain times of COVID-19, we need to be smart about how we approach coming back to ensure we keep the health and safety of all involved as everyone’s main priority. The U.S. Soccer Federation has conducted extensive research, and in collaboration with experts inside and outside the organization, has assembled the U.S. Soccer PLAY ON campaign. Our goal is to inform, educate and assist everyone involved with soccer in the process of returning to play.”

U.S. Soccer PLAY ON is divided into five phases, representing the different stages of progress required to achieve the ultimate goal of playing with no restrictions or recommendations related to COVID-19. While U.S. Soccer is providing the return to play information as recommendations, it is vitally important that everyone first follow all rules and procedures put in place by local and state governments.

In this initial launch of the campaign, the information focuses on Phase 1 – which is Individual and Small Group Training – and includes a comprehensive Grassroots Soccer Recommendation Guide to help all those involved in youth soccer operate under key safety considerations, but also contains valuable information that can be applied to all levels of the game.

Along with providing those best practices in the detailed and in-depth guide, the PLAY ON initiative will include instructional videos, sample training exercises, infographics and other resource materials. As we progress into and beyond Phase 1, the campaign will continue to provide these materials for those in the soccer community. All the resources in the PLAY ON initiative can be found in a virtual hub at ussoccer.com/playon.

U.S. Soccer is also encouraging all players, coaches, parents, referees and administrators to take the PLAY ON Pledge, which is an oath to stay informed and to follow recommendations from medical professionals, to be honest in their self-evaluation and to be responsible to themselves, their family and their communities.

“While it’s a new and at times uncertain environment, we are going to need to navigate this together through knowledge, information and shared responsibility,” said Dr. Chiampas. “To keep the health and safety of everyone our main priority, we are asking players, coaches, referees, parents and administrators to take the PLAY ON pledge and commit to following the return to play protocols put in place at their club and to abide by the advice and recommendations of medical professionals.”

Additional information and resources will be distributed in the coming days and weeks.