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Westborough Youth Soccer Association

Westborough Youth Soccer Association

WYSA recognizes that these are unprecedented times and that there's a lot that we don't know regarding the impact of COVID-19 on the fall season. Up until a few weeks ago, we weren't sure if we would even be able to discuss having a fall season. Information on what will be required to play a "normal" season is still changing and we expect it is likely to change again.

Our first responsibility is to the health and well-being of our members and our community. Like it or not, COVID-19 is going to be with us for some time. As an organization and a community we need to move forward while taking the appropriate precautions to keep everyone safe. We will endeavor to provide a safe, well thought-out back to play experience for any members that want to play. We will respect anyone's decision to sit this season out and welcome them back when the time is right.

We are all in this together and have even greater responsibility to ensure we lookout for each others health and well being while trying to let our children return to some level of normalcy.

Thank you!

Important Changes to Play

Overview:

The following rules, guidelines and changes are a summary of the detailed guidelines provided by the EEA and MYSA regarding playing soccer this fall. Please review and familiarize with these guidelines

  1. Soccer is still a moderate risk sport, but the EEA has issued new guidelines that MYSA is taking into account.
    • Modify (practices and games) as much as possible to keep players 6 feet apart.
    • Shorten practices and games if possible.
    • Incorporate protective equipment if possible.
  2. Mandatory Modifications for Level 2 and 3 play
    • Modify play to limit contact or increase distance between participants.
    • Eliminate deliberate contact: including collisions, tackling, body checking and blocking
    • Minimize intermittent contact: Including restarts, throw-ins, scrums or similar activities
  3. MYSA Game Modifications:
    • Heading is suspended
    • Shoulder to shoulder contact is suspended and/or any other intentional physical contact is now a foul
    • Slide tackling is suspended
    • Throw-ins are suspended - kick-in will replace it
    • Corner-kicks are suspended - kick-in will replace it
    • Players must stay 6 feet apart during all restarts
    • Defensive walls are suspended
    • Drop-ball restarts are suspended
  4. Outdoor Competition
    • Players limited to 25 per team
    • No more than 50 spectators (excluding coaches, players and officials). Basically, 1 parent/guardian per child.
    • Spectators must wear facial coverings at all times.
  5. Protective Equipment
    • Facial coverings must be worn at all times except:
      • During high intensity aerobic or anaerobic activities
      • When more than 6 feet apart
      • For individuals that are unable to wear a face covering due to a medical condition or disability
      • Goal keepers are not required to wear a mask
    • This is the exact language from the document
      • For these sports it is required that players use facial coverings when possible, take frequent breaks when they are out of proximity to other players using caution to avoid touching the front or inside of the face covering by using the ear loops to remove and replace. For example: soccer players should have facial coverings with them at all times and where possible play with the facial covering on, removing it for long runs down the field, for plays without close contact, and in the goal.
  6. No touching, hand-shakes, etc.
  7. No benches

WYSA Specific Policies (see links for MYSA and/or State Policies)

  1. Pre-K and K age groups will not have any practices during the week. They will have an academy practice session and game only on Sundays.
  2. There will be no snacks allowed for any WYSA teams.
  3. WYSA teams are not allowed to practice with other teams. We know this is often a big part of scrimmages and some great bonding opportunities for the kids, but it’s best to isolate teams as much as possible.
  4. We are increasing the time between games to ensure that there isn’t overlap between teams arriving to warm-up while other games are in progress. Coaches should not have their players arrive before their designated time to warm-up (when complete, the new schedule will be posted).
  5. We are increasing the space between our fields to ensure that players, coaches and spectators can maintain appropriate social distance (once complete the details will be posted).

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can WYSA require that all players wear masks when on the field?

MYSA has amended their policy on masks and requires that facial coverings must be worn at all times except:
  • During high intensity aerobic or anaerobic activities
  • When more than 6 feet apart
  • For individuals that are unable to wear a face covering due to a medical condition or disability
  • Goal keepers are not required to wear a mask
Westborough is following the MA EEA and MYSA policy regarding masks. BAYS is currently discussing a league policy regarding masks, but no decision has been made as of 8/21/20.

In the event that a town Department of Health (DPH) has more restrictive facial coverings guidelines the traveling team must adhere to the town rules. BAYS is working on a reference document that has any unique local DPH guidelines so teams are aware of any local requirements well in advance. Local coaches must also inform visiting coaches of any unique restrictions by the Wednesday before the game.

2. Has WYSA considered an in-town only option for the fall season?

WYSA has considered many alternatives including in-town only as well as a self-administered league with fewer towns. All options considered pose logistical and administrative problems but can and will be explored if the current situation changes. As of 8/21/20 more than half of the BAYS member towns are planning to place teams for the fall 2020 season. Most of the towns that have decided not to play are inside 128 and would generally be considered the "Boston" towns (Arlington, Jamaica Plain, Cambridge, etc...). Based on the information we have, the WYSA BOD has decided to enter teams into BAYS for the fall season.

3. Why are you not allowing WYSA teams to practice or scrimmage one another?

For travel teams, where most of this is going to happen, we are trying to minimize the chance of any intra-program infection. Baseball recently had to suspend a division, by keeping our teams isolated from one another we are trying to minimize the likelihood of having to suspend all teams rather than just one that may have been exposed.  


4. Why is soccer considered a moderate risk?

The Massachusetts Executive office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) has classified soccer as a Moderate Risk sport. Please see the link to the right for their explanation. The MA Department of Health (DPH) does not consider the act of playing soccer to be an exposure.

To be answered...
What would be considered and exposure?
Will I get a refund if the season is cancelled?
What if someone on my team is not feeling well or has Covid-19?
What are other towns doing?
What if a town we are supposed to play is considered high-risk?



COVID-19 Links

Mass Youth Soccer Association (MYSA) Back-to-Play Policies
(includes Program, Coach, Player and Parent guidelines):

Soccer Risk Classification:

COVID-19 Officer and Team Coordinator Duties:

Westborough Youth Soccer Association (WYSA) Waivers:


Contact

Westborough Youth Soccer Association (WYSA)
PO Box 79 
Westborough, Massachusetts 01581

Email: [email protected]

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