VE Soccer Returns to Play

Soccer Resumes at VE Under State Guidelines

VE Soccer has returned to action with training sessions in accordance with EPYSA guidelines.  Our Covid Action plan takes into consideration our players, coaches, and their families assuring a safe environment to play soccer.  We will be monitoring this situation closely and adjust as time goes on.  All players are required to sign and accept a written waiver prior to stepping on our fields. 

The form can be downloaded here.

Download Release     

 Vereinigung Erzgebirge Soccer Club/Covid-19 Health and Safety Plan ( Rev0, dated 6/26/20)     

This document was prepared to adhere to the guidelines set forth by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for the safe return to youth and adult sports at all levels during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was developed considering resources and procedures provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Bucks County Department of Health, and the Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Association (EPYSA).

This document is intended to provide guidance for members of the Vereinigung Erzgebirge Soccer Program during the COVID-19 Pandemic. This guidance (as well as dates and other recommendations contained herein) is preliminary and will be updated as more public health data and other information is made available by state and local officials, in addition to any guidance from EPYSA. This document addresses the procedures our program and teams must follow to limit the spread of COVID-19 to the extent they are permitted to conduct in-person operations. Any update to this document will be provided as approved by Vereinigung Erzgebirge Sports Committee. 

The virus that causes the coronavirus disease 2019 (“COVID-19”) is easily transmitted, especially in group settings, and it is essential that the spread of the virus be slowed to safeguard public health and safety, as well as the well-being of our players, coaches, and families. 

COVID-19 can be transmitted from infected individuals even if they are asymptomatic or their symptoms are mild. It can also be spread by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes. (Appendix A)

GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS

• All off-season workouts are open and voluntary.

• While there is still an inherent risk of infection for those participating, everyone in attendance should be actively working towards decreasing the risk of transmission to others by adhering to prevention guidelines. 

• Everyone should arrive and leave at the scheduled time to avoid overlap in groups.

• Questions related to COVID-19 by any parent/guardian, coach, or athlete should be directed to the director of coaching or the VESC.  

• All players should clean individual equipment (personal and team-issued) and clothing after every use. Coaches should thoroughly clean all team/shared equipment after every use.

• VESC will educate all players, staff, and families about the symptoms of COVID-19 and when to stay home.  All coaches and players will be educated on proper handwashing. 

• Coaches and players must always practice social distancing, including on the field of play, sidelines, benches, and workout areas.  During down time, no one should congregate.

• Everyone participating in playing soccer should bring their own water as hydration stations will not be in use.  

• Activities that increase the risk of exposure to saliva must not be allowed, including chewing gum, spitting, licking fingers, and eating sunflower seeds.

• All participants will avoid shaking hands, “fist-pumps,” or high-fives before, during or after games and practices.   

 CONSIDERATIONS FOR COACHES

 • Coaches and athletic trainers will review and consider the CDC guidance on Considerations for Youth Sports, EPYSA recommendations and VESC COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan to modify practices and games to mitigate the risk of spreading the virus.   

• Coaches will complete all requirements for COVID-19 training as required by EPYSA.

COVID-19 Training for Coaches 

• Coaching staff should always wear face coverings, unless doing so jeopardizes their health. Coaching staff shall provide their own face covering. (Face shields are acceptable) 

• Coaches must take attendance at every practice using TeamSnap or by written list. 

• Coaches must monitor athletes for symptoms prior to and during practices and games. 

• Coaches will design activities that focus on increasing risk mitigation strategies (social distancing, handwashing etc.)

• Coaches will design activities to resume in a gradual fashion to avoid overuse injuries and exertional/heat-related illnesses. 

o Consider that all players have some level of detraining and may not be returning at the same fitness level and activities may need to be adjusted accordingly. Additionally, if players miss sessions, they may need to start at a previous level. 

o Coaches should work with the director of coaching for guidance on adhering to each stage’s recommendations. 

• Break time may need to be increased and/or staggered to accommodate social distancing, hand washing, and avoiding shared hydration sources.

• Use of any VESC soccer field or facility must be arranged adhering to the club’s use of facilities process, with approval obtained prior to team use. 

• No offsite practices will be considered at this time

  CONSIDERATIONS FOR PLAYERS

 • Players will utilize their own equipment where possible and clean all equipment and clothing after workouts/games.  Whenever possible equipment should be separated and not shared.  If equipment is shared, all equipment must be disinfected between users.   

• Players will bring their own water, labeled with their name for every practice or game. 

• Players are encouraged to wear face masks when they are not engaged in a sporting activity. This includes travel to/from practice and team areas. 

• Players should gradually work up intensity of activity.

• Communicate health and fitness-related concerns with coaches or the director of coaching immediately. 

• Players should arrive and leave the facilities promptly, with no loitering. 

 TRANSPORTATION CONSIDERATIONS

· Parents are encouraged not to carpool at this time.

 FACILITIES CONSIDERATIONS 

Ample time should be planned between practices and games to limit contact between teams and to allow the facilities to be cleaned and disinfected.  Sport complexes with multiple fields may operate simultaneous games or practices only if social distancing can be maintained.  Each individual game or practice at the complex must adhere to limitations on gatherings in accordance with EPYSA’s Guidelines.

 Facilities Cleaning 

• Appropriate cleaning schedules will be created and implemented for all playing fields to mitigate any communicable diseases.

• Individuals will be directed to wash their hands for a minimum of 20 seconds with soap and water before touching any surfaces or participating in workouts.

• Hand sanitizing stations will be available to individuals as they transfer from place to place. 

• Players are encouraged to shower and wash their workout clothing immediately upon returning to home.

ATTENDANCE AT EVENTS

 • Concessions stands, selling of food or merchandise at events is prohibited at this time. 

• Parents are not permitted to congregate on the soccer fields and are required to remain in their cars or on the parking lot.  This will be revised as more information becomes available.

· When spectators are permitted, seating areas must adhere to social distancing guidelines of 6 feet of spacing for anyone not in the same household. 

o Face coverings must be worn by adults at all times.

OUT OF STATE/OVERNIGHT EVENTS

At this time, travel should be limited.  Therefore, VESC will not be permitting any overnight trips or trips out of state.  When coaches are planning their schedules with other clubs all efforts should be made to remain in our local community.  This process will be evaluated as more data and information becomes available.   

 FUNDRAISING GUIDANCE

At this time, teams should be limiting their fundraising and reevaluating all purchases and planned events.  Large socials gatherings will not be permitted.  Indoor activities are strongly discouraged at this time.  Teams should not plan on regular gatherings outside practice/games. 

PRESCREENING PRIOR TO WORKOUT (All phases)

 • All players and parents/guardians must complete all the Communicable Disease Release Form. 

• All coaches and players must be screened for signs/symptoms of COVID-19 prior to a workout, game or any team event.  Screenings may include a temperature check on site. 

o Coaches must verify players have completed the screening procedure prior to participation and keep attendance records in Team Snap or in written form.

  o Any person with positive symptom reports will not be permitted to participate in training sessions or games.

• Players and coaches must use hand sanitizer and/or wash hands prior to the start of a workout and as needed throughout practice and at breaks. 

• Each athlete must have their own personal water bottle and a facial covering to participate. No coolers or hydration stations should be utilized at this time. Athletes may not access water fountains at this time.

 PHASED REOPENING PLAN

Stage 1 (2-3 weeks)          Starting Friday June 26th, 2020

· Bucks County has gone from Yellow to Green

· Training permitted within organization only

· No body contact, social distance during training

· No games, scrimmages or league participation permitted

· Reduced numbers of participants

· No shared equipment

· Spectators not permitted, parents can stay in vehicle

· Adult coaches must wear masks when with participants

Stage 2 (2-3 weeks)          Starting Friday July 10th 2020

· Bucks County remains Green

· Body contact is permitted

· Scrimmages and friendly games with other clubs in same Green county permitted

· No league participation permitted

· Spectators permitted with social distance

· Adult coaches suggested to wear masks with participants

Stage 3 (2-3 weeks)          Starting Friday July 24th 2020

· Bucks County remains Green

· Scrimmages and friendly games with other clubs in all Green counties permitted

· No league participation permitted

Stage 4 (2-3 weeks)          Friday August 7th 2020

· Bucks County continues positive progress in Green with most government restrictions lifted

· League participation is permitted

· Social distance of spectators recommended during league games

IDENTIFICATION OF COVID-19 EXPOSURE

· Parents of participants will notify the board of VE Sports Committee if the participant or someone in the participant’s home is presumptive positive or tests positive for COVID-19.

· Vereinigung Erzgebirge Sports Committee will notify participants who came in contact with the individual of potential exposure following CDC guidelines and HIPAA regulations on confidentiality.

Procedures for Coaches, Staff, or Athletes Exhibiting Symptoms or Testing Positive for COVID-19

What are the signs and symptoms of COVID-19?

· Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. The symptoms may range from mild to severe.

· Symptoms may include:

• Fever of 100.4 F or higher 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

What should you do if you are sick? 

•  If you are sick with COVID-19 or think you are infected with the virus, STAY AT HOME. It is essential that you take steps to help prevent the disease from spreading to people in your home or community. If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, call your healthcare provider for medical advice. 

• Notify VESC Covid-19 Point of Contact listed immediately

• A determination will be made on possible exposure of player, coaches, and staff for the need to notify, isolate, and/or monitor for symptoms.

• If a positive case of COVID-19 is diagnosed, contact tracing will be implemented with the assistance of local health professionals and the Bucks County Department of Health.

What should be done if a player or coach becomes ill during practice or a game?

• The ill individual will be isolated until the student or staff member can leave the school or event. 

• If a player, a parent/guardian will be contacted immediately, and arrangements will be made for the player to be picked up

• Ill individuals will be asked to contact their physician or appropriate healthcare professional for direction and should not return to activity until given medical clearances from their healthcare provider.

• Areas used by the sick person will be closed off and not used until after cleaning and disinfecting of the area occurs (for outdoor areas, this includes surfaces or shared objects in the area, if applicable).

  

How will a player or coach return to athletics following a COVID-19 diagnosis? 

· Player or coach must have medical clearance from their physician or appropriate healthcare professional, determined to be non-contagious, fever free, improvement in respiratory symptoms, no vomiting or diarrhea.

                How will a positive COVID-19 test impact a team or the VE Soccer program? 

· A determination will be made by the Sports Committee when teams can return to active play after a positive COVID-19 case in accordance with Bucks County Health Department recommendations.  

COVID POINT OF CONTACT

For all Vereinigung Erzgebirge Sports Committee COVID-19 related policy questions and concerns, the individual names below will serve as the point of contact.

· Steve Feuchter (arcmfgco@aol.com)

· Rob Oldfield (oldfield.rob10@gmail.com)