SAFE PLAY SOCCER

RETURN TO SOCCER/SAFE PLAY SOCCER

On June 1, 2020 VIASPORT presented their Return to Sport guidelines. These guidelines provide direction to Provincial Sport Organizations (PSO’s) and clubs who fall under BC Soccer’s governance. On June 2rd, BC Soccer announced their return to play requirements that clubs will need to meet to start modified programming. As a result of these announcements/guidelines North Delta FC is excited to be starting our ‘safe soccer’ program.

 

 

NDFC understands that we will need to balance safety with the players soccer experience.  In order to maximize safety and the soccer experience, NDFC 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 our children back to the parks safely and we all have a role to play to make this happen. We understand that families may have different comfort with the risks associated with returning to play; individuals will need to assess our safe soccer program and make an informed decision that best suits their family's risk assessments.


We appreciate the leadership from VIASPORT, Canada Soccer, BC Soccer, and the City of Delta 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.  

SAFE SOCCER - PHASE 1

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Phase 1 of BC Soccer’s Return to Play plan is defined as ‘no contact, distance training only’.  In this phase, teams are allowed to train together; however, all activities are designed so that contact between players is strictly avoided.  This means that typical training activities, such as scrimmages, are not permitted.  Games, competitions, tournaments, etc. of any kind are not permitted.

 

During this transitional phase, here are our specific adjustments in each of the areas . 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 3M (10 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.

  • All full size 11 v 11 soccer fields shall host no greater than 50 participants, with the exception of Delsom turf, which shall host no greater than 80 participants at a time.  Full fields will be divided into grids, and some grids will have more or less participants than others, but the total number of participants shall not exceed these limits

  • Spectators are not allowed during training sessions​

 

Enhanced Protocols

  • All participants (including U5/U6/U7 parents) attending training activities must perform a ‘health check’ prior to arrival.  Anyone exhibiting any Covid-19 symptoms shall refrain from attending, and will need to report this to a club contact.  Signage at the fields will serve as a reminder for everyone to check for symptoms prior entering the field 

  • All participants will be expected to apply hand sanitizer prior to entering the field of play and upon exiting the field

  • All coaches, including staff coaches and managers, must wear a mask while on the field

  • All players are encouraged to wear a mask to and from the field; however, a mask is not required to be worn during training

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.  Please see diagram below.

Competition

 

  • During Phase 1 no games will occur. We will add in club games when it is deemed safe to do so. VIASPORT indicates this may be in Phase 2 timeline TBD​.

Equipment

 

  • Players are required to supply their own water and/or medical needs.  Each player will keep their personal equipment behind their specific training area.  Personal items are not to be shared or mixed with those from other players.

  • Players are required to wear appropriate footwear (i.e. soccer shoes with studs).  Shin pads are mandatory.

  • Training equipment will mainly consist of cones, small nets, pinnies and soccer balls. These will be managed by the coaches/managers and are not to be touched by the players, with the exception of soccer balls by the player's feet (goalkeepers wearing gloves are permitted to handle soccer balls as required during the activity).  If worn, pinnies should not be exchanged between players.

  • All equipment used during the training session shall be sanitized by the coaches/manager at the end of the session

Participation Guidelines

 

We want to recognize the importance and role that players and parents play in ensuring that we resume soccer, safely. We have established the following guidelines for participants: 

  1. Parents must fill out the Return to Play Waiver on behalf of all family members. This will need to be filled out at time of registration.

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

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

  4. 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 steps to ensure the safety of all participants. In addition to the information provide, here are additional measures in place to mitigate risk: 

 

  • Appointment of a Risk Management/Officer is Gurdip Ibarra, President of the North Delta FC  will serve in this role and can be reached by email. This role will: 

    • Monitor advice and direction from health and sport authorities

    • Oversee all program implementation to ensure safe soccer compliance 

 

NDFC is committed to keeping players on the field. In order to do this safely, we will be holding our staff and participants to the highest standards of the recommendations from the health authorities. We understand 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. 

Scheduling

On each full field we have up to four to six training grids.  We will have a 15 minute buffer on each grid between the end of one session and the beginning of the next. This will allow time for the coaches take down equipment, sanitize equipment and clear the fields after each training session.

We have put together a time-sensitive timeline that all members are expected to follow: 

  • Players are not to arrive no more than 5 minutes prior to your scheduled session.

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

  • 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 5 minutes of the conclusion of their 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 instances 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 or medical needs) 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 Coaches.  All of this equipment will be sanitized after each session with 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 it: 

  • The session head coach will communicate with the player to assess the injury verbally, at the minimum 3M 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 headcoach/staff

All fields will have a first aid kit on site. If a staff member/coach 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. 

Please note that all program dates/locations & schedules are subject to changes.