COVID-19 Policies & Protocols

Below are ASA’s COVID-19 Policies & Protocols. You will find overall guidelines along with some program and event specific policies. ASA will continue to be transparent about all updates and safety guidelines. 

At the bottom of the page are video workouts, skills videos and online resources that were utilized during the shelter-in-place period.

Safety Overview

ASA safety guidelines were created following guidance from the CDC, Virginia state officials, and the City of Alexandria Health Department to ensure participants, families, staff and our community remain safe. In addition to these entities ASA has collaborated with regional medical and youth sports leaders to ensure we are considering all aspects of safety in youth sports programming.

The Virginia Health Department (VHD) strongly advises that athletes wear a mask at all times but does not require it. ASA does not require participants to wear masks while playing but in line with VHD, we encourage participants to do so.

Our goal is for players to be safe and remain healthy.

All participants, coaches and staff should follow COVID-19 health guidelines:

  • wash hands regularly
  • avoid touching face
  • cough or sneeze into elbow
  • clean and disinfect high contact surfaces

In regards to winter programming, ASA made a decision to adjust the traditional indoor Futsal programming (League, ID and Ball Mastery) by pivoting to an outdoor only futsal experience. This decision was guided by the advice of local and state health departments who advised that outdoor programming poses less of a risk than indoor programming in contracting and spreading COVID-19.
COVID-19 Exposure

If your child is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or has received a positive test result he or she should stay home. If someone in your family is experiencing symptoms or received a positive test result within the past 14 days, your child should stay home.

Please complete the form below to report any COVID-19 exposure or risk of exposure so that ASA can help evaluate risk to others and keep our community healthy and safe.

The Exposure Form and contact tracing procedures have helped ASA keep participants healthy and we appreciate families submitting the form in the interest of everyone’s health and safety.

Individuals who have been vaccinated (and are two weeks past their final shot) do not need to quarantine if they come in contact with an individual who tests positive for COVID-19. Vaccinated individuals should monitor their health for symptoms. If any symptoms arise, then that vaccinated individual experiencing symptoms should report risk via the ASA Exposure Response form and begin taking necessary medical guidance next steps.

The guidelines below are designed to comply with safety standards recommended by state and local officials in order to limit the risk of transmission of the Coronavirus. Anyone over age four should wear a mask while not actively playing or refereeing.  

Players or spectators unwilling to adhere to the safety standards will be asked to remain at home. As host and participate in programming, we recognize the inherent risks associated with playing youth soccer.

General Guidelines
  • No physical interactions (high fives, handshakes) are permitted
  • Participants will not share water bottles or any equipment except a soccer ball / futsal ball
  • Only participants, coaches, and official support staff are permitted in the field or court area and/or inside the fence of any field/court area. (Several programs have program specific guidance in regards to parents support at fields. Please see program specific policies below.)
  • One spectator allowed per participant
  • No spectators or parents are allowed inside the fenced field or court area during practices or games. If the playing area is not fenced in spectators must remain 10 feet from playing surface.
  • If possible, drop off and pick up should happen within 5-10 minutes of scheduled training sessions (i.e. please do not drop kids off 30 minutes early).
  • Please respect and adhere to these policies at all times. Facility marshals and/or official staff will be onsite during game days to oversee safety policies
Staff & Coach Guidelines
  • One coach allowed in the court area per team on game days
  • Coaches will wear masks
  • Coaches will utilize hand sanitizer before sessions and after handling equipment
  • Coaches will not share personal equipment with other coaches
  • Coaches will direct players when they arrive and will give clear instructions and guidance throughout training sessions
  • Coaches will answer a verbal screening questionnaire before programming begins
Participant Guidelines
  • Participants should minimize items brought to the field or court. We understand that some programs may require more equipment, but if possible, please leave soccer bags at home and arrive with just water and a soccer ball.
    • Participants will not share water, clothing or personal items
  • Participants will strive to maintain a social distance of six feet when not participating in a soccer activity on the field.
  • All participants will wear a mask when walking in and out of any athletics field complex for practice or games. Participants will wear a mask when on the sidelines as a substitute of an official game (during practice times six feet of social distance should be followed).
  • Participants are encouraged to wear a mask while playing, but it is not required
  • Participants should refrain from touching their face
  • Participants will listen to their coaches & be flexible! Coaches will help facilitate areas for water (& bags if necessary) and may ask players to move personal items to make room for other groups. Please be willing to adjust as needed as we all work within the guidelines.
  • Participants who are unwilling to adhere to the safety guidelines will be asked to remain at home.
Field Notes
  • Public restrooms are open at fields (please maintain social distance and wash hands)
  • Please adhere guidelines in safety related signages at all facilities

Program Specific Policies:

Game Day Safety Policies:

  • All people must wear a face covering when inside a permitted field, unless under the age of four.
  • Players are welcome & encouraged to wear a mask while playing, BUT it is NOT required
  • Coaches MUST wear a mask at all times
  • Participants and coaches should avoid touching their face and spitting
  • All participants should sanitize hands before and after each game
  • NO formal hand contact between teams is allowed (no post game high-fives, team cheers, etc)
  • NO post game snacks or team gatherings — Please leave field immediately after game to allow for next spectators to arrive
  • BEFORE any ASA Program (Practice, Game, Event, etc) ALL attendees must check temperature at home. Any temperature above 100.4 F, which is considered a fever, may not attend

 

ASA Adjustments:

  • Site Managers at field will provide reminders to players and supporters as needed
  • ASA staff will stop games and/or remove anyone not following the safety policies

 

Spectator Policies:

  • 1 Spectator per player
  • NO Spectators are allowed within the fenced in area at the following fields. (Parents are allowed to accompany their child onto the field to meet up with their coach and then must exit the fenced in area after drop off):
    • Ben Brenman
    • Hammond
    • Limerick
    • Witter
  • NO Spectators are allowed on the turfed area at Jefferson Houston. All Spectators will be asked to stay on the sidewalk surrounding the field
  • Spectators are allowed within the fenced area at the following fields, but must be 10 yards away from field boundaries and social distancing from other spectators:
    • Fort Ward
    • Four Mile
    • Hensley
    • Simpson

Please adhere to the general guidelines above as well as the following:

Spectator Guidelines

  • One spectator allowed per participant
  • Spectators must give 10 feet distance from fenced area or court space
  • Spectators are encouraged to drop-off and/or wait in cars
  • Spectators must wear masks
  • Spectators must follow physical distant guidelines when watching
  • Failure to follow guidelines will result in game suspension until guidelines are followed or the spectator leaves the area. No refund will be provided if participant refuses to follow guidelines

Court & League Notes

  • Teams will exit court area immediately after game to allow time to clean and clear out before next team arrives.

Travel Notes:

If you travel outside of Virginia, Maryland or DC for the holidays (or other), monitor your health for COVID Symptoms for 14 days. If you have access to testing – we encourage, though won’t require, that each participant take a COVID test. As a commitment to public health we strongly discourage spending extended time indoors with members outside of your household. Follow all ASA protocols upon return, including: wear a mask when not actively playing and spectators should remain outside the fence. Participation in outdoor programming is allowed if all these protocols are followed.

Please adhere to the general guidelines above as well as the following:

  • Spectators are not allowed inside the permitted fence area. Spectators are allowed to watch games from outside the fence.
  • Spectators must be socially distant (10 feet) from members not in their household while outside the fence
  • Essential staff are allowed inside the facility
  • One coach allowed on the sideline per team. No other team officials are allowed on the team bench sideline
  • Masks must be worn by all people (coaches, referees, spectators, players) when not playing the game
  • Referees are not required to wear masks while on the field
  • Players do not have to wear masks while playing the games. They must wear masks on the sidelines, while entering, exiting and resting.
  • All families and participants must leave the field area immediately following the game, do not congregate with teammates, friends or family near the field.
  • Pick up all trash after each game (water bottle, disposable masks, etc)

Program will adhere to the general guidelines above as well as the following:

Face Coverings & Masks: Face coverings or masks are required to be worn by all staff, counselors and participants when onsite, indoors at ASA School+. Participants are not required to wear a mask during physical activity when outdoors but must be worn during all other moments throughout the day (ie. welcome, water, lunch, rest, departure, etc). Counselors are required to wear masks at all times. Everyone is required to wear a mask when indoors.

Spectator policies:

General:

  • One spectator allowed per participant
  • No spectators or parents are allowed inside the fenced field or court area during practices or games (unless noted below). If the playing area is not fenced in, spectators must remain 10 yards from the playing surface.
  • Parents are allowed to accompany their child onto the field to meet up with their coach and then must promptly exit the fenced in area after drop off.
  • Ben Brenman Park
  • Francis Hammond MS
  • Witter Complex
  • Limerick Complex
  • George Washington MS

All Spectators will be asked to remain 10 yards from the playing field on the sidewalk surrounding the field.

  • Jefferson Houston School

Spectators ARE allowed within the fenced area at the following fields, but must remain 10 yards away from field boundaries and socially distanced from other spectators:

  • Fort Ward Field
  • Four Mile Field
  • Joseph Hensley Park
  • Eugene Simpson Park
  • Windmill Hill
  • Minnie Howard
  • William Ramsay Field

Medical/Health Department Guidance:

ASA has worked closely with a number of medical professionals and health departments to craft safety policies and procedures. The information below shares insight into why and how certain standards were put in place.

14 Day vs 10 Day Quarantine: Originally, the CDC and other entities recommended a 14 day quarantine period for individuals exposed to COVID-19. Some organizations have since moved to a 10 day quarantine period while others have kept 14 days. Currently ASA has a 14 day quarantine period.

ASA reached out to the Health Department for clarification on best practice in regards to quarantine period.

Notes from Alexandria Health Department: CDC made reduced quarantine recommendations for essential workers/critical infrastructure workplaces that needed to remain open through the pandemic. The 10-day quarantine recommendation was made to balance the risk of spreading COVID-19 with the need to stay in business and alleviate financial troubles. As the incubation period for COVID-19 is still 2-14 days; we still recommend a full 14-day quarantine as best practice, especially since indoor/outdoor sports can be a higher-risk environment for transmission, and because it’s a recreational activity as opposed to a critical infrastructure need.

ASA currently advises wearing masks while actively playing but does not require it. Masks should be worn at all times when not actively playing. This policy is in line with the Virginia Health Department’s messaging.

From Alexandria Health Department: “AHD cannot mandate mask wearing while exercising or using exercise equipment, as stated in the governor’s Executive Order 72. AHD does recommend wearing masks as much as possible. If people are able to wear masks while exercising, we strongly recommend it. However; we do not want masks to impede breathing ability, so wearing masks while exercising needs to be a personal decision. However, while having meetings; taking breaks; sitting on the bench; standing during drills; spectating a game or practice, etc., individuals should wear a mask as much as possible.”

From Alexandria Health Department: “We are recommending individuals to refer to the CDC webpage for “When You’ve Been Fully Vaccinated.” As we are still months away from the vaccine being widely available to the general public, we still recommend masking and distancing as usual per CDC recommendations. The new guidance released for fully vaccinated individuals does allow some small changes. For public and athletic events, masks are still recommended at this time. If all individuals at a practice happen to be fully vaccinated, then masks would not be recommended. However, if playing an opposing team with an unknown vaccination status, all individuals should wear a mask when not actively playing.

Additionally, individuals who have been vaccinated (and are two weeks past their final shot) do not need to quarantine if they come in contact with an individual who tests positive for COVID-19. Vaccinated individuals should monitor their health for symptoms. If any symptoms arise, then that vaccinated individual experiencing symptoms should report risk via the ASA Exposure Response form and begin taking necessary medical guidance next steps.