MJFC COVID19: Return to COMPETITIVE Football Guidelines v7

Introduction

This document details how we will return to competitive football and compliments the guidance document released by the FA on 18 July 2020.

Before you read on, please ensure you have read the FA guidelines first (click here)

A summary of key points to consider from The FA’s guidelines are listed for ease below:

• Everyone should self-assess for COVID-19 symptoms before every training session or match. If you are symptomatic or living in a household with possible or actual COVID-19 infection you must not participate or attend; 

• Clubs and facility providers should ensure that their facility is compliant with current Government legislation and guidance related to COVID-19; 

• Competitive training is now permitted, with groups limited to a maximum of 30 people, including coaches; 

• Competitive match play is permitted, with social distancing in place before and after the match, and in any breaks in play; 

• Players and officials should sanitise hands before and after a game as well as scheduled breaks throughout a game or training session; 

• Ball handling should be kept to a minimum with most contact via a boot and the ball disinfected in breaks of play; 

• Youth football coaches are encouraged to limit persistent close proximity of participants during match play and training; 

• Goal celebrations should be avoided; 

• Equipment should not be shared, and goalkeepers should ensure they disinfect their gloves regularly in breaks in training or matches and thoroughly afterwards. Where possible, coaches should only handle equipment in training;

• Where possible, players, coaches and officials should arrive changed and shower at home. Use of changing and shower facilities must follow government advice on the use of indoor facilities; 

• Participants should follow best practice for travel including minimising use of public transport and walking or cycling if possible. People from a household or support bubble can travel together in a vehicle

• Clubs should keep a record of attendees at a match or training session, including contact details, to support NHS Test and Trace; 

• Clubs should ensure they are affiliated with their County Football Association

IMPORTANT:

If you are showing symptoms of the virus or have been in contact with someone displaying

symptoms within the last two weeks, then you must stay at home until an NHS practitioner

advises you that you no longer need to remain in isolation here

What are the relevant dates for return?

The FA have strongly recommend a phased return to competitive football activity as follows:

From August – Competitive matches to begin, for example pre-season fixtures, festivals and small sided football competitions; 

From September – Grassroots leagues, men’s National League System, Women’s Football Pyramid tiers 3 to 6, and FA Competitions can commence.

What about Consent, Self-Assessment and Registering?

Every player (both home and away) will be expected to complete our online consent form every time they attend a training session or match; the link to this can be found here.

When and where will the training and games take place?

Teams will be allocated to a specific pitch, with timings allocated, particularly on Saturday mornings where the following options are available to request;

Age GroupTrainingMatches (kick off)
U8 to U1009:30 to 10:30 or 11:30 to 12:3009:30 or 11:30
U11 to U1809:00 to 10:00 or 11:30 to 12:3009:00 or 11:30

We will look to space team out across our grounds (so availability will be limited) and you will notice we have allocated dedicated ‘coaches only’ areas;

Who is the clubs Covid-19 Officer?

This is Michael Turner who will be responsible for issuing out who will be responsible for developing a Covid-19 plan (this document) and risk assessment.

What will the coaching sessions look like?

The sessions should start to look more like normal however coaches will still factor in the FA guidance.

It is our preference that all parents/carers remain on site for the entire session as coaches may need, in cases of first aid a parent will be called over and talked through what to do. If this is not possible then it is at the coach’s discretion to allow the player to train.

Parents/carers can remain in their cars or spectate in the designated areas, following social distancing rules.

Coaches will ask each player/parent for email consent to attend every session; the wording of this email is quite formal but has been provided by the FA for use. Coaches will keep a register of all attendees to aid with NHS track and trace.

What will matches be like?

Similar to what you have seen in the premier league we will look for teams to introduce drink breaks and regular cleaning of equipment during breaks in play. Everyone will also be expected to adhere to the wider FA guidelines seen on page one.

What do the players need?

Each player should have their own water bottle, hand sanitiser, sun cream and any

necessary medication (e.g. inhaler). All items belonging to their child should be labelled with their name and should not be used by anyone else.

What if someone needs first aid?

If a player gets injured their parent/carer can aid them but others will still need to socially distance unless a life or limb-threatening injury necessitates compromising guidelines to provide emergency care.

There will also be first-aider or other medical personnel present, they will be equipped with the appropriate PPE to protect themselves and others if they need to compromise social-distancing guidelines to provide medical assistance.

Further information can be found here

What about coach’s qualifications (Level 1, Safeguarding & First Aid)?

We must follow FA guidelines to ensure safety and insurances are not compromised. The FA and the club have made some modifications (see below) to support this issue.

Will a player be disadvantaged if they do not attend?

Absolutely not, everyone must take into consideration their own circumstances when deciding whether to attend and we fully respect these decisions.

How can the players help?

Whilst we always want the players to have fun there are certain restrictions to protect us all; for example, chewing gum, spitting, sharing of drinks are not allowed and goal celebrations must also follow guidelines.

The coaches are having to deal with increased measures to deliver the sessions so the best of behaviour from players is expected at the club.

What sterilisation of equipment and kit will take place?

Coaches will sterilise equipment before, during and after each session.  We would ask that parents take home any bibs used to be washed and brought back for any further sessions.

What changes have been made to enable a return to football?

To continue to provide some sort of training, the current coaching qualification requirements have been amended slightly;

1. All coaches must have an FA-DBS check (which is an absolute requirement)

2. If a coach has not yet attended the Safeguarding Children course or cannot renew, online or otherwise, they can support another coach (this is a change to the rules by the FA)

3. Each team must have a minimum of one person with Level 1 or above along with current Safeguarding Children and FA First Aid, although these qualifications can be shared across the coaches in attendance (this is a change to our rules)

4. Due to COVID-19 any training session must have a minimum of two coaches (this is an FA requirement)

This will be in place until courses are ran again and will be reviewed monthly at the Club Committee meetings.

What have the club done to support cleaning and sanitisation?

A COVID19 station has been set up in the coach’s container holding the following equipment:

  • Black Bags (for used gloves)
  • Re-useable Microfibre cloths
  • Washing Bag (for used cloths which will be washed weekly)
  • Concentrated Disinfectant 5l bottles
  • Disposable Gloves
  • Individual sanitizer bottles for first aid (to be reused)
  • Large Sanitiser refill bottles
  • Measuring jug (for the disinfectant to water ratio)

In addition the clubhouse will be cleaned regularly and their will be hand cleaner available in the toilets and hand sanitizer elsewhere.

Are the children and coaches covered for insurances?

Yes, our insurers and the FA have confirmed all training at the club grounds is covered under the current policies (Public Liability and Personal Accident)

Has a Risk Assessment been created to cover this period?

Yes, you can find a copy of the Risk Assessment on our website: click here