From the Desk of Gordon Henderson
Ohio South Youth Soccer
On Thursday June 18th, Governor Mike DeWine released the Responsible RestartOhio guidelines specific to Phase II - Contact for Sport Practices. We are excited about this opportunity but want to stress to everyone the importance of complying with Responsible Restart guidelines.
Of particular emphasis in the new guidelines are the following:
- Contact in training may resume for soccer on June 22, 2020. This does mean contact in small groups, team scrimmages or intra-club.
- Scrimmages against outside teams are NOT permitted at this time.
- Sanctioned League and/or tournament play is NOT permitted at this time. Travel to out of state tournaments is also stil not permitted at this time. As soon as we get notification of a projected date for games within the state, we will also lift this for out of state games/tournaments.
To assist our members, Ohio South has created a Return to Activity page on our website. This includes a collaborative PowerPoint between Ohio South and Ohio North on Mandates and Best Practices, USYS Best Practices and examples of fellow State Association guidelines on Return to Activity. We hope this will assist our members as they move forward. We also anticipate the addition of further resources as we move forward to normalcy.
For those organizations that are looking to take advantage of the addition of contact in training, please note that there are requirements that every soccer club/organization will need to have in place. These include:
- Waiver 1 – Parents (previously released): Having each parent/guardian sign the OSYSA Infectious Disease Waiver form. This is a requirement by our Insurance provider and is built into the Demosphere registration platform.
- Waiver 2 – Coaches (new): Having each coach sign the OSYSA Coach Infectious Disease Waiver form. This is a requirement by our Insurance provider and is built into the Player's Health risk platform. Until that is launched, a paper version should be collected for each coach in your organization who is actively training players at this time.
- Waiver 3 – Leagues & Clubs (new): Have all leagues and clubs sign the COVID-19/Return to Activity Review and Compliance Waiver. This is simply to verify that all clubs and leagues are aware and are following State of Ohio protocols.
- Ensuring compliance with the newly released Contact for Sport Practices protocols.
As previously stated, it is important that as Ohioans we continue to do our part in mitigating the spread of COVID-19. Organizations can move forward with tryouts/training opportunities if they can meet state requirements. However, it is important that as soccer organization/parents/players that you feel comfortable with the new guidelines. If clubs/soccer organizations do not feel they can achieve the required level of compliance, then it is important that you do not proceed…and please know that you should feel comfortable in making the decision to not proceed. You are making a conscious effort to do your part in protecting the health and safety of our youth. As we have heard many times, “Just because we can, does not mean we should."
If you have any questions, please contact Bill Glaze, email@example.com.
Q: Does the new Skills Training for All Sports protocols mean clubs can now hold in-person tryouts?
Yes, but with restrictions. Clubs can hold in-person evaluations for ALL players starting on May 26, 2020. However, the tryouts can only be completed while maintaining compliance with Skills Training for All Sports protocols, after every player has received and signed an Infectious Disease Waiver form (clubs will need to maintain these on file for future submittal to OSYSA), and while maintaining social distancing protocols. The new Skills Training for All Sports protocols does not impact the dates that clubs can extend offers to players or the dates that players can be asked to respond to club offers. These have not changed.
Q: Does the new Skills Training for All Sports allow for clubs to engage in small-sided games and scrimmages?
No. The Ohio Department of Health Responsible RestartOhio Skills Training for All Sports specifically states, “No-touch rule is in effect. All individuals must avoid physical contact with others including high fives, huddles, or other close contact occurring before, during, and after skills sessions…scrimmages and games are not permitted."
Q: Do players have to wear masks when engaging in skill training?
No. It is a recommended best practice that Parents/Guardians should wear face coverings inside training facilities.
Q: Does the 10 person Mass Gathering Restriction still apply?
No. The restriction on the number of players has been removed. However, the key to ensuring compliance is always maintaining 6-feet of distance.
Q: Are parents permitted to watch the skills training?
Yes. Parents/guardians can remain at the training facility; however, they should maintain six-foot social distancing practices. No other spectators are permitted.
Q: What equipment is permitted during skills training (e.g. practice vests, cones)?
Equipment and items related to the activity must be sanitized before, during, and after every event. If equipment cannot be sanitized during the activity, only participants of a single team can use the equipment and items related to the activity.
Q: How do the SafeSport protocols affect the club’s ability to receive player video recordings for tryouts?
Utilizing videos of player skills training is perfectly acceptable provided the parent/guardian introduces the player and does the video recording.
Additional points to consider:
- Coaches should designate space for each player to maintain six-foot spacing
- Coaches, players, parents/guardians must do a self-symptom check before going to the training session
- Facilities need to ensure that there is adequate space for social distancing on and off the field of play