COVID 19 INFORMATION
ADDITIONAL COVID 19 INFORMATION SUPPLEMENT 5
TESTWAY YOUTH FOOTBALL LEAGUE Points to Consider at Youth Football Matches Supplement No. 5 As the new season approaches the Management Committee wishes to take the opportunity to remind all clubs, that the COVID-19 Pandemic is still with us. The League has already received one request to postpone a fixture from a club which has experienced a number of its players testing positive for the virus and subsequently having to isolate. As schools return for the Autumn term, it is predicted that the number of infections may increase and with it the potential for individuals affected to follow Government rules and to self-isolate. It is foreseeable that there will be further occasions when requests for the postponement of fixtures for this reason will be received, resulting in the consequent disruption of the fixture programme. The League draws the attention to this scenario, and reminds clubs that they must have a COVID Risk Assessment in place, which players, coaches, officials, parents and all associated with club activity must adhere to. Please refer to previous issues of the TYFL Points to Consider notices and ensure that Government Guidance continues to be followed. The Management Committee wishes that all clubs enjoy a successful and enjoyable season, but please remember that although many of the restrictions of the past 18 months have been relaxed, there is still a need for pragmatism and caution to ensure that a safe environment for Youth football is maintained. Testway Youth Football League 4 th September, 202
ADDITIONAL COVID SUPPLEMENT 4
With the publishing of Step 3 of the Government’s ‘Road Map’ of the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions, the Testway Youth Football League is updating its Points to Consider to member clubs.
The League has received revised guidance from the Football Association (the FA) and the Hampshire Football Association (HFA), which will take effect from Monday 17th May.
Clubs are reminded that this is a relaxation of the COVID rules, and the Government’s regulations and the FA’s general guidance still apply namely,
· Social distancing should be practised wherever necessary.
· A face covering should be worn in enclosed spaces.
· Sanitisation of hands, equipment should be practised in accordance with existing FA guidance.
· There should be no sharing of personal equipment by players.
· Travel to venues should be limited to one family per vehicle.
THE CHANGES FROM MONDAY 17th MAY, 2021
From Step 3, spectators will be permitted to view events on both public and private land but need to adhere to social distancing rules and social gathering limits set at groups of 30 outdoors and six people/two households indoors. Please note that multiple numbers of these group sizes are permitted as long as social distancing rules are followed.
Spectators may enter club houses, pavilions, etc., may be opened, but should maintain social distancing and require patrons to wear a face mask.
Changing facilities are not open; players and officials should arrive at the venue, already changed. The teams should occupy different areas from each other and be situated at the opposite side of the pitch to the spectators.
Toilet facilities are available and subject to the club or venue’s local COVID restrictions.
As part of Step 3 of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown, both outdoor and indoor hospitality at ‘non-elite’ football is permitted. All participants must follow Government guidance on hospitality settings and specific advice for sport facility operators available on the Government’s website. People using clubhouses and hospitality facilities must adhere to legal gathering limits and wider government guidance.
Please remember that the Pandemic Outbreak is not yet over.
In order to provide a safe environment for non-elite sport to take place, it is extremely important that clubs, players, coaches, match officials, league officials, volunteers, parents, carers, and facility providers continue to strictly follow both the UK Government's latest guidance on COVID-19 and respective bespoke guidance documents from The FA. Any incidents of non-compliance should be reported to the local County Football Association.
Testway Youth Football League
12th May, 2021
ADDITIONAL COVID SUPPLEMENT 3
To: All member clubs of the Testway Youth Football League
From Monday 29th March, the Government roadmap out of COVID-19 restrictions permits the return of grassroots sport, which includes Youth and Junior football, albeit with certain specific limitations which are summarised below.
A reminder to all clubs. The Government COVID-19 regulations and Football Association guidance must be adhered to at all times.
The Football Association has issued official guidance which reflects the official Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) regulations. The FA guidance can be found at the link:
From 29th March we will enter Step 1(B) of the Government roadmap. Although restrictions will be eased throughout the remainder of a football season extended to June 30th, the following key limitations will initially apply:
SPECTATORS, PARENTS & CARERS
· No spectators are allowed at grassroots sport as part of step 1(B) of the Government’s roadmap.
· However, “where clubs and facilities can accommodate this safely, one parent/carer per youth player is permitted to be present at football activities although they must observe the relevant Government Covid-19 guidance”.
THIS ASPECT OF THE GUIDANCE IS SPECIFICALLY A REQUIREMENT OF DCMS REGULATIONS AND ALL CLUBS, PARENTS, RELATIVES AND CARERS ARE REQUESTED TO ADHERE TO IT. CLUBS ARE OBLIGED TO TAKE MEASURES THAT ENSURE THE GUIDANCE IS FOLLOWED.
Although Step 1(B) permits two households, or up to six people, to meet out of doors, clubs will need to manage a maximum number of people in attendance at a match in the light of the FA guidance.
Clubs also need to consider the position of parents who may have to co-ordinate supervision of older/younger siblings at the venue and those with disabilities - both players and spectators - where a carer or Parent may have to be present.
· There should be no shared travel to matches, other than by public transport, when all COVID specific guidances should be followed. Persons from different households, other than recognised ‘bubbles’ should not travel in the same vehicle.
· Travel to matches should, as far as possible, avoid ‘peak’ times and use the most direct route.
· Changing rooms cannot be used as part of step 1(B) of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown and therefore must remain closed, except for emergencies. Where toilet facilities are available, these can be open during the match, and for periods of 30 minutes before and after the match, subject to social distancing measures.
As was the practice during the earlier lockdown, players should arrive changed. Clubs should make COVID secure arrangements to permit teams to have separate ‘changing areas’ identified close to the pitch.
· Organised competitive training sessions are permitted under step 1(B), but may only take place out of doors.
All clubs must have a COVID management plan in place and have reviewed their COVID Risk Assessment. Clubs have been requested to confirm that they have reviewed and revised, if necessary, these arrangements to the Secretary, TYFL. Within this plan should be a statement as to how the club will manage spectators. How the ‘Group of 6’ principle is maintained without conflicting the ‘One Spectator per child’ guidance must be clearly stated. Clubs must appoint a person, the ‘Covid Officer’, to be responsible for overseeing the arrangements made by the club for match and training events. In competitive football activities the Covid-19 officer of each club is required, by the FA, to ensure a safety briefing is provided before the commencement of any fixture. This briefing will remind both sets of players and officials about their responsibilities in complying with the FA Code of Behaviour.
Footnote to Supplement 3
This is information is provided by the Testway Youth Football League and is intended as an aid to understanding Government regulation and Football Association guidance, both of which take precedence over this document. Please refer to previous Points to Consider provided by TYFL which are not superseded by this document. If you have any questions, please contact the League Secretary.
Additional Government advice is expected before the end of the current season on June 30th which may amend information given in this supplement.
Enjoy the return of grassroots football, but PLEASE ensure that you adhere to all regulation and guidance designed to provide a COVID-secure match environment.
Issued by the Testway Youth Football League, 28th March, 2021
ADDITIONAL COVID SUPPLEMENT 2
TESTWAY YOUTH FOOTBALL LEAGUE Points to Consider at Youth Football Matches Supplement 2: Return of Grass Roots Football (December 2020)
The Management Committee of the Testway Youth Football League welcomes the return of Grass Roots Football from 2nd December, 2020.
A reminder to all clubs
The Government COVID-19 regulations must be adhered to at all times •
Clubs in the League are drawn from the counties of Hampshire and Wiltshire, which are in Tier 2 of the UK Government’s classification of COVID regions, as of 26th November, 2020.
The Football Association guidance for Re-starting of Grass Roots Football remains in force and should be adhered to in the interests of reducing the risks of infection and transmission of the COVID -19 virus.
For practical guidance please make reference to the League’s Points to Consider document and Supplement 1,
but in particular,
The requirement of clubs to display the Track & Trace QR Bar Code.
Maintain a register of match participants (Track & Trace) which is retained for, at least, 21 days following the match.
Provide adequate signage to remind players, coaches, officials and spectators of the requirement to maintain social distancing.
Provide separate areas where teams may change.
Provide, where necessary, adequately signed ‘one-way’ systems for pathing of spectators and match participants and for entrance and exits (including vehicular access).
Spectators should follow the Government’s ‘Rule of Six’, and that individual groups must maintain social distancing from each other.
Enjoy the return of football, but PLEASE ensure that you adhere to all guidance designed to provide a COVID-secure match environment. Issue 1, issued by the Testway Youth Football League, 27th November, 2020.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION SUPPLEMENT 1
This document is intended as a supplement to the Points to Consider (27th August, 2020) issued by the Testway Youth Football League. No changes have been made to the text of that document but this supplement recognises the latest changes to Government advice and regulations announced on 22nd September.
Please ensure that your club is aware of the latest advice circulated by the FA
(forwarded by the TYFL Secretary) to be aware of the launch of the NHS Track & Trace App and the requirement to display the NHS QR poster. Noncompliance may result in the club being fined.
We are now two weeks into the season, and the challenges of safely running Youth football this year have become quite evident, particularly in the light of the enhanced restrictions. Thankfully, there is nothing in these latest changes which directly affect outdoor grass roots football. However, a number of instances have already arisen where team members or coaches have displayed suspected COVID-19 symptoms and have been tested for the virus. A number of positive tests or suspected cases have been recorded which has resulted in matches being postponed.
What should clubs do when a player or coach (or parent) displays symptoms of COVID-19 ?
• If a team member or coach is suspected of having symptoms of COVID19 they should self-isolate and request a test. This is a Government requirement. The individual (child or adult) is required to self-isolate until the result of the test is available.
• It may be necessary for members of their household to self-isolate also, but at this stage there is no requirement for any other person to selfisolate unless a particular risk through contact is recognised.
• The League suggests that under these circumstances, the club may notify teams it has recently played, e.g. within the last 72 hours, or teams they are scheduled to play in the next 14 days, of the fact that the club has persons who are displaying COVID-19 symptoms and are awaiting the results of a test. They may wish to take their own action.
• It is likely that under these circumstances, postponement of pending fixtures will be necessary. Please contact the League if you are in any doubt.
What do we do if the result of the COVID-19 test is POSITIVE ?
• If the result of the test of a player or coach is POSITIVE, those persons are required by Government regulation to self-isolate for at least 10 days. Those who are considered to have been in close contact with any individual player, coach, referee or parent, are required to self-isolate for 14 days. The difficulty for clubs is to understand who has been in ‘close contact’. In the case of a positive test it is anticipated that the Track & Trace system or the NHS App should identify contacts, however, for the sake of prudence a club affected in this way should notify their opponents from recent matches and those scheduled to be played in the coming 14 days. Those contacted must then make their own decisions as how a team and other club members should be notified and act. Those who may have been directly contacted by Track & Trace who will receive instructions individually.
PLEASE NOTE, there is concern of telephone scams. A call received from Track & Trace will always be from a single telephone source, 0300 0135 000.
THE LEAGUE SHOULD ALSO BE NOTIFIED (to the relevant LDR and the League Secretary).
What do we do in the event of a test result being NEGATIVE ?
• If the result of a COVID-19 test is NEGATIVE, then unless the individual is still feeling unwell, there is no further restriction on that person, nor their contact.
• It is suggested that the outcome of the test is notified to the League and to past and future opponents. A match may then go ahead provided that both teams are satisfied that the conditions are safe to do so.
• The affected club is requested to act responsibly, and ensure that, despite a negative result being reported, none of the those tested or in self-isolation continues to feel unwell. Such a scenario might result in a non-COVID infection displaying COVD-like symptoms being reported in contacts and those persons having to be tested.
• The importance of communication between teams and the League is paramount in maintaining a COVID-safe environment for matches to take place
How do recent changes to the COVID rules affect youth football ?
• The COVID rules have been tightened by the Government in recent weeks and with the announcements of 22nd September.
• There is nothing which has been introduced in the revised rules which prevents youth and grass roots football being played.
• However, with a generally tightened regime of guidance, it is even more important for clubs to adhere to Government guidelines and regulations, FA Guidance and individual club arrangements for safeguarding players, parents, spectators and officials.
• The NHS App is likely to become a useful tool for clubs.
• The changes have highlighted the need for clubs, players, referees and spectators to follow the three basic rules, of ‘Wash Your Hands’, Maintain Social Distancing, Wear a Mask. In the open air the need for a mask is advisable when in close proximity to others, but the most significant change with the recent changes is The Rule of Six.
• Rule of Six. The League’s Points to Consider document, already highlights the need to congregate in numbers of no more than six. The Government’s clarification of this must be followed, and with no more than two households forming that group. At venues for recreational sport, there will be significant numbers of parents and other spectators, and the League reminds spectators to follow the rules and exercise social distancing between the groups. The clubs are responsible for reminding spectators of the importance of following those the rules.
The League’s Points to Consider document of 27th August, has not been updated, these notes are considered supplementary to it.
• A number of matches have been observed by League officials, and generally, Spectator compliance with expectation has been good.
• Behaviour by players has been compliant.
• The League has noted that there has not always been a break in play for refreshment and sanitisation of hands and ball.
• Clubs are reminded of the basic requirements of the Government Regulation and FA Guidance.
• At the time of writing, COVID-19 cases are on the increase and leading to ‘local lockdowns’ being imposed. Clubs, players and spectators are reminded of the importance of continuing to adhere to all regulations, rules and guidance designed to provide a secure environment for the game to be played and to ensure that all of us can safely enjoy the game of football against the background of the Pandemic.
Finally, a sincere thanks to all clubs, for making the preparations for grass roots football for youngsters to continue to be played in a COVID-safe environment. It is increasingly important that our young people can continue to have a regular opportunity to play football. It’s up to all of us to ensure that all appropriate measures are taken that this may continue. Testway Youth Football League
24th September, 2020.
POINTS TO CONSIDER AT YOUTH FOOTBALL MATCHES
These notes represent advice from the Management Committee of the Testway Youth Football League (TYFL) as Points to Consider of ‘best practice’ for club officials, coaches, players, referees and spectators attending, or participating in, TYFL matches. These notes clarify the expectations the League has of its clubs in providing a safe environment for youth football. They may not be appropriate for all age groups of players, e.g. U-11 groups and younger, but are provided as additional guidance for adults (coaches and parents) in ensuring a COVID safe environment is provided for matches to take place, particularly at venues where there may be several matches taking place.
These Points to Consider do not replace instructions you will have been given by your club nor specific guidance that you may receive from your club’s COVID officer of expectations for match day behaviours applicable to both home and away fixtures.
FOR THE AVOIDANCE OF DOUBT, GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS, FA GUIDANCE, GUIDANCE TO REFEREES AND LOCAL CLUB ARRANGEMENTS SHOULD TAKE PRECEDENCE OVER THIS DOCUMENT.
BEFORE THE MATCH
• Do not travel to a game if you, or your family, are showing any symptoms of COVID 19, are self-isolating or awaiting the result of a diagnostic test.
• Should the above be the case, inform your team manager or another official the club. The symptoms of COVID-19 may include,
• i) A temperature of greater than 38°C, ii) loss of sense of taste or smell, iii) a persistent cough, iv) listlessness or fatigue.
• Avoid, unless absolutely necessary, the use of public transport when travelling to a match.
• If travelling by car, it is advised that you travel only with members of your own household.
o It is suggested that family members from a second household may travel in the same vehicle, in which case the wearing of facemasks is recommended.
• Players should travel already changed and arrive ‘ready to play’. There will be no communal changing facilities available at venues.
Arriving at the ground
• The home club will inform visiting opponents of local arrangements in place with respect to COVID-19 mitigation, e.g. car parking, toilet facilities (if available) and any necessary signage for pathing of spectators. This is particularly important at venues where multiple matches are taking place.
• If food or refreshments are to be provided by the club, arrangements must comply with all relevant Government regulations.
• You may wish to avoid cash transactions in payment.
• Park your vehicle safely with social distancing requirements in mind.
• Clubs are required to retain the details of all attendees at matches for 21 days for Track & Trace purposes. Occupants of a single vehicle, or of a family group, may nominate one adult to act as contact for that group.
• When greeting other match attendees, other families, etc., maintain social distancing.
Prior to the match commencing
• Players from each side should congregate separately in their teams adhering to local club instructions and maintaining social distancing.
• Spectators should avoid unnecessary congregating. Groups should be limited to a maximum of 6 persons. Maintain social distancing between groups.
• The Home Club should identify a suitable area for players and coaches to complete pre-match preparation. The FA advises participants should arrive ‘ready to play’, but football boots are most likely to be put on immediately before the game. In unfavourable weather take care to maintain social distancing if seeking shelter (e.g. use vehicle if possible).
• Teams should ‘warm up’ at opposite ends of the pitch.
• The referee will check player’s kit whilst maintaining social distancing.
• No items of personal kit should be shared by players of either team.
• Parents. If your child uses an inhaler, take particular care that it should be contained in a plastic bag and handed to the coach, or retained by a parent/accompanying adult.
• Players should have individual refreshments, e.g. a clearly labelled container for drinks. With the younger age groups particularly in mind, it may be better that they are retained by parents/accompanying adults.
• Coaches should pre-sanitise the footballs to be used in practice and the match. At least two match balls should be provided, and must be sanitised before the match. Footballs used in a pre-match warm-up must be pre-sanitised and collected and removed before the kick-off.
• Advise spectators to avoid handling the match ball if returning it to the game. Kicking the ball is acceptable.
• Clubs must ensure that there is adequate hand sanitiser available at the match venue and all individual matches which may take place there.
PLAYING THE MATCH
• Follow FA Guidance (Refer to FA Guidance “Re-starting Outdoor Competitive Grassroots Football – Summary”).
• There will be ‘drinks breaks’ during playing time. Coaches should ensure participants take the opportunity for hand sanitisation at this time.
• Some players may be sensitive to sanitising fluids. These participants may wear gloves during the match, but should sanitise them at the appropriate time.
• At half time, the match ball must be sanitised, or replaced with a sanitised ball.
• Any replacement ball used during the match should be sanitised before use.
• Spectator groups should be of no more than six adults, who may be from different households. Different groups should observe social distancing of a minimum of 1 metre (+) and clubs should ensure that these groups are dispersed along the touch line opposite to the coaches and behind the Respect barriers or marker cones.
• Spectators are not permitted to stand behind the goals.
NB. Clubs and spectators should note that FA Respect rules continue to apply to all Youth football matches.
• For matches played in stadium grounds, e.g. Cup Finals, spectators must observe the local instructions of the ground authority.
• Spectators are asked to be mindful of Government guidelines for behaviour in social groups. Cheering and encouragement of teams and individuals is natural, but excessive shouting and cheering, in addition to Respect guidelines, should also be restrained in recognition of Government COVID guidelines.
• It is important that spectators avoid dropping litter, but particularly ensure that that you check any area where you may have stood and remove any identifiable personal items.
AFTER THE MATCH
• After the final whistle, players, coaches and officials should not shake hands with other participants, but may acknowledge and thank them whilst maintaining social distancing.
• Parents/accompanying adults and other spectators are requested to encourage players to collect any personal equipment and to promptly leave the playing area and return to their vehicle, observing social distancing.
• Coaches should gather up club equipment and complete any post-match administration with match officials and other coaches.
• The home club will arrange for nets to be removed and goal-posts to be dismantled, or if they are permanently fixed, or to sanitise the posts and cross-bars.
POST MATCH CONSIDERATIONS
• Should any attendee (player or spectator) display symptoms of Coronavirus within 14 days of attendance at a match, the host club (or clubs) must be notified. The relevant club will then inform the national ‘Track & Trace’ authority of the notification. NB. This may have implications for all persons who attended the match.
• Any person affected in this way should also follow Government instructions on how to proceed.
TESTWAY YOUTH FOOTBALL LEAGUE
Points to Consider at Youth Football Matches
Additional Guidance issued by the Management Committee of the Testway Youth Football League
• The club should make the League aware of the reporting of any such notification, but should not provide detail of the report.
Issue 1, issued by the Testway Youth Football League, 27th August, 2020