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Return to Play

Return to Play Guidelines

Kentucky Youth Soccer is sharing the following return to play guidelines for clubs to proceed with a phased in approach.  It is critical that the state, member organizations and coaches create a safe environment for players and that parents/guardians make the best decision possible for their players.

Please Note: Kentucky Youth Soccer encourages all clubs to follow social distance practices recommended by the CDC, State and local government. The stages listed below are based on guidelines from CDC, local government officials and consultation with health professionals.  The situation will be closely monitored, and the phases have flexibility to change if necessary.

Click here for full set of guidelines condensed in a PDF document.

Click here for the Return to Competition Guidelines.

Click here for the Return to Play Webinar (Recorded)

Criteria for Return to Play


Individuals must show no signs or symptoms of COVID-19 in the past 14 days and have not been exposed to someone that has been ill in 14 days.

Individual must live in training location/community for 14 days prior to beginning group training.

All individuals must have their temperature taken by an adult prior to going to training.

Upon arrival to practices or games, coaches or staff should ask each athlete if they are experiencing any signs or symptoms of COVID-19. If the athlete has any signs or symptoms of COVID-19, they should be sent home immediately and instructed to contact their healthcare provider as soon as possible.

Make sure appropriate infection prevention supplies are present in multiple targeted areas (e.g., hand sanitizer, facial tissues, facial coverings, etc.)

Small group sessions should take place outside in an area where social distancing can be maintained.

Participants should use their own equipment and properly sanitize the equipment before and after every training session.

Always use own water bottle, towel and personal hygiene products.

No activities that require direct or indirect contact between athletes. 

Cleaning schedule/protocol of equipment with disinfectant before, during, and after practice.

Wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (gloves, face mask, etc.) as required by local guidelines.

Coaching can occur but coaches must maintain social distancing from all participants. 

Introduction of Responsibilities

Club Responsibilities

Create and distribute protocols to its members.

Contact any additional insurers if your club holds any policies outside of what is included in your Kentucky Youth Soccer membership to ensure all coverages.

Post signs in highly visible locations (e.g., at entrances and exits, and in restrooms) that promote everyday protective measures and describe how to stop the spread of germs such as by properly washing hands and properly wearing a cloth face covering (Click here for sample signs from the CDC).

Maintain a complete list of coaches, youth athletes, and league officials present at each event to include the date, beginning and ending time of the event, name, address and phone contact to be made available upon the request from the local health department.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces on the field surface at least daily, or between uses as much as possible. Use of shared objects and equipment should be limited or cleaned between uses by each individual if possible.

Have an effective communication plan in place, identify strategies for working with public health to notify adult leaders, youth and their families if the organization learns a player or coach has contracted COVID-19 and may have been infectious to others while at a youth activity, while maintaining confidentiality.

Be sensitive and accommodating to parents that may be uncomfortable with returning to play too quickly.

Train and educate all staff to protocols and requirements, including state and local regulations, CDC recommendations and other necessary information.

Be prepared to shut down and stop operations. Develop plans for temporary closure of indoor facilities and cancel outdoor activities or camps to properly disinfect and ensure other adult leaders or youth are not infected.

Provide adequate field space for social distancing.

Provide hand sanitizing stations and waste receptacles at fields.

Develop a relationship and a dialog with health local officials. (identify Risk Tolerance)

Coach Responsibilities

Ensure the health and safety of a players.  

Inquire how the athletes are feeling, send them home should you believe they act or look ill.

Follow all state and local health protocols.

Ensure all athletes have their individual equipment (ball, water bottles, bag, etc.)

Coach is the only person to handle all practice equipment. (cones, disk etc.)

Coach to sanitize/clean all personal training equipment before and after each session (e.g. cones, discs, etc.)

All training should be outdoors and ensure social distancing per state or local health guidelines.

Always wear a face mask, when not actively coaching, maintain social distance requirements from players based on state and local health requirements.

Have fun, stay positive – players and parents are looking to you to stay calm, supportive and caring during this time. 

The use of scrimmage vest or pinnies is not recommended at this time.

Parent Responsibilities

Ensure child is healthy and check your child’s temperature daily.

Limited or no carpooling with other players. 

Stay in car or adhere to social distance requirements, based on state and local health requirements, when at practice wear mask if outside your car.

Ensure child’s clothing is washed after every training session.

Ensure all equipment, cleats, ball, shin guards etc. are sanitized before and after every training.

Notify member organization immediately if your child becomes ill for any reason.

Do not assist coach with equipment before or after training.

Be sure your child has necessary sanitizer with them at all times.

Player Responsibilities

Take temperature daily.

Wash hands thoroughly before and after training.

Bring and use, hand sanitizer with you to every training.

Wear mask before and immediately after all training.

Do not touch or share anyone else’s equipment, water, snack or bag.

Practice social distancing, place bags and equipment at least 6 feet apart.

Wash and sanitize all equipment before and after every training.

No group celebrations, no high 5’s, Hugs, handshakes etc.


Phases of Return to Play

Overview of Phases

Phase 1: Stay Home (Current Phase) – Member organizations can provide guidance and online training for players that can be done individually at home.

Phase 2 : Individual/Small Group Training (June 15, 2020) – This phase allows for outdoor training to resume with specific protocols in place.

Phase 3: Larger group/team training (June 29, 2020)– This phase allows for resumption of full team practices with specific protocols in place.

Phase 4 .1: Team Contact Training Resumes (August 25, 2020)

Phase 4.2: Full Return to Play -  Matches can begin with safety precautions (September 7, 2020)

Phase 1: Stay Home 

Stay Home

No in-person soccer related activity

Online Training is acceptable

Phase 2: Individual/Small Group Training - June 15, 2020

Individual/Small Group Training

Player to coach ratio per practice group of no more than ten (10) players and one (1) coach.

No more than 4 training groups per designated training area.

Ensure that each practice group has a different location to place bags and water. They should not congregate in the middle of the field of play or meet in the same place. 

Practices limited to non-contact individual activities and passing activities while following social distancing protocols (individual skills, fitness, etc.). Passing activities may only be foot to foot (no serving from hands or receiving from anything but the foot).  No group activities allowed in this stage.

Stagger start times for training to minimize players arriving and leaving at the same time

Games or scrimmages are NOT permitted in this phase. 1v1, 2v2, 3v3, 4v4, etc. are not permitted due to the potential contact.

Parents must follow social distancing guidelines and should remain in their cars if possible.

Phase 3: Larger Group/Team Training - June 29, 2020

Larger Group/Team Training

Player to coach ratio per practice group of no more than ten (10) players and one (1) coach. Multiple groups may practice simultaneously but must follow social distance protocols.

Limited physical contact

Staggered start times for practice to minimize players arriving and leaving at the same time.

Parent/Guardian may watch practice but adhere to social distancing requirements. 

No games or scrimmages are permitted in this phase. Activities should continue to adhere to social distancing policies (e.g. passing patterns, zone games, etc.). Limited physical contact is acceptable in accordance with the low touch[1], medium sharing[2] guidelines as determined by the Governor’s office.


[1] “Low touch” means only minimal , necessary contact between youth athletes is permitted.  Healthy At Work . “Guidance for Youth Sports and Athletic Activities.” 2020. PDF File.

[2] “Medium sharing” means moderate levels of sharing of youth sports and athletic activity equipment between youth athletes (e.g. limiting shared items to groups of fifty (50) of fewer). Shared equipment must be sanitized between uses to the greatest extent practicable. Healthy At Work . “Guidance for Youth Sports and Athletic Activities.” 2020. PDF File.

Phase 4.1: Full Team Contact Training Resumes - August 25, 2020

Full Team Contact Training Resumes
Allows full teams from the same member club to train with safety precautions.  Physical contact is only permitted within the rules of the game during practices.  Players and coaches are not to physically contact each other before or after practice (i.e. Greetings, team huddles, etc.)

Training protocols: 

  • Social Distancing for spectators
  • Staggered start times to limit the interactions with teams arriving and leaving the field of play.

Phase 4.2: Return to Competitions - September 7, 2020

Return to Competitions
League and Tournament Matches can resume with spectator restrictions. 

No training session restrictions but with the CDC guidelines followed.

During this phase, full team competitions, such as tournaments, may take place, as long as mitigation strategies and process for COVID-19 are implemented. Teams are recommended to only participate in local events and resist the urge to participate in other regions that may require travel or overnight stays. As always, all events should follow local and/or state public health recommendations. 

League/Tournament Protocols: 

  • Social Distancing for spectators
  • Time should be allotted between sessions to allow teams to exit fields prior to new teams arriving.

Other Resources

Resourse Website
Healthy at Work: Guidance for Youth Sports and Athletic Activities
Facilities with Concession Stands must adhere to the Healthy at Work Requirements for Restaurants:
CDC COVID-19: Considerations for Youth Sports:
COVID-19 Symptoms
Sample Signs with Symptoms, Stopping the Spread of Germs, etc., from the CDC website
US Soccer PlayOn Recommendation Guides
USYS COVID Positive Case Tip Sheet Click here for a US Youth Soccer Tip Sheet
Return to Play Webinar 8.28.20 Click here to watch the RTP Webinar
 November 19, 2020 Update Click here for the email that went out on November 19, 2020.