In the fall of 2020, LSA adopted new game day logistics and procedures to help mitigate transmission of the COVID-19 virus. Given the drastic upsurge in cases, hospitalizations and deaths occasioned by the Delta variant of the virus and the low vaccination rate in Louisiana, LSA must once again adopt those same measures. Further, the threat of infection for our youth players is compounded not only by the Delta variant's increased aggressiveness, but also by the fact that our children under 12 are not vaccinated and that only 13% of those from 12 to 18 years of age are vaccinated. Procedures outlined in the LCSL Managers Notebook that are not specifically addressed here should be considered unchanged.
The fields shall be arranged in a manner that keeps teams and their supporters
separated from the opposing team and their supporters. Team benches shall be placed on opposite sides of the field to the right of midfield. There shall be a buffer zone 10 yards on either side of midfield. The team bench shall be to the right of the buffer zone and the supporters shall be on the left side of the buffer zone. No supporters shall be permitted to the right of the team bench. Both of the bench areas and the team supporters sections shall be a minimum of 5 yards from the touchline.
On August 2, 2021, Governor Edwards instituted a state-wide mask mandate. While the mandate is limited to indoor environments, we urge everyone attending youth soccer events to wear a mask and to observe social distancing. Coaches shall wear a mask at all times other than when coaching in the flow of the game. He/she shall maintain social distancing from all players at all times (e.g. half-time speech). Teams should arrange their benches so that each player has a “station” that is at a socially distanced from all others. In the alternative, all players who are on the bench should wear a mask. If a player has just come off the field (e.g. substitution or half-time), he or she should recover normal breathing and hydration before replacing his/her mask. Masks should be clearly marked with the player’s name, initials or number. The Referee and his/her Assistants shall have masks readily available. They need not wear them while engaged in officiating the game, but shall use them when play stops and they are unable to avoid social distancing.
Both teams shall be responsible for ensuring their players and coaches observe all standard mitigation measures. Training bibs shall not be worn by more than one player during warm-ups. Only the Coach shall handle training equipment (e.g. discs). Game balls shall be designated by the home team. They shall be sanitized prior to the game, at halftime and at the conclusion of the game.
Each manager shall print out a game card that has the necessary information. All players on the game card shall have an assigned jersey number. Any changes to the jersey number must be written in on the game card. The names of the players who will not be participating in the game shall be crossed off on the game card. The Manager shall place a check mark next to the names of the players who will be participating.
Each Manager shall sign their copy of the game card in the box labeled “Home Official Sign” or “Away Official Sign”. By signing the game card, each Manager is expressly certifying that all of the players are eligible players and that all coaches and staff listed are eligible in accordance with LSA Policy. They are also certifying that the players and the team officials have also met the COVID-19 Protocol and Responsibilities criteria.
The Managers shall put their copy of the game card in a plastic bag along with the LCSL Referee pay and deliver the bag to the referees at midfield prior to the game. The Referees will complete the game card after the game and return it to the Managers in the plastic bag. The Referee shall retain a copy of the game card for his/her records as needed for Supplemental Reports (see: Post-Game below).
At check-in all Referees, Coaches, Managers and Players shall wear masks and/or observe social distancing. The Referee shall use the copies of the game cards provided by the Managers as rosters to check teams in. The Manager or Coach of each team shall have player passes available, either physically or electronically, but there shall be no requirement that the player passes be shown to the referee at check-in. This practice has been replaced by the Manager’s certification on the game card. Referees will still confirm players are legally and properly equipped by sight and/or by confirmation with the head coach.
There will be no coin toss. The Away Team shall have the election of side of field or possession of the ball at the beginning of the game.
At the conclusion of the game, their will be no handshake lines between teams. The referees shall complete and sign the copy of the game card provided by the Manager of each team and shall return each copy to appropriate manager in the plastic bag provided. As required in LSA Policy, both Managers must report all scores and all misconduct in GotSport. If the score and cards are already entered in GotSport, the team should verify the information. The game card should include the names of the ARs, but only the referee is required to sign the game card.
The Referee shall keep an official record of the game and shall record on the game cards for each team the score and all misconduct (yellow/red cards). The Referee shall inform the Referee Assignor of any red cards issued by game number, player’s team, player's name, and player’s number in addition to completing the required supplemental report. It is recommended that the referee take a picture of the game card to have all information needed for the report. The assignor will send this documentation electronically to LSA and LSA will use the player number on the roster in GotSport for identification purposes.