We hope this finds everyone safe and well. We wanted to share a quick update on the soccer season so you know what to expect and when. Registration for Fall 2020 is now closed and we are pleased to see so many joining us this season. As previously communicated, we are aiming to kick the season off next week (9/14) with our first games on Saturday, 9/19. Here’s what we’ve been doing behind the scenes to get ready:
COVID Safety Officer
As this season will be unlike any other, it’s important that we all play our part in keeping our community safe. To start, we are pleased to announce that Stephen Schneider has joined the BYSA board as our COVID Safety Officer, bringing first hand experience in managing COVID guidelines from his day job to our organization. Stephen’s role will be to closely monitor ever-evolving information about safety guidelines from the state, from Bolton’s BOH, and from Mass Youth Soccer and ensuring our coaches, players, and parents are all up to date with the latest information and best practices. Please join us in welcoming and supporting Stephen in this critical role, and stay tuned for more detailed updates from him on what we should all expect. Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Stephen via email at
Fields have been prepped, lines are painted, and we will schedule games to ensure that we have proper distancing in place between the fields - a minimum of 25 feet between each. We will be posting signs as quick and easy guides to the rules (which are mandated by the state and Mass Youth Soccer) and expectations on the field. Some highlights below:
Social distancing (6+ feet) between household groups must be followed at all times
Spectators must stand 10+ feet from the sidelines. Yellow lines will be painted on each field as a visual guide
No more than 50 people can be in attendance per each field on the Forbush complex. This means each player may only have ONE parent or guardian join them on game days
ALL field attendees, including players, coaches, and spectators MUST have a face mask or covering at all times. Those without appropriate face coverings will be asked to return to their cars. Refusal to comply by player or parent will result in player being banned for the rest of the season
While they are a joyful part of Saturday game days, dogs will NOT be allowed on the field during soccer activities this season
To meet contact tracing requirements, attendance will be taken for ALL players and spectators on the fields at all practices and games
There will be NO lost and found bin at the field, anything left behind on the fields will be discarded
Many thanks to all who’ve volunteered as head coaches, assistant coaches, and team COVID coordinators. Without you, this season couldn’t happen. Further information on trainings, access to coaching and safety resources, delivery of updated coach equipment bags, and season prep checklists will be shared this week.
PLEASE NOTE: We still have open volunteer positions (coaches or team COVID coordinators) and our team will be reaching out. Please consider volunteering and head to the registration page for more information and to sign up. Many thanks in advance!
We are in the process of finalizing the team rosters. Coaches will be reaching out with introductions and further details on practices and game times, no later than Monday, 9/14.
Preparing Your Players
In keeping with safety best practices, there will be NO equipment sharing this season. Coaches will keep a limited amount of backup PPE in their bags, but players are expected to come prepared to each practice and game. Here’s a quick checklist of equipment needed for each player to help you plan between now and next week (please make sure all items are clearly labeled with player’s name):
Face masks - recommend each player bring at least two, ear loops only. No bandanas, gaiters, or masks which tie behind the head.
Hand sanitizer or wipes
Goalie gloves (for goalies or interested goalies in G34 and up only)
Individual snacks for practices and games
If you haven’t yet done so, we encourage you to visit the Mass Youth Soccer Return to Soccer Activities site for more information on the modifications to play and safety guidelines we will be following. The Mass Youth Soccer site can be found here: https://www.mayouthsoccer.org/return-to-soccer-activities/
As promised in our last communication, we’re reaching out with our plan for the Fall 2020 Season. First, many thanks to those who responded to our survey - your input was incredibly valuable in our decision making. Following further guidance from MYSA, from towns in our regional travel league, NVYSL, and feedback directly from you, the BYSA board met this week and voted UNANIMOUSLY IN FAVOR of having a Fall 2020 Season. The season is slated to begin the week of 9/14.
We are following all state and town requirements to ensure the safety of all players, coaches, volunteers, spectators, and our community. This season will have some important distinctions, namely...
Practices and games will be against Bolton teams ONLY for all age groups
Depending upon number of players registered for each age group, some teams may be co-ed
Game times will still be on Saturdays, but may change depending upon the number of players. This will be posted before the season starts
Mid-season, pending data from school openings and approval from coaches, players, and parents, we may consider ‘friendly match-ups’ for Bolton travel teams with Nashoba United teams (Stow and Lancaster)
Players are required to have masks on their person at all times. They are required to wear masks during all soccer activities with the only exception during play when they are at least six feet away from all others
Per state requirements, all spectators at games will be required to be masked. Anyone refusing to wear a mask will be required to leave the field. Spectators will also be limited to one per player for G34 teams and older
By bringing their soccer player to the field for practices or games, parents are self-certifying that their player is not displaying any COVID-19 symptoms
Game play has been modified to eliminate deliberate contact (no blocking, slide tackling) and to reduce intermittent contact amongst players (no heading, throw-ins, drop balls, or corner kicks)
These are the requirements as of now and expect they will evolve. We will continue to communicate out all changes as they happen. For more information on the guidelines this season, we encourage you to review the following resources before registration:
TO REGISTER: please visit our Registration page. If you have previously registered for the waitlist, you will need to register again with payment. You will receive an email reminding you to re-register. Due to the unique season, all registrations will receive the early bird discount for a total fee of $105.
VOLUNTEERS: Many thanks to those who’ve already offered their time for this upcoming season. Due to the new waiver requirements from MYSA, all volunteers who’ve previously signed up will need to re-register.
Thanks again for your continued support. We are excited to safely bring soccer back to Bolton and look forward to seeing you at Forbush!
As we are all eagerly awaiting guidance on fall activities, we’d like to provide a planning update for the fall 2020 soccer season. The good news is that on July 6th the Commonwealth announced that Youth Sports can move to Phase 3, Step 1. Soccer, which is considered higher risk, is permitted at Level 1 only which allows for individual or socially distanced group activities such as no-contact workouts, aerobic conditioning, individual skill work and drills. During this phase no scrimmages, league games or tournaments may be held. For a detailed overview of the safety guidelines that our league will follow, please visit Mass Youth Soccer’s “Return to Soccer Activities”: https://www.mayouthsoccer.org/return-to-soccer-activities/
We will continue to closely monitor state and school district opening guidance to influence our planning and will provide further updates as they become available. To additionally help us with this planning, we will begin accepting fall registrations as noted below.
FALL 2020 REGISTRATION
To help us gauge interest for the upcoming season and further define how teams could be organized, the site is now open to accept Fall 2020 registrations. It’s important to note that all players will be “waitlisted” until further guidance on the season can be provided (estimated early to mid-August). Please DO NOT pay at the time of registration.
As our organization is entirely run by volunteers, please also consider signing up for any of the various positions that make our league possible, including coaches, assistant coaches, and field support. New this season, and in accordance with state safety guidelines, a Covid-19 Safety Officer is required. This newly created position will be responsible for providing Covid-specific safety training for coaches and ensuring league compliance. If you are interested in learning more about this critical role, please reach out to me directly.
As always, thank you for your continued support as we navigate through these unprecedented times. We are committed to ensuring the safety of all players and volunteers, but we appreciate there may be many questions. We’ll continue to provide updates on our website as they become available.
Concussion Awareness - Concussions in sports and elsewhere are getting a lot of attention these days, and for good reason, finally. Several state youth soccer associations have made Concussion Awareness Training mandatory for all youth sports coaches. Mass Youth Soccer is currently formulating its position on concussions. In the meantime, here is what all coaches can do both for the benefit of their players and to use in everyday life. Go to the Center for Disease Control web site and take the free on-line concussion awareness course. Parents, too!