TASL Return to Play Policies - effective Fall 2020

As we return to play soccer, our highest priority remains to provide adults the opportunity to play soccer in a safe environment.  The policies below have been developed based on recommendations from legal professionals, insurance agencies and our governing bodies for soccer in order to provide players, team captains and referees with an idea of what will be required when returning to play. 

There are increased responsibilities at every level to ensure everyone’s safety.

It is imperative that players recognize and accept that playing soccer is an individual decision.  Each person should evaluate their risk and make the best decision for themselves as it relates to participating in soccer at this time.  Participating in soccer is a risk with potential exposure to the COVID-19 virus which could result in sickness, injury, harm and even death. 

These policies may be updated and are subject to change based on directives from the State of North Carolina, the NC Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control, the local governing bodies and soccer’s state and national governing bodies.

 

PLAYER POLICIES

Any player or team captain that:

  • exhibits symptoms of COVID-19,
  • has been diagnosed with or tested positive for COVID-19,
  • has been notified by a health department or health care provider to quarantine or
  • has had close contact (within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes) in the last 14 days with someone diagnosed with COVID-19
  1. Must report this information through the TASL COVID-19 Reporting Form within 24 hours of such knowledge.
  2. Is NOT allowed to participate in TASL activities until cleared to return to play by the TASL Administrator.
  • All players must answer the COVID-19 Health Screening Questionnaire (see below) and are to monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19 prior to each TASL activity, and if experiencing any symptom should NOT participate and should stay at home.
  • Players or captains that are 65 years or older or that have underlying medical conditions should be aware of the CDC guidelines for at risk individuals and should consider their level of risk before deciding whether to play soccer.
  • Players are required to have two colors of shirts available to use during events and must not share their gear.
  • Players are required to wear masks while approaching and leaving the field of play and any time that they are not strenuously exercising.
  • Players should always have a back-up mask and should bring their own hand sanitizer to TASL activities.
  • Players on the sideline must maintain a social distance, store their gear at least 6 feet from others and wear a mask if they are unable to maintain a 6 foot distance.
  • Players should bring their own water and should not share it with others.
  • Spectators are required to remain in their vehicles during all practices and games.  Spectators are not allowed at the field.

TEAM CAPTAIN POLICIES

  • All captains must answer the COVID-19 Health Screening Questionnaire (see below) and are to monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19 prior to each TASL activity, and if experiencing any symptom should NOT participate and should stay at home.
  • Any captain that:
    • exhibits symptoms of COVID-19,
    • has been diagnosed with or tested positive for COVID-19,
    • has been notified by a health department or health care provider to quarantine or
    • has had close contact (within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes) in the last 14 days with someone diagnosed with COVID-19
  1. Must report this information through the TASL COVID-19 Reporting Form within 24 hours of such knowledge.
  2. Is NOT allowed to participate in TASL activities until cleared to return to play by the TASL Administrator.
  • Prior to the start of each game, Captains are to ask their players if they have reviewed and answered the COVID-19 Health Screening questions.
  • Captains are required to maintain weekly attendance records at scheduled games and practices for a minimum of four weeks.  Rosters may be used as attendance records provided the date of the game is written on the roster and all players and captains in attendance, even those arriving late, are clearly marked as in attendance on the roster.  Attendance records must be turned over to TASL upon request.
  • It is the Team Captain’s responsibility to assure that players and teams abide by all policies.
  • Non-playing Team Captains must wear a mask on the sideline.
  • Team Captains should bring hand sanitizer to each game or event and have it available on the sideline.
  • Any captain or player bringing a ball to use in the game must sanitize the ball prior to use.

GAME DAY POLICIES

  • No spectators or family members should be in attendance or on the sidelines.
  • Teams will occupy space on opposite sides of the field, on the half of the field not used by the assistant referee.  In the situation where opposite sides of the field is not possible, teams must be separated on opposite ends of the field with a minimum of 8 feet from the touchline to allow space for the assistant referee.
  • Enter and exit the field thru designated points if there are designated entrances and exits to ensure one-way traffic where possible.
  • Players may assist captains in moving goals, provided they sanitize their hands prior to and after moving the goal, and they remain 6 feet apart while moving the equipment.
  • Players should place their gear 6 feet away from other player’s gear.
  • Water will not be provided at any of our sites, as players will be expected to provide their own water.  Water should not be shared!
  • Players may not enter the field of play until the players from the previous game have cleared the field.  Stay in your car until players from the previous game have left the field.
  • Players and captains will have 5 minutes after the end of the game to leave the field.
  • In case of delay due to inclement weather, all players and captains should return to their personal vehicle.  Do not gather under a shelter or any other complex structure.
  • Follow all rules at the facility for restroom use.
  • Referees may not be approached at any time and a 6’ social distancing should always be maintained.
  • No shaking hands, fist bumps or high fives allowed.
  • No slide tackling in any division.
  • Prolonged close contact during the game, such as facing off between players after a contested play or extended periods of close guarding is discouraged.
  • Stretching should be done prior to arriving.
  • Practice 6’ social distancing from teammates and other individuals.
  • There will be no coin toss.  The Home team will decide.
  • Absolutely no spitting allowed.
  • Any player who intentionally spits, coughs, or fights/touches another player or the referees will be suspended for the remainder of the season and may be subject to additional fines, sanctions or other penalties.

TASL COVID-19 HEALTH SCREENING QUESTIONNAIRE

(Should be answered by players and captains prior to each TASL activity.)

Do you currently have a temperature of 100.4 or greater?

  1. Yes – Do not play
  2. No – continue with questionnaire

Since you last played, have you had any of the symptoms of the COVID-19 illness or other symptoms identified by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)? 

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  1. Yes – Do not play
  2. No – continue with questionnaire

Since you last played, have you been diagnosed with COVID-19?

  1. Yes – Do not play
  2. No – continue with questionnaire

 

Has any health department or health care provider been in contact with you and advised you to quarantine? 

  1.  Yes – Do not play
  2. No – continue with questionnaire

 

Have you had close contact (within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes) in the last 14 days with someone diagnosed with COVID-19?

  1. Yes – Do not play
  2. No – the player or captain can participate if they are not experiencing symptoms.

 

If a player or captain answered YES to any of the above questions, they should not participate in any TASL activities, and they are required to file a report through the TASL COVID-19 Reporting Form.  The player/captain will be informed of their Return to Play Date based on the information reported.


TASL COVID-19 INCIDENT MANAGEMENT

  • Personal information submitted to the TASL Administrator on the COVID-19 Reporting Form will be confidential and allow TASL to quickly inform potentially connected individuals of possible contact.
  • Within 24 hours of receiving a COVID-19 Reporting Form submission, the TASL Administrator will alert the applicable Division Representative, the Team Captain, and any players who are reasonably believed to have encountered the individual within the last 14 days. All individuals are expected to self-quarantine at that time.
  • Players who have had Direct Exposure, which is defined by the CDC as being within 6 feet, unmasked, for 15 minutes with a COVID-19 positive individual, or who have tested positive are expected to refrain from TASL activities until cleared by the TASL Administrator under the Return to Play policies.
  • In the scenario where an individual took part in a TASL activity and later reported a positive test, TASL will notify all connected individuals at the game of a positive test and all activities for those individuals will be cancelled for the next 14 days or until enough players within the team(s) complete the Return to Play parameters to play.
  • In the scenario where an individual took part in a TASL activity and later reported symptoms or having had contact with a COVID-19 positive individual, all connected individuals will be notified and activities for those individuals will be suspended for 14 days from the date of the original activity.
  • Given concerns for cardiac and renal complications after COVID infection, it is recommended that all COVID positive players are seen and evaluated by their health care provider, including cardiac testing, prior to return to play.
  • As information continues to evolve regarding the transmission of COVID-19, TASL reserves the right to provide additional recommendations to players and captains and to terminate games if necessary.