First and foremost, we hope that you and your loved ones are safe and healthy and have been enjoying your summer. We have received questions from the community about if and how COVID-19 will change this year’s youth sports and programs. We know this outbreak has been stressful to many and recognize that exercising and participating in activities like sports can be a healthy way to cope with stress and connect with our community. After careful thought and planning, we are excited to let you know that we plan to resume youth sports while following CDC considerations to protect players, families, and our community.
The health and safety of our participants, staff, and volunteers remain our highest priority. We ask that you continue to do the things we have all been doing like washing hands, social distancing and staying home when sick. Below you will find a summary of actions we are taking to help ensure we are lowering COVID-19 risk as much as possible while also allowing our athletes to play.
Intensifying cleaning, disinfection, and ventilation within our facilities and premises by cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces in between use as feasible, cleaning and disinfecting shared objects and equipment between use, and ensuring safe and correct use and storage of disinfectants.
Reducing physical closeness or contact between players when possible by allowing players to focus on building individual skills (like dribbling, kicking, throwing, running), keeping children in small groups, and staggering arrival and drop off times, ensuring that coaches and players stay 6 feet apart on the sidelines, discouraging unnecessary physical contact, such as high-fives, handshakes, fist bumps, and hugs.
Eliminating travel outside of our community for some groups.
Promoting healthy hygiene practices by providing hand sanitizer before and after practices and games, encouraging children to cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or to use the inside of their elbow, and reminding them to not spit.
Each play must bring their own labeled water/beverage to practices and games. No sharing of water bottles. Players are encouraged to bring a sports towel to assist in wiping sweat and minimize touching of their face.
Coaches, youth sports staff, officials, parents, and spectators may opt to wear a cloth face covering during practices and games. Players may opt to wear a cloth face covering on the sidelines, and during play if feasible. As a reminder, cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children younger than 2 years of age, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cover without assistance.
Limiting the sharing of equipment by providing extra equipment to minimize the need to share. Each flag football player will receive their own set of belts and flags. Players are encouraged to bring their own balls and/or equipment. This is a good time for soccer players to practice the “rule” that soccer balls are not carried with hands but guided with their feet when coming to or leaving practice, or moving around the field.
Anyone who is sick or has been in contact with someone who has COVID-19— including players, family members, coaches, staff and spectators — should not attend practices or games. Be on the lookout for symptoms of COVID-19, which include fever, cough, or shortness of breath. Call your doctor if you think you or a family member is sick.
If someone does get sick during practice or at a game, the person will be isolated until that person is taken to their home or healthcare facility.
Please contact our Program Director, Aaryn Frazier, for more information. You can also find more information about COVID-19 at www.cdc.gov.
These procedures require the cooperation of all, as well as extra expenses and staff time for the Y. Parents and volunteers assist us in making our youth programs successful now more than ever. We hope you'll consider volunteering and assisting us as we work to maintain social distancing and take extra precautions for the health of everyone involved.
We look forward to seeing you. Now, let’s play!
Stay healthy in mind, spirit, and body,
Rathbun Lake Area YMCA