We are making final preparations for the Fall 2021 soccer season. Practices are scheduled to begin the week of September 13, with the first games on Saturday September 18. However, with open competition, comes added responsibility. On August 30, 2021, the County of Los Angeles Dept of Public Health (LADPH) issued “Protocol for Organized Youth Sports: Appendix S.” These are Orders of the Health Officer or protocols relating to Youth Sports and Covid-19. Since the release date of the original Protocols, several public forums have been held that resulted in modification and clarifications to the original Protocols. As the data or conditions change, we can expect the LADPH to re-issue, revise or supplement these Protocols. (A link to the latest Protocols can be found at the bottom of this email). AYSO Region 20 is committed to following the LADPH Protocols throughout our season. Here is the process we will follow to launch the season:
NEW ROLE: Each Team must appoint a Covid Compliance Manager (CCM). This can be a coach or team manager, or another responsible parent on the team. The name of the designee CCM must be emailed to email@example.com by September 13. Please ensure that you include your Division and Coaches’ name, (examples: G5u Smith or B6u-Jones), on the email. On a weekly basis, the CCM will help ensure the team stays in compliance with the LADPH Protocols. Compliance with the Protocols will allow the Team to participate in their weekly practices and weekend games. How does a Team stay in Compliance?
STEP ONE: LADPH requires us to know the vaccination status of each player 12 years and older AND of all Participating Volunteers. “Participating Volunteer” is anyone who will physically be engaged with the team. This includes all coaches, referees, and volunteers who attend team practices (i.e., chaperones, team managers etc.). All players 12+ and Participating Volunteers 12 years and older are required to complete and submit the “Proof of Vaccination Form.” Forms must be completed by September 13, 2021 for each participating member of the family/household. Individuals that fail to submit proof of vaccination will be considered unvaccinated. The form can be found by clicking on the link: Proof of Vaccination Form
STEP TWO: Weekly Covid-19 Screening Testing Requirements by LADPH
For Players/youth volunteers 12 years of age and older ONLY:
If your player or youth volunteer is fully vaccinated, there is no requirement to test weekly for Covid-19. (Note: fully vaccinated equals 2-weeks after second administered dosage.)
If your player or youth volunteer is NOT vaccinated or NOT fully vaccinated and 12 years or older, PLEASE READ CAREFULLY. (Note: fully vaccinated equals 2-weeks after second administered dosage.)
- Weekly Covid-19 Screening Testing are Required. LADPH requires that your player test for Covid-19 *weekly.* All tests must be administered by a health care provider. Please note, home tests kits do not comply with the LADPH Protocols. Home test kits administered at home by a Health Care Provider will not be allowed as they are considered “self-attestation” and violate the County Order/Protocols. However, weekly school testing fulfills this obligation.
- Negative Screening Testing Result Must be Provided. You must confirm that your child has tested negative PRIOR to participating in the weekly Soccer activities. Parents or Players are required to complete the weekly “Covid-19 Test Result Reporting” form by Thursday 5pm and attach a copy of the negative test result. This must be done on a weekly basis in order to comply with the LADPH Protocol. Players or youth volunteers NOT providing a negative test result that week will NOT be allowed to participate in that weekend’s game. They will also NOT be allowed to participate in other team activities, including practices, until they have corrected their non-compliance. Plan your testing, so you can provide the test result by Thursday at 5pm. If you are relying on weekly school testing, you may provide the most recent test result, even if it is from the end of the prior week. Test results must not be more than 1 week old. (Note: If your School cannot provide a copy of the actual test result for your child, then a form letter from the school, containing your child’s name and the date of the test will be required. The form letter should state that your child participated in the weekly testing program that week and was not found positive. The form letter obtained from the school will fulfill the LADPH requirement. The form letter or test result must be uploaded by clicking on the link that has been provided: Weekly Covid-19 Test Result Reporting
For players/ youth volunteers who are 11 years and will turn 12 during the soccer season.
- It is strongly recommended that all players or youth volunteers get fully vaccinated once eligible.
- Once a player or youth volunteer turns 12 years of age, they will be required to comply with the LADPH Protocols of weekly Covid-19 Screening Testing and Reporting requirements, exactly as stated above, unless and until they are considered fully vaccinated. (Note: fully vaccinated equals 2-weeks after second administered dose).
For players/youth volunteers 11 years and younger. There is no weekly Covid-19-testing requirement.
For Participating Volunteers (this includes all coaches, referees, and volunteers who attend team practices).
If you are fully vaccinated, there is no weekly testing requirement.
If you are NOT vaccinated or NOT fully vaccinated, PLEASE READ CAREFULLY. (Note: fully vaccinated equals 2-weeks after second administered dosage or 2-weeks after receiving the J&J dose.)
- Weekly Covid-19 Screening Testing Required. LADPH requires that you test for Covid-19 *weekly* if you are a consistent Participating Volunteer (such as a coach, referee, or a practice chaperone) who is unvaccinated.
- If you are an Occasional Participating Volunteer (for example, a Referee who is refereeing a game that weekend but who doesn’t otherwise physically engage with the team), you must test for Covid-19 during the week of your actual participation and the week prior. (This means unvaccinated Referees must test for two consecutive weeks prior to their volunteer commitment weekend).
- All tests must be administered by a health care provider. Home tests kits do not comply with LADPH Protocols, as they are considered “self-attestation.”
- Negative Screening Testing Result Must be Provided. You must confirm that you have tested negative PRIOR to participating in the weekly Soccer related activities. All participating Volunteers, as described above, are required to complete the weekly “Covid-19 Test Result Reporting” form by Thursday 5pm and attach a copy of the negative test result. This must be done on a weekly basis in order to comply with the LADPH Protocol. Volunteers who do NOT providing a negative test result, during a week when required to do so, will not be allowed to participate in that weekend’s game, or any other team activities, until they have corrected their non-compliance. Plan your testing, so you can provide the test result by Thursday at 5pm. If you are relying on weekly work/school testing, you may provide the most recent test result, even if it is from the end of the prior week. Test results must not be more than 1 week old. (Note: If you are participating in a weekly testing program through your work/school, and you cannot access the actual test result, then a form letter from the work/school, containing your name and the date of the test will be required. The form letter should state that your you participated in the weekly testing program that week and was not found positive. The form letter obtained from the work/school will fulfill the LADPH requirement. The form letter or test result must be uploaded by clicking on the link that has been provided: Weekly Covid-19 Test Result Reporting
REPORTING PROTOCOLS – FOR EVERYONE. You must immediately notify AYSO at StopCovid@ayso20.org and your CCM or Coach for further instructions and protocols if your player, youth volunteer or Participating Volunteer):
- receives a positive Covid-19 test result,
- is in close contact with a Covid-19 positive person (close contact means within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more), or
- is required to quarantine from school or work.
Whenever a confirmed case is identified in any of our Teams, we will be required to follow the instructions in LADPH’s “Exposure Management Plan for Youth Sports” and ensure that all unvaccinated close contacts quarantine along with any symptomatic vaccinated close contacts. You can find a copy of LADPH’s Plan by clicking on the link at the bottom of this email.
No School = No Soccer. If for any Covid-19-related reason, your player is told to stay home from school, they must NOT attend any AYSO activities. If you are unsure if your player should attend practice, play it safe and contact us at StopCovid@ayso20.org for more information.
GENERAL PRECAUTIONS — FOR EVERYONE
- Self-Screening: All players, youth volunteers and Participating Volunteers must do a self-screening for Covid-symptoms and exposure before every practice and game. Do not attend if you have any symptoms or have been exposed to a Covid-positive person. Each team can handle the screening as appropriate for its team (Examples: screening apps, questions in practice-reminder emails, or in-person screenings by coach or TM at start of practice).
- Masks: Will be required based on the age group and activity:
Coaches & Spectators will be required to wear masks at all times during practices and games, regardless of vaccination status or field location.
Referees who are officiating 5u-8u Divisional games are required to wear masks at all times, regardless of vaccination status or field location.
Referees who are officiating 9u-19u Divisional games are encouraged to wear masks, but masks are not required during the game, due to the increased physical exertion that is considered necessary.
Players in the 5u-8u Divisions are required to wear masks at all times during practices and games.
Players in the 9u-19u Divisions that are in the field of play, actively participating in the game, are encouraged to wear masks, but masks are not required. Players must wear masks after leaving the field of play.
Substitute players on the sidelines, (technical area), during the game must wear masks and maintain 6 feet social distance from others.
Mask may be temporarily removed to drink or eat. When players, volunteers and participants are actively drinking or eating, they should be encouraged to maintain a 6-foot distance from others.
Players and Volunteers are encouraged to bring more than one mask to practice or games in case their mask gets wet or soiled during play.
- Hand washing/sanitizing. Please come to practice with clean hands. We recommend that each player and volunteer carry and use hand sanitizer.
- Vaccinations Recommended. We urge all eligible players, youth volunteers and Participating Volunteers to get vaccinated. Not only does this protect you and your family, but it will also eliminate the weekly testing requirement for you. It will also minimize the potential disruption on your team, as vaccinated people do not need to quarantine if exposed to a Covid-19 positive person, as long as the vaccinated person shows no symptoms and tests negative over the next 10 days.
- Spectators: All spectators, when outdoors and regardless of vaccination status, will be required to wear masks at all times. All spectators must sit back from the sidelines or touchlines at least 6 feet to provide the Assistant Referee the required social distance from the field of play and spectators. Spectators on the sidelines are encouraged to maintain a 6-foot social distance from other non-household members.
- Carpooling: When traveling in family vehicles with other members of the youth sports team not from the same household, wear masks during the entire trip and keep windows open.
- After the Game: Socializing with other teams is strongly discouraged. Post-games handshakes are not allowed. Instead, we encourage the teams to face each other from a distance, clap, cheer and thank each other as a show of good sportsmanship.
Finally, the safety of our soccer community is, and always will be, our highest priority, and I am confident that, working together, we can run a safe and fun soccer program for the kids this season. It will be a significant communal effort to comply with LADPH’s new weekly testing requirement for all unvaccinated participants 12 years or older. We will continue to monitor the LADPH Orders/Protocols and continue to refine, supplement, or revise our AYSO Region 20 Covid-19 guidelines as appropriate. We thank you in advance for your cooperation and patience. Let’s all work together as a soccer community and make it a great season for the kids!