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“PLAY ON” Phases Provide Guidance for Return to Full-Team Competitions;
Each Phase Should Be Implemented Only If and When Local Regulations Deem It Safe

U.S. Soccer has released the final phase of its five-phase PLAY ON campaign, providing coaches, players, parents, referees and administrators with the complete return-to-play guidelines during COVID-19 to help ensure the safety of all participants.

PLAY ON was created to inform and assist in the process of organized soccer returning to play nationwide during the COVID-19 pandemic, and is divided into five progressive phases, from Phase 0 (stay at home) to Phase IV (no COVID-19 related restrictions). With Phase I and II already released, Phase III has now been published at, providing the complete return-to-play recommendations as Phase IV is the return to normal soccer activity without restrictions.

While Phase III allows for full-team competitions to return, each phase of the return-to-play recommendations should only be taken if and when state and local COVID-19 regulations deem it safe.

PLAY ON includes a comprehensive Grassroots Soccer Recommendation Guide that provides all those involved in youth soccer - players, coaches, parents, administrators and referees –important safety protocols to consider and implement at each stage of return to play. The guides also contain valuable information that can be applied to all levels of the game.

Phase I of PLAY ON allows for training in small groups, while Phase II provides for full-team training and the newly launched Phase III presents recommendations for the safe return and management of full-team competition. Even in Phase III, COVID-19 prevention and response protocols, outlined in earlier Phases, should still be followed. Social distancing should be maintained when possible and teams are recommended to only participate in regional single-day events to avoid significant travel or overnight stays.

Each phase should follow sequentially, with Phase I suggested to last four-six weeks and Phase II three-six weeks before progressing to Phase III.


Through PLAY ON, U.S. Soccer will continue to provide updates and resources to the soccer community as the summer continues, to help it navigate the challenges of COVID-19. Along with providing best practices in the detailed and in-depth recommendation guides, the PLAY ON initiative includes instructional videos, sample training exercises, infographics and other resource materials. All the resources for the PLAY ON initiative can be found in a virtual hub at

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