2021 Return-to-Play Guidelines: Updated April 9, 2021
The Founders Girls Lacrosse League (FGLL) is committed to protecting the health of all people in and outside of our community. In an effort to assist our member programs and their players, coaches and parents return to play this spring, FGLL has put together the following guidelines. Given the nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, these guidelines may change at any time based on the most recent CDC or Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) guidelines. Please keep in mind that local municipalities may have additional guidelines in place that will need to be adhered to.
The information contained in this document is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All content is provided for general informational purposes only. While the league and our town programs will strive to create a safe environment, parents and guardians are the only ones who may make the decision for their child regarding participation.
As outlined in the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Safety Standards for Youth and Adult Amateur Sports Activities, girls lacrosse falls in the Moderate Risk sport category. Moderate risk sports are subject to limitations on activities, competition and tournament play. Girls lacrosse can participate in Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 activities:
Level 1 activities are individual or socially distanced group activities (non-contact workouts, aerobic conditioning, individual skill work and drills.)
Level 2 activities allow for practices (Intra-team/group games, contact drills and scrimmages)
Level 3 activities are defined as games, meets, matches, races, etc.
Required Facial Coverings
All participants must wear a facial covering including players, coaches, referee and spectators at all times. A facial covering is defined as a “face mask or cloth facial covering that completely covers the nose and mouth.” For girls lacrosse, masks that secure with loops around the ears are recommended. Masks with exhalation valves or vents (including mesh masks) are not acceptable, neither are neck gaiters or masks that wrap around the head with ties or elastics which can endanger safety if hooked or snagged. Players are encouraged to take mask breaks when out of proximity of other players (at least 6 feet). Players waiting on sidelines, in team or group huddles must wear a mask.
Outdoor Competition Limitations
If an outdoor facility has a spectator viewing area which allows for at least six feet social distancing between spectators, then spectators are allowed.
Cooperation with Health Officials
Each Founders Town Program will assign a COVID director who will lead communication and cooperate with municipal health agencies as needed.
Founders Lacrosse Best Practices
The following includes recommendations to minimize the risk of transmission or infection of COVID-19 among participants and ensure a successful, safe season of youth girls lacrosse.
Town Program Responsibilities
Follow current safety standards set forth by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs to create a safe environment for coaches, players, referees and spectators.
Follow current guidelines from your local board of health.
Assign a COVID-19 Safety Officer who will communicate policies to Safety Coordinators, coaches, parents, and players as well as regular updates and reminders.
Maintain attendance records for all activities for contact tracing if needed.
Train and educate coaches on return-to-play protocols including parent, player and visiting team communications, assessing player health, masking up, socially distancing, no physical contact, sharing of personal items, disinfecting team equipment and observing rule modifications.
Request families follow state travel guidelines for return to activity after school vacation week and obtain a negative PCR test if they travel.
Upon arrival to practice, Safety Coordinator or Coach should ask each athlete if they are experiencing any signs or symptoms of COVID-19. If the athlete has any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 they should be sent home and instructed to contact their healthcare provider. They will not be allowed to return to training until they are cleared by a healthcare provider. A doctor’s note must be provided.
Follow MA Department of Health Guidelines defining close contact exposure and quarantine periods for anyone who is a close contact.
DEFINING A CLOSE CONTACT: As defined by the CDC, a close contact is someone who has been within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated. Participating in a practice or game with or against an infected player is not by default "close contact".
If a player or coach who is deemed a close contact participates in a team practice or game (e.g., he or she is exposed before the practice or game but does not learn of his/her status as a close contact until after the practice), the team practices and games may continue. If the player or coach subsequently becomes ill with COVID-19, the Town Program must evaluate whether close contact exposure occurred with other team members.
Confirm the report with parent or coach and identify any days of exposure between that person and his or her team.
If confirmed, report the existance of the case and day of exposure (if any) to team (maintaining anonymity for the player or coach).
Identify if close contact exposure occurred for any or all team members.
If close contact exposure occurred, cancel practice and games as necessary to comply with state guidelines.
Cooperate with Board of Health or Department of Public Health, school nurses, physicians and authorized agents as necessary.
Create a safe environment for other coaches, players, referees and spectators.
Upon arrival to practice, coaches should ask each athlete if they are experiencing any signs or symptoms of COVID-19. If the athlete has any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 they should be sent home and instructed to contact their healthcare provider. They will not be allowed to return to training until they are cleared by a healthcare provider. A doctor’s note must be provided.
Take accurate attendance at all lacrosse events and activities.
Start and end practices on time.
Communicate clearly and regularly with families. Further, communicate in a timely manner all COVID-related issues to families and impacted teams to the extent permitted by law. Identities of COVID-19 infected players or coaches may not be disclosed to other players or families and only to other coaches as needed for contact tracing.
Set expectations for practice and games including:
Wear face covering at all times and maintain social distance of 6 feet from others.
Encourage good sportsmanship without physical contact between players, coaches or opponents including handshakes and fist/elbow bumps.
Encourage good hygiene and washing/disinfecting hands before practice. Disinfect equipment and wash clothing after use.
Encourage frequent mask breaks physically distanced from teammates.
Inquire at the beginning of every practice and game how athletes are feeling, send them home if they act, report or look ill. Know list of CDC signs/symptoms.
Maintain 15 feet apart from other teams while sharing playing surface or field.
Be the only person to handle cones, ball bag, ball bucket, team bag, goals, etc.
Understand Founders Girls Lacrosse League rules.
Comply with applicable travel restrictions, quarantine or testing requirements.
Before games, communicate with opposing team coach regarding COVID-related safety guidelines including warm-up space, wearing masks and trash disposal.
Ensure players do not share water bottles, snacks, personal belongings, equipment or pinnies.
Disinfect and sanitize team and goalie equipment after every use.
Bring extra masks and sanitizing products in team bag to all activities.
Ensure players’ personal belongings (bags, coats, sweatshirts) remain in their personal space and are kept physically distanced from other’s belongings.
Leave nothing behind on the field; ask team to dispose of all personal trash.
Understand and follow procedures for all participants and spectators:
No signs or symptoms of COVID-19 in the past 14 days and you have not been exposed to someone who has been ill in 14 days.
Check for normal temperature before going to practice (temperature 100.4 or higher please stay home).
Upon arrival to practice, coaches will ask each athlete if they are experiencing any signs or symptoms of COVID-19. If they do, they should be sent home and instructed to contact their healthcare provider. They will not be allowed to return to training until they are cleared by a healthcare provider. Doctor’s note must be provided
Take temperature daily —100.4°F (38°C) or higher signals infection or illness.
If your child has any symptoms of COVID-19, do not send them to practice or game. Public health urges you to stay home and isolate until:
You have had no fever for at least 72 hours (without use of medicine) AND
Other symptoms (cough, shortness of breath) have improved AND
At least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
Anyone in your household or that you have had close contact with (within 6 feet for approximately 15 minutes over a 24-hour period) should self-quarantine based on current CDC guidelines.
Notify your coach immediately if your child has become sick OR if your child has been identified as a close contact by a school or public health authority.
Ensure that your child has a well-marked reusable water bottle, mask, hand sanitizer, tissues, and pinnie for practice.
Only face coverings with loops around a player’s ears are acceptable and safe.
Ensure child’s personal equipment/clothing are cleaned and sanitized after use.
Do not assist coach with equipment before or after practice or games.
Carpooling with other members of the team is not recommended. In the event that transportation of a non-family member becomes necessary, all parties in the vehicle should wear masks and to the extent possible have external air circulating in the vehicle through open windows.
Follow all state travel guidelines prior to sending your player to lacrosse especially after school vacation week.
Drop off no earlier than 5 minutes before practice and 20 minutes before games. Ensure your player arrives dressed and ready to play and leaves immediately after practice. Please pick up on time.
Adhere to social distance and face covering requirements.
If social distancing is not possible at an away athletic facility, chaperones and spectators may be asked to wait outside the facility until the game is completed.
Leave nothing on the field; dispose of personal trash in receptacles.
Stay home if you feel ill or have a temperature or have been in close contact with someone who is positive for COVID-19.
Arrive dressed for practice and leave immediately after practice ends.
Wear a mask on the field and on the sidelines.
Wash/sanitize hands before coming to practice and game. Cover coughs and sneezes with tissues or sleeves, do not use hands. Do not touch your face (eyes, nose, mouth) with unwashed hands.
Maintain a social distance of 6 feet at practice as much as possible. When on the sidelines, stand or sit 6 feet from the next player.
Take mask breaks when physically distanced from teammates.
Your belongings should remain in your space when not in use.
Bring a reversible jersey for scrimmaging, clearly marked reusable water bottle, hand sanitizer, tissues and extra mask to practice.
Do not share personal belongings, food, snacks or water bottles.
Wash clothes and sanitize your equipment after use.
Show good sportsmanship and have fun, but refrain from physical contact such as group celebrations, hugs, high fives, handshakes, fist bumps, etc.
Leave nothing on the field; dispose of personal trash in receptacles.