For school and youth soccer teams across Massachusetts to play games against outside opponents (Level 3 status) or conduct competitive practices (Level 2 status, contact drills/scrimmages), the latest guidelines from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) require several modifications to the sport. Masks will also be required, largely except in instances of high intensity aerobic or anaerobic activity.
This past Thursday the EEA released amended Phase III, Step 1 guidelines that’ll go into effect Aug. 17, marking another evolution in the commonwealth’s reopening amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Soccer was previously bumped up to “moderate risk” from “higher risk” in late July, and still maintains that designation as a sport that’s defined as having intermittent close proximity or limited, incidental physical contact between participants.
But the EEA now mandates that teams implement changes to limit contact and increase distancing, leading to new guidance from Mass Youth Soccer that executive director Mike Borislow outlined Friday to New England Soccer Journal.