NJYS COVID-19 Information and Updates

31 March 2020 UPDATE:

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the communication from our local, state and federal government about social distancing, NJ Youth Soccer is extending its suspension of all affiliated and sanctioned soccer activities statewide. Our primary focus continues to be the safety and welfare of our players, coaches, referees and communities.

For our member organizations (towns, clubs and leagues), this suspension includes, but is not limited to, all in-person events (e.g. practices, training, scrimmages, clinics, tryouts, games and tournaments). As a result of this suspension, in-person team and club activities during this time will not be sanctioned and, therefore, will not be covered by NJ Youth Soccer insurances. For the State Office, this suspension includes our in-person programming (e.g., ODP, State Cups and Coaching Education Courses).

NJ Youth Soccer is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation, in particularly the guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as state regulations and federal guidelines. We also remain in close contact with US Soccer, US Youth Soccer and other State Associations.

We will continue to keep our membership updated on the evolving COVID-19 situation accordingly, and a further advisory from NJ Youth Soccer can be expected by Thursday, April 30th.

Effective Monday, March 16th, 2020, NJ Youth Soccer is suspending all affiliated and sanctioned soccer activities statewide due to the evolving COVID-19 situation. For our member organizations (towns, clubs and leagues), this suspension includes, but is not limited to, all practices, training, scrimmages, clinics, tryouts, games and tournaments. As a result of this suspension, team and club activities during this time will not be sanctioned and, therefore, will not be covered by NJ Youth Soccer insurances. For the State Office, this suspension includes our programming (e.g., ODP, State Cups and Coaching Education Courses).

Our primary focus is the safety and welfare of our players, coaches and referees. More importantly, we are concerned for the safety and well-being of our communities and seek to comply with medical directives on how to stem the spread of the virus. This is not just a soccer decision, but a public health decision.

We continue to closely monitor the situation via the federal, state and local health agencies. We remain in contact with US Soccer, US Youth Soccer and other State Associations, who have made significant cancellations and postponements as well as the other major sport organizations and events throughout the country. Membership can expect regular updates as this situation continues to evolve.

We cannot emphasize enough that NJ Youth Soccer's primary commitment is the health and safety of all members, players, coaches, referees, parents, spectators and volunteers.

A further update from NJ Youth Soccer will be provided by April 1st.

COVID-19 Information and Updates (as of March 13, 2020)

NJ Youth Soccer continues to follow and monitor the health and travel concerns surrounding COVID-19. We appreciate and share the concern we are receiving from our membership.

We are witnessing the updates and reports changing daily. We are monitoring the recommendations and guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state and local authorities, other state associations, US Soccer and US Youth Soccer. Please expect a further notice by Wednesday of next week, after which we will have more information from our Board of Directors, member Leagues, and US Youth Soccer.

It is clear that many events and programs are suspending activity. We will continue to be respectful of any decision an individual or organization makes regarding the safety of players, coaches and parents. These are not simply soccer community decisions; these decisions affect the entire community. We recommend that you consult your local officials to guide you through these decisions. School closings are a relevant barometer for suspending soccer activity.

Tournaments and clubs should consider the CDC and N.J. Governor's recommendation to postpone or cancel gatherings of more than 250 people, and we encourage you to follow the guidance of local health officials. The State Department of Health has not recommended broad closings or cancellations so far, but that may change.

Clarification: US Youth Soccer announced its decision to suspend all US Youth Soccer League Programs and Conference Activities (e.g. USYS National League). These are events that often involve flights, hotels and out of state travel. This specific announcement does not signify that all NJ Youth Soccer member leagues have suspended their competitions, although several member Leagues have recently issued related communications.

Again, we are communicating with our member leagues and will provide a further notice by Wednesday of next week at the latest. Thank you for your consideration and cooperation as we navigate this situation together.

COVID-19 Information and Updates (as of March 10, 2020) Given the current health and travel concerns surrounding COVID-19, NJ Youth Soccer provides this overview of the steps being taking to keep our youth soccer community safe and informed. NJ Youth Soccer remains committed to providing safe playing environments. We are regularly monitoring the recommendations and guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state and local authorities, other state associations, US Soccer and US Youth Soccer. At this time, based on expert information and guidance from our partners, all NJ Youth Soccer events will proceed as originally scheduled. Further, it is our understanding that our member leagues will also proceed as originally scheduled. Everyone can help by following preventative measures and best practices onsite. Adhere to everyday preventative actions to proactively reduce risks. We strongly recommend that players and families adhere to the following precautionary guidelines:

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water (at least 30 seconds) especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing the nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching the mouth, eyes or nose with hands.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean up team and training areas after every use (e.g. throw used water bottles in the trash).
  • Use alcohol-based sanitizers (60% alcohol) in addition to frequent hand washing.
  • Carry small bottles of alcohol-based sanitizers to use when hand-washing facilities are unavailable.
  • Keep hydrated.
  • Do not share water bottles or food.
  • Avoid pre, during, or post-game handshakes with opposing team members or game officials.
  • Avoid international team walkouts and hand-in-hand/arm-in-arm team huddles.
  • If anyone associated with a team (coach, player, family member) feels ill prior to a scheduled event, have them stay home and not attend the event in order to reduce risk to others.
  • If anyone associated with a team (coach, player, family member) becomes ill during an event and has symptoms such as coughing, fever, or general malaise, contact a medical professional. To reduce exposure, consider self-isolation until evaluated by medical personnel, immediately exit the facility, do not come into personal contact with other participants.

Coaches and team managers: Please be sure to have updated medical information and contact information for all minors' parents or guardians that may not be present.

Be Prepared by Being Informed

Below are additional resources and links to learn more. Please review and share this information.

The State of New Jersey Department of Health provides a 24-Hour Public Hotline to address questions about the COVID-19. Call 1-800-222-1222. They also provide additional information, including frequently asked questions at: https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/topics/covid2019_community.shtml

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): For more information about COVID-19, its symptoms, how it spreads and other frequently asked questions, visit the CDC website, here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html. For information about handwashing, see the CDC's Handwashing website.

Follow the CDC's recommendations for using a facemask:

  • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
  • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).

If you wish to stay informed of any US Government travel advisories, please review current US State Department Travel Advisories: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html/

Recommendations from the FISA Sports Medicine Commission Coronavirus (02/27/2020)

Again, NJ Youth Soccer remains committed to providing safe playing environments. Thank you for your consideration and cooperation as we all work through this situation.