COVID-19 Mitigation Plan

Soccer Alaska is the largest amateur soccer program in the state and hosts games year-round, with up to 2,500 players participating annually.  Soccer Alaska is a nonprofit organization, founded in the early 2000s with the goal of providing a safe and competitive soccer league. Soccer Alaska is a player focused league and is proud to offer divisions that cater to all skill levels.  The summer season will consist of soccer games on outside turf fields in Anchorage and Eagle River, with an anticipated season of June 22 – August 27, 2020.

This document describes the measures taken by Soccer Alaska to minimize the spread of COVID-19. It is subject to change in the face of new information, updated best practices, or government order. These protective measures are based on advice from public health experts and are intended to protect Soccer Alaska’s players, spectators and the public.

  1. General
    1. Emails will be sent to all players and referees stating that any players who 1) have symptoms of COVID-19, 2) are feeling ill and/or 3) have been exposed to a person with COVID-19 must not attend games and must notify Soccer Alaska’s League Administrator at [email protected] immediately.
    2. Soccer Alaska’s COVID-19 Mitigation Plan will be posted on Soccer Alaska’s website, available 24/7 and Referees will keep a copy with them onsite at games.
    3. Soccer Alaska will hang laminated signs on both soccer goal nets, at each field, stating that any player, referee or spectator who has symptoms of COVID-19 must not enter the premises and that Soccer Alaska’s Mitigation Plan can be found on our website.  Soccer Alaska will check once a week to ensure the signs are still hanging.  
    4. Soccer Alaska will send weekly emails throughout the season to remind players who feel sick or have symptoms not to play.  
    5. Consecutive games on the same field will be staggered to increase social distancing during transition times.
    6. Players are encouraged to play on only one team this summer to minimize the chances of community spread.
    7. Games will be limited to no more than 50 participants.
    8. Spectators are not allowed to sit with teams, and are asked to practice social distancing and wear protective face coverings.
    9. High-risk individuals are encouraged to stay home and not play this summer. 
  1. Training
    1. Referees, although they are not employees, will be provided guidance regarding COVID-19 and Soccer Alaska’s Mitigation Plan.
    2. Players will also be provided guidance regarding COVID-19 and Soccer Alaska’s Mitigation Plan.
  2. Visitor Logs
    1. All players and referees, on each game day, will complete the electronic Soccer Alaska Health Screening, consisting of the below questions.  Players and referees who respond “No” to all four questions will be allowed to play.
      1. Have you been outside Alaska since [14 days prior]?
      2. Have you been in contact with anybody with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 since [14 days prior]?
      3. Are you currently experiencing any of these symptoms? Cough, shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, new loss of taste or smell, vomiting or diarrhea, or sore throat?
      4. Have you had a fever in the last 72 hours?
    2. Soccer Alaska will not log spectators as they do not sit with the teams and sometimes consist of the general public.
  1. Social Distancing
    1. Players are encouraged to social distance a minimum of six feet while entering/exiting the parking lot, the field area and while on the sidelines. Physical contact is only permitted within the rules of soccer during active play.
    2. Players are strongly encouraged to social distance a minimum of ten feet during active play.
    3. Referees, Team Managers and Soccer Alaska Staff, while at the fields, will monitor compliance with distancing requirements.
    4. Emails to all players restating the importance of social distancing will routinely be sent throughout the season.
    5. Should spectators desire to watch a game, they will be asked to bring their own chairs and practice social distancing.
  1. Face Coverings
    1. Players and referees are not required to wear masks as they are actively exercising by playing soccer but are strongly encouraged to wear one.  If someone wishes to wear a mask, the following guidance is being provided:
      1. Cloth masks or disposable face coverings are allowed.
      2. Masks should cover both the nose and mouth if worn.
  1. Player Responsibilities
    1. In addition to other responsibilities listed in this Mitigation Plan, players should:
      1. Wash and sanitize jerseys and equipment regularly and set bags apart from others. 
      2. If a team uses pinnies loaned by Soccer Alaska for the summer season, the team managers must wash and sanitize the pinnies and their carrying bag after each game.
      3. Are strongly encouraged to social distance a minimum of ten feet during active play.
      4. Remain a minimum of six feet while entering/exiting the parking lot, the field area and while on the sidelines. 
      5. Use hand sanitizer before and after each game, and have a personal supply of sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, latex gloves and tissues, and face mask if desired.
      6. Not participate in group celebrations, high 5’s, hugs or handshakes.
      7. Not spit during the game. 
      8. viii.Leave the area as soon as reasonably possible after the game.
      9. Bring their own equipment and water bottle to games. 
      10. Not share water, food or equipment.
  1. Referee Responsibilities
    1. Referees should, in addition to other responsibilities listed in this Mitigation Plan:
      1. Follow all Player Responsibilities listed in Section VI above.
      2. Be discouraged to blow the whistle, within ten (10) feet of participants.
  1. Handwashing and Bathrooms
    1. Porta-potties will be provided by Soccer Alaska and staged at all fields for players to routinely wash and sanitize their hands.
    2. Porta-potties will be sanitized a minimum of twice a week as games are only four nights a week, on consecutive days.
    3. Soccer Alaska encourages players, referees and spectators to wash/sanitize hands before, during and after games. 
  1. Cleaning and Sanitizing Equipment
    1. Soccer Alaska understands that soccer balls are provided by players at random for use during the games.  Referees should sanitize the soccer ball prior to the start of the game. 
  1. Response to Confirmed Infection
    1. If an active player is identified as being COVID-19 positive by testing, Soccer Alaska will perform the following as soon as practical:
      1. Soccer Alaska will perform a full cleaning, sanitize and disinfect the goal posts at all fields.
      2. Soccer Alaska will perform a full cleaning, sanitize and disinfect the porta-potties at all fields
      3. Referees should clean, sanitize and disinfect all flags, uniforms, whistles and gear.
      4. Players should clean, sanitize and disinfect all soccer gear, clothing and equipment.
    2. In the event that a player plays a game and later tests positive, public health officials would interview that player to determine the extent of the possible spread.  The officials would then get in touch with everyone who they concluded had close contact with the infected player.  “Close contact” is defined as having been within 6 feet or less for ten minutes.  
    3. Public health officials are in charge of determining the scope of the spread and contacting anybody who was exposed.  Although Soccer Alaska wouldn’t be allowed to share which player had tested positive, Soccer Alaska will perform the tasks listed above in Section X.a.