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Eastwood Youth Soccer Association

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26

Mar, 2021

EYSA Soccer and COVID-19

The East Suburban Soccer League (ESSL) will continue to follow any COVID guidelines for play set forth by US Soccer, SAY, and the State of Ohio. As we move forward preparing for this soccer season we recognize any changes with the COVID-19 pandemic could require us to be flexible with how we run our season and it may look different than a typical season from before the pandemic. All participants and spectators must follow any COVID safety protocols the ESSL board deems necessary. Any participant or spectator who refuses to follow these protocols could be asked to leave the practice/game location.

What parents/spectators need to know:
Parents are expected to evaluate the health of their player, determine if they are exhibiting any symptoms and take their player’s temperature prior to attending any team gathering (practice/game/etc.). If a player is not feeling well, has 2 or more symptoms OR a fever of 100 degrees or higher, they are NOT allowed to participate and must follow the SAY Return to Play Recommendations Our volunteer coaches will not be responsible for performing any health screens at the field. It is up to each individual family to monitor the health of their household and determine if they are all healthy to attend practices and games. If a coach notices a participant not feeling well or they are concerned a participant is showing signs they might be sick the coach may ask for the participant to return home. 
We are asking that players not sit on the bench in close proximity to each other. Instead we are asking parents to bring a folding chair or beach blanket for their participant to use where they can space out to at least 6’ from each other. This will also provide a space where each player can keep their equipment and water bottle far away from other teammates.
Masks need to be worn by spectators at all times and by players when they are not playing if they are not social distancing (for example when on the sideline or in huddles).
During COVID-19 spectators for 8U-14U are asked to sit on the same side of the field as their players and coaches (for example if the game is Eastwood vs. Lake, the Eastwood parents sit on same side as Eastwood players/coaches and the Lake parents sit on same side as Lake players/coaches). The reason for this is to limit the chance of the virus spreading between different communities within our district. We are also requesting that spectators social distance 6' on the sideline. For our 4U and 6U soccer games we are still asking spectators to sit on the opposite side of the field from the teams because all in attendance are from the same Eastwood community and it limits a lot of distractions for our younger players.
There will be no professional photos this season. Spirit wear is available anytime now through our website and ships directly to you.
There will be no snacks distributed or shared after games.
Players need to bring their own water bottles (with their name clearly labeled on them) and soccer ball (if they have their own) to practices/games. Shin guards are required, cleats are recommended.
Participants should hand sanitize (at a minimum) before and after all practices/games. Hand sanitizer has been provided to coaches as part of team equipment. 

What coaches need to know:
Coaches will have to limit time spent on activities where players are in close proximity for extended periods of time (e.g. repeatedly practicing corner or penalty kicks).
Coaches will need to take attendance at each gathering (practice/game/etc.) in order to provide contact tracing should anyone test positive for COVID-19. If you have a positive case of COVID on your team, you need to contact the EYSA Board immediately (and we will contact the appropriate Board of Health(s)) and you must discontinue all practices/games.
Masks need to be worn by coaches at all times while in close proximity to players.
Referees/players can wear gloves/masks at anytime, but masks are required if sitting on the bench (do not have to if sitting spaced out on sidelines) or in close proximity with others (such as huddles). Referees are to wear masks when in close proximity to players in pregame equipment checks or when meeting in a huddle to discuss something, but they do not need to wear them when actively running on the field as they are considered a participant at that time.
Players and coaches should not be touching soccer balls with their hands for the majority of soccer activities. We are asking all players to bring their own soccer ball (if possible) and you should ask players to use only their ball when practicing drills such as throw ins. Otherwise, when using team balls during practice, should a ball go out of bounds and a player needs to go retrieve it use this as an opportunity to reinforce only using their feet to go and get it. It is good foot practice and it also helps prevent the spread of germs. 
The EYSA provided hand sanitizer as part of assigned team equipment to be used during practices and games. 
Participants will no longer be shaking hands/giving "high fives" at the end of the game. The teams will come up with a different way to show good sportsmanship and congratulate one another on a good game. 

To our parents and spectators, thank you for being a part of the EYSA family. It is our expectation that all who participate in the EYSA will do their best to adhere to these COVID-19 specific guidelines in addition to following the EYSA Code of Conduct. Please review all of these things with your participant and reinforce the importance of these protocols so that they are well prepared and can stay safe while having fun playing soccer. When we all work together to follow these guidelines we will better protect our players and each other.

To our coaches, we are always very grateful for our volunteers who choose to step up and be a positive influence in the life of a child, but we are even more appreciative of your service during a pandemic considering the extra steps/precautions required of you during these times. The success of our soccer program is made possible because of the dedication and service of volunteers willing to step up. 

SAY soccer created a COVID-19 section on their website which includes return to play recommendations, what to do if someone tests positive, alternatives to league play, and other information. You can review these items to be better prepared to participate in EYSA soccer during this pandemic. 

Additionally, here is a link to the Ohio Department of Health’s Responsible Restart Ohio for Contact Sport Practices and Non-Contact Sport Competitions.

A PDF of the Match Protocols for EYSA Soccer is available for download here

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