Website Manager

North Carolina FC Youth

Return to Play

INTRODUCTION

As we return to soccer in the fall season, our highest priority remains to provide soccer opportunities in a safe environment. The policies below have been developed by our COVID-19 Task Force made up of professionals in the soccer, medical, and education communities and in conjunction with support from various government agencies, healthcare providers, and governing bodies for soccer.

The policies below will give parents, coaches, and players an idea of what to expect to see when returning to training as well as the increased responsibilities we all will need to undertake to ensure all our participants can continue to train and develop safely. And while we are confident that the steps below are in line with all directives we’ve received, parents should feel comfortable making the best decision for their player as it relates to participating in soccer at this time.

As we move towards the fall season and progress through North Carolina’s phased approach, we expect to provide additional updates to these policies. The policies are subject to change to accommodate additional directives from the State of North Carolina, the NC Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and soccer’s state and national governing bodies.

We look forward to seeing you on the field soon!


PROGRAM INFORMATION LINKS
For more information on specific program details, timelines, and training information, click on the appropriate link below.

Recreation
La Liga
Challenge
Juniors
Classic
ECNL
NCFC Academy
NC Courage Academy
TOPSoccer

Game Day Protocols
The protocols listed below refer to the current protocols in place for training sessions, click here to view specific protocols for game day play.

SOCCER FACILITY POLICIES

  • Restrooms will be cleaned and disinfected daily. Commonly touched surfaces will be routinely cleaned throughout training sessions. Sanitizing Stations will be present at fields and common areas. In order to maintain social distancing policies, some urinals and sinks will be closed.
  • Any activities that require a line, such as a check-in or medical service queue will have designated markings 6 feet apart to allow individuals to maintain social distancing guidelines while waiting in line.
  • Academy Locker Rooms, Team Room, Fitness Center, and Upstairs Clubhouse Rooms remain closed to players, coaches, and the public while Return to Play Policies are active.
  • The Fitness Center and Upstairs Clubhouse Main Conference Room will be open for teams to conduct meetings. The max capacity for these rooms is 24 individuals.
  • All players must be positioned at least 6 feet apart throughout the duration and transition of any indoor meeting spaces. All equipment used during these meetings must be sanitized prior to and immediately following the meeting. All individuals must wear masks while inside NCFC meeting spaces.
  • Wake Ortho is permitted to conduct physical therapy sessions by appointment only, and the space is limited to Wake Ortho staff, individuals receiving treatment, and one guardian per individual.
  • WRAL Medical Room access is restricted to NCFC medical staff, 4 individuals receiving care and one guardian per individual.
  • In the case of inclement weather including a lightning strike in the near vicinity of the complex, all players at all complexes should return to their vehicles. In the case a player is without a vehicle at WRAL, we would enable that individual to wait in our Upstairs Clubhouse or Fitness Center while abiding by all social distancing practices.
  • All sites will have signage posted throughout the facility to ensure participants/parents/coaches are aware of current NCFC Return to Play policies.


FIELD OF PLAY POLICIES

  • All fields with defined access points will be marked with designated entrances and exits to ensure one-way traffic where possible.
  • Players may assist Coaches in moving goals on turf fields, cones, and other coaching equipment provided they sanitize their hands prior to and after moving the goal, and they remain 6 feet apart while moving the equipment.
  • Designated player equipment areas will be marked off with cones, providing players obvious spaces to place their gear 6 feet away from other gear prior to the session.
  • NCFC will not provide water at any of our sites, as players will be expected to provide their own water for training.

COACHES/SUPPORT STAFF POLICIES

  • All Coaches and Staff will complete a Symptom Screening Questionairre prior to each training night.
  • Coaches and Staff must immediately report any symptoms through our COVID-19 Incident Form in addition to their direct supervisor or program director.
  • Coaches exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19 are not permitted to execute training sessions until they meet all Returning to Coach/Play criteria.
  • Coaches who consider themselves to be in the at-risk population or have concerns regarding returning to the fields should contact their supervisor.
  • All coaches and staff at soccer facilities are required to wear masks while on NCFC soccer facility properties. Masks are to be washed prior to coaching each day.
  • One designated staff member will be present at each training site each day to enforce team training policies and will have the authority to shut down operations of an individual team or site if policies are not being followed.
  • Coaches should ensure that players are actively social distancing when conduction non-soccer related activities and placing gear at least 6 feet apart.
  • Any coach who wishes to use their soccer balls during training must ensure all soccer balls are sanitized prior to each session.
  • Pinnies may be used by coaches provided all pinnies are washed prior to the session and each pinnie is used by only one individual. Players are instructed to bring their game jerseys in order to provide color options without the use of pinnies.
  • Prior to the start of each session, coaches must complete the Symptom Screening Questionnaire for each player within the session. Any player answering YES to any of the screening questions should immediately be sent home and instructed to have their parent complete the COVID-19 Incident Form.
  • Coaches must track attendance for each session through PlayMetrics.


PLAYER POLICIES

  • Players must bring their own ball, game jerseys, hand sanitizer, and water to trainings and store their belongings 6 feet apart from other player’s belongings. Designated equipment areas will be marked off with cones, providing players obvious spaces to place their gear 6 feet away from other gear prior to the session.
  • It is recommended that players sanitize their soccer ball prior to each training session.
  • Players should remain in their vehicle until the field has cleared from the previous session.
  • It is expected that players wear masks while walking to and from the field of play and where social distancing may not be possible in accordance with North Carolina Phase 2 Executive Orders. Players are not required to wear masks during training sessions but are free to do so.
  • Players may assist in moving goals on turf fields, cones, and other coaching equipment provided they sanitize their hands prior to and after moving the goal, and they remain 6 feet apart while moving the equipment
  • Players are to enter the field through a designated entry point. If there is only one entrance/exit to the field, players should wait until the previous session has cleared the field prior to entering. Maps of each complex will be provided via email and www.ncfcyouth.com. 
  • Should players be experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, they will not be permitted to train in accordance with our COVID-19 Incident Management Protocols.
  • Prior to the start of each session, coaches must complete the Symptom Screening Questionnaire for each player within the session. Any player answering YES to any of the screening questions should immediately be sent home and instructed to have their parent complete the COVID-19 Incident Form.


PARENT/SPECTATOR POLICIES

  • Parents are to monitor their children for symptoms of COVID-19 prior to attending each training session, including checking temperatures on the day of training. Players who exhibit COVID-19 Symptoms should not be allowed to participate in any NCFC activities.
  • Parents are required to notify NCFC of any symptomatic players using our COVID-19 Incident Report Form in order to allow NCFC Youth to properly manage groups and players that may have been at risk for spreading the virus.   
  • Parents are expected to either remain in their vehicle or take advantage of walking trails available at each site for the duration of the training session. Additional Parent Policies specific to games can be found in our Game Day and Travel Protocols.
  • Parents may not congregate around or immediately outside the field of play.
  • It is expected that parents wear masks while in the general vicinity of soccer fields and any areas where social distancing is not possible in accordance with North Carolina State and Local Phase 2 Executive Orders.


TRAINING SESSION POLICIES

  • All sessions are permitted to be run as full training sessions, with the mixing of all players within a team permitted.
  • A maximum of 4 11v11 teams, 5 9v9 teams, and 6 7v7 teams are permitted to train on a full-sized field at one time.
  • Teams are permitted to organize scrimmage activities between NCFC teams inside training sessions. In order to do so, a game must be added within PlayMetrics to denote the mixing of groups.
  • Sessions can be designed for full contact within the training environment. Players should remain 6 feet apart when not engaged in soccer training activities. Team huddles, handshakes, high-fives, and other non-essential forms of contact are prohibited during training sessions.
  • Goalkeeper Training sessions may take place provided all soccer balls used within the session are provided by the club and sanitized prior to the session.
  • Players will use their game jerseys as differentiating colors during training sessions. Coaches may elect to use pinnies instead, provided all pinnies are washed prior to the session, and each pinnie is assigned to one player.


GENERAL HEALTH GUIDELINES

  • Take the following everyday steps to help avoid the spread of all respiratory viruses:
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, throw the tissue away, and then wash your hands.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects or surfaces such as remote controls and doorknobs. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home if you are sick. Call your doctor if you develop fever, cough, or difficulty breathing.


COVID-19 INCIDENT MANAGEMENT

  • The COVID-19 Incident Form will be provided for staff, coaches and families to report any COVID-19 symptoms/positive tests.
  • Players who develop symptoms are required to isolate until meeting all Return to Play Parameters below. It is recommended that any players experiencing symptoms get tested for COVID as soon as possible.
  • To comply with HIPAA regulations, personal information on the form will be confidential and allow NCFC Youth to quickly inform potentially connected individuals of possible contact within an NCFC session.
  • Within 24 hours of receiving a submission, our Medical Staff will alert the applicable Age Group Director, Group Training Coach, and any players who are reasonably believed to have encountered the individual within the last 14 days. All individuals are expected to self-quarantine at that time.
  • Players who have had Direct Exposure, which as defined by the CDC as being within 6 feet, unmasked, for 15 minutes with a COVID-19 positive individual, are expected to refrain from training until clearing NCFC's Return to Play Parameters.
  • In the scenario where an individual took part in a training session and later reported symptoms or having had contact with a COVID-19 positive individual, all connected individuals will be notified, but training sessions for that group will continue as scheduled.
  • In the scenario where an individual took part in a training session and later reported a positive test, NCFC will notify all players on the team of a positive test.
    - If the family allows for the player’s name to be used in communication, NCFC will allow the sessions to continue as parents will have the information needed to determine whether their child has had Direct Exposure as defined above.
    - If the family of the COVID positive individual wishes for the player to remain anonymous, training sessions for that group will be cancelled for the next 14 days OR until enough players within the team complete the Return to Play parameters to operate a session/game. The ability for a team to participate in upcoming games will be dependent on the team's ability to attend games.
  • Given concerns for cardiac and renal complications after COVID infection, it is recommended that all COVID positive players are seen and evaluated by their pediatrician, including cardiac testing, prior to return to play.
  • As information continues to evolve regarding the transmission of COVID-19, NCFC Youth’s Medical Staff reserves the right to provide additional recommendations to families or terminate team training sessions if needed.


SYMPTOM SCREENING QUESTIONAIRRE

  1. Have you had close contact (within 6 feet for at least 10 minutes) in the last 14 days with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, or has any health department or health care provider been in contact with you and advised you to quarantine?

    • Yes: The player/coach should not participate. The individual can return 14 days after the last time they had close contact with someone with COVID-19, or as listed below.

    • No: The player/coach can participate if they are not experiencing symptoms
  2. Since you last played, have you had any of these symptoms?

    • Fever or Chills
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • New cough
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Congestion or Runny Nose
    • Headache
    • Muscle Pain
    • Sore Throat
    • Fatigue
    • Nausea or Vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    If a player has any of these symptoms, they should go home, stay away from other people, and have a guardian call their health care provider.

  3. Since you last played, have you been diagnosed with COVID-19?


RETURN TO COACH/PLAY PARAMETERS

  • A coach/player who has tested positive can return to activity when they can answer YES to ALL three questions:

    • Has it been at least 10 days since the positive test?
    • Has it been at least 3 days since you’ve had a fever (without using fever reducing medicine)?
    • Has it been at least 3 days since your symptoms have improved, including cough and shortness of breath?
  • A coach/player who develops COVID-19 symptoms must immediately quarantine. They can return to activity after 14 days provided they have been symptom free for 72 hours.

  • A coach/player with Direct Exposure to a COVID positive individual must immediately quarantine for 14 days. They can return to activity after 14 days provided they have been symptom free during the quarantine period.

    • If they develop symptoms during that period, the 14 day quarantine would restart from the first day of symptoms. Players can return following the new 14 day period provided they have been symptom free for 72 hours.
  • The coach/player can return to activity without meeting the above criteria and without a negative COVID-19 test result IF they have a doctor's note allowing them to return to soccer activities. Doctors notes must be submitted to Jason Bailey at [email protected].

Contact

North Carolina FC Youth
5017 Memory Road 
Raleigh, North Carolina 27609

Phone : 919-834-3951
Email: [email protected]

Affiliates

US SOCCER CLUB, DA, US YOUTH SOCCER, NC YOUTH SOCCER, ECNL

North Carolina FC Youth, North Carolina FC, NCFC, and the North Carolina FC logo are trademarks of Carolina FC LLC and are being used by Capital Area Soccer League, Inc. under license. North Carolina
Courage, NC Courage and the North Carolina Courage logo are trademarks of the National Women’s Soccer League, LLC and are being used by Capital Area Soccer League, Inc. under sublicense.

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