To: All Members and Affiliates
From: Chris Branscome, Chief Executive Officer
CC: Board of Directors
Date: 18 May 2020
RE: Information Regarding the Reopening of Pennsylvania
First, to be clear, our suspension of all soccer activities through May 31 remains in effect. During the suspension, no sanctioned activity is permitted. No in person training, no small group training, no presence of any coach or trainer is permitted. Players may only train individually or with members of their immediate family.
Second, as many counties are now moving in to the Yellow Phase, it is imperative to alert you that the PA Department of Health has clearly stated that no organized sports will be played until a county goes Green. Dr. Levine, the Secretary of Health, has stated this in press conferences and it is now stated in the Governor’s Frequently Asked Questions regarding Life Sustaining Businesses (updated 5/11). Furthermore, the CDC states that organized sports should not be played while in a state of social distancing.
We have consulted with various national and state agencies, and have developed our initial protocols and guidelines for restarting soccer in Eastern Pennsylvania. They are currently being vetted by our Board and several member organizations including all Travel and Recreational leagues. In short, the guidelines will include generally accepted and publicly promoted hygiene protocols and safety measures. The return to play guidelines will be presented in stages to be in alignment with the Governor’s directives. Play will be able to resume in a limited, controlled and progressive manner when a county goes Green.
It must be noted that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has yet to determine the criteria for turning Green. Counties turning Yellow is a positive step but has only just begun. Our guidelines will be published in advance for any county turning Green so proper planning and education may begin. Initial stages will reflect local return to play only and not necessarily crossing boundaries. Continued compliance with PA ordinances are required. We will still be moving forward with discretion and knowing things may change.
We will continue to ask for everyone’s cooperation and understanding as the re-integration process begins. It will not be at the same pace for everyone on an individual level, regardless of your county phase. Our collective diligence and perseverance will be rewarded when our children can join their friends and teammates once again.
Be well. Stay safe.