The Missouri Youth Soccer Association is working with U.S. Youth Soccer this week to determine how to safely begin play in phases under new safety guidelines.
On Wednesday, MYSA held a committee call to discuss the current return-to-play date, May 15, and how to best resume soccer with many teams scheduled to begin in June.
MYSA executive director Nik Bushell said it’s a fluid process with many moving parts determined by each of the 113 counties across Missouri.
"The next logical step was to have our competitive teams have their tryouts,” Bushell said. “Now, of course that obviously can’t happen currently how it would normally happen. So, we’re meeting with each district to talk through it. See if we need to tweak the dates. What happens if we can’t have physical tryouts? Do they still talk to players, and things like that.”
Bushell said the committee has also been discussing the safety guidelines that would be put into place for the more than 38,000 youth soccer players and coaches that MYSA oversees.
“Every kid’s gonna have to bring his own water bottle,” Bushell said. “We’re gonna ask coaches to wear masks. All the balls they use, they should bring their own ball. If any club balls are used, they have to be sanitized. Keeping parents in their cars, so that we limit cross-contamination and things like that.”
On Friday, U.S. Youth Soccer will host a town hall meeting to determine how each state’s youth soccer association will handle decisions and modifications moving forward.
“We can’t risk everything just to get back on the field,” Bushell said. “We have to do it right. We have to do it in stages. So, it’s really going to look very different this fall for the foreseeable future.”
Bushell added that there’s no guarantee soccer will return on May 15. Each decision will be determined based on state and county regulations, and the best way to properly follow protocol in each particular district.
He said MYSA will release updated information on the process moving forward based off of Friday’s town hall meeting on Monday or Tuesday afternoon.