RETURN TO PLAY

 
 

Introduction

On June 1, 2020 VIASPORT released their Return to Sport guidelines. These guidelines provide direction to Provincial Sport Organizations (PSO’s) and ultimately the clubs, such as Coastal FC, who fall under BC Soccer’s governance. On June 2nd, BC Soccer announced their requirements and, if met, clubs can re-start modified programming, after June 12th. 


As we enter phase two, with some easing of restrictions, we are able to start offering our ‘safe soccer’ program, a draft of which was presented to our members several weeks ago. While this is not a full return to normal play, we are excited to be able to get players back on the field and to safely engage socially and athletically, in the weeks to come. 

 

In order to maximize safety and the soccer experience, Coastal FC has adapted the direction from the health and sport authorities to form our club specific return to play protocols. It is essential that all participants are diligent in following instructions and communicate the importance of this to their children. Collectively we want to be leaders in bringing people back to the parks safely and we all have a role to play to make this happen. We also understand that families may have different comfort with the risks associated with returning to play; ultimately individuals will need to assess our safe soccer program and make an informed decision that best suits their family's risk tolerance. 


We want to acknowledge the leadership from VIASPORT, Canada Soccer, BC Soccer, and the City of Surrey for their ongoing efforts and support to bring the beautiful game back to our parks. 


We also want to thank our families for their ongoing patience and support as we try and navigate these challenging times. We are not back to normal, but we are back to something and that is an amazing first step! 

About COVID-19 and Transmission (from VIASPORT)

COVID-19 is transmitted via liquid droplets when a person coughs or sneezes but also potentially when they are talking in very close proximity to another person. The virus in these droplets then can enter the body of another person when that person breathes in the droplets or when the droplets touch the eyes, nose or throat of that person.

 

This transmission requires you to be in close contact – closer than the expected physical distancing of three to six feet. This is referred to as ‘droplet’ transmission and is believed to be the primary way COVID-19 is transmitted.

 

COVID-19 can also be transmitted through droplets in the environment if someone touches a contaminated area then touches their face without cleaning their hands. The virus does not enter the bodythrough skin, it 

enters through the eyes, nose or mouth when the person touches their face. Unfortunately, human beings touch their faces very often throughout the day, much more than they realize. This is why regular handwashing and cleaning of high-touch surfaces is so important.

 

For COVID-19 there are some emerging indications that there are people who can shed COVID-19 virus 24 to 48 hours prior to symptom onset, but at present, it is not known whether this is a significant risk factor for transmission.

 

Droplet transmission is much more likely when in close contact in an indoor setting. Transmission is less likely in an outdoor 

setting, where there is more space for people to keep physically distanced.


However, in the context of sports, even outdoors there can be risks from high-touch surfaces because many sports involve objects that are normally shared among players, coaches or volunteers (balls, equipment, etc.).

 

Symptoms Checklist

Click HERE to view the Government of Canada's webpage with a list of symptoms, a self-assessment test and other information about Covid-19. 

Safe Soccer - Phase 1 

Per VIA Sport, we are entering into the "transition measures" phase as highlighted in the chart below. As a result, all of our safe soccer, return to play information is based on the specific points listed in the chart. While the club will ensure that we create the safest possible environment as guided by health and sport authorities, it is essential that all participants do their part in following the guidelines. 

 
 
 
 
 

Return to play has now moved into the second phase. Please view the Step 2 video below. 

During this transitional phase, here are our specific adjustments in each of the areas listed in the chart. Our expectation is that parents read and educate their children on these expectations prior to attending the first session. Club staff will also be enforcing these protocols at the field. 

Restrictions in Place

  • A minimum of 2M (6 feet) of physical distancing will be maintained at all times. Grids, player, and coaching areas have all been established to ensure that, at no point, any encroachment of personal space occurs. Coaches will also be supplied with whistles that will be blown in the event a player moves too close to someone else's space. 

  • All full sized soccer fields will have no more than 50 participants on the field. Full fields will be broken into 1/4 fields and some 1/4 fields will have more or less participants than others, but the total number of participants shall not exceed 50. 

Enhanced Protocols

  • All participants will be asked to use our hand sanitizers prior to entering the field of play and at the end of their session, as they leave the facility or field. All sessions will only involve the ball played below the waist. There will be no handling of the ball or any contact above the waist. 

  • Anyone (participants and parents) attending safe soccer must review the symptoms check list daily. Anyone exhibiting any of the COVID-19 symptoms SHALL NOT attend and will need to report on our contact tracing form. We will also have signage at the fields, reminding everyone to check their symptoms, prior to participating. 

Facilities

  • For the spring season we will be running all sessions outside at South Surrey Athletic Park on fields 5-8 (grass). 

Participants

  • As mentioned the group size, per full field, will be limited to 50 people. 

  • In order to limit the number of spectators, we are asking that players only attend with one other person. Spectators are expected to manage social distancing in the designated areas, outside the field of play. Club staff will disperse anyone not social distancing. 

Non-Contact Activities 

  • All training plans and sessions will be designed to keep players in their own areas, and to not come into contact with other players. There will be no 1v1 activities, and no small or full sized games. 

Competition

  • At the moment no games will occur. We will add in club games first, followed by inter club games, when it is deemed safe to do so. VIASPORT indicates this may be in the next phase. 

Equipment

  • Players are required to bring their own drinks. Each player will have their personal equipment behind their specific training area. Personal items are not to be shared or mixed with those from other players. 

  • Players should wear appropriate footwear (cleats). Shin pads at this point are optional, as there will be no contact with other players. Face masks are also considered optional. 

  • Training equipment will consist of cones and soccer balls. These will be managed and sanitized daily by the club staff and not touched by players, with the exception of the balls by the player's feet. 

 

Participation Guidelines 

Participation in Coastal FC's safe soccer program is completely voluntary. All registered spring participants have been offered alternatives to participation, such as receiving a credit, or a partial refund. If at any point, a participant is feeling uncomfortable with the risks of safe soccer, they can and should remove themselves from the program. Everyone who chooses to participate in safe soccer can try the first session for free and, at that time, should they want to opt for a credit/refund instead, we will honour that request. 

While we don't want to alarm participants we do want to recognize the importance and role that players and parents play in ensuring that we resume soccer, safely. To this end we have established the following guidelines for participants: 

  • Parents must fill out the Return to Play Waiver on behalf of all family members. Click HERE to complete the Return to Play Waiver.

  • Parents are asked to review all return to play protocols and to sit down with their children and explain the information and importance of abiding by all protocols and rules. Staff will also work with players on this but it will be helpful if this is reinforced by all adults. 

  • All participants to follow the Coastal FC Illness Policy 

  • Groups from U5-U7 will require a parent/adult to participate with the child during the session. This will help to ensure the younger player stays in his/her own space. Because the parent and player are from the same household, this is acceptable under VIASPORT guidelines. 

  • For older groups we feel that players will understand and listen to instructions, especially if the parents reinforce the rules beforehand. Any players who are struggling with the concept and are not able to stay in their space, will require parent participation, or will be removed from the session. 

Risk Management 

We are taking every recommended step to ensure the safety of all participants. In addition to information provide on our return to play page, here are additional measures in place to mitigate risk: 

  • Appointment of a Risk Management/Contact Tracing Officer. Chris Murphy, the Coastal FC Executive Director will serve in this role. He can be reached by email. This role will: 

    • Monitor advice and direction from health and sport authorities

    • Manage any contact tracing reports 

    • Oversee all program implementation to ensure safe soccer compliance 

  • All sessions will be delivered by a staff coach, who has been trained in safe soccer protocols ​

Coastal FC is committed to getting and keeping players on the field. In order to do this safely, and ultimately move towards a return to games, we will be holding our staff and participants to the highest standards of the recommendations from the health authorities. We recognize that some of these protocols are inconvenient, but we expect 100% compliance from everyone involved. Please do not be offended if you receive a reminder of these protocols. We all have a role to play to get our sport back to normal and to keep our community safe and healthy. 

Facility Management 

Facilities are defined as all areas, from the parking lot, to the casual spectator areas, to the fields of play. 

Parking lots, sidewalks, and getting to/from the fields of play

  • Similar to other parking lots, the expectation is that people: 

    • Do not congregate ​

    • Maintain physical distancing at all times 

    • If a player is at an age that they will not be able to manage the above two points, they should be accompanied by an adult 

Casual spectator areas will be around the fields of play. Our expectation is: 

  • A maximum of one spectator per family is allowed 

  • Physical distancing is maintained in the casual areas 

  • Masks are optional but recommended per the health authority's guidance 

  • Spectators are to stay on the side of the field where their child is participating and not move between or into other casual areas.

Coastal FC Staff will be breaking up any congregation of people and reminding anyone who is not practicing social distancing. Anyone not in compliance will be asked to leave the facility. Anyone found repeatedly defying this protocol, after having been informed, will be removed from the facilities for the duration of the program. 

Fields of Play

We have put together a series of maps and graphics to best illustrate the fields. 

  • Map 1 is an overall view of all grids over the four grass fields. It is essential to know which field (number) and grid (SE, SW, NE, NW) your child is playing on. This will ensure that people are efficient in the process of getting to/from their field of play. 

  • Map 2 shows the flow of people in and out (entrance and exit) from their specific field of play. Players are expected to wait at the entrance point of their field until their coach assigns them to a training 'box' inside their field.

  • Map 3 shows a more detailed layout of a specific field of play, with the training boxes, coaching area, and distancing measures. 

SSAP Field Map.png
Individual field.png
SSAP Field Map 3 .png
 
 
 
 
 

Click image to view full size map.

Scheduling

On each full field we have four training grids. Each of these grids will have a staggered start time to minimize the number of people moving throughout the facilities at the same time.  We will also have a 30 minute buffer on each grid between the end of one session and the beginning of the next. This will allow time for the coaching staff to re-set equipment and prepare for their next group. 

We have developed a very specific timeline that all members are expected to follow: 

  • Arrive not more than 15 minutes prior to your scheduled session.

  • Come to the field fully dressed with all personal equipment in a bag.

  • Arrive at the side of your field/grid 5 minutes prior to your scheduled start time. At this point the session head coach will assign you to a specific box in your field.

  • Players who are late may not be included in the session.

  • At the conclusion of your session players will gather their personal equipment and immediately leave the field of play. All participants are asked to leave the facility within 15 minutes of the conclusion of your scheduled session.

  • Players will not be permitted to congregate after the conclusion of their session. 

Your cooperation and compliance with the above protocol is very much appreciated and will help ensure that we avoid any bottlenecking of people and occurrences where social distancing becomes more challenging. 

Your specific schedule will be communicated directly by email. If you have questions about your schedule or the location of your field of play, please email us prior to arriving so we can assist you. 

Equipment Management & Cleaning 

 

Personal equipment (water/drinks and any apparel/footwear) will be the responsibility of each player. We require that players do not share personal equipment under any circumstances. Personal equipment is to be kept behind each player's personal space and removed at the end of each session. 

Training equipment used in the session will be managed by the club staff. All of this equipment will be sanitized daily with commercial grade cleaning products. Training equipment is not to be handled above the waist by players at any time. 

 

First Aid

As there will be no contact, we expect the risk of injury to be very low. Should a minor injury occur, here is our protocol for managing: 

  • The session head coach will communicate with the player to assess the injury verbally, at the minimum 2M physical distance

  • Depending on the injury, the following may occur: 

    • The player will sit out until they feel better to re-join ​

    • The player will walk to their parent for attention

    • The player will receive first aid treatment from staff

All fields will have a first aid kit on site. If a staff member provides first aid support they will do so with a mask and gloves on at all times as physical distancing will no longer be possible. 

In the event of an unforeseen serious injury, 911 will be called. 

APPENDIX A - Definitions

Return to Sport: Return to Sport refers to the process of developing and implementing guidelines for sport organizations to operate safely in B.C. during this pandemic. Return to Sport Plans will be unique to each sport and must follow Provincial Health Office orders and recommendations. One set of guidelines will be created for each sport by the Provincial Sport Organization, and all club and PSO sanctioned activities should follow this set of guidelines. 

Physical Distancing: According to the Provincial Health Officer, physical distancing requires keeping two metres (or at least two arms lengths) of space between individuals. It also includes staying at home when you’re sick, even if symptoms are mild. 

 

Provincial Health Officer (PHO): The Provincial Health Officer is the senior public health official for B.C., and is responsible for monitoring and reporting on the health of the population of B.C. This office works with the B.C. Centre for Disease Control and provides independent advice to the ministers and public officials on public health issues. The current PHO is Dr. Bonnie Henry. 

 

Community Focused: Community focused sport activities take place within the home sport community or clubs where participants are members. This means avoiding cross-regional, inter-provincial or cross-country travel for sport. 

 

Recreation as defined by the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association is the "experience that results from freely chosen participation in physical, social, intellectual, creative and spiritual pursuits that enhance individual and community wellbeing.” Physical activities would include those undertaken as leisure, fitness training and sport-related activities that are done at the discretion of the individual (e.g. – use of parks, hiking trails, public recreation facilities), either self-led or facilitated by recreation leaders and are not included within the context of this document. Refer to Appendix B for list of additional definitions pertinent to Return to Sport. 

 

Organized Sport Activities: involve a number of people doing something together in a structured way and is facilitated by a Provincial Sport Organization or Local Sport Organization. 

 

Competitive activities: Competitive activities are formal, organized games, matches and tournaments between participants where scores are recorded and standings are kept. 

 

Rule of Two: The goal of the Rule of Two is to ensure all interactions and communications are open, observable, and justifiable. Its purpose is to protect participants (especially minors) and coaches in potentially vulnerable situations by ensuring more than one adult is present. During the pandemic, compliance remains mandatory and organizations must ensure a coach is never alone and out of sight with a participant without another screened coach or screened adult (parent or volunteer) present. 

 

Appendix B - Illness Policy

In this policy, “Team member” includes an employee, volunteer, participant or parent/spectator. 

  • Inform Coastal FC's Contact Tracing Officer immediately if  you feel any symptoms of COVID-19 such as fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat and painful swallowing, stuffy or runny nose, loss of sense of smell, headache, muscle aches, fatigue and loss of appetite. 

  • Assessment

    • Team members must review and conduct the self-assessment prior to participating in any club activities. 

    • Coaches will visually monitor team members to assess any early warning signs as to the status of their health and to touch base on how they are regarding their personal safety throughout the activity. 

  • If a Team Member is feeling sick with COVID-19 symptoms 

    • ​They should remain at home and contact Health Link BC at 8-1-1. 

    • If they feel sick and /or are showing symptoms while at work, they should be sent home immediately and have them contact 8-1-1 or a doctor for further guidance. 

    • No Team Member may participate in a practice/activity if they are symptomatic. 

  • If a Team Member tests positive for COVID-19 

    • Complete Coastal FC's contact tracing form immediately. 

    • ​The Team Member will not be permitted to return to the facility or any activity until they are medically cleared of the COVID-19 virus. 

    • Any Team Members who are part of the same session with the infected Team Member will also be removed from the facility/activity for at least 14 days to ensure the infection does not spread further. 

  • If a Team Member has been tested and is waiting for the results of a COVID-19 Test 

    • Complete Coastal FC's contact tracing form immediately. 

    • ​As with the confirmed case, the Team Member must be removed from the facility/activity.

    • The Public Health Agency of Canada advises that any person who has even mild symptoms to stay home and call the public health authority of B.C. 

    • Other Team Members who may have been exposed will be informed and removed from the facility/activity for at least 14 days or until the diagnosis of COVID-19 is ruled out by health authorities. 

  • If a Team Member has come into contact with someone who is confirmed to have COVID-19 

    • Complete Coastal FC's contact tracing form immediately. 

    • Once the contact is confirmed, the Team Member will be removed from the facility/activity for at least 14 days or as otherwise directed by public health authorities. Team Members who may have come into close contact with the Team Member will also be removed from the facility/activity for at least 14 days. 

  • Quarantine or Self-Isolate if: 

    • ​Any Team Member who has travelled outside of Canada or the province within the last 14 days is not permitted to enter any part of the facility and must quarantine and self-isolate. 

    • Any Team Member with any symptoms of COVID-19 is not permitted to enter any part of the facility and must quarantine and self-isolate. 

    • Any Team Member from a household with someone showing symptoms of COVID-19 is not permitted to enter any part of the facility and must quarantine and self-isolate. 

    • Any Team Member who is in quarantine or self-isolating as a result of contact with an infected person or in families who are self-isolating, is not permitted to enter any part of the facility. 

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