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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

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