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BSC Policies for Covid-19 Massachusetts Reopening Plan – Phase 3 Step 1

BSC Covid-19 Safety Officer: Rob Sprague

The BSC's COVID19 policies follow state, local and youth soccer guidelines.

1. Commonwealth of Massachusetts: 

YOUTH and ADULT AMATEUR SPORTS ACTIVITIES – Phase III, Step 1 Expansion of Activity Number 1

2. Massachusetts Youth Soccer:

Return to Soccer Activity Guidelines

Face Coverings - All players, coaches, officials and spectators must utilize facial coverings at all times. 

Field Capacity - No more than 50 people (players, coaches and officials) are permitted on a 11v11 field at any time. 

Spectators - Limited to one parent, guardian or chaperone for each player.

Rule Changes (see Return to Soccer Activities for details)

  1. Heading is suspended.
  2. Shoulder to Shoulder contact is suspended.
  3. Slide tackling within 6 feet of another player is suspended.
  4. Throw-Ins are replaced with Kick-Ins. (Kick cannot enter penalty area.)
  5. Corner Kicks are replaced with Corner Kick-Ins. (Kick cannot enter penalty area.)
  6. All restarts require opponents to be 10 yards from the ball and players must be more than 6 feet apart (teammates and opponents).
  7. Drop Balls are suspended and replaced with indirect free kick.
  8. No defensive "walls". Teammates must maintain 6 feet of separation on restarts.

The below listed policies, procedures and criteria were set by Mass Youth Soccer and US Youth Soccer.

Programs must separate participants into groups of no more than 25 participants including coaches and staff. Larger playing areas and surfaces such as athletic fields may be used by more than one group of 25 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.

Criteria to Participate in Phase 3 Training Sessions. Players MUST Adhere to These Guidelines 

  • No signs or symptoms of COVID-19 in the past 14 days and have not been exposed to someone that has been ill in 14 days. 
  • Live in a general location for 14 days prior to beginning group training. This requirement reduces the risk of introducing COVID-19 into the training group by someone traveling from a different region. 
  • Take temperature before going to training. 
  • 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. List of high risk categories can be found here. 
  • 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). Small group training should take place in an area where physical distancing (6’ apart) can be maintained. 
  • 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/chaperone viewing sites to allow for social distancing. 
  • Spectators/Chaperones must practice social distancing including wearing face coverings. 
  • 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). Per Brookline Health Department – all players and coaches must wear face coverings at all times (practices and games) when on the permitted athletic field. Coaches and spectators will be required to wear face coverings by DPH guidelines at all times. Tissues, wipes, or disposable gloves must be properly disposed in the appropriate receptacles. 
  • Follow cleaning schedule/protocol of equipment (cones, goals etc.) with disinfectant before, during, and after training.
  • Appropriate personal protective equipment (gloves, face coverings/masks) must be worn as required per DPH guidelines. 
  • Wear a face covering at all times.
  • Soccer will be permitted to be played by the players under the rules/laws of the sport.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Guidelines

  • Families must provide their child with a mask, sanitizer or sanitizing wipes, a water bottle, a soccer ball and their own soccer equipment (cleats, socks, shin pads) in a bag when they arrive.
  • Unless wearing the equipment, all items must be kept inside their own personal bag for the duration of the training session.
  • Players are required to wear face coverings at all times - before, during and after all practices and games.
  • Coaches and Staff will be required to wear face coverings at all times.
  • Each child will have a designated area to place their bag during the duration of their training session.
  • No sharing of equipment will be allowed, ex: water bottles, snacks, etc.

Pick Up/Drop Off Guidelines

  • When dropping your child off at a field, we ask that they remain in the vehicle until a coach asks them to step onto the field. 
  • We ask that NO parent leaves their vehicle while dropping off or picking up their child.
  • Coaches will assist with drop off/pick up for their specific group.
  • No spectators are allowed on the field.
  • Once one group exits the field and are into their vehicles, the next group will be asked to exit their vehicles and enter the field.
  • Please do not arrive more than 5mins prior to your session beginning.
  • Players and families must leave immediately after their session is finished.

Best Practices: Town Travel Club

  • Assign a COVID-19 Safety Officer who will communicate policies organization-wide, to coaching staff, administrators, parents, and players. Regular updates and reminders should be provided.
  • Assign each team a coordinator to oversee compliance at the team level (can be a team parent who must register as an Adult with Mass Youth Soccer).
  • Train and educate all volunteers/staff on return to activities protocols.
  • Develop a relationship and dialog with local Health Department officials (identify risk tolerance).
  • Develop a plan to communicate with the local health department in the event of a confirmed case ofCOVID-19 within a team.
  • If a team member or coach contracts COVID-19, all training sessions should be canceled for that team and any additional team associated with that coach for 14 days.
  • Be prepared to shut down and stop operations. Develop plans for temporary closure of facilities (indoor,outdoor) to properly disinfect and ensure other adult leaders are not infected.
  • Provide coaches and team coordinators with PPE (masks) and sanitizing products.
  • Schedule large groups (games) with a minimum of 30 minutes in between the time one team concludes and the other arrives. Players must leave immediately after their session. Players should not arrive at their field earlier than 5 minutes prior to their scheduled arrival time.
  • Teams who wish to schedule warm-up time prior to their sessions must build that into their scheduledsession/rental time. Warm-ups will not be permitted adjacent to the assigned field prior to the scheduledstart time for a team.
  • Do not allow players or parents to congregate in parking lots, at drop off zones, facility entrances/exitsbefore or after a training session.
  • Provide adequate space at the field to allow for proper physical/social distancing (6’).
  • All parents, spectators, and players should have their own chair. Chairs should be placed to allow for prop-er physical and social distancing (6’).
  • All waste should be placed by the respective parent, player, coach, and spectator in the trash receptacle.
  • Nothing should be picked up by anybody other than the originator of the waste.
  • Require players to have their own water, sanitary products , hand sanitizer, facial tissues, face covering, ball, GK Gloves (if necessary), dark and light shirt (in lieu of shared scrimmage vests)).

Best Practices: Coaches

  • Understand that there may be parents/guardians who may not be ready to have their child return to activities at this time.
  • Understand some parents/guardians may require their child to wear a face covering. If so, it should be a face covering which attaches around the ears so as not to cause any injury if accidentally tugged or pulled on. No around the head or neck face coverings permitted during play.
  • Ensure the health and safety of all athletes.
  • Ensure athletes arrive dressed for practice and leave immediately after practice. No recreational play, orloitering is allowed.
  • Upon arrival, inquire how athletes are feeling, send them home if you believe they are acting or look ill.
  • No handshakes, fist or elbow bumps, or any other physical contact.
  • Practice and encourage proper hygiene, washing hands frequently with soap and water, for at least 20seconds at a time. Use alcohol based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol). Cover coughs and sneezes with tissues or sleeves, do not use your hands. Do not touch your face (eyes, nose, mouth with unwashed hands). Launder clothing after training session.
  • Follow all state and local health protocols.
  • Coach is to be the only one to handle cones, discs, goals etc.
  • Ensure all athletes have their individual equipment. (Ball, water bottle, GK Gloves etc.)
  • Ensure player’s personal belongings (bags, coats, sweatshirts) remain in their personal space and are kept physically distanced from the belongings of others. Do not allow sharing of personal items.
  • Ask players to bring a dark and light shirt to eliminate the need of shared scrimmage vests.
  • Do not allow shared team snacks. No use of public water bubblers, fountains or bottle fillers if present onsite. Participants and spectators should only drink from their own containers.
  • Wear a face covering at all times and abide by the physical/social distance requirements for players and parents.
  • STAY POSITIVE – Players and parents will be looking to you to remain calm and supportive during thistransition time.

Best Practices: Parents

  • Ensure your child’s health. Take temperature daily. The average normal body temperature is generally accepted as 98.6°F (37°C). Some studies have shown that the “normal” body temperature can have a wide range, from 97°F (36.1°C) to 99°F (37.2°C). A temperature over 100.4°F (38°C) most often means you have a fever caused by an infection or illness.
  • If your child has any symptoms, even mild ones, public health urges you to stay home and isolate until:
    • You have had no fever for at least 72 hours (without the use of medicine) AND
    • Other symptoms (cough, shortness of breath) have improved AND
    • At least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared.
  • Anyone in your household that you have had close contact with (within six feet for approximately 10 minutes) should self-quarantine for 14 days, even if you haven’t been tested for COVID-19.
  • Notify the club immediately if your child has become sick.
  • Adhere to physical/social distance requirements posted by the organization. These are based on state and local requirements. Wear a face covering if you are outside of your car.
  • Ensure that your child has a mask that fits well and can stay up over the nose during exercise.
  • Ensure that your child has a water bottle, equipment (ball and GK Gloves if necessary), light and dark shirt (no shared scrimmage vests will be provided).
  • Ensure your child’s personal equipment, cleats, balls, shin guards etc. are cleaned and sanitized before andafter every training.
  • Ensure your child’s clothing is washed after every session.
  • Do not assist the coach with equipment before or after a training session.
  • No carpooling with other members of the team.
  • Be sure your child has necessary sanitizer with them at every session.

Best Practices: Players

  • Take temperature daily (see information outlining this in the parent’s section).
  • Practice and encourage proper hygiene, washing hands frequently with soap and water, for at least 20seconds at a time. Use alcohol based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol). Cover coughs and sneezes with tissues or sleeves, do not use your hands. Do not touch your face (eyes, nose, mouth with unwashed hands).
  • Have your own hand sanitizer with you.
  • All players must maintain face coverings at all times during practices and games. 
  • Practice physical distancing on the sidelines. When sitting on the sidelines you should be 6’ from the nextplayer. Your belongings should remain in your space when not in use.
  • Bring your own equipment (Ball, GK Gloves (if required), shin guards, jacket etc.) Do not touch anyoneelse’s equipment.
  • Bring your own water bottle and snack. Do not touch anyone else’s belongings as sharing will not bepermitted.
  • Wash and sanitize your equipment before and after each training.
  • No group celebrations, hugs, handshakes, fist bumps, etc.