BELMONT SOCCER ASSOCIATION (BSA)
Return to Play Protocol Spring 2021 – Updated 19th May 2021
Belmont Soccer Association’s principles for a return to safe soccer:
- Health and Safety of our soccer and overall community members is top priority
- Physical activity through soccer is one way to promote physical and mental benefits
In order to comply with State Law; recommendations from the CDC and Massachusetts Youth Soccer Association, Belmont Soccer Association has implemented all modifications mandated in order to promote a healthy return to soccer activity, including games. BSA has also made additional modifications based on advice from Town of Belmont Board of Health and independent medical professionals. Our expectation is that the whole BSA community takes collective responsibility for our actions in such a way that:
- We follow the guidelines as required by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
- All coaches, volunteers, parents/guardians and players must read, understand and practice the guideline requirements.
- Parents are expected to review procedures and sign the compliance form with child prior to participation.
- Non-compliance at any stage will mean the inability to participate further.
- For all practices and games there will be a required symptom check-in form that a parent/guardian is obliged to fill out, sign and submit. This will be administered digitally and failure to complete will result in players not being able to participate for the session.
- Further reading (most of which is contained with BSA protocol) - Mass Youth Soccer’s website page: Return to Soccer Activities.
19th May 2021 Update
Several organizations, including The Massachusetts Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA), have made updates this week to Covid-19 safety guidelines for youth sports. In response, Belmont Soccer Association, in accordance with Mass Youth Soccer Association & Boston Area Youth Soccer, with whom we are affiliated, have made changes in our Covid-related regulations. These take effect immediately:
- For youth aged 18 years and under, a mask will not be required – neither on the field, nor on the bench nor in huddles (assuming 6' of physical distance between individuals is achieved).
- Masks are not required by spectators, coaches, referees and other team/club/league officials when 6’ of social distance can be maintained between each separate person or family unit. If this distance is not maintained masks must be worn. This rule applies both at the event, as well as when entering and exiting.
- For the avoidance of confusion, any player wishing to continue to wear a mask can do so.
We want to emphasize that though this lifts most of the mask requirement, the Belmont Board of Health strongly recommends the continued use of face masks for non-vaccinated individuals when unable to socially distance outdoors. In addition, the EEA guidance and our rules are clear regarding the continued necessity of masks if you are not socially distancing 6' or more while spectating, entering or exiting the event.
As the guidelines state, if you and/or your player wish to continue to wear masks at all times, we will support you 100%. In addition, we will not tolerate any bullying or peer pressure regarding choices related to mask wearing. We expect each family will want to have a conversation to determine what they are comfortable with.
BSA officials, coaches and volunteers will thus no longer enforce mask wearing for individual players, but will expect continued compliance by any participants or spectators with the social distancing rules. In addition, the following BSA COVID-related protocols also remain in place -- there should be no food or traditional half-time or post-game snacks, and no attendance at practices or games by any participant who is feeling unwell. For the last point, we will continue to record a symptom check for each participant prior to any practice or game via the TeamSnap Health Check.
As a country and a community, we are still fighting a pandemic and do have community members who are unvaccinated, immunocompromised, or otherwise at-risk. Please be mindful of others and continue to be vigilant regarding all public health safety practices. We recognize that while many of you will be happy to begin the process of putting mask-wearing behind them, others will need time to process and adjust to the sudden change. A small but important group of BSA members will need to make decisions about their own participation due to specific health concerns for their families. As we move through the remaining weeks of the season it is important to be supportive and respectful of everyone's individual decisions.
The BSA Board will continue to monitor updates to policy and how our community is responding to these changes. If any further changes are required, we will communicate them via usual channels.
The BSA Board