The Long Island Junior Soccer League is preparing its 1,300 teams to take the field on Sept. 26-27 by implementing strict Remain to Play protocols.

Due to the spring season cancellation because of the COVID-19 pandemic, a first in the league’s 55-year history, LIJSL formed a competitions committee with the task of establishing and managing protocols for the fall 2020 season. These protocols were deemed necessary by the league to ensure the health and wellness of everyone.

The competitions committee is comprised of league stakeholders, club presidents, directors of coaching, league directors and league partners. Over the past four weeks, members of the committee have attended and observed local soccer events. These observations have given the committee a firsthand view of competitions, allowing them to determine what should be included in Remain to Play protocols.

Some of these protocols include but are not limited to:

Specific sideline locations for teams and spectators, mandatory face coverings for all spectators, the removal of a ceremonial coin toss, no handshakes or team celebrations, socially distanced benches, among others. (All protocols can be found here).

“As we look forward to getting back on the field within the next 10 days it’s great to see young players training and enjoying the game they love,” LIJSL technical director Ronan Wiseman said. “The excitement and enthusiasm you can see in these players is fantastic and it is up to us, coaches, parents, administrators, referees, trainers, everyone who is involved in the game, to make sure they Remain to Play.”

As a league, it is imperative that all participants (players, coaches, spectators, officials) review and familiarize themselves with the LIJSL Remain to Play™ protocols, U.S Soccer Grassroots Phase III Recommendations Guide, ENYYSA Game Day Protocols, Reopening New York State Sports and Recreation Summary Guidance, and New York State Sports and Recreation Master Guidance.

“By following the protocols set forth by New York State, U.S Soccer, Eastern NY Soccer, Long Island Junior Soccer League, and your local clubs, we can make sure that the players, our children, have a fall season and are another step closer to returning to a normal life,” Wiseman said. “It will be a collective effort by all of us to make sure our children REMAIN on the field and continue to enjoy the game and all it brings to them and us.”