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Updated 7/26/20


Ohio Travel Soccer League Return to Soccer Activity Guidelines


“The State of Ohio is currently in Phase II for contact sports. At this time contact practice and training may resume for all sports. Only intra-club/team scrimmages are permitted for contact sports and practices/open gyms should be limited in the same way wherever possible. Competitive games and tournaments are permitted for non-contact sports only.” – Responsible RestartOhio (Ohio Department of Health) BEST PRACTICE GUIDELINES The OHTSL understands that risk of exposure to communicable diseases can’t be 100% eliminated and has compiled the following guidelines and protocols to maximize the safety of all participants, spectators, and staff. These protocols are obtained from an extensive network of sources to represent what the OHTSL believes are the ‘Best Practices’ set forth by health, safety and government agencies. The OHTSL primarily used guidance from the CDC and the Ohio State Health Department as well as US Soccer, US Club Soccer, as well as other State and Local leagues and associations. Implementing these Return to Play initiatives will require a coordinated and cooperative effort between the Ohio Travel Soccer League, clubs, teams, referees, coaches, players and parents/guardians and many others. While the OHTSL and coaches are tasked to create and maintain a safe environment, parents/guardians are the only ones who can make the decision for their child to participate. Although each club participating in the OHTSL is a separate legal entity with its own board of directors and each manages its own practices, it is in the best interest of this League and the participating clubs to approach the return to play in a similar manner to ensure consistency and fairness. It is your responsibility to be updated on the state's health department recommendations and requirements regarding contact sports, as they are continuously evolving. https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/responsible-restart-ohio/Sector-Specific-OperatingRequirements/Sector-Specific-Operating-Requirements 

RETURN TO PLAY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CLUBS 
1. Assessing and Reducing Participant Risk ○ Limit the amount of personal contact with shared equipment, gear, and public surfaces ○ Enable ability to engage in social distancing while not actively engaged in play ○ Limiting nonessential personnel, volunteers, visitors, and spectators ○ Require players to have their own water, sanitary products (hand sanitizer, facial tissues, PPE, ball and GK gloves/jersey)
2. Promoting Behaviors that Increase Safety ○ Increase cleaning, sanitizing, and the availability of wash stations ○ Remove close physical contact (high fives, handshakes, fist bumps, etc.) ○ Encourage self-checks and staying home when appropriate ○ Request increased hygiene and respiratory etiquette ○ Require participants to wear proper face coverings when necessary ○ Increase signage and social distancing language to inform participants (optional) 
3. Maintaining Healthy Soccer Environments ○ Increase cleaning and disinfecting ○ Reduce the possibilities of shared objects ○ Modify and enhance layouts to allow for social distancing ○ Strategically implement crowd control best practices ○ Take extra precautions with communal public spaces (tables, pavilions, playgrounds) Updated 7/26/2020 2 
4. Maintaining Healthy Soccer Operations ○ Stagger game schedules and spacing to reduce people on site ○ Significantly space out fields and game times to avoid large crowds ○ Identify small groups and keeping them together (cohorting) ○ Consider crowds, size of gatherings and numbers of spectators ○ Designate COVID points of contact within your organization ○ Enhance and streamline communication systems ○ Inform participant leadership (coaches) and staff via training 
5. Preparing for If/When Someone Gets Sick ○ Educate our audiences and staff to recognize the signs and symptoms ○ Create emergency response plans in case of reported symptoms of infection ○ In the case of infection, notify state and local health officials as well as close contacts ○ In the case of infection, follow state and local health and safety guidelines ○ In the case of a positive test to a player/coach, both the club and OHTSL should be notified ○ If a team member/coach contracts COVID-19, all training sessions should be canceled for that team and any additional team associated with that coach/team for 14 days 

General Field Protocols: 
1. Increase space between fields to provide better social distancing and reduce crowding 
2. Reduce the number of people on site in one area at any one time to promote social distancing 
3. Should not utilize travel team benches as they do not promote social distancing 
4. Should space out game start times in order to reduce cross traffic in and out of fields 
5. Players should not arrive to their field earlier than 5 minutes prior to their scheduled arrival time 

General Health and Safety Operational Protocols: 
1. Provide community members clear communications of expectations/protocols 
2. Train coaches and team managers on your club’s protocols and guidelines 
3. All players and coaches should do a temperature self-check prior to each practice/game 
4. If a person has a temperature, they should not play in games or trainings 
5. Anyone who feels sick or has any symptoms of COVID should not attend practice/games 
6. Anyone who has had close contact with a COVID positive person should not attend practice/games 
7. All people planning to be on site should bring their own face coverings, hand sanitizer, sunscreen, hydration and food 
8. Anyone who becomes sick during the event should leave the facility immediately 
9. Do not allow players or parents to congregate in parking lots, at drop off zones, facility entrances/exits before or after a training session or game 

League Participant Guidelines: Players and Coaches: 
1. Do not allow any team member(s) with symptoms to attend any league games or trainings 
2. If you are sick, feeling sick or have a temperature, you must not attend practice/games 
3. Players and coaches should remain in their vehicles until the designated time to enter the facility (to allow teams/supporters of previous games to leave the facility) 
4. Players and coaches should wear face coverings between the parking lot and the field 
5. Players in the team area may remove face coverings during active warm up and while actively participating in the match/or training 
6. Players should wear a face covering when not actively playing and on the sideline Updated 7/26/2020 3 
7. Coaches should wear face coverings when addressing players in close proximity. Coach(es) and players should maintain social distancing during half time, water breaks and at all times when off the field of play. 
8. Coaches and players should maintain social distancing in the “bench area” as well as before and after games 
9. Do not share water bottles, drinks or food or any personal items 
10. Hand contact of any kind should not occur (handshakes, high fives, fist bumps etc.) 
11. Soccer balls should be disinfected before, during and after each game 
12. Pinnies should be avoided or washed immediately following each training session. Can use dark/light shirts as alternate (each player brings their own) 
13. No spitting will be allowed on the field, sidelines, or anywhere else 
14. Players/coaches should bring their own hydration and not share food or beverages with others 
15. Coaches should not exchange any documents with the referee(s) 
16. Tents or tarps may be used only in the technical areas to shield players from the sun and heat. It is recommended to bring enough tents so that all players may be in the shade while maintaining proper social distancing 
17. Everyone should cover their mouth when coughing or sneezing (recommend covering mouth with the nape of the elbow) 
18. Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with hands 
19. Players or coach should sanitize their hands each time they come off the field 
20. All coaches and players should launder clothes, uniforms, and vests immediately after games 
21. Coaches need to enforce social distancing on the sidelines for players

Parents and Spectators 
1. All spectators must adhere to CDC and Ohio State Department of Health assemblage and distance guidelines 
2. Anyone with symptoms (fever, cough, etc.) should not attend games or trainings 
3. Spectators and guests should bring personal hand sanitizer and wipes to games 
4. All spectators must wear a face covering traveling while between the parking lots and the fields 
5. Spectators should be separated to comply with all social distancing guidelines (6 feet apart) 
6. Face coverings should be worn on all parents and spectators attending games/trainings (per the Ohio Department of Health Recommendations) 
7. Spectators and supporters should be located on the same side of field as the team they support to reduce interaction between competing teams and their supporters 
8. Anyone feeling sick should leave the facility immediately 
9. Avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth with their hands whenever possible 
10. Tents, tarps or large group structures will not be permitted in the spectator areas of sidelines 
11. It is strongly recommended that people over 65 &/or with pre-existing conditions do not attend 
12. The OHTSL strongly recommends that only one (1) parent/supporter per player attend game 
13. All supporters should maintain social distancing on the sidelines (minimum of 6 ft. apart) 
14. If your child or anyone in your household has any symptoms, even mild ones, public health urges you to stay home 
15. Parents should notify your club immediately if your child has become sick 
16. Parents should double check player’s equipment, as coaches should not have “backup” equipment for player use 

OHTSL LEAGUE SPECIFICS COVID Related Game Cancellations and Reschedules: 
● If a report is provided with a positive COVID case to a player/coach on a team, the next 14 days of games are postponed, and will be allowed to be rescheduled for later in the season (they will move into Updated 7/26/2020 4 the open scheduling section of the OHTSL Website, labeled postponed, it will be the responsibility of the teams involved to agree on a date/time and reschedule) 

League Cancellation Refund Policy: 
1. If fall season is canceled prior to phase 3, 100% refund of team fees 
2. If the season is canceled after moving to phase 3 but prior to any games being played, 90% of team fees will be refunded 
3. If the season is canceled within the first half of the season, 50% of team fees will be refunded 
4. If the season is canceled within the second half of the season, there will no refund of team fees 

COVID Team Cancellation Refund Policy: 
1. A team that is canceled and only played 1-4 games will receive a refund of 50% of team fees 
2. A team that is canceled and played 5-8 games will not receive a refund 3. If a team is unable to play 50% of their games due to other teams COVID related issues, they will receive a 50% refund of team fees. 

US Club Refund Policy: 
● There will be no refunds from US Club Soccer for player or staff passcards. 

COVID Related Game Information 
1. There will be no pre-game check-in by the referee and player passes will not be handed back and forth between adults. If a player is questioned for age, the coach will produce a player pass from 6 feet of distance and show it to the opposing team’s coach or the player will not be allowed to compete. 
2. Teams should not cross to the opposing team’s half of the field during warmups 
3. Any mandatory, community/facility COVID specific policies must be communicated to the opposing team 48 hours in advance (ie: required temp checks/mask requirement/etc) 
4. There will be no pre-game captains meeting. The away team will take the ball first and the home team will pick sides first. 
5. Players should wear a mask from the parking lot to the field and vice versa. 
6. Players should wear a mask on the sidelines when not in the game. Players are allowed to catch their breath and take a drink of water before they put their mask on. 
7. Players are permitted to wear a mask on the field if they so choose. The mask must be cloth and go around the ears, it should not have metal pieces or be around the neck. 
8. Players must maintain 6-feet while on the sidelines. No travel benches utilized on the sidelines. 
9. Coaches should wear a mask unless social distance from players/refs/coaches at all times. 
10. Spectators should wear a mask unless social distance from players/refs/coaches at all times. 
11. If the ball goes out of bounds a player should retrieve the ball. Spectators, coaches, and the referee are not to pick up the game ball. 
12. Players and coaches are not to line up and shake hands after the game. 
13. Ref money should be provided in an envelope. 
14. If you have a COVID related concern, or have a positive case to report, please email [email protected] and someone will get back to you within 48 hours. 

Additional Member Club Options: 
1. Clubs may implement a stricter return to play policy than 14 day quarantine from the date of a positive test result if desired 
2. Clubs may implement a stricter policy for team/team members 
3. Clubs may implement a temperature checks for members if desired
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