The follwing is a statement from the Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Board of Directors:
Recently, the Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Board of Directors and senior staff held an emergency meeting to discuss Governor Wolf’s recommendation on the postponement of youth sports.
The Governor and Department of Health “strongly recommended” but did not order or mandate a cessation of soccer, and has left the decision up to the local governing authorities. After thoughtful discussion, the board was unanimous in its decision to continue to sanction youth soccer activities for the 2020-21 season. These sanctioned activities includes team training, scrimmages and competitions.
We have complied with the directives of the Governor and the Department of Health throughout the entire pandemic. The guidance provided by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the CDC as well as US Soccer, US Youth Soccer and the US Olympic Committee has allowed us to carefully and cautiously proceed towards restarting our soccer activities.
Since the allowances of camps in the Yellow Phase, and the guided stages of restarting in the Green Phase, we believe our community has carefully followed state guidance and has shown great care and respect for the children we serve as well as the parents, coaches, referees and other volunteers that make up our association.
Each of our members has appropriately followed the guidance of the Commonwealth in educating their families and staff and creating action plans and protocols for a safe return to play. Safety is always our primary concern. In addition, we have consistently understood the position of anyone uncomfortable with returning to play. Each individual and organization must assess the risk and make their own determination. To again reinforce that sentiment, if you are uncomfortable and choose to sit out this season, we respect that decision and welcome you back at such a time that you are ready.
We continue to advise you that there are still risks and possible exposure to COVID-19. Should the Governor order a postponement or suspension we will comply. Until such a time, we must continue practicing the necessary mitigation strategies of wearing a mask, social distancing and minimizing spectators and so forth. We also share with many of you, that the aspects of physical activity and mental health for our children are quite important, and that their participation in sport can be a positive contribution to their well-being.
We have recently updated our webpage with additional resources and an FAQ. We have also created additional resources regarding quarantining and tracing, in direct cooperation with the CDC and the Montgomery and Delaware County Health Departments. Please be sure to keep your websites and action plans updated. Transparency and communication is an equally important strategy for us to safely run programs this season. With the utmost diligence, caution and care, Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer can continue on the path to play this season.