RETURNING TO ACTIVITIES PRIOR TO A VACCINE OR CURE
- There are many societal benefits and physical and mental health benefits to a return to youth football and cheer. Those benefits are balanced against the reality that until COVID-19 is either eradicated, a vaccine is developed, or a cure is found, there is no way of eliminating the risk of fatal infection. We encourage everyone to keep those concepts in the forefront of their mind when designing your return to play program and activities.
- All participants (coaches, players, cheerleaders, officials, personnel, etc.) should be screened for signs/symptoms of COVID-19 prior to a workout and asked if they have experienced any such signs/symptoms within the 14 days immediately preceding the activity. Players should be screened through communications with their parents to promote accuracy in responses. Consider sending an email to all parents asking them to screen and report before every gathering. Such signs/symptoms include any of the following: Fever (over 100.3) Cough, Shortness of Breath, Sore Throat, Congestion, Headache, Chills, Muscle and/or Joint Pain,
Nausea/Vomiting, Loss of Sense of Smell and Taste, Diarrhea.
- On-site or self-temperature check of all participants.
- Responses to screening questions for each person should be recorded and stored (if possible) so that there is a record of everyone present in case a participant develops COVID-19.
- Any person with positive symptoms reported should not be allowed to take part in practice/games and should contact his or her primary care provider or other appropriate health-care professional.
- In the case of a known COVID-19 exposure/illness/positive test, immediately notify their Association and the MYFL. Individuals who have had close contact to someone who tests positive should self-isolate for at least 14 days. Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 infection should self-isolate and avoid sports participation for a variable duration of time.
7v7, 9v9, FLAG, CHEER
- 7-on-7, 9v9, Flag and Cheer will have rules modifications.
- Pre-Activity Screening: Any person who has had a fever or cold symptoms in the previous 24 hours should not be allowed to take part in workouts and should contact his or her primary care provider or other appropriate healthcare professional. Wash hands for a minimum of 20 seconds with warm water and soap before participating.
- When not directly participating in practices or games, care should be taken to maintain a minimum distance of six (6) feet between each individual. Consider using cones as a guide for players/cheerleaders and coaches.
- Hand sanitizer should be plentiful at all practices and games.
- Equipment should be sanitized between each use. Helmets, pads, and associated equipment should be worn by only one individual and not shared.
- Hydration: All players/cheerleaders shall bring their own water bottle. Water bottles must not be shared.
COMMUNICATION WITH PARENTS AND WAIVERS
a. Before returning to any activities, communicate with your parents/guardians COVID-specific procedures.
b. As part of that communication to parents/guardians, and without limitation, inform them of any actions you are asking of them in connection with your operations (for instance, arriving early for practice, reporting any symptoms, staying with their child for the duration of activities, etc.).
c. Adding COVID-specific language to the signed waiver that you collect from each participant (through their parent/ guardian) and to signage appearing at points of entry. You acknowledge that an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 and other communicable diseases exists in any public place where people are present, including the football activities engaged in with MYFL/Association. By participating in those activities, you agree that you are voluntarily assuming all risks related to exposure to COVID-19 and/or other communicable diseases and agree not to hold MYFL/Association and/or any of their officers, directors, employees, or agents liable for any injury, illness, or disease in connection with those activities.
a. Use signage throughout our facilities to promote the concepts included in this document.
b. Generally, to lessen exposures and as appropriate within your phased activities, consider intra-team scrimmages, shortened seasons, and limited travel
c. Ask that parents check monitor their children and family members twice daily for any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 to assist with your planning and screening.
d. Individuals should not participate in any activities, and should consult their healthcare provider, if they currently are experiencing/exhibit any of signs or symptoms of COVID-19 or report having experienced any within the immediately preceding 14 days.
e. Individuals should not participate in any activities if they report that they have been exposed or that they have reason to think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 within the immediately preceding 14 days.
f. Since the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 can be non-specific and not just respiratory symptoms, it is recommended that athletes should not be in close sustained contact with anyone who is sick for 14 days prior to activity. This reduces the risk of introducing COVID-19 into the group by someone who may have COVID-19 but is not experiencing any symptoms yet. g. Have each participant clearly label their water bottle, towel, and other personal items to help promote the prevention of the sharing of personal items.
h. Ask that everyone follow standard infection prevention measures (e.g., frequent handwashing, avoid touching of face, covering of mouth with inner elbow when coughing, avoid touching common surfaces, etc.).
Further Considerations continued.
i. Ensure that appropriate infection prevention supplies are present in multiple targeted areas (e.g., hand sanitizer, facial tissues, facial coverings, etc.)
j. Promote the rigorous, frequent sanitizing/disinfecting of any shared equipment before, during, and after all training sessions, practices, and games.
k. Practice social distancing around your activities. This includes the generally accepted practice of keeping six (6) feet in between individuals wherever possible but also encouraging everyone to do their best limit the extent to which they touch common surfaces.
l. Reminders for workouts/practices/games: - The CDC currently recommends that coaches, officials, on-field/sideline staff, and other similar individuals Players may have the option of wearing a cloth face covering/mask during activities as preferred and indicated by their parents.
Consider having coaches call plays from the sidelines rather than in a team huddle.
- Consider adding additional timeouts to allow for hand hygiene periodically throughout practices and games.
- Provide additional footballs, if possible, to allow for more frequent equipment switches and disinfect footballs with disinfecting wipes or alcohol as often as possible.
- Discourage players from removing and re-inserting mouthguards.
- Consider electronic or handheld whistles
- Players should adhere to and maintain physical distancing whenever possible and avoid handshakes, high fives, or other congratulatory contact with teammates.
- Avoid shared or team snacks after practice/games.
- Instruct parents to keep helmet, pads, gloves, uniforms in a plastic bag during the ride home and until they can follow cleaning and/or sanitizing instructions. Encourage parents to immediately wash all items upon returning home and to use sanitizing products and to wipe down any equipment that cannot be washed in a washing machine.
Bleachers - mark X’s with tape on seats at least ten (10) feet apart.
- If bleachers not available, mark X’s with cones for families to stand/sit at least ten (10) feet apart. Monitor area to make sure people are adhering to this standard.
- Monitor individuals in stands for any reasonably visible evidence of COVID-19 signs/symptoms. - Ensure bathrooms are sanitized on an increased basis, at least pregame, prior to halftime, and post-game. Make sure they are stocked with soap.
RETURN TO YOUTH FOOTBALL KITS
- Create a kit of equipment and supplies. Have a kit at each venue you are using for activities. Some ideas for items to stock in your kit include, without limitation:
- Noncontact thermometers, Gloves, Masks/Facial Coverings, Wipes, Disinfectant Spray, Hand Sanitizer, Signage or Signage template to post at facility.
- Kits for Parents / Players. Encourage parents to create their own kit of personal equipment and supplies. Some ideas for items to stock in such a kit include: • Masks/Facial Coverings • Small hand sanitizer for player’s bag and parent • Disinfectant for player equipment.