The Somers Soccer Association’s (SSA) primary responsibility is to provide a healthy and safe environment to all of our players, coaches, parents, and spectators while providing quality soccer programs and a soccer experience that is safe, fun, fair, and educational. This is more important now than it has ever been, and we need everyone to implement these requirements to have a healthy, safe, and successful 2020 soccer season.
The following information has been developed in accordance with the CT Junior Soccer Association (CJSA) Re and Center of Disease Control (CDC) guidance. Should you have any question or concern regarding the following information please contact:
· SSA President Mike Cianci, [email protected], or
· SSA COVID-19 Director Steve Hawkins, [email protected]
There will be NO participation by any individual who is sick or experiencing potential symptoms of COVID-19.
· Any coach, player, parent, referee or spectator who is sick, has a persistent cough, is running a temperature (over 100.4 °F) or is displaying any symptoms suggesting that the individual may be ill, (from any contagious malady, including cold, flu, or suspected coronavirus) will be prohibited from attending training or games.
· Coaches and players (assisted by parents/guardians) must self-assess their condition before going to any SSA activity and attest to the coach when arriving at the location that they are not experiencing these symptoms.
· Any adult attendee who displays any of these symptoms will be required to leave. A minor who is displaying any of these symptoms should be safely isolated until an adult responsible for the minor can remove the minor.
· If a team member or coach contracts COVID-19, all activity will be cancelled for that team and any additional team associated with the individual for 14 days.
Proper hygiene practices must be practiced and encouraged by all participants. This includes:
· Frequently washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
· Use of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol).
· Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, sleeve or inside of your arm. Do not use your hands.
· Do not touch your face (eyes, nose, mouth) with unwashed hands.
· Launder all clothing and uniforms after each game or training session.
· Sharing of water bottles, drinks, or team snacks is not allowed. Participants and spectators should only drink from their own containers.
Social Distancing, Physical Touching, and Masks
Social distancing, physically touching others, and the wearing of masks are important in the prevention of illness. The following practices will be implemented:
· A minimum of 6 feet between others must be maintained by coaches, players and spectators at all times.
· Players will place their equipment on the sidelines or other designated areas at least 6-feet apart as defined by the placement of cones by the coach. Each player will return to their equipment area when they are not actively participating.
· Family members are not allowed to go or congregate near the team equipment areas.
· Spectators will maintain 6 feet between others while watching soccer activities.
· Participants will avoid “high fives,” handshakes, hugs, fist bumps or other types of physical touching. We understand that this may be difficult as players enjoy celebrating with their teammates, but we need to be diligent at enforcing this protocol for the health and safety of our players and their families.
· Players must wear a mask when arriving and leaving a session and when a player is not actively playing and cannot abide by social distance requirements. Players are not required to wear masks while actively taking part in soccer activities.
· Coaches and spectators will be required to wear a mask whenever they are within 6 feet of another person. Coaches are not required to wear masks when actively (performing physical activity) coaching.
Sharing of equipment and touching of common equipment will be minimized. This will be done by:
· Each player will have their own soccer ball, water bottle, cleats, shin guards, goalkeeper gloves (if needed), practice clothing or uniform, face mask, and hand sanitizer.
· Players cannot share or touch anyone else’s equipment (this does not include touching a soccer ball during play).
· The coach is the only one allowed to handle cones, discs, goals, corner flags, etc.
· Equipment will be cleaned and sanitized after each session.
· All parents, spectators, and players should have their own chair. Chairs should be placed to allow for proper physical and social distancing (6’).
· Any benches must be sanitized after each use.
Arriving/Leaving the Facility
In order to minimize the congregation or comingling of large groups of people the following practices will be followed when arriving or leaving a soccer facility:
· A minimum of 30 minutes will be scheduled in between the time one team concludes activities and the next team arrives.
· Players, parents, and spectators must leave immediately after their session is complete.
· Players should not arrive at their field earlier than 5 minutes prior to their scheduled arrival time.
· Teams who wish to warm up prior to their session must build that time into their scheduled session. Warm-ups are not permitted adjected to the assigned field prior to the start of their session.
· Players, parents, or spectators are not allowed to congregate in parking lots, at drop off zones, or facility entrances or exits before or after sessions.
CJSA Return to Play COVID-19 Phased-In Approach
The Connecticut Junior Soccer Association (CJSA) and the Somers Soccer Association (SSA) will follow a phased-in approach as recommended by the US Soccer Federation and US Youth Soccer. Only those activities specifically permitted for each phase will be sanctioned by CJSA, regardless of what stage the state of Connecticut is in. Prior to entering a phase, a club must certify to the Vice President of the District the Club operates in, that the Club has implemented and will strictly maintain the Return to Activities Minimum Requirements for that phase.
A Club may choose to begin Phase 1 activities, which are limited to small group practices and may move to Phase 2, which permits full team practices, after operating under the Phase 1 requirements for a minimum of two weeks, and CJSA gives the “go ahead” for phase 2. The Club must certify compliance with Phase 1 for the 2-week period and that it will comply with all Phase 2 requirements. Clubs may move to Phase 3, which permits playing games, after operating under the Phase 2 requirements for a minimum of two weeks and certifying that it has operated in compliance with the required procedures for that period. A description of the acceptable activities for each phase are described below.
Phase 1 (minimum of 2 weeks)
With Soccer classified as a contact sport, activities under this phase will be allowed but will be limited to no-contact drills and training exercises only. No scrimmages, league games or tournaments may be held during the duration of this phase. This includes friendlies, intra-squad scrimmages or other arranged games.
Programs must separate participants into groups of no more than 10 participants including coaches and staff. Larger playing areas and surfaces such as athletic fields may be used by more than one group of 10 at a time, provided that adequate social distance and group separation can be maintained. To ensure group separation, groups must be spaced at least 20 feet apart while sharing a playing surface.
Session Plans for conducting practices are available on the CJSA Website.
Phase 2 (minimum of 2 weeks)
Upon successful completion of Phase I, the SSA will be able to move to Phase 2 when allowed to proceed by the CJSA. Phase II activities will consist of the introduction of full team training and intra-squad, controlled scrimmages including:
· Full team training allowed with COVID-19 prevention protocols being maintained.
· Physical contact to be minimized in training and controlled scrimmage.
· 30-minutes may be allocated to an intra-squad scrimmage. Intra-squad scrimmage is defined as:
o An event involving two teams participating in an informal competition
o Coaches on-field throughout the session providing instruction on position play and game situations
o No scoreboard
o No game clock may be used
o No officials may be used
o Physical contact limited
o Play may be stopped periodically for instructional purposes.
o Intra-squad is defined as (sports) within a team.
Programs my move to Phase 3, which permits games, after operating under the phases 1 & 2 requirements for a minimum of two weeks each. All COVID-19 prevention protocols will maintain in place and will continue to be followed. Phase 3 activities consist of:
· Contact is allowed within the training environment; however, this should be limited to actual training and managed to avoid prolonged contact.
· Clubs/teams should still keep intermixing to a minimum.
Games / Matches
· Out of state travel is prohibited, regardless of game or tournament.
· Everyone must adhere to social distancing recommendations when participants are not playing (on the bench, sideline, etc.).
· Adhere to wearing masks when not playing and on the bench.
· Coaches to wear masks.
· Consider COVID-19 case activity level and risk in those communities when making travel decisions.
· Teams and referees are not to engage in traditional sportsmanship gestures, such as post-match handshakes. - - Teams are encouraged to find new ways to show sportsmanship.
· If spectators do attend, they should limit the retrieval of soccer balls should they go out of play and let the players retrieve the ball.
· Minimize crowding at games and practices. For example, field space must be large enough to provide for social distancing or all in attendance; spectators must be distanced from the field, provide separate entrances and exits and space out practice and game times.
· Spectators must follow social distancing recommendations including the wearing of masks as well as maintaining at least 6 feet of physical distance from each other. This includes from Assistant Referee’s.
· Stagger start of games to ensure that there is the possibility for social distancing amongst all spectators if they are present.
· Game balls must be sanitized at halftime of all games and after games.