Can your child play soccer? Current RTP Status Across Washington
We know how eager everyone is to get back onto the pitch, and Washington Youth Soccer is doing everything we can to make it happen for our players, coaches, and families across the state. You’ve seen our return to play updates all year, but the information can be a bit overwhelming when you’re just looking to find out the current status.
See below for the latest announcement/guidelines from Governor Inslee’s office, and please let us know if you have further questions.
Washington Youth Soccer Return to Play Protocols for Winter 2022 (1/13/22)
As of 1/13/22, these are the latest protocols and safety guidelines for Washington Youth Soccer clubs to follow for the Fall 2021 season. We will update these if the governor’s office or Department of Health issues new guidelines that would change the above.
- Masks are NOT required for players/coaches/spectators at this time.
- If your local field does require a mask, please adhere to their rules.
- Complexes with multiple fields are considered single “events” according to the Governor’s Office, and are limited to 500 people per field
South Central Region hospital misreports COVID admissions; Department of Health moves region to Phase 2 (DOH)
Below are the recommended matchday protocols for players, coaches, referees, and parents/spectators. The main focus should always be on safety for everyone involved, especially wearing masks and social distancing at all times for everyone who isn’t actively playing or warming up.
The RCS voted this week to allow RCL teams to play out of state, and there will be no consequences from the RCS.
RCS recommend that clubs should still make sure their county does not have a problem when they return.
Please not that this ONLY applies to RCL clubs.
This Weekend: October 17/18
Due to the sudden changes in Pierce and King Counties, and the existing issues in Eastern WA and Clark County…many clubs will not be able to play games this weekend due to not meeting the metrics.
However, if your county is cleared to play, please use the existing schedule that has been put out by WYS to play RCL games if your county meets the State Risk Management Assessment metrics.
Clubs may also schedule friendly/exhibitions games if your county meets the State Risk Management Assessment metrics. We feel it’s important that as many clubs, teams, and kids are back on the field playing soccer!
How can I tell if matches can be played in my county?
- Open or download the press release titled “Professional Sports & Other Sporting Activities COVID-19 Requirements” and scroll down to page 2. Be sure to thoroughly read all the information regarding youth sports, especially the various hygiene and safety requirements that must be absolutely followed by players, coaches, referees, and spectators. Note that soccer is considered a MODERATE risk sport.
- Go to page 4 of the press release, and find the section titled “County COVID-19 Activity Level guidance.” Familiarize yourself first with each level of COVID Activity on pages 4 and 5:
HIGH (>75 cases/100K/14 days OR >5% positivity)
MODERATE (25-75 cases/100K/14 days AND <5% positivity)
LOW (<25 cases/100K/14 days AND <5% positivity).
- Open the WA Risk Assessment Dashboard on the state government website.
- On the left side of the dashboard, select your county from the dropdown box. This will load your specific county’s latest COVID Activity metrics. Compare those with the three levels given in the Governor’s release. If the numbers determine that your county are LOW or MODERATE, then full practice sessions and league games are allowed to proceed. If your county’s numbers fall under HIGH, then only the following is permitted:
- Team practices and/or training can resume for low, medium, and high risk sports if players are limited to groups of six in separate parts of the field/court, separated by a buffer zone. Brief close contact (ex: 3 on 3 drills) is permitted.
- Because the numbers can see significant change on a day-to-day basis, clubs should plan their weekend games with the COVID Activity numbers published by Wednesday at 5:00 PM in order to secure field access, referees, etc. Both clubs must check the numbers published at 5:00 PM on Friday, and if there is a dramatic change that puts the county at a different activity level, schedules should be adjusted.
Today, the office of Governor Jay Inslee announced a new set of protocols for Washington State regarding outdoor recreation, including youth soccer. These new guidelines allow for full team training sessions and league games to be played in counties according to the COVID-19 metrics listed in the Governor’s release if stringent health and safety protocols are followed. It should also be noted that while these are released by the state, they are not laws; it is up to the discretion of individual county officials and field operators to allow clubs to play. The full release from the Governor’s office is below.
This announcement comes after months of hard work by Washington Youth Soccer, with the support of our members and other youth organizations across the state, to push for the opportunity to allow our kids to play soccer across the state when medical experts deemed it safe. WYS Board President Felipe Mendez said that “as the largest youth organization in the State of Washington, we are excited to continue to work together with all the education and health agencies to get back to play safely. Our focus on the physical and mental health of our soccer athletes and families is a top priority.”
We understand the mental toll it has taken on our athletes and their families, and our goal since the pandemic began has been to find a responsible way to return to play as soon as possible . “Thanks to everyone for the hard work and diligence that it took to put an RTP process in place that gives our kids and families the best-possible pathway to get back on the playing fields,” said WYS CEO Terry Fisher.
Much of the credit goes to our Return to Play committee for their incredible diligence in formulating potential protocols and guidelines for our members throughout the process. The committee had this to say about today’s announcement, “The Return to Play committee would like to thank everyone that was involved in the progress on getting teams back to playing games. We would like to thank all the clubs, coaches, referees, administrators, parents, and especially the players for their patience and co-operation during this time. As we move forward, please continue to follow local government and CDC best practice guidelines, as well as individual league protocols.”
We also want to thank our medical expert, Dr. Jonathan Drezner, for the countless hours he has put into this process. This would have been a much longer and more difficult journey without his expertise, assistance, and research. “The health and safety of our players always comes first. The guidelines released by the Governor’s office provide thoughtful benchmarks in which to advance youth sports. As a community, we must remain diligent with safety practices both on and off the field,” said Dr. Drezner.
Washington Youth Soccer will also be releasing suggested guidelines for clubs and leagues that are returning to play based on today’s news, along with concise versions of graphics useful for sharing on social media.
As we excitedly move forward with today’s announcement in mind, don’t forget that protocols regarding safety and proper hygiene are of the utmost importance. From CEO Terry Fisher: “Stay diligent and stay focused, as this is not the time to become cavalier. COVID-19 is still in the marketplace and until we have a distributed vaccine, the risks are still very real. Stay disciplined and exercise proven hygiene practices. Have fun, mask up, and be safe.”
If you have any questions about this document or anything else regarding return to play in Washington, contact Terry Fisher at email@example.com.
Thank you and stay safe,
Washington Youth Soccer
The following letter was submitted to Governor Inslee’s office by Washington Youth Soccer after working with our medical expert Dr. Drezner and requesting the endorsements from other youth sports organizations throughout the state. Contact Terry Fisher at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about this proposal or other return to play issues.
As the COVID-19 situation continues to ebb and flow around the world, youth sports organizations like ours are doing everything we can to monitor the virus and how it affects our children and the games we all love. Our number one priority is safety for our players, coaches, officials, and families. But we also want to recognize and acknowledge the importance of youth sports on the mental, emotional, and psychologically development of our children.
With the support of youth sports organizations across the state that comprise at least 325,000 players– including but not limited to 125,000 youth soccer players (100,000 recreation; 25,000 premier), 90,000 youth baseball and softball players, 20,000 youth lacrosse players, and 7,000 youth ultimate frisbee players, we believe that finding ways to get our youth back into sports as quickly as possible is of the utmost priority—as long as proper safety guidelines are crafted and followed. As for youth soccer, roughly $400,000 is given in financial aid to players who can’t afford to play and for many, this is their only sport; the majority (approximately 100,000) are recreational-level players who may not have a season without the implementation of statewide phase 3 protocols. Students also need Physical Education credits to graduate from high school in Washington State, and allowing our sports to move forward in order to help students fulfill those requirements will help ease the burden on schools, students, and parents.
The below proposal outlines our goals for moving outdoor recreation, including outdoor youth sports, to phase 3 guidelines across Washington State. This was created with the assistance of our medical expert, Dr. Jonathan Drezner. The proposal has been endorsed by the following, along with Washington Youth Soccer:
Snohomish County Sports Commission
Snohomish Boys Lacrosse Club
Spokane Youth Sports Association
USA Softball of Washington
Richland National Little League
Outdoor Recreation: Proposal for Phase 2 Modification
Background and Rationale:
Knowledge about SARS-CoV-2 transmission and the factors that determine risk have quickly evolved. Proximity, duration, and environment are major factors that influence viral spread and the risk of new infections (Jones et al. BMJ 2020).
After studying results in over 8,100 youth soccer players that have been participating in Phase 2 small group trainings from mid-June through mid-August in Washington Youth Soccer RCL clubs, we would like to request modifications to the Phase 2 guidelines for outdoor recreation that have been put forth by the State of Washington.
The data has shown that there have been zero cases of transmission among participating athletes in the current Phase 2 protocols. This is consistent with similar data collected in other areas across the country for youth soccer trainings, including data from San Diego County and North Carolina involving physical contact at practices and games where no cases of player to player transmission occurred.
It is clear that when infection-control protocols are employed with adult oversight, physically distanced soccer training is safe, and that more normal training and competition outdoors does not appear to present a high risk for spread of SARS-CoV-2.
The concept that playing outdoor sports or having school-sponsored extra-curricular activities is somehow linked to students being in the classroom for in-person learning is not supported by science. The risk of students sitting in a classroom is far greater than youth playing sports outdoors. Indeed, one study estimates a 19-fold higher risk of transmission in indoor environments than outdoors (Nishiura et al. medRxiv 2020).
Beyond simply boosting the physical health of young athletes, we have also found that getting kids back into sport is just as important for their mental health. A recent study at the University of Wisconsin found that young athletes across their state reported feeling a variety of negative mental health symptoms as a result of not being able to play sports in the early days of COVID-19 quarantine measures. Sixty-five percent of those surveyed reported suffering symptoms of anxiety in May 2020, while 68% reported symptoms of depression. The latter was compared to historical data, with moderate to severe depression reported at a rate 3.5 times higher than that found in historical data.
We propose to eliminate restrictions on outdoor recreation that have been focused on small groups of 5 or less, and to advance to guidelines consistent with Phase 3 outdoor recreation. Specifically, approved activities for teams and larger groups would include those where: >6 feet between players is mostly maintained, rare and brief physical contact with other athletes may occur, but only fleeting (or no) face-to-face time is anticipated between players. This would allow many outdoor sports to advance to full practices, scrimmages, and games. Tournaments would not be allowed.
Additional safety precautions recommended include:
- Players should remain physically distanced >6 feet apart as much as possible
- Players should use hand sanitizer before and after practice and games
- Players on the sideline should be physically distanced >6 feet apart and wear a mask
- No handshakes, fist-bumps, or group celebrations
- Coaches should be wearing a mask at all times and any team instruction be conducted with the players physically distanced
- Officials and umpires should practice appropriate hand hygiene and use of a mask is encouraged
- Each player that is a minor can have only one parent/guardian at a game
- Parents should wear a mask and be physically distanced from each other and the field of play
- There should be no pre- or post-game gatherings
Sports-specific precautions to consider:
- Soccer: replace corner kicks with pass-in restarts
- Baseball/Softball: catcher, batter, and base runners wear a mask
- Lacrosse: avoid face-offs
Impact and Follow-up:
Advancing outdoor activities with a continued focus on safety will allow hundreds of thousands of youth to resume outdoor sports and avoid the harm of inactivity and social isolation. Surveillance for new infections will continue with continual re-evaluation of safety protocols and the need for further modifications.
To clarify, small group training with appropriate physical distancing and no contact is not considered a “close contact” or high risk exposure. The recommendation to inform and test a small group pod is out of an abundance of caution. If it is truly a high risk exposure (ie carpool, household contact, players went and scrimmaged on their own, >15 min within 6 feet), then the person should quarantine for 14 days regardless of their test result.
Thanks to our continued cooperation with, and support from, Governor Jay Inslee’s office, Washington Youth Soccer has received clarification that our latest Return to Play guidelines are current and approved for use. This includes the latest changes to Phase 3 counties; the change from groups of 50 to 10 does not apply to youth soccer at this time. In Phase 3, soccer teams can play games if all other guidelines and procedures are followed. The governor’s office reinforced that outdoor activity that strictly follows state and other safety guidelines is always the best option.
The governor’s office provided no updates for us beyond what has been announced and addressed by WYS already, but they praised our organization’s leadership on this topic and are pleased with the guidelines we have released thus far. It’s also worth recognizing that they don’t see all youth sports as equal in terms of returning to play in the different phases of reopening. While other sports may see tighter or looser restrictions or guidelines, what WYS has provided is considered the best for youth soccer in consultation with our medical expert, Dr. Jonathan Drezner.
As we’ve mentioned before in our Return to Play updates, things are constantly changing at a local, state, national, and global level. The governor’s office, as well as state and county public health officials, continue to monitor the pandemic closely, following all data and metrics to determine next steps. We at WYS are doing our best to acknowledge, clarify, and communicate all changes and updates with any relevance to youth soccer in Washington.
Phase 2 – Goalkeeper Group Practice.
In phase 2, goalkeepers can practice in groups of five (5) and must continue to follow all the other phase 2 guidelines.
Additionally, goalkeepers must disinfect/sanitize their gloves before and after practice sessions. Goalkeepers should not spit on their gloves.
Only coach supplied soccer balls to be used for the practice, and these soccer balls and equipment need to be disinfected before and after each group practice.
This is a letter sent to our member associations regarding the current outlook for fall soccer in Washington.
Washington Youth Soccer’s Recommended Steps for Fall Soccer
We recognize and appreciate all the hard work by our members during this time, and sympathize with the uncertainties, the questions, and the needs that many of you have. As we continue to navigate these uncharted waters, we have a few steps that we recommend our members take right now.
- Keep registration OPEN for the fall season. Until we know in certain terms what the season will look like, we want to operate as if a fall season is in the cards for all levels of youth soccer in our state.
- Continue clearing RMAs in your organization. This is one of the most important steps you can take to be ready to go at a moment’s notice if a fall season is to go forward. We want all coaches and administrators to be fully cleared and approved as soon as possible.
- Keep training your coaches. Coaching education might look a little different now with virtual learning and other changes from the norm, but we are working hard to make as much coaching education as possible available.
- Recruit volunteers wherever you have need in your organization. Youth soccer is powered by volunteers at nearly every level, and that budgetary uncertainty makes their presence even more significant. Identify the needs in your organization and recruit wherever and whenever possible.
- Make a plan, display it proudly, and stick to it. Make Washington Youth Soccer aware of any and all plans you have for the fall season, ideally with alternative plans at every phase of reopening and return to play. The plans outlined by Washington Youth Soccer in our return to play documents are still valid as of 7/30/20, and you can use whatever you need from them to craft your own. This includes our initial recommendations for youth soccer in phase 2 and 3 in Washington State, which are currently unaffected by the governor’s office’s latest changes to public gatherings in phase 3.
- Continue to communicate with your members, your leadership, and Washington Youth Soccer as things change on a local, state, and federal level. We will support you however we can, but the decisions must be made by you.
Above all, control what you can control and plan for every possible scenario that you see your organization facing. Washington Youth Soccer will continue to update our Return to Play page with all relevant information for our membership, and we welcome questions at email@example.com. Our priority is the health and safety of our players and families, and we will not do or recommend anything that unduly jeopardizes that goal. Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay connected. Together we will get through this, and don’t forget—MASK UP!
CASE OF INFECTION
When an athlete is diagnosed with COVID-19:
- Contact your Director/ED regarding situation so appropriate contact tracing can be performed by club personnel.
2. Fill out COVID-19 Reporting Form within 24 hours.
3. Have that athlete stay home.
4. Contact parents or guardians if for some reason they do not know already.
5. If the infected athlete was in contact with their small group within 48 hours of diagnosis, have that group also stay home – contact each of their parents or guardians that “someone” in their small group has tested positive for the virus (do not reveal name of infected individual). Each of these players should also be tested for COVID-19 and if they have a negative they can return to training.
6. Infected player cannot return to practice until 10-14 days after symptom onset (10 days after symptoms AND 3 days of no symptoms) and must have a written medical clearance from their physician.
7. Disinfectant all equipment
When you, as a coach, have come in contact with or are infected with COVID-19:
1. Get tested and stay home.
2. Contact your director immediately.
3. Inform your team – if you have maintained social distance from all your players your players do not necessarily need to get tested but may choose to.
4. Disinfect all equipment.
5. Fill out COVID-19 Reporting Form within 24 hours
We are aware of the governor’s recent announcement regarding steps to address the spread of COVID-19 in phase 3, and as of now we have confirmed that this will NOT affect our previously laid out guidelines for youth soccer in counties that have entered phase 3. Everything you see in this document regarding phase 3 is still considered accurate and current in the state of Washington.
The governor’s office’s recent release regarding when face masks on 7/1:
WHEREAS, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that, in addition to its recommendation to maintain six-feet of physical distance from non-household members and frequent hand washing with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer, people wear cloth face coverings when they are in public settings where they cannot reliably maintain six feet of distance from others at all times, given the substantial increase in the numbers of cases of COVID-19 infection, these precautions must be mandatory; and
WHEREAS, the science also suggests that by ensuring safe social distancing hygiene practices, and the use of cloth face coverings, many business and recreational activities can be conducted with limited exposure to customers, which is important to revitalizing Washington State’s economy, restoring jobs, and providing necessary goods and services;
Governor Inslee’s office posted an update last night on phase 2 requirements for outdoor activities in line with much of what you see on this page and in our documents, and it does not change our recommended guidelines for contacting local officials, but it provides another document to show them when requesting return to play in your county.
Professional Sports & Other Sporting Activities Phase 2 and 3 COVID-19 Requirements – WA Governor’s Office
The most notable section re: youth sports:
In Phase 2, team practice can resume if a) players are limited to groups of five in separate parts of the field, separated by a buffer zone and b) practice can follow social distancing of a minimum of five feet between players with no contact. Each league, organization, or club must publish and follow a “return to play” safety plan. Parents and household members must not congregate on the sidelines during practice.
To be clear, this statement and the WYS Return to Play documents DO NOT give clubs automatic permission to resume play in Phase 2. If your county is in Phase 2, clubs MUST reach out directly to their local county officials, city council, and parks and recreation departments and get permission to rent fields. Clubs should use the above document from the governor’s office, as well as the WYS RTP documents to craft their own Return to Play safety plan as required by the release. If permission is granted, you CAN return to play. If permission is NOT granted, you CAN NOT return to play until Phase 3.
As Washington progresses through the Phased Approach on a county-by-county basis, we urge you and your members to contact the appropriate departments about returning to play in their respective counties if one has not been established. Contact the following groups and be sure to mention the governor’s release and your club’s Return to Play safety plan:
- local city council
- county officials
- parks and recreation departments
As counties across the State of Washington adjust their criteria for safe return to play for youth soccer, it is imperative that associations, clubs, and their members work hand in hand to understand these local criteria. Applications and approval for use of fields need to be directed to your local county officials, city council, and parks departments. Please continue to use the Washington Youth Soccer RTP documents as a resource in your application process. We are here to support you.
There has been no change in Washington Youth Soccer liability coverage for facilities that were requested for the seasonal playing year that runs from September 2019 to the end of August 2020 by our members. Those COIs (certificates of insurance) remain on file and were issued to your facilities as requested in the past nine months.
DISCLAIMER: THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS NOT INTENDED OR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE, DIAGNOSIS, OR TREATMENT. ALL CONTENT INCLUDING TEXT, GRAPHICS, IMAGES, AND INFORMATION, ARE PROVIDED FOR GENERAL INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY.
Washington Youth Soccer’s #1 priority is to PLAY ON…SAFELY!
Players and their families health and safety come first; their physical and mental health are of utmost importance to us. Getting our kids outside, in fresh air and playing soccer safely is our goal. When our kids play, their body produces endorphins, which are a natural mood booster that can fight stress and depression. Feelings of empowerment, relaxation, and optimism follow. Play not only promotes healthy weight and cardiovascular fitness, but also enhances the efficacy of the immune, endocrine, and cardiovascular systems.
Check out US Youth Soccer’s latest return to play notice, which we consulted and worked from as we formulated the below protocols.
Below is Washington Youth Soccer’s phased approach to returning to play, based on the official phased approach to reopening Washington State businesses and modifying physical/social distancing from Governor Jay Inslee.
Update 11/18: Based on Governor Inslee’s latest guidelines, the phased approach is no longer applicable. Please refer to the latest guidelines at the top of this page.
KNOW YOUR ROLE! KNOW THE PROTOCOLS. The following best practices are intended to offer guidance to our Washington Youth Soccer community. Adherence to these considerations and recommendations does not ensure immunity from exposure. Washington Youth Soccer makes no representations and assumes no responsibility for individual activity or participation decisions by Associations, Clubs, Coaches, Parents, or Players.
- Be smart: if you are sick, stay home. This applies to everyone: players, coaches, and parents. If you have been sick, stay home for 14 days after recovery.
- Screening: Greet all participants before practice and ask if they have been sick in the last 14 days or in direct contact with a person who is sick. Send home immediately if the answer is “yes.”
- Sanitize: have hand sanitizer available and encourage hand washing before and after all activities.
- Group play: all activities must be limited to the max number allowed in the current phase.
- Physical play: facilitate soccer activities that eliminate physical contact. All drills and small-sided games should have as little physical contact as possible. Tackling, shielding, etc. should not be included in small-sided games or drills.
- No high-fives, handshakes, or hugs: as much as we want to physically connect, this is not a safe practice for anybody right now.
- Masks: Players, coaches, and spectators should wear a mask before, during, and after practice.
- Drop-off/pick-up: if possible, parents should remain in car for drop-off and pick-up. All spectators must remain 6 feet apart and only one per player is allowed.
- Water bottles: to minimize accidental sharing of water, players must keep their water bottles in their own bag when not in use.
- Have fun, stay positive: everyone is looking to each other to stay calm, supportive, and compassionate during this time.
- Distribute these protocols to your members.
- Have an effective communication plan in place, identify strategies for working with public health to notify adult leaders, youth, and their families if the organization learns a participant or adult leader has developed COVID-19 and may have been infectious to others while at a youth activity, while maintaining confidentiality.
- Small group sessions need to maintain the same group of players. This helps with contact tracing and limits exposure.
- Have a written action plan in place, in case of a positive test. If a person is diagnosed with COVID-19, the entire group must return to self-isolation until symptom-free for 14 days.
- Distribute your written action plan to administrators, coaches, managers, and parents, electronically or otherwise.
- In your action plan include both a communication chain for team personnel, including volunteers and managers, as well as triggers for executing the action plan.
- Be prepared to shut down and stop operations. Develop plans for temporary closure of indoor facilities and cancel outdoor activities or camps to properly disinfect and ensure other adult leaders or youth are not infected.
- Provide adequate field space for at least six feet of social distancing per player.
- Develop a relationship and a dialogue with health local officials. (identify Risk Tolerance)
- Ensure the health and safety of your players. Inquire how the athletes are feeling, send them home if they act or discuss feeling ill.
- Follow all established federal, state, and local protocols.
- Ensure all athletes have their individual equipment (ball, water bottles, bag, etc.) and prohibit them from sharing anything. Equipment placement should be spaced at least 6 feet apart.
- The coach is the only person to handle cones, disks, etc.
- All training must be outdoors and coaches must strictly enforce social distancing per the current phase guidelines.
- Coaches must always wear a face mask per current phase protocol and social distance from players when required.
- Wash and sanitize your own equipment after every session.
- The use of scrimmage vests/pinnies is not recommended.
- Increase your communication with parents, they need to know what you are doing as a coach and club to maintain their safety.
- Have fun, stay positive – players and parents are looking to you to stay calm, supportive, and caring during this time.
- Ensure athletes are healthy, check their temperature daily.
- Limited or no carpooling.
- Stay in car or social distance when at training, wear mask at all times if outside your car.
- Ensure child’s clothing is washed after every training session.
- Label your child’s equipment to guard against cross-contamination.
- Ensure all equipment, cleats, ball, shin guards etc. are sanitized after every training.
- Notify club immediately if your child becomes ill for any reason and do not bring them into contact with coaches or other players.
- Do not assist coaches with equipment before or after training.
- Be sure your child has necessary sanitizer and cleaning supplies with them at every training.
- When traveling, take responsibility to sanitize hotel rooms.
- Take temperature daily.
- Wash hands thoroughly before and after training and any contact outside your home.
- Bring and use hand sanitizer with you at every training session. Especially at the beginning and end of sessions.
- Limited or no carpooling.
- Wear mask at all times. This protects others in the event that you are unknowingly carrying the virus.
- Do not touch or share anyone else’s equipment.
- Bring your own ball to training, label it as your own.
- Practice social distancing and place bags and other equipment at least 6 feet apart from your teammates’ equipment during sessions.
- Wash and sanitize all equipment before and after every training session.
- No group celebrations with players closer than six feet, no high fives, hugs, cheers, etc.
Can we use kick-ins or other modified rules? Assuming there is no handling of the ball except for goalkeepers wearing gloves.
WYS will follow CDC guidelines and USYS directives regarding the transmission of the virus.
WYS will advise clubs on best practices.
If not soon then, why, when statistics clearly demonstrate at this point that healthy youth are no more likely to succumb to protracted health issues from COVID-19 than any other illness, are we to be expected to radically alter our way of life to a "new normal" both within and without the circle of soccer?
Because kids can be carriers, and will interact with other at-risk individuals, they may pass the virus on to others unknowingly. Additionally, just as we Honor the Game in soccer, which means following the rules even when you can get away without following them, we choose to partner with our Governor and local officials and follow all mandates to insure the safety of all in our community.
Please refer to the latest update from the Governor’s office for spectator guidelines.
There have been discussions around taking temperatures of players and attendees prior to attending sporting events. What does this look like?
WYS recommends that parents monitor and check temperatures prior to sending children to practice.
Referees will follow the same protocol as players.
The biggest challenge may be what happens if someone on a team gets infected? That could cause a domino effect of things to follow with the entire team being quarantined, and possibly any opposing teams that may have come into contact within the period of time they were contagious.
Players with symptoms should stay home to limit the spread. Players and coaches should still practice social distancing when they can, no high fives, handshakes, hugs, etc., and wash their hands/use hand sanitizer if they come in contact with another player/coach. If a person is diagnosed with COVID-19, the entire group must return to self-isolation until symptom free for 14 days.
How are we helping recreational clubs with volunteer staffs who will have short timetables for registration and finding coaches and getting everyone in compliance?
We would promote the return of soccer via our platform. When we have a better idea on when we will return to play and at what capacities, we will support our members to make sure they get all the help they need.
Parents and players need to have a clear understanding of rules put in place to protect them. How will we keep updated?
All our policies will be shared on all members association websites, as well as the WYS website.
Should we be canceling all tournaments for the remainder of the year and looking out for the best interest of youth players?
WYS simply sanctions tournaments but it’s up to individual organizations and teams to makes decisions on whether or not to hold or attend these tournaments. Organizers should be following the current state guidelines on outdoor gatherings when planning.
My main concern is that there will be no soccer season. The basic view seems to be that children are disease vectors and we should just lock them up for the duration. How are you speaking up for the rights of children to get outside and resume team sports?
Players come first. Their physical and mental health are important to us. Being outside in the fresh air and with their team safely is our goal. We will also follow federal, state, and local guidelines.
Will WYS be supplying or paying for all necessary cleaning products, masks and gloves for all players and coaches per practice and all games? How can a small club like ours be expected to pay for all of that? How can coaches be expected to pay for additional costs related to safety?
Each club will be responsible for providing masks and cleaning supplies to their staff. Perhaps this can be added to the team’s budget so the cost is spread out.
WYS insurance covers injuries only, not infectious diseases or viruses. When a player participates, they are willingly accepting the potential risks that come along with that. Each club has the option to review and offer a “play at your own risk” waiver.