Pequea Valley Youth Soccer Association (PVYSA) has and will continue to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Association (EPYSA) recommended guidelines to help protect players, coaches and spectators from the spread of COVID-19. We are and will continue to require all PVYSA affiliated participants and spectators to comply with EPYSA and the CDC’s updated guidelines, along with applicable government requirements and executive orders.
PVYSA believes this plan meets the requirements for a safe return to play for our players and families. Allowing a player to participate in youth soccer during this time is at the sole discretion of the parent/guardian. It is also the responsibility of the parents/guardians to help protect others and keep their player(s) home if they believe they are sick or have been exposed to someone who is sick. By following these guidelines and accepting responsibility where it is needed, we as a soccer community are able to provide a safe environment for our players to safely return to play.
- While there is still an inherent risk of infection for those participating, everyone in attendance should be actively working towards decreasing the risk of transmission to others by adhering to prevention guidelines.
- Everyone should arrive and leave at the scheduled time to avoid overlap in groups.
- Players, coaches, and parents must wear face mask upon leaving car until back in car. Players do not have to wear masks while playing on the field.
- Questions related to COVID-19 by any parent/guardian, coach, or athlete should be directed to the PVYSA Soccer COVID point of contact.
- All athletes should clean individual equipment and clothing after every use. Coaches should thoroughly clean all team/shared equipment after every use.
- PVYSA will educate all athletes, coaches, and families about the symptoms of COVID-19 and when to stay home. All coaches and athletes will be educated on proper handwashing.
- Coaches and athletes must practice social distancing at all times, including in the field of play, sidelines, benches, and workout areas. During down time, no one should congregate.
- Everyone participating in athletics should bring their own water.
- All participants will avoid shaking hands, “fist-pumps,” or high-fives before, during or after contest and practices.
- Coaches and athletic trainers will review and consider the CDC guidance on Considerations for Youth Sports, EPYSA Return to Play Protocols, and PVYSA COVID Safety Plan to modify practices and games to mitigate the risk of spreading the virus.
- Coaches and athletic trainers will complete all requirements for COVID-19 training as required by LARS and EPYSA.
- Coaches are required to cover their nose and mouth with a face mask or other appropriate cloth face-covering at all times during soccer activities and maintain social distancing.
- Coaches must monitor athletes for symptoms prior to and during practices and games.
- Only coaches may touch or move equipment. Do not enlist parental or attendee assistance.
- Break time may need to be increased and/or staggered to accommodate social distancing, hand washing, and avoiding shared hydration sources.
- Sanitize all equipment after practice or games.
- Supply your medical kit or bag with gloves, extra masks, sanitizer, and facial tissues.
- Ensure all athletes have their own individual equipment (ball, water, bag etc).
- Minimize interaction with other teams that train before or after you. Emphasize player should go straight to cars at the completion of practice or games.
- Only one coach shall attend to an injured player, if their parent is available, preference would be given to the parent to attend to the player. A face mask must be worn if the coach is to attend to the player.
- Have fun, stay positive – players and parents are looking to you for leadership.
- Have no above normal temperature readings; Temperature checks should be done by players and their families prior to attending training.
- Bring, and use, hand sanitizer with you at every practice and game. At a minimum, players should use their hand sanitizer at the start activities.
- Players will also need a clearly marked water bottle/drink and 2 masks.
- Wear a mask before and immediately after all practice and games.
- Players are not required to wear masks during activity but may wear them if they desire to do so.
- Players will be required to wear face mask/coverings before and immediately after all practice and games, during stretching activities, when they are not actively participating in drills, when seated on the sidelines and during team meetings.
- Do not touch or share anyone else’s equipment, water, food, or bags.
- Practice social distancing, place bags and equipment at least 6 feet apart.
- Wash and sanitize all equipment before and after every training (balls, cleats, shin guards, clothes).
- No group celebrations, high-5s, hugs, handshakes, fist-bumps, etc.
- Ensure your child is healthy before engaging in activities with others. Your child should STAY HOME if any of the following are true.
- Parents are to take their child’s temperature 30 minutes prior to any session. 100.4 or above, they must contact the coach.
- Any COVID-19 symptoms are present (fever or chills, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell, or vomiting/diarrhea).
- No signs of COVID-19 for the player the past 14 days and no known exposure before sending him or her to training. Sick players and coaches must stay at home and follow appropriate health guidelines.
- If a player was sent home as a result of showing signs or symptoms of COVID-19, they must provide a written approval from their healthcare provider to the PVYSA COVID Point of Contact to return to play.
- Have not travelled to a location the within the past 14 days the PA Department of Health recommends quarantining after returning home.
- Determine if you want your child to wear a face mask during training activity (required to wear a mask entering and leaving field).
- Sanitize and wash all equipment and uniforms after training.
- Pack hand sanitizer and a face mask in his or her bag.
- Consider not carpooling or very limited carpooling.
- Spectators are not essential for practice and not permitted to attend, however, it may be necessary for younger players (U6 & U8).
- During all games, opposing teams will sit on opposite sidelines. Spectators will sit on the same sideline as their team.
- Spectators are required to wear face masks/face coverings and social distance while on the field.
- If for health reasons a spectator cannot safely wear a mask, they are not permitted at the sideline. They must sit in a row behind all other rows sufficiently distanced from other spectators for their safety.
- Spectators are urged to resist temptation to “help the coach” coach because you will be on the same side of the field.
- Spectators are not permitted to assist coach, be in the bench area, or go out onto the field at any time.
- Extended family members of players may come to the games, share these Spectator Protocols so there is not confusion on game day and coaches can focus on the kids.
- Direct your child to never share water, snacks, or equipment.
- Do not assist coach or coaches with equipment at the beginning or end of practice.
- When a ball goes off touchline or end line allow players or coach to retrieve the ball.
- Parents make the ultimate decision on their child’s attendance.
Procedures for Coaches or Athletes Exhibiting Symptoms or Testing Positive for COVID-19
What are the signs and symptoms of COVID-19?
Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. The symptoms may range from mild to severe. Symptoms may include:
- Fever of 100.4 F or higher or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- Loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
Timeline for reporting outside the season.
- If a player has contact with a Covid-19 positive person within the first two weeks before practice starts, they must quarantine until two weeks have elapsed. Return to the team will be up to the club’s discretion.
- If a player falls ill within a week of the season ending, parents should contact the club Covid-19 contact. Club shall notify team.
What should you do if you are sick?
- If you are sick with COVID-19 or think you are infected with the virus, STAY AT HOME. (Player’s & Coaches privacy will be respected): It is essential that you take steps to help prevent the disease from spreading to people in your home or community. Any player or coach must promptly notify the PVYSA Board if any of the following are true:
- has been tested positive for COVID-19.
- is symptomatic and recommended to isolate (by healthcare providers or public health officials).
- has had significant exposure to a person or persons confirmed to have contracted COVID-19.
- have recently traveled to or through any other country.
- lives in the same household with a person or persons who have been ordered to quarantine by a healthcare provider.
- Required information provided at time of notification will include:
- Head coach name
- Team/Age group
- Date of exposure or positive test for COVID
- Attendance at games or practice
- Known participants that came into contact with prior, during and after game or practice
- Alternatively, if no practices or games were played, but presumptive or positive test for COVID occurs, then notify PVYSA with names of other potential players/participants, coaches that have been in contact with the infected participant or family member.
- A determination will be made on possible exposure of players, coaches and staff for the need to notify, isolate, and/or monitor for symptoms.
- Pequea Valley Youth Soccer Club will notify all individuals to the best of our ability who had contact or were potentially exposed to the individual who tested positive with COVID-19 including players, parents, coaches and opposing teams.
What should be done if an athlete or coach becomes ill during practice or an event?
- The ill individual will be isolated until the athlete or coach can leave the event.
- If a player, a parent/guardian will be contacted immediately, and arrangements will be made for the athlete to be picked up.
- Ill individuals will be asked to contact their physician or appropriate healthcare professional for direction and should not return to activity for 72 hours or upon medical clearances from their healthcare provider that has been provided to the PVYSA COVID POC.
- Areas used by the sick person will be closed off and not used until after cleaning and disinfecting of the area occurs (for outdoor areas, this includes surfaces or shared objects in the area, if applicable).
How will a student or staff return to athletics following a COVID-19 diagnosis?
- A medical clearance from the player or coach’s physician or appropriate healthcare professional must be provided to the PVYSA COVID POC before returning to play.
How will a positive COVID-19 test impact a team?
- A determination will be made by the PVYSA Board when teams can return to soccer after a positive COVID-19 case in accordance with local health recommendations.
If the season is canceled before October 1, 2020, a full refund will be issued. If the season is canceled after October 1, 2020, refunds will be at the discretion of the club.
PVYSA COVID Point of Contact
For all COVID related policy questions and concerns, please contact the PVYSA soccer board at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How COVID-19 Spreads
According to the CDC, the virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person, between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). The virus is spread through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Studies have shown that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. This is not thought to be the main way COVID-19 spreads, but health officials are still learning more about COVID-19.
How to Remain Healthy
The following are best practices and must be understood by all PVYSA coaches, players and spectators. Parents are encouraged to cover these items with their players.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20+ seconds especially after you have been in a public shared space, or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
- All players and coaches should wash their hands both prior to practice and when they return home from practice.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Parents/guardians shall provide their players with hand sanitizer or wipes to be kept with the player for use if needed during practices and games.
- Avoid contact with people who are known to be sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth at all times during practices and games.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands with soap and water for 20+ seconds (if soap and water are not readily available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol).
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Coaches shall be responsible for maintaining equipment and wiping down/washing equipment after each practice/game.
- Balls (coaches should collect balls and place in bags)
- Pinnies (recommended avoiding use until restrictions are lifted. If used, must be washed after every practice).