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Dear Massachusetts Referee Community:

 
As most are likely aware, the last several weeks have seen a rapidly evolving situation with the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). For information regarding how one should prepare, prevent, and stay safe, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/ for guidance.
 
The MSRC Executive Committee has been closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and due to the increase in cases and the declaration of a State of Emergency in Massachusetts, out of an abundance of caution and with concern for the health of our membership, the MSRC is taking the following actions, all effective immediately:
  • All 2020 referee certification and re-certification will move to a 100% online format. There will be no face to face classroom sessions for these events for the remainder of the 2020 certification period. All previously scheduled classes will occur, but will occur online. Any previously registered participants will receive instructions on how to participate remotely. Attending an online session is a requirement for certification. Additional online sessions are in the process of being scheduled.
  • All 2020 assignor certification and re-certification will move to a 100% online format. There will be no face to face classroom sessions for these events for the remainder of the 2020 certification period. All previously scheduled classes will occur, but will occur online. Any previously registered participants will receive instructions on how to participate remotely. Attending an online session is a requirement for certification. Additional online sessions are in the process of being scheduled. 
  • All Genesis Referee Programs will move to a 100% online format.  There will be no face to face classroom sessions for these events until (tentatively) 30-APR-2020. Any previously scheduled sessions will occur, but will occur online. Any previously registered participants will receive instructions on how to participate remotely. Attending an online session is a requirement for certification.
  • Any referee coaching and mentoring should be performed either utilizing distance tools, such as online, over the telephone, or social distancing techniques maintaining a spacing of 6 feet or more as defined by various health professionals. This can be performed on agreement with the referee team and referee coach on a case by case basis.
  • All MSRC board meetings will move to a  100% online format until further notice.
It should also be noted that several leagues have proactively canceled, suspended, or otherwise postponed the start to their respective seasons. As the MSRC receives credible information regarding these events, we will share same.
 
In all cases, safety of the MSRC membership is paramount. When our respective seasons start, and rest assured they will, many typical "social cues" such as handshakes, fist bumps, or other such gestures will likely no longer be the norm and are in fact being regulated halted in some leagues. Please be mindful that some folks may still want to engage in these customs, when others will not. MSRC advises no physical contact in such situations. A hearty "nice match" spoken at a distance will suffice.
 
Finally, with the canceled, suspended, or otherwise postponed seasons to date, there may be a likelihood of "pop up" scrimmages in an effort for players to stay fit. Some of these scrimmages may request referees. Any such scrimmages are considered "unaffiliated" if they are not part of league play and as such, liability protection provided by US Soccer will not be extended to any such event that is not expressly approved by US Soccer or the respective league.
 
We recognize this is a lot of information and even as we read this message it is evolving. MSRC will continue to do its best to bring relevant updates to the Massachusetts refereeing community as we learn more. We will continue to move forward and be better for it.
 
We wish each of you continued good health in the days ahead.


Sincerely,

Peter Kokolski

SRA Massachusetts

 

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