Return To Play

 


As Leesburg FC prepares to return to practicing and hopefully competing in soccer during the fall seasons we will follow strict protocols to mitigate risk and safely return to play. Our safety protocols are built on guidance from national, state and local governments, US Youth Soccer and the Virginia Youth Soccer Association, as well as from a close study of best practices. We will adapt these protocols as public health guidelines change and hopefully ease restrictions.

In the document that follows we outline the safety protocols for parents, players and coaches as national, state, and local guidelines allow. Ensuring the safety of everyone in the Leesburg FC community is utmost in our minds. While we recognize soccer plays an important role in the lives of our players and families and we are eager to return to the field, nothing matters more than protecting the safety of our members.

In order to participate in LFC activities this Fall all families are required to complete the following

1. Review the LFC Return to Play Protocol
2. Review and complete the LFC COVID-19 Health Questionnaire and Temperature Check before each practice/game

*Additional waivers and liability forms may be required on a facility by facility basis.

Stages of Play

Our Stages of Play are a shorthand way for parents, players, and coaches to understand what the basic guidelines LFC will follow as we return to play. As conditions and state and local guidance change the club’s approach to soccer training and competition will move up or down between stages.

Stage 1 Stage 2
● No more than 10 participants per training area.
● Team rosters organized as separate groups (e.g. a roster of 16 organized as two groups of 8)
● Individual training only; no group activities, or physical interactions or contact.
● Participants must remain at least 10 feet apart, on and off the field
● No sharing of water or equipment, including the ball
● Only the coach handles cones and other equipment
● Practice times and duration to account for safety of athletes, maximizing physical distance, and minimizing overlap between groups
● No spectators allowed on the field due to Phase 1 occupancy rules
● No more 50 participants per training area (may include more than one team or group).
● Group size to include the full team roster.
● No physical interactions or contact permitted.
● Small group or cooperative play (e.g. players passing a ball with their feet) may occur; use of hands is prohibited.
● Participants must remain at least 10 feet apart, on and off the field
● No sharing of water or equipment besides a ball.
● Only the coach handles cones and other equipment
● Practice times and duration to account for safety of athletes, maximizing physical distance, and minimizing overlap between groups
● No spectators allowed on the field due to Phase 2 occupancy rules
Stage 3** Current Stage Stage 4
● No more 50 participants per training area (may include more than one team or group).
● Group size may include an additional team (e.g. Red and Black)
● Physical contact introduced but limited to necessary activities and game play
● Close group contact (huddles, high-fives, fist bumps, hugs, etc.) prohibited
● No sharing of water or equipment.
● Shared equipment (balls, scrimmage vests, etc.) MUST be cleaned and sanitized by the coach prior and immediately after each session
● Sharing of vests in session prohibited.
● Only coaches handle cones and other equipment (e.g. goals).
● Participants are to remain at least 10 feet apart off the field, and as much as possible on the field.
● Practice times and duration to account for safety of athletes, maximizing overlap between groups
● Spectators are discouraged but allowed w/ physical distancing,
face coverings and no contact with players
● No limitations on participants per training area.
● Formal competition with other teams and clubs resume.
● Limited physical contact, only as necessary for training and games
● Close group contact (huddles, high-fives, fist bumps, hugs, etc.) limited, if not still prohibited.
● No sharing of water
● Shared equipment (balls, scrimmage vests, etc.) MUST be cleaned and sanitized by the coach prior and immediately after each session.
● Only coaches handle cones and other equipment.
● Participants are to remain 6 feet apart off the field, and as much as possible on the field.
● Practice times and duration to account for safety of athletes, maximizing physical distance, and minimizing overlap between groups
● Spectators are allowed but with physical distancing and no contact with players

Roles and Responsibilities in Stage 3

Everyone (regardless of their role), must follow new and commonsense standard practices for health and well-being, and the prevention of disease spreading, which includes but is not limited to:

  • Avoid touching your face
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or elbow when coughing or sneezing
  • Practice physical distancing
  • Wash your hands
  • Clean and disinfect clothing and high contact surfaces
  • Take appropriate steps (e.g. self-quarantining, isolation, etc.) if you are sick or a close contact issick.
  • Wear a mask or face covering.
  • No spitting on the field.Individuals who are considered high risk, or those who feel uncomfortable returning at this time, should STAY HOME and notify their coach.For in-person soccer activities including all training, practices, scrimmages, and games, Players, Parents, Coaches, and Club must adhere to the following protocols prior to, during, and at the conclusion of these events.

Players

Prior to the Event

  • If you’ve been sick with or having symptoms of COVID-19, or have been exposed to someone who has been sick with or having symptoms of COVID-19 within the last 14 days, DO NOT attend and have your parent notify the your coach.
  • Be sure all training gear and equipment including your soccer ball has been properly cleaned and sanitized if it hasn’t already since the last session.
  • With your parent, complete the pre-play temperature check and questionnaire, and follow the appropriate protocols as required based on the results.
  • Make sure all equipment is packed, including a ball, your own water bottle, and hand sanitizer, as equipment cannot be shared.
  • Use the bathroom before departing.
  • Be dressed to play upon arrival.
  • Wear a mask to the field.
  • Carpooling with others outside of your household should be avoided.

During the event

  • If early, wait in your vehicle until 5 minutes before your practice start time to allow the previous group time to exit.
  • Use hand sanitizer before entering the field.
  • Keep your face covering on until arriving at your training area on the field.
  • Practice physical distancing throughout – stay at least 10 feet away from others; no hugs, highfives, or fist bumps permitted.
  • Enter the field through the designated area or gate, and follow the directions of your coach tothe appropriate section.
  • Upon arrival to your training area, place your equipment in the designated area, and removeyour face covering if desired (face coverings are not required for players during the session).
  • Follow the coach’s directions throughout the session.
  • Soccer balls may be shared through use of feet only (no hands). No equipment besides soccerballs (water bottles, hair ties, gloves, etc.) may be shared during the session.

At the conclusion of the event:

  • Following the directions of the coach, wear your face covering, leave the training area in an orderly fashion while physical distancing, and exit the designated gate or area of the field.
  • Find your parent’s vehicle, and leave promptly – no congregating or socializing.
  • Use hand sanitizer.
  • Upon returning home, promptly wash your hands; clean your clothing; and disinfect yourtraining gear including your soccer ball prior to the next session.

Parents

Prior to event

  • If your child has been sick with or having symptoms of COVID-19, or has been exposed to someone who has been sick with or having symptoms of COVID-19 within the last 14 days, DO NOT bring your child and notify your coach.
  • Be sure all training gear and equipment including their ball has been properly cleaned and sanitized if it hasn’t already since the last session.
  • Complete your child’s pre-play temperature check and questionnaire, and follow the appropriate protocols as required based on the results (see Section IV regarding this procedure).
  • Make sure your child’s equipment is packed, including a ball, their own water bottle, and hand sanitizer, as equipment cannot be shared.
  • Remind your child of their responsibilities before, during, and after the event.
  • Review the dropoff and pickup directions of the location your traveling to.
  • Wear a face covering to the field.
  • Carpooling with others outside of your household should be avoided.

During the event

  • Follow the parking lot directions for dropoff and pickup areas.
  • If early, wait in your vehicle until 5 minutes before your practice start time to allow the previousgroup time to exit. Direct your child to the appropriate gate or designated area.
  • For parents of younger players: you are permitted to walk them to the gate or entrance area.
  • Park your vehicle wear a face covering, walk your child to the gate, and then return to yourvehicle.
  • Ensure your child uses hand sanitizer before entering the field.

At the conclusion of the event:

  • Pickup your child, and leave promptly – no congregating or socializing, and practice physical distancing.
  • Use hand sanitizer, and ensure your child does too.
  • Upon returning home, promptly wash your hands (and ensure your child does theirs); clean yourclothing; and disinfect your training gear prior to the next session.

Coaches

Prior to event

  • Plan training session in accordance with State, Local and Club physical distancing guidelines.
  • Be sure all training gear and equipment has been properly cleaned and sanitized if it hasn’talready since the last session.
  • Complete your own pre-play temperature check and questionnaire, and follow the appropriateprotocols as required based on the results (see Section IV regarding this procedure).
  • Remind your team’s families of their responsibilities before, during, and after the event.
  • Wear a face covering.
  • Review your team’s pre-event health survey to confirm all expected attendees have completed this process.

During the event

  • If early and the field is in use, wait in your vehicle until 10 minutes before your practice start time.
  • Use hand sanitizer before entering the field.
  • Wear your face covering for the duration of the session.
  • Practice physical distancing throughout – stay at least 10 feet away from others; no hugs, highfives, or fist bumps permitted.
  • Enter the field through the designated area or gate.
  • Using your own equipment, arrange the training area to ensure appropriate distance ismaintained.
  • Greet and direct players as they arrive to place their equipment next to it, and remove their facecovering if desired (face coverings are not required for players during the session).
  • Record attendance of all participants present.
  • Provide clear direction and guidance to players, and monitor their behavior (e.g. remaining 10feet apart, not sharing equipment, etc.)
  • Soccer balls may be shared by feet (no hands, excluding the goalkeeper). No other equipment(water bottles, hair ties, gloves, etc.) may be shared during the session.
  • Scrimmage vests may be used as long as they have been properly cleaned and disinfected prior to the session. Scrimmage vests may not be shared by players.
  • Physical contact between players can be introduced, but should be limited to necessary activities and game play. Physical distancing should be maintained by players when possible.

At the conclusion of the event:

  • Lead and direct players to leave the training area in an orderly fashion, and ensure each departs with their parent.
  • Promptly clear your area of equipment, and exit through the appropriate gate or area.
  • No congregating or socializing permitted.
  • Use hand sanitizer.
  • Upon returning home, promptly wash your hands; clean your clothing; and disinfect your training gear prior to the next session.
  • Reconcile on-field attendance list with pre-session questionnaire, and take appropriate steps toensure accurate attendance records.Required Participation Waivers and ProtocolsPrior to participation in club activities, specific COVID-19 waivers outlining risks and expectations must be submitted by players, parents, and coaches.

For Stage 3 activities: individuals who meet any of the criteria below are PROHIBITED from participating in in-person events until they have been cleared by a medical professional and provided appropriate document to the club:

    • Current temperature of 100.4 or higher;
    • Diagnosed with COVID-19 in last 14 days;
    • Is sick with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 (e.g. sore throat; shortness ofbreath/difficulty breathing; fever of 100.4 or higher; chills; headache; sinus congestion; cough persistent and/or productive; joint aches and soreness; vomiting or diarrhea; and/or a rash) in the last 14 days; and/or
    • Exposed or been in contact with anyone who has been sick with symptoms of or diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 14 daysIndividuals who are sick, feel sick, or in contact with others who may be or have been sick should STAY HOME and avoid in-person trainingAt-risk individuals with health conditions – youth or adult – should STAY HOME and avoid in-person training.All members prior to attending any event must complete a two-step at home wellness check:
  • Temperature check: individuals with a temperature of 100.4 or higher are prohibited fromparticipating;
  • Complete COVID-19 Pre-Play Questionnaire the same day as the event:

o Is your participant’s current temperature 100.4 or higher?
o Has the participant been diagnosed with COVID-19 within the last 14 days?
o Is the participant exhibiting any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 14 days?
o Has the participant been exposed to anyone that has been diagnosed with or has symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 14 days?

  • Participants who answer YES to any of these questions are prohibited from participating.
  • Participants who answer NO to all four questions are permitted to attend.

Coaches and Team Managers are responsible for verifying the on-field attendance with the questionnaire results in the event individuals may have been exposed and need to be notified. Families who fail to complete these surveys may be prohibited from permitting their child to participate.

COVID-19 Exposure or Illness

Limited information is available to characterize the spectrum of clinical illness, transmission efficiency, and the duration of viral shedding for persons with COVID-19. This guidance is based on available information about COVID-19 and subject to change as additional information becomes available.

REPORTING:

  • Per the club protocol, as a reminder players who have a fever or are ill should not attend any in- person session.
  • If a player has a known exposure* to a person who has been tested positive for COVID-19 or a known exposure to a person who has been otherwise diagnosed with COVID-19:

o the parent/guardian is required to email info@leesburgfc.com within 72 hours of identification,

o player should self-isolate for at least 14 days, and the player should not attend in-person sessions.(see below for Return to Play after Illness/Exposure details)

• If a player has symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or has been diagnosed with COVID-19 (by a health professional or through a positive test):

o the parent/guardian is required to email info@leesburgfc.com within 72 hours of identification,

o player should self-isolate for at least 14 days, and the player should not attend in-person sessions.(see below for Return to Play after Illness/Exposure details)

COMMUNICATION:

If a player has been diagnosed with COVID-19 (by a health professional or through a positive test), has attended a team in-person session, and has notified the club as directed, the club will notify the entire team of the exposure while protecting the confidentiality of the individual’s identity.

RETURN TO PLAY after ILLNESS or EXPOSURE*:

The decision to discontinue home isolation for persons with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 should be made in the context of local circumstances and may be amended as such.

Players who have a known exposure or infection may return to play after 14 days or ALL of the following criteria have been met (whichever is longer):

  • Fever-free for at least 72 hours following symptoms
  • AND: other respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath) improving
  • AND: at least 10 days since symptoms first began
  • AND: a negative test result

* Per the CDC, “exposure” is currently defined as close contact (<6 feet) for 15 minutes or more.

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