Coaching News

State of New Hampshire: Stay at Home 2.0 – Amateur & Youth Sports Guidelines

Governor's Economic REOPENING TASK FORCE:
COVID-19 Reopening Guidance

The Govenor’s Economic Reopening Task Force has sent the New Hampshire Soccer Association the following guidance for getting their players back on the soccer field.  Please review the attached guidance and be up-to-date the NHSA’s Return-to-Play Protocols.

NHSA Return to Play Protocol

Membership Updates: COVID-19 | April 14, 2020

To: All members and affiliates

From: Rusty Wightman, President

CC: Board of Directors and Staff

RE: Membership Update

I hope this message finds you well and you are able to find solace with family and friends.  Our gratitude goes out to you all for your cooperation and understanding during these uncertain and trying times. Only by working together, following the guidelines set by local, state and national leaders, can we stop the spread and give our essential workers the rest they deserve and our players, coaches, fans, and referees the game they are longing for. Please know, as it relates to the game of soccer, the executive board and staff at New Hampshire Soccer has been, and will continue to, monitor and evaluate the situation on a constant basis.

At a  board meeting on Monday, April 13, a vote was held and a decision made to further suspend all affiliated and sanctioned soccer activities statewide through May 31, 2020 due to the evolving COVID-19 situation. For our member organizations (towns, clubs and leagues) this includes, but is not limited to: all games, practices, clinics, training, tournaments, and in-person meetings. It is imperative that we all follow recommendations and mandates from the CDC, local and federal officials, USYS and US Soccer to help stop the spread the Corona Virus. New Hampshire Soccer will evaluate conditions on a continuing basis to determine when it is appropriate to reinstate our affiliated and sanctioned soccer activities. Further communications will be provided via email and on our website.

We realize this impacts many programs throughout the state. We continue to update our contingency plans as it relates to The New Hampshire Soccer League, The ODP program, our coaching education courses, referee recertification and grassroots courses, and all other programs and events scheduled. We know there are a lot of questions, we are working through the problems as they arise and trying to adjust and make the best of a situation that is constantly changing.

“You face adversity all the time. I accept what lies ahead and then I do my best. You can’t take things too seriously, and you can’t use things as an excuse or you’ll never get through.”

~Kristine Lilly

Thanks for all you do,

Rusty Wightman

President

New Hampshire Soccer Association

Membership Updates: COVID-19 | March 24, 2020

To: All members and affiliates

From: Rusty Wightman, President

CC: Board of Directors and Staff

RE: Membership Update

I hope all are getting through these uncertain times knowing that we WILL be out on the pitch again and we WILL beat this virus, TOGETHER .

In times like this I find it enlightening and invigorating witnessing people working together, for the common good of all. It is too easy to get caught up in the negative impact on our daily lives, but everywhere around us is love and compassion, giving and sharing, and the sense that when this is over we will be stronger. I know you all join me in lifting up all those that put themselves in harms way to serve those in need. In times of war we lift up our military soldiers, but we now have a different type of soldier serving us today. Our gratitude goes out to all nurses, doctors and medical staff. All the police, fire and emergency workers, the groceries, markets and gas stations that provide essential food, goods and some sense of “normal in our daily lives. Countless others, too many to mention. New Hampshire Soccer thanks you all for your sacrifice to help us through this challenging times.

I also need to thank my colleagues through out US Soccer, US Youth Soccer, US Adult Soccer and most of all the board and staff at NHSA. With the news and information changing by the second, we have all dedicated our time to making the best informed decisions possible as it relates to our beautiful game, while dealing with our own personal lives and issues.

At a special Executive Board meeting on Monday March 23, we decided to further suspend all affiliated and sanctioned soccer activities statewide through April 26, 2020 due to the evolving COVID-19 situation. For our member organizations (towns, clubs and leagues) this includes, but is not limited to: all games, practices, clinics, training, tournaments, and in-person meetings. It is imperative that we all follow recommendations and mandates from the CDC, local and federal officials, USYS and US Soccer to help stop the spread the Corona Virus. New Hampshire Soccer will evaluate conditions on a continuing basis to determine when it is appropriate to reinstate our affiliated and sanctioned soccer activities. Further communications will be provided via email and on our website. We will also be postponing the New Hampshire Day at the Revs event scheduled for June 6 until such time that a schedule can be redefined by the MLS. Then we will determine the safest time to bring us all together, when this is over we will have a reason to celebrate and you can be sure we will go all out on this one!

We realize this impacts many programs through out the state. We are currently working on contingency plans as it relates to The New Hampshire Soccer League, The ODP program, our coaching education courses, referee recertification and grass roots courses, and all other programs and events scheduled. We know there are a lot of questions, we are working through the problems as they arise and trying to adjust and make the best of a situation that is constantly changing.

Thanks for all you do,

Rusty Wightman

President

New Hampshire Soccer Association

soccernh.org

Virtual Laws of the Game Learning Opportunity for Coaches

NEW HAMPSHIRE STATE REFEREE COMMITTEE

The New Hampshire State Referee is offering virtual “in-person” classes online through Zoom at designated dates and times. While these were designed for referee recertification, they focus solely on the significant changes to the laws of the game for this year. With the cancellation of in-person classes we want to invite coaches to attend as well so everyone is the New Hampshire soccer community has an opportunity to receive the same information. This will offer you an opportunity to still see the presentation, hear explanations for the law changes, and interact with an instructor to answer any questions you may have. Virtual sessions will be offered on the following dates and times:

  • Monday March 30 @ 7PM
  • Sunday April 5 @ 8AM
  • Tuesday April 14 @ 7PM
  • Saturday April 18 @ 8AM

To sign up for one of these sessions, please complete this form:

We appreciation your flexibility, understanding and patience as we manage this situation to find solutions that work for both US Soccer requirements, the good of the game, and the health and safety of all involved. In dealing with this situation, we strongly recommend that you follow the advice, direction and guidance of your local health department. For more information on the current status across the country and measures you can take, go to:

Regards,

New Hampshire State Referee Committee

Referee@nhreferee.org

NHSA Statement to Membership – Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19)

To: All members and affiliates

From: Rusty Wightman, President

CC: Board of directors and staff

RE: Coronavirus (COVID-19) – UPDATE: March 13, 2020 | 10:45 PM

Effective immediately, New Hampshire Soccer Association is suspending all affiliated and sanctioned soccer activities statewide through April 12, 2020 due to the evolving COVID-19 situation.   For our member organizations (towns, clubs and leagues) this includes, but is not limited to: all games, practices, clinics, training, tournaments, and in-person meetings.

Trusting that players, coaches, referees and spectators would never knowingly compromise themselves or others, the fact is that our sport and its related activities provide an opportunity for the virus to spread which we feel is our duty to help avoid (excerpt from the CDC below):

  “…COVID-19 is mainly spread through respiratory droplets (sneeze, cough, or sweat) when in close contact (within 6 feet) OR by touching a surface with such droplets and then touching one’s own mouth, nose or eyes…”

As a result, both US Soccer and US Youth Soccer have made a similar decision regarding soccer activities under their purview.  They asked the state associations to assess the risks and benefits of postponement, suspension and/or cancellation of upcoming events and New Hampshire Soccer – along with many other state associations – has taken this guidance, as well as information from public health and medical professionals at the federal, state and local levels with the highest level of concern.  Our decision to suspend soccer-related activities and promote social distancing was not made lightly.  But, in the interest of making the health and safety of the entire soccer community, in addition to all others statewide, paramount, we know this is the right step to take.  

New Hampshire Soccer will evaluate conditions on a continuing basis to determine when it is appropriate to reinstate our affiliated and sanctioned soccer activities.  Further communications will be provided via email and on our website.  

US Soccer has suspended all Coaching Education Courses and Referee Courses until after April 30th. We are currently trying to work on a solution to offer a portion of these courses on line. Look for communications from our Director of Coaching and State Referee Administrator.

Additionally, here are a number of different resources and communications from the CDC and other organizations regarding the Coronavirus:  

We cannot emphasize enough that New Hampshire Soccer’s primary commitment at all times is the health and safety of all members, players, coaches, referees, parents, spectators and volunteers.

Proper Health Habits:

In the meantime, while we all help protect ourselves is it important to reinforce health safety and best practices for illness prevention, please read the list below:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth prior to proper washing or disinfecting.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow the CDC’s recommendations for using a face mask.
  • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including Coronavirus.
  • CDC recommended face masks should be used by people who show symptoms to help prevent the spread of the disease.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

Thank you for your understanding.

-New Hampshire Soccer Association

NEW HAMPSHIRE SOCCER NEWS RELEASE: COVID-19

To:  All members and affiliates

From:  Rusty Wightman, President

CC:  Board of Directors and Staff

RE: Coronavirus ( COVID-19 ) Advisory Memo

As new developments arise each day, I want to insure all understand that first and foremost, the safety of our players, coaches, referees and fans is our primary responsibility. The NHSA and US Soccer are monitoring the situation and seeking advice and recommendations from all resources available including local, state and federal agencies.

Based on the current information and facts, it is recommended that everyone be familiar with the best practices and protocols set forth by the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Several events across the country have been canceled or postponed, however we feel at this time, all soccer in the granite state can go on as scheduled. With that said, please be respectful of individual or organizational decisions. Please be mindful of the facilities and venues we play in, especially schools and decisions they need to make regarding usage. If you are traveling out of state, please be aware of the situation at your destination and follow traveling recommendations ( CDC link below)

US Soccer has put forth the following information:

Best Practices for Health
There is currently no vaccine to prevent the Coronavirus. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed. Everyday preventive actions should be taken:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Follow the CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask
    • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including Coronavirus.
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms to help prevent the spread of the disease.

Additionally, here are a number of different resources and communications from the CDC regarding the Coronavirus:

If the NHSA can assist or help guide your organization through this period, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We appreciate everyone’s cooperation and support, together we will get through this !

Sincerely,

Rusty Wightman

President, New Hampshire Soccer Association

New Hampshire Soccer Association renews GotSoccer partnership for another 5 years

New Hampshire Soccer Association renews GotSoccer partnership for another 5 years


New Hampshire Soccer Association has strengthened their relationship with GotSoccer, signing a new five year contract and moving the registration and State Cup tournament to the GotSport platform.

“NHSA has had a great partnership with GotSoccer for 10 years,” said State Administrator Ann Fichera.  “Over those years we have been so happy with the progress GotSoccer has made to continue investing in their software, provide support, education and overall changes that are needed.”We are excited to be moving forward with our partnership with GotSoccer and be able to offer our Member clubs and facilities the opportunity  to use the new GotSport program,” Fichera added. 

An excited GotSoccer CEO Gavin Owen-Thomas was delighted with the contract  renewal. “Since we launched GotSoccer we’ve had an amazing 98% client retention rate and for NHSA to put their trust in us for 5 more years makes me very proud.

“This agreement furthers our goal to partner with all state soccer associations in providing the best and most advanced analytics and sports management system on the market to benefit all players.”NHSA members will have the benefit of GotSport’s:Simplified tools to manage all their roles and duties from within a single accountMobile responsive system to easily perform all their tasks whenever, wherever Simple and secure paymentsand so much more!For more information CLICK HERE.

To arrange a demonstration contact Dave Buchanan, GotSport’s head of state management software at (203) 752-7324. 

Since 2003, GotSoccer has an amazing 98% Client Retention Rate.
29 USYS State Associations now utilize Gotsport’s registration platform, and 36 use GotSoccer for their State Cup!

Introducing our new USYS ODP Technical Director: John Curtis

Date: September 23, 2019
To: Member State Associations
CC: Board of Directors, General Managers and National Office Staff
From: Chris Duke, Midwest Region General Manager- ODP
Subject: Introducing our new ODP Technical Director: John Curtis

It is a great honor and privilege to introduce to you our new ODP Technical Director, Coach John Curtis.

Curtis has been involved in youth soccer as a coach, administrator, director and parent for 25 years. Prior to accepting the position of US Youth Soccer ODP Technical Director, Curtis was employed by the USYS Member State Association, Minnesota Youth Soccer Association (MYSA), where he served for more than twenty years working his way up through the organization from college intern to Associate Director of Coaching and ultimately serving as Director of Coaching and Player Development. In addition to coaching education, player development and ODP, one of Curtis’ favorite roles with MYSA was community outreach, especially his visits to elementary schools in diverse, and often underserved, areas to work directly with kids and their physical education teachers.

For the past 16 years, Curtis has been involved with USYS’s ODP Midwest Region as a Staff Coach and U13/14 Head Coach. As a Regional ODP Coach, Curtis had the honor of coaching youth who have since gone on to become national team or professional MLS players, including: Michael Bradley, Darlington Nagbe, Ray Gaddis, Ethan Finlay, the late Kirk Urso, and many others. This past spring, Curtis was named the Girls’ Head Coach for the USYS ODP West Region.

“I am honored and excited to join US Youth Soccer as their ODP Technical Director and to continue my work with ODP on a national level,” Curtis said. “ODP is something I have been passionate about at both the state and regional levels because it provides valuable development opportunities for players from all backgrounds and gives them access to resources needed to reach the highest level in the sport of soccer. I am grateful for this opportunity to serve our ODP youth nationally and I look forward to continued collaboration with many of the top coaching talents in youth soccer.”

“John understands the landscape on the boys and girls side of soccer in this country,” says Chris Duke, Midwest Region General Manager- ODP. “John will bring tons of experience and knowledge to USYS and our Olympic Development Program (ODP).” “I am extremely excited to have him on our team and I look forward to working with him to help grow the USYS ODP.”

Curtis brings a wealth of professional relationships, experience and knowledge with him to this new role. From 1997 through 2010, he served as the Assistant Men’s Soccer Coach at St. Olaf and Macalester College, both Division III colleges in the MIAC Conference, working alongside esteemed head coaches, John Leaney and Ian Barker. Since 2016, Curtis has served as part of the US Department of State, Sports Diplomacy and Outreach making several goodwill trips to Haiti with United Soccer Coaches and The Sanneh Foundation to train coaches and players. From 2017 to 2019, he held the elected position of Technical Chair for the Midwest Region’s State Directors of Coaching. Curtis holds his USSF “A” license, National Youth License, Talent Scout License, Grassroots Instructors License and his United Soccer Coaches Premier Diploma. Curtis serves on the national staff for U.S. Soccer, US Youth Soccer and the United Soccer Coaches instructing advanced coaching license courses for coaches across the country. Additionally, Curtis is an active U.S. Soccer Scout working to identify both girls and boys for youth national teams.

“John Curtis is uniquely qualified to assume the role of USYS Olympic Development Program (ODP) Technical Director,” said Ian Barker – Head Coach Boys’ USYS ODP Midwest and Director of Coaching Education, United Soccer Coaches. “In addition to his breadth of knowledge in the technical direction of ODP, he has innovated advancements in providing low or no cost programming to make the program accessible to all players,” says Barker. “As ODP evolves into a relevant and powerful tool in the ongoing identification of young soccer talent and supporting that talent in the development pathway, John Curtis will be a strong leader. In his national role, he will be well placed to support all USYS states and regions collaborating to build a still stronger nationwide program.”

Family is a top priority for Curtis. He and his wife, Jeanne, have two elementary aged children, Evan and Molly. According to Curtis, “We are all excited for this next chapter. My family knows how much love I have for ODP and throughout my career, they have supported my ODP commitments and the time away that it requires. I wouldn’t be able to do this without their unwavering support.” When he is not traveling, Curtis enjoys spending time with his family relaxing on the lake, playing soccer or hockey, roller blading, biking, and skiing. “We definitely make the most of our time together.”

Please join me in welcoming John Curtis!

Sincerely,
Chris Duke
Midwest Region General Manager- ODP US Youth Soccer