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Escalating cases forces State mandate for sports


On November 17th, Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Levine updated the universal masking order.  The order now states that masks are required “outdoors with others who are not members of a person’s household and unable to maintain sustained physical distance.”

What does this mean for soccer in Eastern Pennsylvania?  All players, coaches, bench personnel, referees and assistant referees must wear a face covering while participating in all games and practices.  This order is effective immediately.

As a reminder, gaiters, neck warmers, plastic shields or other personal protective equipment could be considered dangerous and not be worn by players as per previously issued FIFA guidelines.

During the pre-game, referees should discuss compliance with the head coach for each team.  Coaches are responsible to ensure that all players, substitutes, coaches, bench personnel and spectators for their team are wearing masks.  If someone does not have one on, referees should go over to the touchline to inform the head coach and he/she will need to ask that person to put their mask on or leave.

Additionally, the Secretary of Health issued an order requiring anyone who visits from another state to have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to entering the state.  If someone cannot get a test or chooses not to, they must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Pennsylvania.

Surrounding states have issued various orders as well.  They range from recommendations of non-essential travel to prohibiting travel altogether; prohibiting out of state teams and limiting play to within state borders only.

EPSA Returning to Play

  • We are in the Green phase for activities, but strict conditions and protocols apply

Green Phase


•Activity may begin within your club only.  Activity must be kept local, within your community.

•No contact training. No games. No interaction with other organizations.

After a 2-3 week safety check, with no roll-backs (County or State) full games with contact may begin.​

•Individuals must comply with restrictions of their home county. 

•Engage with management of your practice facilities to learn and comply with their polices and procedures.

•Fields must be legally open. No training on a space/field without insurance certificate issued (standard regardless of COVID-19) and permission from the facility.

•Create an action plan

•Actions to take upon notification of a positive test result for a club/team member.

•Be prepared to shut down and stop operations if necessary.

•Develop a plan for social distancing and adequate field space.

•Minimize interactions among teams. 

•Consider field/training area lay out, entrance and exit from fields, managing training schedules.

•Social distancing required in all areas, including but not limited to sidelines, bench areas, clubhouse, parking lot.

•Spectators are not essential to training and not recommended to attend.

•Green Phase will be further determined with additional guidelines from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. 


•Comply with Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Eastern Pennsylvania Soccer and any additional club directives or requirements.

•Reinforce directives, polices and protocols as necessary with players.

•As players arrive, inquire how they’re feeling. If they are ill or appear to be ill, send them home.

•Supply your medical kit or bag with gloves, extra masks, sanitizer, and facial tissues.

•Implement social distancing at all times. Each player and their equipment at least six (6) feet from the next player.

•Coaches wear masks at all times. 

•Players may wear masks during training at their discretion. Must wear when not engaged in soccer activity.

•Only coaches should touch or move equipment. 

•No bodily contact in training. 

•After a 2-3 week safety check, with no roll-backs (County or State) full games with contact may begin.

•Sanitize all equipment after training. 

•Scrimmage vests are not recommended.

•Minimize interaction with other teams that train before or after you. 

•Keep track of attendance if needed for future reference (i.e. contact tracing).

•Monitor players' health and fitness levels...we've been away a long time! 

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