Phase 3 RETURN To Play Guidelines

CORONAVIRUS & Return to Play | Updated 11/16/20

Below are ASA’s Return to Play guidelines. You will find overall guidelines and program specific policies. We 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.

Programming Update

ASA is following guidance from Virginia state officials, the Alexandria Health Department, and the City of Alexandria government to ensure participants, families, staff and our community remain safe. In addition to following the Alexandria mask ordinance and Governor Northam’s November 16th safety measures we have collaborated with regional medical and youth sports leaders to ensure we are considering all aspects of safety in youth sports programming.

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
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.

Additionally, please complete the form below to report any COVID-19 exposure or risk of exposure so that we can help prevent spread of the virus during Alexandria Soccer Association (ASA) activities.

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. Due to the mixed ages of kids in various programs our mask policy requires anyone over age four to be masked while not actively playing.  

Players or spectators unwilling to adhere to the safety standards will be asked to remain at home. As we continue to move through reopening phases, 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, team managers and official support staff are permitted in the field or court area and/or inside the fence of any field/court area. (At Simpson Field an adult may walk with their child to their designated field for drop off and then exit the field space).
  • No spectators or parents are allowed inside the fenced field or court area during practices AND games.
  • On match days, teams must be on opposite sides of the field/court. Please note that incoming teams cannot walk to the bench area until the previous team has left. Teams are not permitted to hold any team meetings after the conclusion of the match at the field.
  • 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).
    • Program directors will be staggering start times to minimize contact between those entering and exiting
  • Please respect and adhere to these policies at all times. Facility marshals and/or official staff are present at all locations to support compliance.
Staff & Coach Guidelines
  • Coaches will wear masks
  • Coaches will manage cones and equipment
  • Coaches will utilize hand sanitizer before sessions and after handling equipment
  • Coaches will wipe down public equipment (i.e. goal posts) if utilized and/or high contact area surfaces every two hours as needed
  • Coaches will not share personal equipment with other coaches
  • Coaches will wash pinnies between training sessions
  • 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 (6) feet when not participating in a soccer activity on the field.
    • No high fives, handshakes or physical contact is allowed
  • 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 10 ft social distance should be followed).
  • Participants are welcome to wear a mask while playing, but it is not required
  • Participants should refrain from touching their face
  • Participants will not touch cones or handle equipment
  • 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:

  • Only participants, coaches, team managers and official support staff are permitted in the field area and/or inside the fence of any field area. (At Simpson Field an adult may walk with their child to their designated field for drop off and then exit the field space).
  • No spectators or parents allowed inside the fenced field area during practices AND games.
  • On match days, teams must be on opposite sides of the field. Please note that incoming teams cannot come down to the bench area until the previous team has left. Teams are not permitted to hold any team meetings after the conclusion of the match at the field.
  • Please respect and adhere to these policies at all times. Field marshals and/or official staff are present at all locations to support compliance.

Practice Safety Policies:

  • Coaches will wear masks when it is impossible to maintain 10 feet of social distance.
  • Coaches will use hand sanitizer before and after practice
  • Coaches will place cones, or something similar, six feet apart to mark locations for water bottles and player equipment.
  • Coaches will avoid team huddles and long speeches where players are gathered closely to one another
  • No sharing of drinks or food
  • No post practice snacks at the field
  • Players should bring a light and dark shirt to limit use of pinnies (pinnies, if used, will be washed between practices)
  • Cones and equipment will be managed by the coach
  • Families should limit, if possible, the number of grown ups and children attending practice with each player
  • Player’s parents and guardians need to be outside the field or away from the playing area as best as possible.
  • Please finish practice 10 minutes before your reserved block of time ends, if practicing before another team, please clean up and exit the field immediately
  • If practicing after another team that is currently on the field, please wait until all people in the team leave before entering the field

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 to wear a mask while playing, but it is not required
  • Coaches can remove mask while coaching, when physically distant from others
  • Participants and coaches should avoid touching face and spitting
  • All participants should sanitize hands at the end of each game
  • No formal hand contact between teams is allowed (no post game high-fives, team cheers, etc)
  • No captain’s meeting with the referee. Replaced with physically distant referee team reminders
  • No post game snacks or team gatherings — please leave field immediately after game to allow for next spectators to arrive
  • Spectators must remain in designated areas inside the permitted field. Spectator and team areas will be marked and socially distanced on each field.
  • 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:

  • ASA will provide times when families should arrive and enter the field
  • ASA will schedule a window of additional time between games to limit groups of people interacting and crossing paths
  • There will be multiple points of entry at field when possible
  • ASA will increase distance between fields where appropriate
  • Teams will sit at midfield on opposite side of the field
  • Site managers at field will provide reminders to players and supporters as needed
  • Site managers will stop games and/or remove anyone not following the safety policies
  • ASA will over communicate to ensure parents stay informed; Tim Lenzo (ASA Staff) will send weekly coach emails with reminders, Katie Brooks (ASA Staff) will send monthly reminders to the ASA community, Jim Hogan (ASA Staff) will send updates to the recreational league community
  • RPCA has placed signs on public fields with updated safety measures, ASA will place additional signs on site with regards to safety policies

General Guidelines:

  • Academy practices will end 10 minutes before their scheduled end time until further notice. Players should arrive on time for their session and be picked up 10 minutes before the regularly-scheduled end of practice.
  • TeamSnap has implemented a Health Checks feature that all teams should use. If you are willing to volunteer as a team Health Officer to monitor this feature, please notify your coach and manager. The link has a quick and easy tutorial on how to use Health Checks.
  • Participants should wear a mask when not actively player soccer.
  • Participants should bring a dark shirt to change into lieu of pinnies.
  • Participants and coaches should strive to maintain a social distance of 10 feet whenever contact play is not occurring (water breaks, individual exercises, etc).
  • No unnecessary physical interactions (high fives, handshakes) are permitted.
  • Participants will not share water bottles, shirts, or any equipment except a soccer ball.
  • No spectators or parents are allowed inside the fenced field or court area during practices AND games.

Coach Guidelines:

  • Coaches will wear masks when it is impossible to maintain 10 feet of social distance.
  • Coaches will tell players to spread out or move personal items to create more distance if needed.
  • Coaches will manage cones and equipment.
  • Coaches will encourage kick-ins at training to minimize contact with the ball (instead of throw-ins).
  • Coaches will utilize hand sanitizer before sessions and after handling equipment.
  • Coaches will wipe down public equipment (i.e. goal posts, benches) if utilized and/or high contact area surfaces every two hours as needed.
  • Coaches will not share personal equipment with other coaches.
  • Coaches will wash pinnies between training sessions if used.
  • Coaches will direct players when they arrive and will give clear instructions and guidance throughout training sessions.

Participant Guidelines:

  • 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 10 ft social distance should be followed).
  • Participants are welcome to wear a mask while playing, but it is not required.
  • Participants should refrain from touching their face and avoid spitting, and should sanitize hands at the end of each event.
  • Participants should not touch cones or handle equipment. Goalkeepers are permitted to use gloved hands, which should be sanitized after use.
  • Participants will listen to their coaches and be flexible about modifications.
  • Participants who are unwilling to adhere to the safety guidelines will be asked to remain at home.
  • Public restrooms are open at fields. Please maintain social distance and wash hands.
  • Please adhere to guidelines in safety-related signs at all facilities.

The information below is for all players, coaches, supporters and support staff to adhere to within the Junior Academy League and Training Programs.

Face Coverings

  • All people must wear a face covering when inside a permitted field, unless a child is 4 and under
    • Players are welcome to wear a mask while playing, but it is not required

Participant Guidelines

  • Avoid touching face and spitting
  • Sanitize hands before/after sessions/games
  • Do not touch the ball with your hands unless playing as a goalkeeper

To and From the Field

  • Boys arrive 10 min before start time.
  • Girls arrive right on time (we might extend the sessions 10 min the first few weeks to compensate for missed 10 min)
  • Coach Grigor and staff will direct players to their coach and/or practice location
  • Once kids are familiar with their practice groups they can go straight to their station upon arrival.
  • Please leave the facility immediately after the session is over to allow the next group to arrive

Self Check

  • Before any ASA program (practice, game, event, etc) all attendees must take a temperature check at home. Any temperature above 100.4 F, which is considered a fever, may not attend.

Physical Distancing

  • Parents are allowed to stay in designated areas surrounding the field during sessions and maintain 6ft distancing between each other.
  • Players will be practicing with the same group of kids and will be directed from the moment of getting on the field to the end of where to go.
  • No formal hand contact, friendly hugs, fist bumps etc between any players of their own group or other practice groups is allowed.

Avoid Congregating

  • No post game or post-training snacks or team gatherings
  • Leave field immediately after the practice is over  to allow for the next group of kids to arrive

Enforcement

Referees and ASA staff may delay the start of games, perform game stoppages, or end games early if spectators, coaches, and players do not abide by policies and respond positively to reminders and warnings.

Game Day Safety Policies:

  • Players are welcome to wear a mask while playing, but it is not required
  • Coaches can remove mask while coaching, when physically distant from others
  • Participants and coaches should avoid touching face and spitting
  • All participants should sanitize hands at the end of each game
  • No formal hand contact between teams is allowed (no post game high-fives, team cheers, etc)
  • No captain’s meeting with the referee. Replaced with physically distant referee team reminders
  • No post game snacks or team gatherings — please leave field immediately after game to allow for next spectators to arrive
  • Spectators must remain in designated areas inside the permitted field. Spectator and team areas will be marked and socially distanced on each field.
  • 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:

  • ASA will provide times when families should arrive and enter the field
  • ASA will schedule a window of additional time between games to limit groups of people interacting and crossing paths
  • There will be multiple points of entry at field when possible
  • ASA will increase distance between fields where appropriate
  • Teams will sit at midfield on opposite side of the field
  • Site managers at field will provide reminders to players and supporters as needed
  • Site managers will stop games and/or remove anyone not following the safety policies
  • RPCA has placed signs on public fields with updated safety measures, ASA will place additional signs on site with regards to safety policies
  • Players are required to wear masks while walking from the parking lot to the field.
  • Players should maintain 10 feet of distance between each other when not on the field.
  • No handshakes or high fives are allowed.
  • Players will remain 10 feet apart when substituting.
  • No pinnies will be allowed – teams should ensure all players on their team are wearing the same color jersey.

 

ASA reserves the right to make game modifications at any point to ensure player safety.

Your understanding and support of following our return to play policies is an important part of our ability to program and play safely. Any players or teams who choose not to follow ASA policies will be reminded to do so or removed from participation.

WATER GUIDELINES:

  • Participants should plan to bring 1 gallon (128 ounces) of water. (If your family does not have a water bottle of this size, please send multiple bottles). 
  • Participants are not allowed to share water
  • Camp staff will have emergency water on hand in case a child runs out but please plan to send your child to camp with the recommended amount.

PROCEDURE GUIDELINES

  • Staff will monitor the entry/exit locations to limit nonessential visitors throughout the day. 
    • Prior to camp you will receive a specific drop off and pick up time with the goal of staggering arrivals and departures of all campers. Please try to adhere to your time if possible.
  • After drop off, parents are not allowed to remain within the fenced in field area

HEALTHY & SAFETY GUIDELINES

  • Camp staff will conduct a verbal health screening with each participant and a guardian upon arrival each day
  • Campers will be grouped into ‘“teams” with a maximum of 8 players and 2 coaches
    • Campers will be assigned to a tent with their team. Camp staff will aim to keep tent and team assignments the same throughout the week.
    • Campers will be assigned a hula hoop within their team tent where they will put personal bags, lunch and water each day. 
  • Activities and breaks throughout the day will be staggered to reduce the number of campers in a single area at one time.
  • Hand sanitizer will be on site and will be provided by Camp Director (campers are encouraged to bring their own as well!)
  • Camp staff will wipe down equipment and high contact areas throughout the day as needed and at the end of each day

CANCELLATION GUIDELINES

  • No indoor space will be used this summer — If inclement weather is predicted and fields are assumed to be ‘unplayable’ OR if the weather will create a challenging experience the ASA camp staff will make the call to cancel camp the day before with the information we have available 
  • Excessive heat — In the past, ASA camps have utilized indoor space some afternoons in cases of extreme heat. Without the option of indoor space ASA camp staff will make a decision the day prior on camp cancellation due to heat.

Face Coverings & Masks: Face coverings or masks are required to be worn by all staff, counselors and participants when onsite 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.