Covid-19 Guidelines & Updates to 'Play Safe'
November 12, 2020 - The Northeast Futsal Association has created its comprehensive Covid-19 Guidelines & Updates to 'Play Safe' this season. We are following CDC, state, and federal guidance and will do our best to provide a safe, healthy environment for our participants.
This will be updated as new announcements are made.
Current Update: December 15, 2020
We are adhering to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs for all programs happening in that state.
For Northeast Futsal Association affiliated programs happening in other states, those programs follow their own guidelines and are independently run. Refer to their websites for more information.
WORKPLACE SAFETY and REOPENING STANDARDS FOR BUSINESSES and OTHER ENTITIES PROVIDING YOUTH and ADULT AMATEUR SPORTS ACTIVITIES –
*** Phase III, Step 1 Expansion of Activity Number 1 ***
Futsal is considered a moderate risk sport. We CAN play matches.
Below is further information as we prepare for the season.
How current guidance will relate to Northeast Futsal Association's Gameplay:
No more than 25 players on any surface/playing area for team sports
- Each team's gameday roster can include no more than 12 players and one coach (Team roster size remains unlimited)
- There is only one referee per game
Indoor facility with a chaperone/spectator viewing area that allows for at least six feet social distancing between spectators and the presence of spectators plus players, coaches, referees, and facility/activity workers does not cause the facility to exceed more than 40% of the maximum occupancy for the indoor facility, then 1 spectator per player under 21 years old is allowed to attend
- Millworks (Westford) is a 268,000 square foot facility with high ceilings
- There are clearly marked bleachers that allow for this adherence
Spectators must wear facial coverings and maintain six feet of social distance at all times
No spectators are allowed for sports and activities played by individuals 21 years and older
Activity Organizers should set Competition and Tournament schedules with a time buffer to prevent the overlap of competitions at any one time and to allow for disinfecting of equipment and cleaning of commonly touched surfaces, if necessary. Games should end in a draw if time expires
- Our matches last 44 minutes in gameplay length, with extra time allotted for timeouts, halftime, and other stoppages in play.
- We have always been an efficient organization and there has always been a buffer time between matches that start on the hour.
- Referees will sanitize the ball during every timeout, halftime, and between matches.
Players must have facial coverings with them at all times and wear them at all times while playing, on the sidelines and in the facility (including common areas, parking lot, and restrooms) when social distancing is not possible.
Coaches and Officials must wear facial coverings at all times when social distancing is not possible.
All intentional heading of a ball is suspended. Intentional heading will result in an indirect free kick for the opposing team.
Incidents of players spitting will result in an immediate ejection with a minimum one game suspension
All players, coaches, and referees must wear face covering during play except:
- A player can take off their face covering during the game when they are more than 6 feet away from an opponent, or teammate. (This is to take a “mask break”)
- Players can lower their mask during long runs down the field, for players without close contact, and in net as a goalkeeper.
- The default expectation is that the face covering will be worn properly.
- Failure to have your face coverings securely/ properly worn according to these guidelines will result in an indirect free kick for the opposing team, as well as a yellow card and two minute penalty for the player in violation.
- They can also remove the facial covering during high intensity aerobic or anaerobic activities as long as social distancing is possible.
- Coaches and Officials must wear facial coverings at all times when social distancing is not possible. Players must wear facial coverings at all times on the sidelines when social distancing is not possible.
- It is the responsibility of the head coach to certify that their entire team is wearing appropriate/ approved face coverings prior to each game.
- Facial coverings are treated as legal player equipment as are shin-pads, and proper footwear.
- If at any point the referee feels that conditions are not safe in the bench area, as it relates to face coverings, they may issue yellow card to the head coach and a two minute penalty to the team (i.e. one player is removed from the court) for failure to enforce the facial covering policy.
Players, Coaches, and Officials must use hand sanitizer or wash hands prior to entering the field, and exiting the field. Hand sanitizer is available at the entrance and exit. Hand washing can take place in the restrooms.
Benches & bleachers are allowed to open only if six feet of distance can be maintained between each participant at all times and they can be thoroughly cleaned before and after every use.
Sportsmanship should continue in a touchless manner – no handshakes/slaps/fist bumps.
If social distancing is not possible in an athletic facility, chaperones/spectators may be asked to wait outside the facility until an activity is completed.
Activity Organizers should ensure that individuals are not congregating in common areas or parking lots following practices or events.
Once athletes have completed their competition or activity, they must leave the area if another team is taking the field or using the playing surface to ensure adequate space for distancing.
Participants and spectators should only drink from their own containers.
Organizers should encourage athletes to arrive dressed for practice and games and to leave immediately after practice and games. Locker room and changing room use should be minimized.
To participate or attend, organizers should ensure that participants, volunteers, coaches, and spectators must show no signs or symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days. Current list of symptoms is available from the CDC.
If any individual develops symptoms of COVID-19 during the activity, they should promptly inform organizers and must be removed from the activity and instructed to return home.
Organizers of activities are responsible for following all guidelines and creating a safe environment for participants.