USL League One and the USL Players Association announced Thursday that it has reached an agreement on a Return to Play for this season.

Both sides are preparing to start league play on July 18, according to a USL League One press release.

On March 12, the USL League One season was suspended in light of the COVID-19 crisis and the World Health Organization’s classification of the disease as a pandemic.

League One joined other major American sports leagues – including the USL Championship – in ceasing play while society grappled with how to manage the virus. Shortly thereafter, the league began work on a series of policies and protocols that would ultimately govern any potential return to play and help ensure the health and wellness of all involved remained its single most important priority.

The USL – in collaboration with the USLPA, public health experts at Northwestern University and the University of Tennessee, as well as U.S. Soccer and internal and external task forces – has completed work on a series of Health and Safety Protocols.

“Although no activity can ever be completely risk free, our experts agree that these protocols are reasonable and robust,” the USL said in a statement.

“From the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, the health and wellness of players, staff and supporters has been our top priority, and for more than three months we have been working every day to make sure that our return-to-play was done safely.

“We also want to be as transparent as possible about the steps that are being taken. As such, we have from the beginning remained committed to publishing the full list of protocols. We believe that seeing every step taken to provide for player, staff and supporter health is in the best interest of all involved.”

Summary of Return-to-Play Protocols

Full, 51-page Return-to-Play Protocols