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.
Executive Director, TSSA
Board of Directors, TSSA
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.
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 ChattanoogaSoccer.com/HEALTH 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.
CFC Academy Board & Staff
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.