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AYSO Fall 2021 Season Covid-19 Protocols

(August 20, 2021)


Governor Ige recently issued Executive Order No. 21-05 which prohibits outdoor social gathering of more than 25 persons.   At his press conference, Governor Ige said that in response to a question about the applicability of the Executive Order to youth sports activities that outdoor youth sports activities are healthy and that the focus on the prohibition was on indoor sports activities.  While we are seeking further clarification on what he meant by that, the Executive Order allows the counties to impose more stringent restrictions on these activities which need to be followed if and when issued.  In the meantime please observe the following protocols during the upcoming AYSO Fall season:

1.              Vaccinations.   National has advised us that AYSO cannot require that players, volunteers or parents attending practices or games must be vaccinated.  The head of the Hawaii Department of Health has stated that vaccines are effective to reduce the chances of infection from Covid-19 and its variants and to lessen the effects of the disease, including hospitalization, and encourages all eligible persons to get vaccinated.

2.              Masks.  There presently is no requirement in Hawaii that masks be worn outdoors.  While that could change any day now, for the time being having players wear masks at practices or games should be left to the discretion of the parents of those players.  If a player wears a mask and needs more breaks as a result, then coaches should allow that player to take more breaks.  Coaches and referees are not currently required to wear masks but should consider masking up in order to better protect themselves from infections.

3.              Health; Covid Positives.  Players, coaches, referees and spectators should not attend practices or games if sick for any reason. If they have tested positive for Covid-19 they should not attend practices or games should isolate at home until they have met the CDC’s criteria to discontinue home isolation before returning to play.  Coaches should report all positive Covid-19 tests involving players and volunteers to their Child and Volunteer Protection Advocate (CVPA) for follow-up action.  In addition, coaches may also notify their Regional Commissioner and Safety Director as directed by the Region.  Frequent hand washing with soap and water for 20 seconds, using hand sanitizers that contain 60% alcohol, and cleaning equipment after practices and games are also encouraged.

4.              Social Distancing.  While the 6 feet of separation rule is not currently in effect for outdoor activities, social distancing among coaches, referees, players and spectators to the extent practical is recommended as another way to stop the spread of the virus.  AYSO teams should sit on opposite sides of the field during games.  Handshakes between opposing teams and with the referees at the end of each game or other greetings involving physical contact are not permitted.  Referees should use electronic whistles if  they have them. 

5.              Game Times.  Games should be scheduled so as to allow sufficient time in between games for the teams that just played to leave the field before the next two teams arrive.  Upper division games should be scheduled at 2 hour intervals.

6.              Game Cards; Start of Games.  Game cards will not be required during the Fall season but coaches must ensure that each player plays at least 2 quarters and 3 quarters before any player plays the entire game.  Completing a game card will help the coach keep track of that.  No coin toss.  For the first half, one player from the home team will select the half of the field it wants to defend and the away team will kick-off.

7.              Substitutions; Short-Handed Teams.  The consensus among the Regions is to allow free substitutions at the 14U, 16U and 19U division levels.  However teams may agree to substitute only at the quarter breaks.  While allowed, coaches must monitor the playing time so as to allow each player to play one-half of each game and three quarters before any player plays the entire game.  If a team is short-handed for a game, and the Region has another team in the same division that can provide a few substitute players, that will be allowed as long as all of the players are rotated so as to provide equal opportunities for additional play.  Teams may also lend players to a short-handed opposing team or play short-sided.

8.              No Snacks.  The “no snack” policy from last season will be continued to limit contact among players and parents.  Even “grab and go” snacks can add to the number of contacts.

9.              Tents.  While the ban on tents and pop ups at public parks is currently not in effect on Oahu, the ban may be reinstated at a later date.  However, social distancing is more difficult when crowding an entire team under a single tent/pop up so dispensing with tents and pop ups will mean less chance of close encounters for players and coaches.

10.           Permit Restrictions.   Any restrictions imposed by the counties as conditions of issuing field permits for practice or games must be followed.

Additional information on AYSO Return to Play Guidelines is attached.

We will continue to monitor the mandates issued by the State and the counties and keep you posted of any new developments that we become aware of. 

Coach Responsibilities:

·        Coaches will send pre-training communication to families ensuring that only healthy participants attend and reiterate expectations and guidelines.

·        Ensure all players have and handle their own labeled equipment (ball, water bottle, training disks, etc.).

·        Coach should be the only person to handle coaching equipment (e.g.: cones, disks, etc.); do not let parents or attendees assist.

·        No shared equipment in use (players will be provided with individual bibs/pinnies or can bring game jerseys as requested).

·        Serve as focal point for notification from team families if a family member becomes ill with COVID-19, tests positive for COVID-19, or comes in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19.  Advise your Region's CVPA of any of the foregoing.

·        Complete and submit AYSO’s Incident Report Form to the Region Safety Director immediately, including team roster. A designated volunteer or team parent can be added to help assist coach in accordance with the same health and safety guidance designated for the coach.

·        An Assistant Coach or Team Parent, as requested, can help with communications to families - including safeguard reminders, i.e., only healthy participants attend activities, or serve as the focal point for notification from team families if a family member becomes ill with COVID-19, tests positive for COVID-19, or comes in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19. Notify the Coach immediately. 


·        Game Officials Responsibilities:

·        Referees are recommended to stay a minimum of 6 feet away from players, coaches and the referee team during the pre-game, half-time, post-game and during play.

·        Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth

·        Spitting or rinsing the mouth with water is to be avoided.

·        Cough into elbow.

·        Modified - one player from each team; no coin toss and Home team selects the half of the field. Away team will take kick-off.

·        Do not share whistles or, if possible, any other referee equipment.

·        If not feeling well during the game at any time, go home immediately.

·        Keep the game flowing to limit groups of players congregating, i.e., set plays.

·        If shared, wipe down the handles of flags with an alcohol-based rub or wash with soap and water.


·        Parents/Players Responsibilities:

·         Ensure your child is healthy. Test child’s temperature before departing for soccer practice (if above 100.4, do not attend).

·         Notify your team immediately if your child or family member becomes ill for any reason.

·         Drop off and pick up players with special care given to the presence of children coming to and from the activity and receive verbal acknowledgement from the coach each time.

·         Please wait in your car and/or adhere to social distance requirements, based on state and local health requirements and as requested by your coach or AYSO officials.

·         Limit the use of carpools or van pools, and limit passengers to household members if possible.

·         Wash your child’s clothing after every training/activity (recommendation).

·         Sanitize all equipment (ball, cleats, shin guards, etc.) before and after every practice.

·         Clearly label your child’s water bottle and personal items.

·         Ensure your child has hand sanitizing products with them at every session.

·         Do not assist coach with equipment before or after training.

·         Check Region and Coach communication regularly.

·         Responsible for cleaning all required equipment after each training sessions (ball, cleats, shin guards, etc.).

·         Bring and use your own labeled hand sanitizer at every session.

·         Do not touch or share anyone else’s equipment.

·         Practice physical distancing, place bags and equipment at least 6 feet apart.

·         No sharing drinks or use of water fountains at facility (players should mark their own water bottles).

·         No snacks.

COVID-19 Plan


·       The CVPA (or Safety Director) should be the Region’s Point of Contact for COVID-19 precautions and reporting, who will follow the AYSO Guidance on Reporting.

·       When the Region discovers that a player or volunteer has tested positive for COVID-19:

a)     Isolation Sick - coaches, officials, volunteers, players, or families should not return until they have met CDC’s criteria to discontinue home isolation.

b)     Make sure that coaches, officials, volunteers, players, and families know that sick individuals should not attend the youth sports activity, and that they should notify the Region’s Safety Director if they or their child (families) become sick with COVID-19 symptoms, test positive for COVID-19, or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 symptoms or a confirmed or suspected case.

c)     Individuals who are sick should go to a healthcare facility, depending on how severe their symptoms are, and follow CDC guidance for caring for oneself and others who are sick. Individuals who have had close contact (within 6 ft for more a total of 15 minutes or more) with a person who has symptoms should be separated and remain at home as well, and follow CDC guidance for community-related exposure (see “Notify Health Officials and Close Contacts” below).

d)     Close off areas used by a sick person and do not use these areas until after cleaning and disinfecting them (for outdoor areas, this includes surfaces or shared objects in the area, if applicable). Wait at least 24-hours before cleaning and disinfecting to protect those doing the cleaning. If 24-hours is not feasible, wait as long as possible. Ensure safe and correct use and storage of cleaning and disinfection products, including storing them securely away from children.

e)     Regions should notify Dept. of Health officials and AYSO Regional members of COVID-19 cases, while maintaining confidentiality in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other applicable laws and complete the AYSO Incident Report Form and turn the Incident Report in to the Safety Director.

f)      The names of anyone who reports a medical condition, injury or illness, must be kept confidential to protect the rights of privacy of those individuals. Disclosure of names and medical conditions is considered a breach of confidentiality/privacy protected under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other applicable laws.


Contact Tracing

·       Maintain a list of all participants at trainings, and attendees, etc. For privacy purposes, the list should be securely stored and not shared publicly.

·       In the event that someone participating in your activities becomes ill, refer to this list to determine who at your Region may have been directly exposed to illness, and advise them accordingly.

·       Follow the Hawaii State Department of Health’s guidance on contact tracing.

·       Include the following items in your contact tracing list to support the process:

a)       Date

b)       Name

c)        Phone

d)       Email Address of participants

e)       Specific training session i.e. time/field/coach etc. For minors, use a parent’s contact information.


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