Is it safe for players to wear masks and play at the same time? Especially in the heat?
Understanding that masks can inhibit a player’s ability to breathe during exercise, players will only be asked to wear masks to and from the field.
Do we limit drill time for contact drills?
In the initial Phase 2 and 3 plans, we encourage non-contact activities, and instead focus on technical and tactical. For training sessions, clubs will be encouraged to have their players engage in non-contact activities until a full return to play is better known.
Can we use kick-ins or other modified rules? Assuming there is no handling of the ball except for goalkeepers wearing gloves.
WYS will follow CDC guidelines and USYS directives regarding the transmission of the virus.
What will Washington Youth Soccer's role be going forward?
WYS will advise clubs on best practices.
If not soon then, why, when statistics clearly demonstrate at this point that healthy youth are no more likely to succumb to protracted health issues from COVID-19 than any other illness, are we to be expected to radically alter our way of life to a "new normal" both within and without the circle of soccer?
Because kids can be carriers, and will interact with other at-risk individuals, they may pass the virus on to others unknowingly. Additionally, just as we Honor the Game in soccer, which means following the rules even when you can get away without following them, we choose to partner with our Governor and local officials and follow all mandates to insure the safety of all in our community.
Should parents be allowed to stay and watch games?
Yes, but we ask that they wear masks and social distance, according to current phase of return to play. Phase 3 has a max of 50 people at events, as long as it’s under 50% capacity for the venue.
There have been discussions around taking temperatures of players and attendees prior to attending sporting events. What does this look like?
WYS recommends that parents monitor and check temperatures prior to sending children to practice.
Are there going to be any safety precautions for the referees?
Referees will follow the same protocol as players.
There are youth with asthma or allergies that take the risk to play soccer despite the outdoor nature. Are we to expect them to wear masks in case they happen to wheeze or sneeze?
Coaches and sidelines observers will be asked to wear masks initially, but players will only need to wear them to and from the car and the field.
The biggest challenge may be what happens if someone on a team gets infected? That could cause a domino effect of things to follow with the entire team being quarantined, and possibly any opposing teams that may have come into contact within the period of time they were contagious.
Players with symptoms should stay home to limit the spread. Players and coaches should still practice social distancing when they can, no high fives, handshakes, hugs, etc., and wash their hands/use hand sanitizer if they come in contact with another player/coach. If a person is diagnosed with COVID-19, the entire group must return to self-isolation until symptom free for 14 days.
How are we helping recreational clubs with volunteer staffs who will have short timetables for registration and finding coaches and getting everyone in compliance?
We would promote the return of soccer via our platform. When we have a better idea on when we will return to play and at what capacities, we will support our members to make sure they get all the help they need.
Parents and players need to have a clear understanding of rules put in place to protect them. How will we keep updated?
All our policies will be shared on all members association websites, as well as the WYS website.
Should we be canceling all tournaments for the remainder of the year and looking out for the best interest of youth players?
WYS simply sanctions tournaments but it’s up to individual organizations and teams to makes decisions on whether or not to hold or attend these tournaments. Organizers should be following the current state guidelines on outdoor gatherings when planning.
My main concern is that there will be no soccer season. The basic view seems to be that children are disease vectors and we should just lock them up for the duration. How are you speaking up for the rights of children to get outside and resume team sports?
Players come first. Their physical and mental health are important to us. Being outside in the fresh air and with their team safely is our goal. We will also follow federal, state, and local guidelines.
What is the liability for the associations if a player/coach is diagnosed with COVID-19?
WYS insurance covers injuries only, not infectious diseases or viruses. When a player participates, they are willingly accepting the potential risks that come along with that. Each club has the option to review and offer a “play at your own risk” waiver.