Return to Play Guidelines

Aug 20, 2020 5:33 PM



With the upcoming soccer season set to occur during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the health and safety of all Averill Park Youth Soccer players, coaches, family members, and visitors is our top priority. The APYSL board has been working very hard to develop a list of policies, procedures, and guidelines to allow our players to safely play soccer this fall. 

The following guidelines are to be implemented during Fall Recreation play, and potentially beyond.

Please know that we as a league understand you make the best decisions for your family. If you are not comfortable complying with the below or participating in the upcoming season, we are offering full refunds until September 1st.   


Social Distancing

APYSL is implementing  a strict social distancing policy for all soccer events. To provide a socially acceptable distance for players and coaches, additional space will be provided at each field to allow players to sit or take water breaks at least 6 feet away from other players. These areas will be for players only.

Attendance at events will be limited to immediate family (parents/guardians and siblings, if necessary) until further notice. Participants, organizers, spectators, volunteers and facility employees in high risk categories should not participate or attend organized sport activities. List of high risk categories can be found All family members attending games during the Fall Rec season will be asked to wear a face covering at all times (both in the parking lot and at the fields) and maintain a 6 foot distance from unrelated individuals to the extent possible. Face coverings can include masks, scarfs, and bandanas over nose and mouth. All non-team members will be required to remain on the opposite side of the field from team members at all times and stand a minimum of 6 feet from the sidelines at all times. In the event of an injury or the child requiring parental assistance, that parent will be allowed on the field or player sideline area provided they are wearing a mask.  There are no exceptions to the above, and all individuals that do not follow these procedures will be asked to leave and may be asked not to return for the remainder of the season.

Before games begin, referees will check in players one at a time in the team-member area of the field. At no time shall the player approach or be closer than 6 feet during this process. 

Recreational Games

All games will be scheduled 1 game per field, no exceptions. Upon arriving at the field, coaches will ask each player if they are experiencing any signs or symptoms of COVID-19. If the player has any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 they should be sent home and instructed to contact their health provider. Players will not be allowed to return to training until they are cleared by a healthcare provider. A doctor’s note must be provided.  

During the game, all participants and spectators will be asked to remain in their designated areas, unless otherwise instructed by league personnel (e.g. coaches, referees, APYSL board member, etc.).  Coaches and assistant coaches will oversee social distance between players during the game.  We ask parents to reinforce these rules before players arrive at the game.  In the event that a player refuses or is unable to follow the rules set forth by the league, they will be asked to leave the field and may not be able to continue to play for the remainder of the season.  If your child has a health or other challenge that may make following these rules particularly difficult or impossible, please contact the APYSL board immediately. 

Once the game is over, players will be excused one at a time by the coach to their parents. Once the game has ended, all players, families, & coaches associated with the game are expected to leave the field area. All garbage and other waste should be disposed of in provided receptacles as families leave the field.


Field Facilities

Hand sanitizer will be provided for all players throughout the game. Hand sanitizing stations will also be located at the entrance to the field for anyone attending the game. Players will be asked to sanitize their hands when arriving at the field and again before leaving at the end of the game. Trash receptacles will also be provided at all fields.  We ask that parents, coaches, and players disposed of all garbage before leaving the field at the end of the game. 

Water Bottles/Snacks

All players and coaches are required to bring their own water bottle to the facility. At no time shall any player share their water bottle with anyone else.  Team snacks will not be provided during the season, and families are asked to refrain from bringing food to the field unless there is a medical or dietary need.  The league should be notified in advance if this is the case. 

Mask Use

The New York State Department of Health requires face coverings to be worn when distances of 6 feet cannot consistently be maintained. Only the NYSDOH has the ability to change this rule. Therefore, all referees and coaches are required to wear a face covering during practices and games. Players will wear masks when arriving to, and leaving, practices and games.  While on the field, players are not required to wear a protective face covering. Players may wear masks while on the bench if they so desire, otherwise there will be ample space on the side of the field for players to maintain appropriate social distance.  Spectators are required to wear masks at all times.  Refusal to follow the mask use policy will result in the individual being asked to leave the premises. 

Individual Player Gear

All individual soccer gear, including but not limited to balls, cleats, socks, jersey, gloves, head bands, etc. WILL NOT be shared.  Players/families should wipe down or thoroughly clean all equipment used during the course of the practice or game.  Coaches will be responsible for wiping down and properly sanitizing shared equipment such as balls, cones, etc. 

Participant Wellness

As per established NYSDOH guidelines and recommendations any time a player shows symptoms of COVID-19 or any other ailment, those individuals are restricted from attending and participating in any APYSL event until symptoms have dissipated and they have been cleared medically. Any individual observed to be sick and displaying any symptoms associated with COVID-19 or any other ailment shall be asked to leave the event immediately. 

APYSL will maintain a complete list of coaches, players, and league officials present at each event to include the date, beginning and ending time of the event, name, address and phone contact to be made available upon the request from the local health department. 

APYSL will identify strategies for working with public health officials to notify adult leaders, youth and their families if the league learns a player or coach has contracted COVID-19.  These strategies will ensure confidentiality of the person or persons infected. 


Everyone must work together and be responsible to ensure that the return to play guidelines are followed to maintain the continued health and safety of all club members. 


1.    Provide guidance and support club return to play guidelines

2.    Ask how players are feeling- sick players will be asked to return home until they feel better

3.    Ensure all players have their own (individual) equipment

4.    Maintain social distance and mask wearing of players during the game

5.    Will be the only person(s) allowed to touch or place training equipment

6.    Provide players with clean pinnies 

7.    Respect players & families that are not comfortable with playing

8.     Notify league president immediately if player or player’s immediate family member tests positive for COVID-19 


1.    Understand all club return to play guidelines

2.    Wash hands prior to and after all training sessions

3.    Sanitize equipment as described in club guidelines

4.    Will not share water, food, or equipment

5.    Practice and encourage social distancing guidelines

6.    Refrain from high 5’s, handshakes, knuckles, or group celebrations 


1.    Read & understand all league return to play guidelines

2.    Encourage your children to follow league guidelines

3.    Check players temperature prior to practices and games

4.    Provide washed and clean uniform & equipment prior to practices and games

5.    Provide individual hand sanitizer, if possible

6.    Notify coach immediately if child becomes ill

7.    REFRAIN FROM ATTENDING practices and games if child or immediate family member is sick.

Please understand the APYSL board has created the above document to offer kids the chance to play soccer with their friends in the safest environment possible. APYSL respects all parent decisions.  If you do not feel comfortable having your child return to soccer OR if you do not feel comfortable following, or having your child follow, the rules as outlined above, please let us know.  We are happy to provide refunds. We know it will be different from past seasons, but we are hoping everyone can still have a lot of fun out on the soccer field this Fall!    

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