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Return to Play Protocols

These past two months have been like nothing any of us has ever experienced before. The coronavirus pandemic has caused disruption of every aspect of our daily lives, including the soccer activities we all enjoy so much. Throughout this unprecedented and confusing time, we have guided our decision-making by the fundamental principle that the well-being of all our players, staff, parents and loved ones is always our priority. We thank you for your patience, understanding and cooperation.

US Club Soccer has removed the national suspension of activities and has delegated the return-to-play decision making to us, effective May 18.

To be clear, this decision by no means is a blanket permission to return to the fields. We are expected to strictly follow state and local guidelines for the resumption of play. PLEASE NOTE: OUR INSURANCE IS ONLY IN EFFECT IF OUR ACTIVITIES ARE CONSISTENT WITH LOCAL HEALTH AND SAFETY REQUIREMENTS AND GUIDELINES.

While orders from Governor Walz to prevent the spread of Coronavirus remain in place, Southern Minnesota Select has developed the following Return to Play Coronavirus Protocols to implement in conjunction with health professionals, infectious disease specialists, and information from the Centers for Disease Control & OSHA. The protocols do not have a specific duration, but the club will adhere to the recommendations of public health officials and adjust when needed. 
 

Phase 1 – Our anticipated return to play is June 1st with Small Group Training. These training sessions will include no more than 9 players and 1 coach (10 total). We have established the following protocols once we return to play:

1. Players and Staff ARE NOT required to return to play.
At no time, is any player or staff member required to return if they or their family feel they are still at risk or concerned about further exposure. We want everyone to feel comfortable when you return, this protocol is for the health and safety of our players, families and staff.

  • If a player/coach thinks they are sick, stay home! Specifically: symptoms of acute respiratory disease (i.e. cough, sore throat, shortness of breath), fever, sudden loss of smell or taste, OR been diagnosed with COVID-19 (which would follow state-mandated quarantine requirements). If a coach, administrator, or official has a concern about a player's health, they have the ability to send the player home.

2. Minimial physical touching between players and coaches.
We have instructed our coaches that all players should avoid “high fives,” handshakes, or other types of physical touching. We understand that this may be difficult as players enjoy celebrating with their teammates (or even give them a hug after being apart for so long!), but we need to be diligent at enforcing this protocol for health and safety of our players.


3. Thermal/IR Thermometers.
We have purchased several Forehead Non-Contact Infrared Thermometers for use. All players and staff will be tested before practice and scrimmages. And player or staff with a temperature over normal will be immediately sent home.


4 Hand sanitizer/Wipes.
We are working to ensure that each team has hand sanitizer/wipes or access to hand sanitizer. We encourage you to send your player with hand sanitizer for personal use.


5. Avoid “shared” equipment.
In the past our coaches have carried with them a bag of “pinnies” or practice vests that are distributed to players in order to distinguish teams during scrimmages and drills. At the end of each practice session our coaches have traditionally collected all pinnies and laundered them at home. To reduce any chance of infection, we will be “assigning” each player their own pinnie, and players will be responsible to wash and bring them to each practice session.


6. Reduce players touching practice equipment.
We have traditionally asked our players to assist with collecting training equipment (small goals, marking poles, discs, ball bags, etc.) after each practice. In order to avoid unnecessary touching by players on this equipment, we will be temporarily asking our coaches to handle all the retrieval and storage of equipment.


7. Avoid large gatherings or lines of players.
We will typically bring the entire age group together to learn a skill or drill, and then smaller groups will disperse to work on it. We will be temporarily pausing this practice of assembling large groups, and we have instructed all coaches to ensure that any lines of players during drills must maintain appropriate social distancing.

8. Coaches and Players to wear optional masks during training sessions.
All coaches and players have the option to wear CDC-recommended appropriate face coverings during training sessions, but this will be a personal choice of the player and the coach.


9.  Vulnerable individuals should continue to shelter in place.


Phase 2: This phase allows for the resumption of full team trainings, with specific protocols in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

  • All rules of Phase 1 apply except where changes have been made below.
  • Full roster (and up to 2 coaches or trainers) may be present on the same field during trainings, but only one team per field shall occupy that field.

For more information about guidance from the CDC, please visit the following links:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/community-mitigation-strategy.pdf

 

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our Director of
Operations, Rick Rhone, at 
rrhone@minnselectsoccer.org.