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Covid-19 Resources


Announcement: Return to Play Protocols & Recommendation:  Phase 1 & 1A


Greetings South Dakota Youth Soccer Association Members,

On behalf of the staff and Board of Directors of SDYSA we want to thank you so much for your continued support and patience through the recent months of uncertainty. We have been diligently working to keep informed of the situation so that we could work on getting South Dakota back on the fields for soccer. That being said outlined below are our recommendations and notices regarding returning to play. It is imperative to note that ALL clubs and members should first and foremost follow the guidelines set forth by their local governments and leadership, as well as the CDC.


➔    PROGRAMMING & COMPETITION: SDYSA will maintain their suspension of sanctioned tournaments through August 1st. This means no sanctioned games/tournaments in the state of SD, and no approved travel to tournaments or games until August 1st. SDYSA is hopeful that with the current trend in Covid-19 cases, sanctioning of tournaments should be able to be resume on August 1st. This is fluid of course and all depends on the future of the virus and SD cases. We will provide updates as we know more. 


➔    TRAINING: Clubs are allowed to host training opportunities during this time and guidelines can be determined at the club level based on the comfort of your members, case numbers, and local governmental guidelines set. Outlined in the Return to Play Infographics provided there are a set of standards developed with recommendations from USYS, local leadership, the CDC, and the WHO. These include but are not limited to:

◆    Maintaining social distance practices of 6ft between EACH party for a period of time before moving to small sided training. This means players, coaches, and assistant coaches.

◆    Masks are allowed but not required.

◆    Parents/Guardians are to remain in their cars to minimize potential exposure.

◆    No sharing of water bottles, uniforms, equipment, etc.

◆    No high fives, hugs, celebrations that involve direct contact with another player or member of the coaching staff.

◆    DO NOT attend practice if you are feeling sick or have a temperature. DO NOT attend practice if you are under guidelines to quarantine due to exposure or sickness.

◆    If a family does not feel comfortable participating at this time due to potential exposure or high risk exposure please excuse them from participating without repercussions


➔    INSURANCE: Members should note that SDYSA’s general liability insurance coverage is in place but does not cover contracted illness such as Covid-19. In addition, there is no coverage for any tournaments that would be held before August 1st. 


➔    ENFORCEMENT: All recommendations laid out by SDYSA, the CDC, and US Youth Soccer are solely recommendations and guidelines. SDYSA does not have the ability to enforce these measures so we are relying heavily on all club leadership to put player’s health and safety first and foremost when working on returning to play.


➔    PHASES: This situation has been fluid and ever changing so in order to ensure the safety of our members SDYSA will be developing loose phases of returning to play. At this time with Phase 1 and Phase 1A we are simply laying out guidelines for getting back to training in person and in small groups with social distancing protocols. Further phases will be developed in the near future with club leadership as well as taking into account the current pandemic reach, and local government regulations. We appreciate your feedback on these as they are developed, as well as your patience as we all work through this together.


We want to thank you all again for being so flexible in such an unpredictable situation. Our mission has always been Community Through Soccer and we have used that as our driving force in making decisions that keep our communities safe and connected, if even at a distance. Dale Weiler, our Technical and Executive Director as well as Polly Dean our Director of Operations, are available for any questions, comments, or concerns your club or membership should have in the following days and weeks.


Thank you in advance for your support and we look forward to working with all of you to navigate this new territory of youth sports.


While there is a suspension in the sanctioning of events in our state and travel outside of our state to USYS events through August 1st, soccer is back and we are excited for every player and coach to return to the field in the safest way possible!  


Below are some helpful questions and answers for our member clubs as they navigate providing a safe, competitive and enjoyable return to soccer.


Can we continue to train/practice in the months of June and July?


Are there certain measures that should be taken to help mitigate risk during practice?

Yes. A number of resources are available on the SDYSA COVID-19 page on our website.

Is there a timeline to follow in terms of when we can have contact, small sided games and full team training?

Yes, this information can also be found on the SDYSA COVID-19 page. Furthermore, US Soccer has a ‘Play On’ Handbook which is a very helpful resource regarding timelines to a return to play. This can be found on this webpage as well.



Can we play games?

Yes, games can be scheduled when the club leadership feels the time is appropriate. US Soccer would first suggest 7-12 weeks of training, progressing through social distanced training, small sided/group training to full team training. Again, the US Soccer ‘Play On’ resource outlines this timeline and structure.

Who do we play against and how?

There are a few ways in which clubs can play games.

1)    Inter-Club Games

a.    Your club hosts games against other teams within their club. This would be organized by the club itself. Referees can be used and would be secured and scheduled by the club.

2)    Friendlies

     a.    A team plays a game(s) against another team from another club(s).

     b.    SDYSA expects the following method of hosting friendlies to be followed.

               i.     The friendly games occur on 1 day. This will allow for no hotel stay, limit travel, limit expenses, limit the amount of time at one location with a mass gathering of people. 

               ii.     A team plays in a maximum of 2 games per friendly day. Preferably 1. 

              iii.     We expect teams to travel the shortest distance possible to play their friendly games. Putting a number of miles to it is challenging due to the unique locations of our member clubs. Our hope would be that friendly games are set up between clubs that are near each other. Again, to limit travel, expenses, etc.

     c.     There is no registration fee to participate

     d.    Any expenses related to friendly games should be handled club to club.

     e.    Each community is different regarding the regulations or ordinances put in place by the local city park officials/government. Each club should be in contact with local officials to ensure they are in compliance prior to any friendly games occurring.

What’s the difference between friendly games and a tournament?

1)    There is not a registration fee associated with a friendly game

2)    Friendly games are handled club to club and do not need sanctioning through the state association.

3)    Friendly games are generally organized on a small scale with another club to provide a meaningful, developmental and low-pressure game environment for children where scores are not kept.

4)    Registration/Check In of rosters is not needed.


Are these mandates by SDYSA/USYS?

No, these are not mandates, SDYSA and USYS are unable to have oversight regarding what each club does during this time. We also understand the timeline for a return to play for some clubs is different. While some clubs are returning to training others are not and do not intend to this Summer. We do expect club leaders to be conscious of their decision making in returning to play and games. The safety of players, coaches, referees and parents must be the primary consideration.



Are our players still covered by SDYSA/USYS insurance during training?

Yes, this has not changed

Are our players still covered by SDYSA/USYS insurance during friendly games?

Yes, this has not changed. They must be registered members of SDYSA/USYS for the 2019/2020 soccer year to be covered by SDYSA/USYS insurance.

If any individual contracts COVID-19 at any training or friendly will they be covered by SDYSA/USYS insurance.




Can we have tryouts for next season?

Yes, when your club determines they can move safely into full team training, tryouts can occur.

What happens on August 1st?

Barring any setbacks, SDYSA fully intends to have August 1st be our return to normalcy. It is a natural time to reset for families for the new school year and soccer season. This will allow a fresh start to a very challenging Spring and Summer.

As we move forward through this challenging time, it is critical that we all think holistically about the players experience and their development. Player safety and maintaining healthy environments for children is the most important responsibility we have as coaches and parents. The long-term impacts to the youth soccer ‘player’ and their development related to COVID-19 should hopefully just be a bump in the road for ‘them’. Let’s continue to create player centered environments for our youth!












Click the image below to be redirected to the CDC's website for more information.