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The governor's office has released new guidance for soccer and the Tennessee Pledge no longer includes a ban on contact soccer. We still have a lot of work to do to keep each other and our communities safe. But this appears to be very good news. 

Tennessee State Soccer Association (TSSA) is allowing contact practice immediately, provided clubs follow the TSSA Return-to-Play protocol. Contact games may be scheduled and played locally through August 16. Travel games within Tennessee are allowed after August 16, provided the RTP are followed. Games outside of Tennessee are considered and approved on a case-by-case basis.

How does Hamilton County's mask mandate affect soccer?

The Mayor of Hamilton County issued an executive order to require face coverings in public, effective Friday, July 10. This requirement does not change any existing protocols for CFC Academy -- it only reinforces them.

Coaches and staff will continue to wear face coverings unless they are at least 6 feet away from players and other people. Parents are encouraged to not congregate in groups. If they do, and cannot maintain 6 feet, a face covering is required.

Face coverings are not required for:

  • Children under 12 years of age
  • Persons who are outdoors unless the person cannot substantially maintain appropriate social distancing from others outside of the person’s household. Facial coverings should, however, be kept accessible in the event of encountering a larger group.
  • Anyone with documented medical contraindications to facial covers such as active asthma or COPD
  • Anyone who is acutely short of breath or incapacitated such that they would be unable to remove the covering on their own.
  • Persons working under conditions where appropriate social distancing from others outside of the person’s household can be maintained. A facial covering should be kept accessible in the event that others enter the area.
  • Persons who are exercising, such as jogging, bicycling, or swimming, etc, either alone or in small groups where physical distancing of 6 feet or greater can be maintained. A facial covering should be kept accessible in the event of encountering a larger group.


Parents & Spectators: Masks are required at all CFC Academy activities if you are unable or unwilling to maintain 6 feet of social distance from people outside your household. If you can maintain the 6 feet of social distance, you may opt out of the mask.

Players: Masks are not required during practice, games, or on the bench when coaches are able to facilitate social distance. Masks are strongly encouraged as you walk between your car and the fields -- since social distancing is more difficult to follow.


On June 29, 2020 the Governor announced an extension of the state's executive order related to COVID-19 though August 29.

The order states, in part, to: Limit social and recreational gatherings of 50 or more persons, unless adequate social distancing can be maintained. Limit contact sports with a requirement or substantial likelihood of routine close contact. This does not apply to collegiate or professional sports conducted under the rules or guidelines of their respective governing bodies and does not prohibit training or otherwise practicing the elements of such sports that do not involve close contact with persons.

CFC Academy is awaiting guidance from Tennessee State Soccer Association (TSSA) on its interpretation of the latest guidance and what that means for games. We expect to hear from TSSA on Tuesday or Wednesday. Once we understand new guidelines related to soccer, the staff will take a few days to make adjustments in the club's approach to providing developmental opportunities to players. 


TSSA Return to Play Guidance (June 1-30)

On May 22, 2020, the Governor updated the Return to Work Safely in his Executive Order No. 38. In this order we continue to see training allowed with expanded numbers but no contact. This order is extended through June 30, 2020 or until there is another update amending this one.

Activities Permitted: Small group (49 or less) training in which social distancing (6 feet of separation) is strictly observed and contact game conditions are avoided. Fitness, speed, and agility training are allowed. Team practices where players are trained in small groups (e.g.functional training). Fitness, speed and agility training are allowed. Tryouts (during the allowed times) would be permitted with strict adherence to the parameters set forth in the local and state Order’s.

Activities Prohibited: scrimmages, games, tournaments etc.

The importance of wearing a face covering in Hamilton County cannot be overstated. The virus specifically spreads through droplets coming from the mouth or nose. These droplets escape not just while coughing or sneezing, but also while talking and singing. Masks catch these droplets before they can reach others. According to the CDC, asymptomatic persons can transmit the virus.

What if a player, relative, coach, or staff member tests positive?

CFC Academy will follow or exceed guidance from Hamilton County Health Department and medical experts at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Employees who contracts COVID-19, experience symptoms or have been in immediate contact with someone who has COVID-19 should quarantine and manage their symptoms.

When and How Long to Quarantine:
1. If you think or know you had COVID-19 and had symptoms, you can be with others after:
a. 10 days since symptoms first appeared
b. 24 hours  with no fever, and
c. Symptoms improved

2. If you tested positive for COVID-19 but had no symptoms, you can be around others after 10 days have passed (down from 14).


Individuals who share a household with someone who is infected should self-quarantine and not return to practice for 10 days per guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC does not currently recommend special scrutiny or quarantine for those who have been exposed to an asymptomatic person who has been exposed to someone with COVID-19.

If a player, coach, or staff member suspects they could have COVID-19 symptoms and/or tests positive for COVID-19, they should notify club leadership via this form immediately so proper protocols may begin.


On May 22, 2020, the Governor updated the Return to Work Safely in his Executive Order No. 38. In this order we continue to see training allowed with expanded numbers but no contact. This order is extended through June 30, 2020 or until there is another update amending this one.

Activities Permitted: Small group (49 or less) training in which social distancing (6 feet of separation) is strictly observed and contact game conditions are avoided. Fitness, speed, and agility training are allowed. Team practices where players are trained in small groups (e.g.functional training). Fitness, speed and agility training are allowed. Tryouts (during the allowed times) would be permitted with strict adherence to the parameters set forth in the local and state Order’s.

Activities Prohibited: scrimmages, games, tournaments etc.

May 12 Update

Barring any new restrictions and/or orders from local or state governments, Chattanooga FC Academy is planning to begin Stage 1 of Return to Play on Saturday, May 16. There are still some questions regarding which parks and fields will be open to organized sports. But the club leadership is working through that. 

Player Responsibilities:

  • Wash hands thoroughly before and after training.
  • Bring and use hand sanitizer at every training. Encouraged to wear mask before and immediately after all training.
  • Do not touch or share anyone else’s equipment, water, snack, or bag.
  • Practice social distancing, place bags and equipment at least 6 feet apart.
  • Wash and sanitize all equipment before and after every training.
  • No group celebrations, no high 5’s, hugs, handshakes, etc.

Parent Responsibilities:

  • Ensure child is healthy, check your child’s temperature prior to any training session.
  • Limited or no carpooling.
  • Stay in car or adhere to social distance requirements, based on state and local health requirements, when at training wear mask if outside your car.
  • Ensure child’s clothing is washed after every training session.
  • Ensure all equipment, cleats, ball, shin guards, etc. are sanitized before and after every training.
  • Notify club immediately if your child becomes ill for any reason.
  • Do not assist coach with equipment before or after training.
  • Be sure your child has necessary sanitizer with them at every training.


Our current TSSA suspension of play remains THROUGH May 15th, 2020.  “Return to Play” is going to look very different across the state and we all need to understand this as we move forward.  Some areas of the state may place higher restrictions than that of the Governor and we need to be aware of that.  “Return to Play” does NOT mean we go back to how things were.  

The current Executive Order is interpreted as follows: a coach and nine (9) players could technically have a session.  However, TSSA liability insurance for clubs and accident insurance for players does not go into effect until our suspension has been lifted (current suspension of play is through May 15th, 2020).  At such time as the Governor should change this Executive Order we will comply, but for now, this 10 or fewer mandate is set to extend through the end of May. 

We ask that you please do your best to follow this protocol and we wish you and your families health and safety during this time. 


The TSSA Board has considered all the recent information from US Youth Soccer (recommendation for Return to Play May 15) and Governor Bill Lee (recommendation to close schools through this academic year).  As we evaluate this ever-changing landscape of COVID-19 and adhering to local, State and Federal guidelines, the decision has been made to push the return-to-play date to May 15, 2020.  When these governmental entities develop a plan to return-to-life, we will look to follow those recommendations and update you.

Our goal remains to protect our players and their families while giving them some hope of a return to play in the near future.  We continue to learn more from medical experts every day and appreciate your patience as we work through this. 

Everyone please continue to shelter in place, stay safe and stay healthy. We will get through this together!


US Youth Soccer has pushed back its potential ‘Return to Play’ date for all activities to May 1st, 2020. This is in alignment with U.S. Soccer and all other major soccer youth groups.

Again – please note – this date is NOT a definitive Return to Play date. Factors on the ground in local state associations and State Departments of Health, will continue to drive the local outcome. As USYS has done since the start of the outbreak, future decisions will be evaluated every two weeks. Accordingly, the ‘Return to Play’ date of May 1 will be re-evaluated on April 15th.

Accordingly, Tennessee State Soccer will follow suit and suspend all events and activities through April 30th, 2020. This keeps everyone in alignment with the State of Tennessee, U.S. Soccer and USYS.

March 25 Update

Dear Tennessee Soccer Families, Friends, Coaches, Referees, and Players,

Tennessee State Soccer Association (TSSA) has been the governing body of soccer in Tennessee since 1976. As a non-profit organization overseeing the 100+ non-profit and for profit member youth soccer clubs in Tennessee, the TSSA mission continues to be “Make a difference. To lead. To serve. To inspire.”

Today, the TSSA Board of Directors decided to further extend our soccer suspension of operations until at least April 15th. The TSSA Board of Directors will continue to review this date and will extend the current spring season start date again if necessary.

You may wonder why we don’t simply cancel the spring season now. We can appreciate these sentiments, but the answer is not so simple. Locally, we’ve made it through hard times as friends, teams, clubs, and as a community. For many who grew up playing the sport, whether locally or nationally, we often reflect on the immense benefits sports has had on our lives. The physical, mental, and social well-being provided by soccer got many of us through hard times and made us better individuals. TSSA and all Tennessee State Soccer clubs believe that continuing to provide these benefits and fulfilling these needs has to be our goal. We can’t and won’t just give up on the opportunity to emerge from this devastation and again serve our community.

Taking into consideration the diversity of the soccer community we serve, our decision to strive for stability and survival runs deep. Whether this is your child’s first venture into an organized sport, or your child lives and breathes soccer, the survival of youth soccer is vital to the continuation of:
·        Soccer as the best form of exercise a child may get on a weekly basis.
·        Soccer as the most welcome, or possibly only non-school, social time kids may have on a weekly basis.
·        The immense benefit of the coach-player mentorship relationship.
·        The stability in the life of a child that comes from being part of a team.
·        Soccer is the only main outlet in life for some kids.

While not each of these may apply to your child, some or all of these benefits apply to children everywhere in the greater Tennessee Soccer community.  TSSA is working to be flexible with our member clubs to create a season of soccer even with a delayed start date. Without spring soccer, the sport as we know it, the infrastructure that has taken decades to build, the continuity and livelihood of many coaches, and field access will be crippled. Without a spring season, we are concerned many of our member clubs, as we know them today, will not survive in their current forms. Some of our member clubs may be forced to lay off employees, coaches, downsize field access, or even close their doors. Most of our TSSA member clubs are non-profits, and few of them carry the extensive financial reserves necessary for them to maintain stability through the events we are currently facing.

The economic impact of these potential outcomes weighs heavy as well, as the greater Tennessee Soccer landscape provides hundreds of millions to the local economy annually.

Our flexibility in our timeline and decision making regarding the Spring season might  allow clubs to have soccer accessible to your child as soon as we are able to return to play, as well as being able to ultimately provide the services that were postponed due to the pandemic.

We believe now, more than ever, that we need to focus on the future and pull through this together, so that our children will have a sense of normalcy as our community emerges from this current situation.

Many of you will receive communications from your member clubs in the coming days. Our wish, as you read through their individual messages, is that you understand any decisions made are decisions that were not made lightly, but rather have been made in consideration of the years they’ve been working with Tennessee’s youth soccer community and in the continuation of a thriving youth soccer environment.

Hans Hobson
Executive Director, TSSA
Board of Directors, TSSA

March 18 Update

Tennessee State Soccer Association (TSSA) announced today it is extending the hiatus for all soccer training, games, and events at least through March 29. While this extension is not a surprise, we remain hopeful that some outdoor activities will resume at some point this season -- even if they are modified.

If the extension needs to be pushed out even further, we will let you know as soon as possible.

March 12 Update

Chattanooga FC Academy Families:

We are a youth soccer club and should, by no means, be your primary source of health information when it comes to COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

However, we must recognize the ripple effect this situation is having and to make sure we are doing our small part within the community to reduce the spread and keep our families as healthy as possible. The governor declared a State of Emergency for Tennessee this morning.

As a result, all training sessions and games are on hold through at least March 22. This includes Shamrock Cup next weekend — we are considering the possibility of a future date and will update teams on those discussions. Coaches should not gather teams for informal group training activities until the hold is lifted. 

This temporary halt on soccer operations does not mean your child cannot still play soccer. Our coaching staff and club leadership will regularly share ideas for working on soccer at home. We’ll send videos and written lessons to try. We know that does not replace everything we are giving up at this time — but we do want to make sure kids who want to keep working have a structured plan on best ways to do that.

We expect there to be questions. That is why we have created a special section on our website at so we can keep you updated as decisions are made. It includes information from US Soccer and Tennessee State Soccer Association as well. 

We ask for your patience and trust while we can develop answers for you. We are not medical professionals. We are parents and soccer people just like you. We will be following the lead of government health officials and national sports organization like MLS and NCAA. 

Thank you,

CFC Academy Board & Staff

3/12 Message from Tennessee State Soccer Association

As the situation regarding COVID-19 increases, Tennessee Soccer and our Board of Directors have been monitoring with help from the Center For Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), United States Youth Soccer Association (USYS) and United States Soccer Federation (USSF). Our organization is concerned about the health and safety of our members, as well as those in our community, as we make decisions about upcoming spring soccer activity.  

On March 12th, US Youth Soccer suspended all National League and Conference play matches that required significant car travel and/or air travel.

On March 12th, United States Soccer Federation suspended all play within their programs through April 30th. 

TSSA and our Board of Directors have met to discuss the situation as it continues to develop.  At this time we will be suspending all play (TSL, ODP, Tournaments, Practice, Games) in Tennessee associated with TSSA through March 22nd.  Our staff will continue to be available to you during this time.  TSSA and our staff will continue to evaluate the situation on a regular basis and keep you informed.  

The key is to do what we can to prevent the spread of this virus. As an individual, take basic precautions such as washing your hands frequently. We will keep you updated and post all updates on social media and our website as the environment changes.