MASSACHUSETTS YOUTH SOCCER ASSOCIATION COVID-19 Soccer Protocols
May 29, 2021
On May 29, 2021 the Commonwealth of Massachusetts lifted sector specific guidelines as they relate to youth sports.
In lieu of sector specific guidelines the Commonwealth recommends current CDC guidelines are followed.
The Sharon Soccer Association and Massachusetts Youth Soccer remains dedicated to protecting the health of all people in and outside of our community. In an effort to assist players, coaches and parents participating in soccer activities taking place during the “new normal” Massachusetts Youth Soccer will continue to provide recommended protocols for member organizations and affiliates to use. We anticipate recommended protocols for Summer 2021 to be posted to the COVID Hub on Wednesday June 2nd.
Beginning Saturday 29 May (including Memorial Day Tournament Play), Face Coverings will not be required by players, coaches, officials or spectators at all Outdoor Soccer activities. Attendance for all activities should continue to be recorded and any positive COVID-19 cases for players, coaches or officials reported to Mass Youth Soccer using the Covid-19 Notification Procedures: mayouthsoccer.org/covid-notification-procedures/
Given the nature of the pandemic, this framework may change at any time based on the most recent CDC and or Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) guidelines. Please keep in mind that local municipalities may have additional guidelines in place that will need to be adhered to.
Indoor and Outdoor facilities with a permitted capacity must limit capacity to no more than 50% of the facility’s maximum permitted occupancy up to a maximum capacity of 500. Member Organizations are required to verify the occupancy capacity of the facility with the owner (town, school dept etc.) to determine the spectator limits at their facilities
For facilities with multiple fields, surfaces, courts, courses etc. the above capacity limitations shall apply per playing field, surface, court, etc., provided that there is adequate spacing for at least six feet social distancing for all individuals, including those at adjacent fields, surfaces, courts, etc.
The spectator area must allow for at least 6’ feet of social distancing between all family units Note: This updated Mass Youth Soccer is in force unless the facility has stricter limits.
Facility operators and activity organizers should set schedules with time buffers to prevent the overlap of competitions or overlap of players/spectators from adjacent fields/surfaces/courts at any one time
Facility operators and Activity Organizers should mark off designated areas for spectators for each field, surface, court, etc to minimize the overlap of spectators from adjacent fields/surfaces/courts
Recommended Field Capacities - The previous limit of 25 participants per playing surface has been removed. Mass Youth Soccer is relying on our member organizations to properly manage the number of participants per playing surface with the health and safety of all in mind.
All Massachusetts Youth members who plan to leave Massachusetts for more than 24 hours and all out-of-state residents who plan to come into Massachusetts for more than 24 hours for soccer events are asked to be aware of and understand the current Commonwealth of Massachusetts Travel Advisory (the latest Travel Advisory version as of this documents printed date is dated March 22, 2021)
REQUIRED SAFETY PROTOCOLS
Facility Operators must follow the indoor outdoor facility and spectator limits as indicated in the capacity limit section of this document.
Outdoor Facilities: Spectators should maintain distance of at least 6 feet between spectator groups. A spectator group is defined as a family unit. Operators are encouraged to mark off spectator viewing sites to allow for social distancing and all spectators must be kept at least 8 feet away from the playing surface. Spectators should practice social distancing in the spectator viewing areas. Family units from the same household do not need to distance, but should remain 6’ from the next spectator group.
Limit any nonessential visitors, spectators, staff, volunteers, and activities involving external groups or organizations as much as possible. Visitors, spectators, volunteers, and staff must wear face coverings according to the face covering section of this document.
Activity Organizers must follow the indoor outdoor facility and spectator limits as indicated in the capacity limit section of this document.
The spectator area must allow for at least of 6’ feet of social distancing between all family units
Sportsmanship should continue in a touchless manner- no handshakes/slaps/fist bumps.
If social distancing is not possible in an athletic facility, spectators may be asked to wait outside the facility until an activity is completed.
If the spectator area allows for at least of 6’ feet of social distancing between family units Spectators are limited to 2 adults (Parents/Guardians or chaperones) and siblings of a participating player. Note: This updated Mass Youth Soccer policy of 2 (two) spectators per player and siblings is in force unless the facility has stricter limits.
No exposure to or identified as a close contact of a positive case in the prior 10 day period.
Check for normal temperature before going to training - (temperature 100.4 or higher please stay home).
Upon arrival to training, coaches or staff should ask each athlete if they are experiencing any signs or symptoms of COVID-19. If the athlete has any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 they should be sent home and instructed to contact their healthcare provider. They will not be allowed to return to training until they are cleared by a healthcare provider. A doctor’s note must be provided.
Participants, organizers, spectators, volunteers, and facility employees in high risk categories should not participate or attend organized sport activities.
Be sure appropriate infection prevention supplies (e.g. hand sanitizer, facial tissues, facial coverings) are present in multiple targeted areas (outlined later in this document).
All spectators must adhere to CDC and DPH assemblage and distance guidelines. Spectators, nonessential visitors, staff, volunteers, and activities involving external groups or organizations should be limited as much as possible. Operators are encouraged to mark off spectator viewing sites to allow for social distancing.
Spectators must practice social distancing in the spectator viewing areas. Family units from the same household do not need to distance, but should remain 6’ from the next spectator group
Participants should use their own equipment and be instructed to sanitize their equipment after every training session.
Each participant will be required to have their own water bottle, towel, and personal hygiene products (hand sanitizer, facial tissues, face coverings).
Cleaning schedule/protocol of equipment (cones, goals etc.) with disinfectant before, during, and after training.