COVID-19 Protocols

January 4, 2022

NPSL Gameday Protocols and Safety Plan Winter 2022

( As adopted from WYS Gameday Protocol)

 

As of 1/3/2022, the WA State Governor’s Office and Department of Health are NOT requiring players, coaches, or spectators to wear masks at training or games, although they may chose to wear one. Physical distancing among spectators is strongly encouragedWA Youth Soccer will continue to follow the guidance of these two offices with regards to the health and safety of players. Should any new guidelines come out that effect players, coaches, or spectators at training or games, this document will be updated and redistributed.

NOTE: Certain counties, clubs, or field providers may have tighter restrictions in place that may involve mask mandates, etc, and it is the responsibility of the hosting club to notify opponents in advance of what rules are in place. 

 

IN CASE OF A POSITIVE COVID-19 DIAGNOSIS:

When an athlete or coach is diagnosed with COVID-19 (regardless of vaccination status): 

  • Have the individual stay home and isolate for 5 days. They may return after 5 days with a negative test and must be symptom free. A mask must be worn at all times for the following 5 days.
  • If the infected player was in contact with their team within 48 hours of diagnosis (date of positive test or date of symptom onset) – whichever was earlier), notify the parents/guardians that “someone” on the team has tested positive for the virus (do not reveal name of infected individual). Outdoor soccer activities are considered low risk exposures and do not require quarantine unless >15 minutes of contact with the infected individual within 6 feet over 24 hours, or other special circumstances (ie, carpool, social or indoor exposure). Each player may choose to be tested for COVID-19 (especially non-vaccinated players). 
  • If the infected player played in a game with their team within 48 hours of diagnosis, Club COVID Contact must notify the opposing team immediately with suggestions as above.
  • Disinfectant all equipment.

When an athlete or coach who is Not Up-to-Date* on vaccinations, has high-exposure contact with someone positive for COVID-19: 

  • Stay home and get tested on Day 5.
  • May return after Day 5 with negative test while wearing a mask for following 5 days.
  • Contact your club immediately.
  • Inform the team – if you have maintained social distance from all your players,

       players do not necessarily need to get tested but it can be considered, as stated above.

  • Disinfect all equipment.

Scenario #1 - Player/Coach has a sibling/parent/roommate that lives with them and has tested positive. Unvaccinated individuals must quarantine at home for 5 days from the last exposure and may only return after 5 days with a negative test and must wear a mask for the following 5 days. 

 

Example: If a parent gets symptoms on Monday, tests on Wednesday, gets results on Thursday, but can't fully isolate away from player until Saturday, the 5 days starts from last exposure, which was Friday. 

 

For vaccinated individuals, they do not have to quarantine unless symptoms present but should try to separate from the positive individual. They should wear a mask when attending training or games for 10 days and get a test 5 days after exposure. 

 

 

Scenario #2 - Player has had someone in class at school test positive and school rules state they must quarantine for 10 days. Unvaccinated players must follow the school rule and quarantine for 10 days before returning. For vaccinated players, some districts are allowing for those individuals to continue to school, and if so, may return to training (with a mask for 5 days) and get tested 5 days after exposure (if the school requires quarantine regardless of vaccination status, player must follow school guidelines and quarantine). WYS will follow the individual’s school policies relating to isolation/quarantine periods and their policies

When an athlete or coach who is Up-to-Date* on vaccinations, has high-exposure contact with someone positive for COVID-19: 

  • No isolation necessary.
  • Must wear a mask at all times for 10 days and test on Day 5.
  • Contact your club immediately.
  • Inform the team – if you have maintained social distance from all your players,

       players do not necessarily need to get tested but it can be considered, as stated above.

  • Disinfect all equipment.

***The CDC considers “up-to-date” to be all individuals who have received their booster shot, 2nd shot of either Pfizer or Moderna fewer than six months ago, or the Johnson & Johnson shot fewer than 2 months ago. Children are considered up-to-date if they 14 days post having received their second shot.

 

CLUB RESPONSIBLITIES:

  • By registering your team to the league, the club and their teams, coaches, players, and parents agree to follow all league protocols, policies, and responsibilities.
  • Provide opponents with any rules that are specific to your fields to be shared with visiting teams.
  • If possible, have separate ingress and egress points to minimize traffic flow coming into and leaving the field/complex. Send to opponents.
  • Provide adequate field space for social distancing.
  • All clubs are responsible for keeping attendance for which players are at every game.
  • 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 as per law.
  • Have an action plan in place, in case of a positive test (steps listed below in case of positive case)
  • Train and educate all staff to protocols and requirements, including state and local regulations, CDC recommendations, and other necessary information.
  • Clubs should forward by email to coaches, players, and parents, all league protocols, policies, and expectations around game day.
  • Clubs will email their referee group about all league protocols, policies, and expectations around game day.
  • Clubs will communicate any cancelations or shutdowns as quickly as possible to all team administrators and club leadership.
  • Clubs will designate a COVID-19 contact person for any positive cases to communicate with opposing teams and referee assignor should a case arise around a game weekend.
  • Clubs should communicate with coaches, players and parents that COVID-19 protocols will follow local public health and CDC guidelines.

COACH RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • No coach that is sick or has signs or symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 should attend.
  • Maintain physical distance (>6 feet) as much as possible.
  • Make sure that your team has left the field within 5 minutes of the game ending.
  • Clustering of players should be avoided. There should be no gathering and socializing before or after the game by players. Coaches should not assemble their teams closely together for instruction; players should be spaced at least 6 feet apart for team meetings or instruction.
  • No handshakes or fist bumps during or after the game.

 

PLAYER RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • No player that is sick or has signs or symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 should attend.
  • Wait until prior game’s teams have vacated the bench area before entering the space.
  • Soccer bags should be placed at least 6 feet apart from one another where possible.
  • Use hand sanitizer before and after the game.
  • Clustering of players should be avoided. 
  • No handshakes or fist bumps during or after the game.

PARENT/GUARDIAN RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • No parent/guardian/caregiver or player that is sick or has signs or symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 should attend.
  • Spectators should remain socially distanced as much as possible.
  • Do not loiter around field. Avoid gathering of people.

SCHEDULING:

  • Schedule games with time buffers in between where possible to allow minimal contact between games.
  • If the scheduled home team does not have field availability, they should work with the away team to host the match on the scheduled day.
  • Should both teams not be able to make the scheduled game day work, but there is an open date acceptable to both teams that can be scheduled, teams may do so.
  • No forfeiture fees for last minute cancellations due to COVID-19 may be assessed to an opponent.

CLUB PLAYER PASS:

  • Player pass may be used in the event of injuries/ sickness to provide enough players to field a team up to (14) players for 11v11, (12) players for 9v9, and (10) players for 7v7 matches.
  • Teams may only use up to 3 player passes for any game.
  • All player passes must be monitored and recorded by the club for contact tracing purposes.

REFEREE RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Before leaving for the field, Referees should ask themselves the following questions:
    • Have you knowingly come into contact with anyone who has, is being tested for, or is exhibiting signs of coronavirus? 
    • Are you exhibiting any of the following symptoms which are not caused by any other condition? 
      • Fever or chills  
      • Shortness of breath 
      • Difficulty breathing  
      • Fatigue 
      • Muscle or body aches 
      • Headache
      • New loss of taste or smell
      • Sore throat 
      • Congestion or runny nose 
      • Nausea or vomiting
      • Diarrhea
    • If the referee answers yes to any of these questions, they should notify their assignor and refrain from officiating the game.

Pre-Game:

    • The referee crew should set up their belongings in an area away from all others while maintaining 6-ft/2-yd space from each other.
    • Assistant referees are expected to bring their own flags to the field. The flags don’t need to match each other.
    • Referee equipment should not be shared, but if shared, it should be sanitized before and after the match. 
    • Referees should carry hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes for their own personal use. 
    • Referees may use a regular whistle or an electronic whistle.
  • During the referee crew pregame discussion, continue to maintain 6-ft/2-yd space and insure all COVID-19 protocols are discussed.
  • Player Check-In:
    • Rosters
      • If possible, try to receive the roster or match report electronically ahead of time.
      • If not, have the coach place the roster at the end of the bench to minimize close contact. 
      • If the leagues has roster with pictures printed on them, then no need for player cards (exception may be a player pass). If not, have the coach read the player passes.
  • Coin Toss:
    • No coin toss. 
      • While maintaining 6-ft space, the Home team picks direction to attack. Away team gets kick-off. 
  • No player walkouts or handshakes prior to the game. 

After the Game:

  • For contact tracing purposes, if a referee is to test positive for COVID after a match, they need to notify the assignor immediately. The assignor will be responsible for notifying the appropriate club official.