The new way to play soccer?

Is This Still Soccer?

In Massachusetts they have changed the rules due to the pandemic. Basically you can only use your feet to play the game…..

You’re still not allowed to touch the ball with your hands.

But in many other important ways, the soccer being played by Massachusetts high schools this fall differs significantly in shape and form from the soccer known and played around the rest of the world.

No physical contact. No slide tackles. No headers. No throw-ins. Six feet of distance between players is required whenever play is restarted — in other words, no walls or close marking on free kicks. And to top things off, everyone on the field must wear a mask at all times.

Sports leagues across the country, from youth leagues to the pros, are implementing safety protocols this fall to try to play games amid the coronavirus pandemic. Some guidelines, on things like sharing water bottles or high-fiving or locker room use, are common sense in the coronavirus era. Others are more extreme: In Vermont, for example, high schools are playing seven-on-seven football this year, and volleyball matches are moving from indoor gyms to outdoor courts.

But few have taken things as far as the state of Massachusetts, which unveiled its unusual rules for soccer on the eve of what is shaping up to be one of the strangest high school sports seasons in memory.

“It’s crazy,” said Francesca Yanchuk, a senior forward for the girls’ team at Bishop Feehan High School in Attleboro, Mass., who has had to unlearn some of the skills that helped her secure a scholarship to play at Villanova next year.

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