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Coronavirus 2020 - Return to Play

Louisiana Soccer Return to Play

Introduction
As a result of the Governor’s placement of Louisiana into Phase 3, it is the opinion of the LSA Executive Committee that, assuming we all adhere to mitigation guidelines and common sense, we can return to play safely.  While this does not mean the game will immediately return to pre-COVID-19 conditions, it does mean we can get our kids back on the field.
 
Return to Play 
First and foremost, our return to play is still subject to the terms of all of the Governor’s official Proclamations. For instance, Louisiana is still under a mask mandate and the Governor has required outdoor sporting events operate at 25% capacity for spectators. Our return to play is dependent upon the authority of local fire marshals, health departments, parks and recreation departments and other governmental entities. The issue of 25% capacity should be addressed with local authorities before scheduling games or events. Every Club and Team must confirm with their local officials that their return to play shall be permitted on a local level so as to avoid instances of practices or games getting shut down or liability/medical insurance being invalidated.  
 
We must all recognize that the risk of transmission of COVID-19 is still very much a reality. We must all be committed to taking the mitigation measures with which we have all become so familiar or we increase the health risks. Many of these measures are set out in our original Phasing, Protocol and Responsibilities published in April.
 
 
Scheduling
LSA shall permit games to start on Saturday, September 12th with the beginning of the governor’s Phase 3 in Louisiana. Teams may, at their discretion, immediately begin their season, including LCSL play. Remember, however, that referees and field assignments may be an issue early on.  Recreational programs can start right away. All LCSL teams should schedule their first game on or before the weekend of October 3-4. Should a Manager have any questions about the scheduling process visit our website at https://www.playlouisianasoccer.org/lcsl/scheduling/ or contact Ben Schoonover at ben@lsa-soccer.org.
 
ODP
LSA is happy to announce the return of our Olympic Development Program (“ODP”). Tryouts for the younger age groups (’09, ’08, ’07) will be held on October 3rd and 4th and training for these age groups will begin on October 25th. Registration for the 2020-21 ODP year will open on Monday, September 14th. For more information on ODP visit he ODP pages on our website https://www.playlouisianasoccer.org/
 
Club Tournaments
Club tournaments are a vital part of the game across Louisiana. Clubs are now free to operate their tournaments, but will be expected to do so under the same mitigation measures we are all using day to day.
 
              Example:  Food concessions will be limited to packaged food and volunteers and patrons must     observe masking and social distancing protocols.
 
LSA is strongly urging all of our LCSL teams to patronize Louisiana tournaments. Doing so
 
  • reduces travel costs for our families,
  • helps our clubs across the state begin to generate much needed revenue, and
  • provides an opportunity for our LCSL teams to play multiple league games in a single weekend.
 
Teams should consider coordinating with other teams in their LCSL bracket to attend the same club tournaments, requesting they be placed in the same tournament bracket and knocking out 2-3 LCSL games in a single weekend.
 
For a list of Club Tournaments in Louisiana visit our Club Tournament Calendar at https://www.playlouisianasoccer.org/tournaments/club/calendar/.
 
Organization
Clubs must continue to educate their coaches, players and parents of the risk of transmission of COVID-19. They must organize events with mitigation measures in mind.
 
Example:    Clubs should avoid scheduling games on adjoining fields at the same time and should build time between games into their schedules so teams leaving a game are not intermingling with teams arriving for the next game.
 
Clubs are free to adopt their own organizational measures that may tend to mitigate the risk of transmission.
 
              Example:  Clubs can position teams on opposite sides of the field. Team benches would be located at midfield and the parents and supporters would position themselves on both sides of their team’s bench. This effectively divides parents and supporters into four quadrants and keeps families, teammates and friends familiar with each other together.
 
On the Field
Return to play with no restrictions as to the game.  Practices, scrimmages and games can resume as pre-pandemic. Again, common and simple mitigation measures in the game must be observed,
 
              Example: No goal celebrations, team huddles, switching pinnies, sharing drinks, etc.
 
but the game itself can be played without restriction. Clubs are free to adjust their recreational rules of play to incorporate mitigation measures.
 
              Example: Kick-ins instead of throw-ins. This will avoid players picking up the ball with their           hands.
 
Clubs can decrease the size of the teams on the field in their recreational programs. This may help clubs with formation of teams and may have the added benefit of increasing social distancing both on and off the field.
 
Off the Field
Criteria
Before attending a soccer event, every individual including, but not limited to, players, coaches, parents and Club staff must satisfy the Participation Criteria established in our Phasing and Protocols in April (see: link to the webpage above). Essentially these criteria are basic obligations to observe before participating in any capacity in a soccer event. If there are any indications that you have  been exposed to the coronavirus, take the appropriate measures or stay at home.
 
Coaches
Coaches must set the tone by continuing to be diligent in their behavior. They should encourage their players and their supporters to observe common sense mitigation practices including the wearing of masks and social distancing. They should minimize instances and practices in which transmission of COVID-19 is likely.
 
              Example: Coaches should wear a mask while addressing the team, should avoid team huddles and should handle all of the equipment. The coach must insure equipment (e.g. discs and pinnies) are disinfected/cleaned after each practice or game.
 
Players
Players must take mitigation measures before, during and after every soccer event.
 
              Examples:  Wearing masks off the field, using hand sanitizer, social distancing and keeping equipment and apparel clean. Don’t share water bottles, pinnies or anything else that may allow the virus to be transmitted.
 
Parents
The LDH recognized that the threat of transmission of the coronavirus off the field was as prevalent as in the game itself. Parents and supporters should maintain social distancing, should wear masks and should minimize contact with non-family members where possible. Parents should continue to be diligent in helping their child sanitize and clean their uniform and equipment between events and encourage them to observe all of the mitigation practices
 
 

Criteria

In order to participate in any soccer activities other than individual activities at home, an individual including, but not limited to, players, coaches and Club staff (“participants”) must satisfy the following criteria
  • No signs or symptoms of COVID-19 in the past 14 days and have not been exposed to someone that has been ill in 14 days.
  • Live in training location/community for 14 days prior to beginning group training.
  • Take temperature before participating in any soccer activity.
  • There shall be no activities that would require direct or indirect contact between players.
  • Cleaning schedule/protocol of equipment with disinfectant before, during, and after training.

Club Responsibilities

  • Create and distribute protocols to its members
  • Have an effective communication plan in place and identify strategies for working with public health to notify Club officials, youth and their families if the organization learns a participant has developed COVID-19 and may have been infectious to others while at a soccer activity. Confidentiality of the participant must be strictly maintained.
  • Have an action plan in place, in case of a positive test.
  • All return to play activities must be published as being voluntary. For example, if a child chooses not to attend tryouts for Classic teams, the Club must accommodate that child’s return at a later date. Be sensitive and accommodating to players and parents that many be uncomfortable with returning to play too quickly.
  • Train and educate all Club staff to protocols and requirements, including state and local regulations, CDC recommendations and other necessary information.
  • Develop plans for temporary closure of facilities and to cancel activities to properly disinfect and ensure other adult leaders or youth are not infected.
  • Make sure appropriate infection prevention supplies are present in multiple targeted areas (e.g., hand sanitizer, facial tissues, facial coverings, etc.)
  • All soccer activities must be outdoors.
  • Staff participating in any soccer activity (e.g. player registration) must wear face masks and observe social distancing at all times.
  • Provide adequate field space for social distancing.
  • Provide hand sanitizing stations and waste receptacles at fields.
  • All Club staff and coaches must take their temperature before each soccer activity and report any high or abnormal temperature to the Club prior to participating.
  • Develop a relationship and a dialog with health local officials.
 

Coach Responsibilities

  • Ensure the health and safety of all players
  • Before each soccer activity a Coach must organize “stations” for each player at or around the bench area that are at least 6 feet apart in which players must keep all of their belongings. This can be done with cones. They shall be required to return only to their “station” only during breaks.
  • Before each soccer activity ask all players how the athletes are feeling and whether they are experiencing any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g. cough, fever, or loss of taste or smell). Also ask when their temperature.
  • If the athlete has any signs or symptoms of COVID-19, they should be sent home and instructed to contact their health care provider.
  • Follow all state and local health protocols and ensure social distancing at all times including team meetings/talks before during and after soccer activities.
  • Ensure all athletes have their individual equipment (ball, water, bag etc.)
  • Coach is the only person to handle all training equipment (e.g. cones, disk, flags, etc.)
  • Wear a face mask, when not actively coaching, maintain social distance requirements from players based on state and local health requirements.
  • Have fun, stay positive – players and parents are looking to you to stay calm, supportive and caring during this time.    
  • The use of scrimmage vest or pinnies is prohibited.
 

Parent Responsibilities

  • Ensure child your child is healthy.
  • Check your child’s temperature daily and ask whether they are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g. cough, fever, or loss of taste or smell).
  • No carpooling
  • Parents are not permitted on or near the field.
  • Parents must stay inside or in close proximity to their car when at any soccer activity. If outside their car, parents  must wear a face mask and must adhere to social distancing guidelines
  • Ensure child’s clothing is washed after every training session.
  • Ensure all equipment, cleats, ball, shin guards etc. are washed or 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 soccer activity.
  • Should parents feel the need to communicate with a coach, it must be done via email or by telephone.

Player Responsibilities

  • Take temperature daily
  • Wash hands thoroughly before and after soccer activity.
  • Bring and use, hand sanitizer with you to every soccer activity.
  • Wear mask before and immediately after all soccer activity.
  • Observe the separation of the “stations” established by the Coach at the bench area and make certain to place all of your belongings (bags, water bottle and equipment) at least 6 feet apart.
  • Do not touch or share anyone else’s equipment, water, snack or bag.
  • Practice social distancing
  • Wash and sanitize all equipment before and after every soccer activity.
  • Observe social distancing. No group celebrations, no high 5’s, Hugs, handshakes etc.
 
 
 
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