Gahanna Soccer Association

COVID-19 Policy

Last Updated on October 1, 2020

The policy described in this document extends from August 24th, 2020 to November 30th, 2020. Any changes or amendments to this policy from the period of August 24th, 2020 to November 30th, 2020 will be communicated to all members of Gahanna Soccer Association (GSA), including City of Gahanna Parks and Recreation, GSA Coaches, GSA Parents, GSA Players, and Central Ohio Elite Soccer Club. Communication and this policy will also be provided to all outside organizations, teams, coaches, players, and parents involved in a practice, or game, with a GSA sponsored team.

The policy maybe downloaded in its entirety as a PDF from https://gahannasoccer.com/_files/covid-19/GSA_COVID-19_Policy_with_Headley_Map.pdf

1) Waivers and Agreements

  1. Waiver
    All GSA players and coaches must have a signed and dated Infectious Disease Waiver (coach waiver - player waiver). Signing this document will be required to complete registration to participate in the GSA Fall 2020 soccer season.
  2. Agreement to comply with Gahanna Soccer Association Sports COVID-19 Policy

    All coaches, parents, and players agree to comply with the Gahanna Soccer Association COVID-19 Policy defined in this document.

    In addition to agreeing to the Gahanna Soccer Association COVID-19 Policy, all coaches, parents, and players participating at any GSA sponsored event will comply to the State Of Ohio Responsible Restart Ohio for youth, collegiate, amateur, club, and pro sports defined by Governor Mike DeWine and the Ohio Department of Health.
    https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/static/publicorders/Requirements-Youth-Collegiate-Amateur-Club-Pro-Sports.pdf

    Each GSA coach, parent and player will be provided this document. Participation is voluntary, and your participation is acknowledgement to comply with the policy described in this document.

    Any coach, parent, player, spectator, or other attendee who does not follow the State of Ohio Public Health order is subject to ejection from the sport venue and is subject to penalties and fines pursuant to code R.C. 3701.352.

  3. Injuries

    Injuries are a situation where a player may need immediate help from a coach or athletic trainer. This will mean that the coach or athletic trainer will have to break social distancing guidelines to evaluate the injury and attend to your child.

    1. If any parent objects to the coach attending to their child during an injury, the parent must inform the coach prior to the game that he/she is not going to allow the coach to break social distancing guidelines to evaluate the injury, and at least one parent must always be present. If the objecting parent’s player is injured, the coach will be permitted to enter the field only after the referee has stopped play and given the coach permission to step onto the field. Once the coach has been given permission to enter, the parent may take the field as well. If a parent is not present, or not immediately available, then the coach will be allowed to break social distancing guidelines to attend to the player’s injury.
    2. If no parent objects to the breaking of social distancing guidelines to evaluate an injury prior to the game then one of the team’s designated coaches will be allowed to break social distancing guidelines to attend to the player’s injury once play has stopped and the referee has given the coach permission to enter the field.
  4. Face Coverings

    At minimum, facial coverings (masks) should be cloth/fabric and cover an individual’s mouth, nose, and chin.

2) Before You Arrive at a GSA Venue

  1. All spectators, coaches, and players must conduct a symptom assessment. The CDC’s list of COVID-19 symptoms and a "self-checker" is available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html.
  2. Any spectator, coach, or player experiencing symptoms must stay home.
  3. Families/Groups should make every effort to travel and arrive together to the venue.

3) Arrival at GSA Venue

Arrival to all venues for Gahanna Soccer Association will have some new procedures Some of these procedures will include parking, designated warmup/waiting area before games, and other policies for each venue. Gahanna Soccer Association will provide game schedules and practice spaces that will allow for adherence to these policies and procedures. In addition, coaches parents and players, conduct a daily symptom assessment, as defined in the State Of Ohio Responsible Restart Ohio for youth, collegiate, amateur, club, and pro sports.

As a recommendation, we strongly urge parents to only bring members of your household to the game. If you know others will be attending, we also suggest notifying your coach of any others that may be attending the game on your child’s behalf.

  1. Designated entry and exit paths

    Spectators, coaches, and players must use the designated entry and exit paths to and from the parking lot to their practice or game field. (See Headley Park map).

  2. Social Distancing required

    A minimum of 6 feet social distancing must always be maintained between families/groups, including, but not limited to:

    1. Walking to or from the parking lot to their field of play
    2. Waiting in line at the concession stand
  3. Face coverings required

    Spectators, coaches, and players must always wear a face covering when moving from the parking lot to their practice or game location. See Section 4, Approaching the Field, for mask requirements in the bench and spectator areas at the fields.

  4. Bring your own seats

    Seating will not be provided at the parks. GSA venues will have a bring your own chair policy. This will extend to all coaches, parents, and players. Portable benches will not be permitted for team use.

  5. No congregating

    No congregating will be permitted before or after practices or games. Once a practice or game is complete, players and parents are expected to collect their belongings and depart the facility.

  6. Weekdays

    GSA will only be scheduling one time slot for games during the week (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday). There will be no warm-up area prior to the game. Coaches, Parents and Players can feel free to approach their field of play while following the guidelines in section 4 of this document, Approaching the Field.

  7. Weekends and Warmup/Waiting Areas
    1. On Weekends (Saturday, Sunday), GSA will have multiple timeslots for games. GSA will, to the best of its ability, provide schedules and game times that will allow for easy adherence to the policies and procedures.
    2. Each 40x60 (U-8 and U-10), 50x80 (U-12), and full size field will have a waiting/warmup area prior to your timeslot on the field, if and only if your field is occupied prior to your game start time. There will be no waiting areas for U-5, U-6, and U-7 games. Instead, larger time gaps between games will be established to allow teams to depart before the next team’s arrival.
    3. If your designated field for a game is in use upon arrival, you must go to your designated warmup area or return to your vehicle.
    4. Players, parents, and coaches must wait for previous teams and their parties to completely vacate the field before approaching the bench and spectator areas.
    5. Entry and exit paths into and out of the soccer park will be established. In some cases, your exit area may be farther away from your field than the entrance, or vice versa.
    6. Teams are encouraged to not schedule weekend practices once games have begun.
  8. No Team Snacks
    Teams are not permitted to bring snacks for pre-game, post-game, or during the game. Players may bring their own snack for their consumption, but they cannot be shared with the team, coaches, or non-family members.

4) Approaching the Field

  1. Game Days
    1. Seating
      In order to maximize social distancing, players and parents from opposing teams will sit on opposite sides of the field for all games rather than having a spectator side and a bench side.
    2. "Bench" Area
      1. Each team’s bench area will be to the right of the center line flag when facing the field. The bench area should be at least 10 feet from the center line flag, 6 feet from the touch line (sideline), and no less than 30 feet in width to provide ample space for players to practice safe social distancing.
      2. Coaches and players must wear a face covering while not actively participating in a practice or game with the following exceptions:
        1. The player is under the age of 10
        2. The player or coach has a medical condition, including respiratory conditions that restrict breathing, mental health conditions, or disability that prevents the wearing of a facial covering
        3. The player or coach is communicating with someone who is hearing impaired or has another disability where the ability to see the mouth is essential
        4. The player or coach is actively consuming food or beverage
      3. Coaches may remove their face covering in order to provide instruction during a game or practice, but must put it back on at the conclusion of the event.
      4. Coaches must designate a parent/volunteer to ensure that players are maintaining social distancing while in the bench area.
      5. Coaches and/or a designated parent/volunteer are encouraged to place cones or markers on the ground to indicate to players where their belongings should be placed. Older players may simply use their belongings as their marker. The markers should be placed in multiple rows, at least 6 feet apart, to allow for a larger bench area without consuming an entire half of the field.
      6. When not on the field of play, or at the center line flag, players must sit or stand by their marker.
    3. Spectator Area (see diagram)
      1. Spectator seating will be to the left of the center line flag when facing the field and may wrap around the corner of the field if necessary. The spectator area will be no less than 10 feet from the center line flag, corner flags, and goals and 6 feet from the touch line or end line.
      2. Spectators must be seated or standing with only their own family/group and should attempt to be as compact as possible within their family/group to minimize the amount of space consumed by each group.
      3. Families/Groups must maintain no less than 6 feet social distancing from other families/group.
      4. Spectators are REQUIRED to wear a face covering at all times with the following exceptions:
        1. The individual is under the age of 10
        2. The individual has a medical condition, including respiratory conditions that restrict breathing, mental health conditions, or disability that prevents the wearing of a facial covering
        3. The individual is communicating with someone who is hearing impaired or has another disability where the ability to see the mouth is essential
        4. The individual is actively consuming food or beverage
      5. If there are many spectators for a team and it is not possible to adequately social distance in the space allotted, spectator groups may sit to the right of the bench area. Spectators may sit no less than 10 feet from the bench area.

  2. Practices

    Coaches and/or a designated parent/volunteer should mark off an area for each player to place their equipment near the practice location. In lieu of physical markers, players can use their equipment as their marker. Each player’s space should be at least 6 feet from the next nearest marker.

  3. Field Maintenance

    Teams, coaches, and parents are responsible for cleaning up before, during, and after their practices and games. Parents, if you are unsure how you can help, please ask your coach.

5) Safety Guidelines for Practices and Games

  1. Hand Sanitizer
    1. On game days at Headley Park, each field will have two spray bottles of hand sanitizer available at the field; one for each team. If the spray bottles are not at the field, they will be available at the office, or the concession stand.
    2. Travel teams are encouraged to bring their own hand sanitizer with them if the destination facility does not provide it, or it is unknown whether it will be provided.
    3. Coaches are encouraged to bring their own bottle of hand sanitizer to practices and make it available to players that do not have their own.
  2. No sharing of equipment
    1. Players may not share any equipment with one another except for soccer balls.
    2. Any equipment provided by the coach should be properly washed and/or sanitized before its next use.
  3. Post-game handshakes, tunnels, and celebrations
    1. There will be no post-game handshakes between the teams. Instead, the teams will line up on opposite sides of the center line, wave to their opponents, and let them know they had a good game, or offer some other kind phrase.
    2. Younger teams will not be allowed to run the “tunnel” – where parents stand in two lines, shoulder-to-shoulder, with their arms extended outward to form a tunnel for the kids to run through.
    3. Coaches and parents are encouraged to come up with fun, creative ways for the players to have a quick post-game celebration that still follows social distancing requirements.

6) Enforcement

In the event that an individual refuses to comply with this policy the following escalation procedure will be in effect.

  1. GSA staff will request that the individual leave the field. The individual may wait in the parking lot for the rest of their party.
  2. If the individual refuses to leave, GSA staff will instruct the referees to stop the game until the individual has left the field. If the game has not been started, the start will be delayed until the individual leaves the field. In either case, the game clock will continue to run.
  3. If the individual continues to refuse to follow the policy and will not leave the field, GSA staff will contact the Gahanna Police Department or Franklin County Sheriff and have the individual removed from the park.