If this were a normal year, many Oregon SC teams would be a few weeks into practice and getting ready for the fall season. This year, though, is anything but normal.
We are excited to be offering practices again for the first time since last fall - some programs are scheduled to start in the next few days. However, players and parents must understand that these sessions will be much different than the many practices our club has run in past years.
We feel that we have a unique opportunity to help children get physical activity and social interaction during a time when that is not readily available. But in order to do that, it will require additional efforts on a number of fronts, as we have greatly increased safety precautions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Oregon SC has developed a list of guidelines for players, parents and coaches, combining Public Health Madison & Dane County’s Forward Dane orders and U.S. Soccer’s Play On return to play plan. U.S. Soccer, Wisconsin Youth Soccer Association and Madison Area Youth Soccer Association guidelines clearly state that local municipal/county guidelines take precedence.
Among the most notable guidelines:
If a player or coach is experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, they should not attend practice.
At this point, players and coaches must be physically distanced, a minimum of 6 feet apart at all times. This means there won’t be any contact, such as scrimmaging or 1v1, 2v2, etc. Soccer is considered a “medium risk” sport in the Forward Dane plan and games/scrimmages are not allowed. There is a limit of 25 players per session.
Coaches will wear face coverings during all sessions. Face masks are required for players while going to and from practices and are recommended - but not required - during the session.
Players should not comment on their teammates’ choices to wear a mask or to not wear one during the session. If such comments are heard, coaches will have the player sit out of practice for 5 minutes. If subsequent comments are heard after the player returns to the field, he/she/them will sit out for the remainder of practice and a Board member will discuss the topic with the player and parent(s). We hope this will not be necessary.
Parents need to be sure their child understands and follows the guidelines. Part of the protocol calls for specific drop-off and pick-up points for practices - we are working through those details and will notify all families of those locations for each field.
The club will provide hand sanitizer in several areas, but players also need to have their own hand sanitizer, among other things. Each team must have a COVID-19 Coordinator to track attendance at every practice. Coaches will disinfect equipment used in practice after each session, and only coaches are permitted to touch the equipment.
Every family must read the full guidelines, which are posted below, and follow them. Failure to follow the guidelines at all times will jeopardize the club’s ability to continue to operate in these conditions.
Please be aware that these standards are always subject to change. In the coming weeks and months, the guidelines could be relaxed to allow contact and games; on the other hand, they also could be tightened and reduce what we can offer - or if we can offer anything at all.
Here is the latest information on each of our programs for player 9U and older:
Competitive: Practices scheduled to start Monday or Tuesday, depending on the team.
Recreational: Practice schedules being finalized, start dates determined by coaches.
Academy: Practices scheduled to start Tuesday.
As for our in-house programs, we acknowledge the challenges that physical distancing presents with our youngest players. Therefore, we are asking the parents of players registered for those programs to help inform our decision on the Fall 2020 season.
Based on the feedback we’ve already received, we expect families in our club will have many different opinions on these guidelines.
The bottom line is that parents must feel their child is safe participating. This has always been our top priority, well before the pandemic, and will continue to be going forward.
We believe this plan is the best, safest experience we can offer at this time. However, only you can determine your family’s level of comfort with it.
So, if you do not think it would be in your child’s best interest to play under these guidelines, we will fully support you withdrawing him/her/them for the Fall 2020 season or the full 2020-21 season. If you would like to withdraw your child, please contact your respective commissioner by Sept. 1 so we can plan accordingly for the fall season.
The Board will determine and distribute information on half-season refund amounts in the near future. We are also working with WYSA/MAYSA on the details for players who would like to withdraw for Fall 2020 but remain registered to potentially play in Spring 2021.
Thank you for your interest and continued support of Oregon SC, and for your patience and understanding over the past few months.
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