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AYSO Region 1390 - East & South Knoxville Areas

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Aug, 2020

TSSA Return to Play Document (TSSA RTP)

TSSA Return to Play Guide
Updated August 5th, 2020
*Many items are taken from USSF PLAY ON but have been tweaked for TSSA*
TSSA Return to Play Document (TSSA RTP)
The information in this document is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional
medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and
information, are provided for general informational purposes only. The knowledge and circumstances
around COVID-19 are changing constantly and, as such, U.S. Soccer and TSSA makes no
representation and assumes no responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of this information.
Further, you should seek advice from medical professionals and/or public health officials if you have
specific questions about return to training and competition.
We are recommending contact competitive play within your local areas be allowed through August
th, 2020. Following August 16, 2020, we would allow for contact play outside of our local areas
provided the TN Pledge and this TSSA RTP Document is followed.
Table to Contents
Competitive Scrimmages ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Page 2
Medical Clearance ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Page 2
Daily Medical Considerations ----------------------------------------------------------- Page 2
Preparing to Host a Scrimmage or Game -----------------------------------------------Page 3
Getting Read for Scrimmage or Game -------------------------------------------------- Page 4
Travel to Scrimmage or Game ----------------------------------------------------------- Page 4
Arrival and Check-In ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Page 5
Competition Considerations --------------------------------------------------------------Page 5
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE, Masks, Face Covers) Recommendations --- Page 9
For Parents and Guardians ---------------------------------------------------------------Page 10
Shared Equipment ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Page 11
Individual Equipment -------------------------------------------------------------------- Page 11

page 2

TSSA Return to Play Guide
Updated August 5th, 2020
*Many items are taken from USSF PLAY ON but have been tweaked for TSSA*
I. Competitive Scrimmages
A. Medical Clearance
1. As we seek to increase competitive activities and exposure risks, any individuals with a
pre-existing medical condition is recommended to provide UPDATED written
clearance from a physician for return to full participation
2. For individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19, provide written confirmation
of COVID-19 negative status and/or clearance from your physician following the most
up-to-date CDC guidelines for return to full participation in sport & activity.
3. For individuals who have experienced known COVID-19 exposure in the past 14 days,
the following is recommended:
a. Home quarantine according to current CDC guidelines (14 days)
b. Written confirmation of COVID-19 clearance from your physician following the
most up to-date CDC guidelines
4. For individuals who experienced any illness during shelter-in-place, written clearance
from your physician that you are COVID-free is recommended.
5. Be prepared to report the onset of any new symptoms immediately. Contact your
physician and follow the recommendations above for return to play.
6. Individuals who may be at increased risk of COVID-19 (including but not limited to
age >65y/o, chronic cardiac or respiratory conditions including hypertension or
diabetes, or have an immunocompromised state) should seek guidance by their
physician as to their participation.
B. Daily Medical Considerations
1. The participant should conduct a daily temperature check for low grade fever
(>100.4.) at home before training. If you have a fever, do not go to training.
a. If thermometers are not available, conduct a daily health questionnaire online
with the “Coronavirus Self-Checker,” made available by the CDC.
2. Do not participate in activities if you have any of the symptoms listed below.
a. COVID-19 exposure in past 14 days
b. Sore throat
c. Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing
d. Fever >100.4 F
e. Chills
f. Headache
g. Sinus congestion
h. Cough persistent and/or productive
i. Joint aches and soreness
j. Vomiting or diarrhea
k. Rash

page 3

TSSA Return to Play Guide
Updated August 5th, 2020
*Many items are taken from USSF PLAY ON but have been tweaked for TSSA*
3. Do not go to training facilities or fields with any of the above symptoms. Remotely
communicate your health status to coaches, instructors, team administrators, or
medical staff within 24 hours of your training session. Parents (and not the minor
player) should communicate with the club or coach, in accordance with the Safe
Soccer Framework and the U.S. Center for SafeSport policies and guidance. Speak to
a physician and follow CDC guidelines on self-quarantine.
4. Should a member of your household be experiencing the symptoms above; the family
member should consult a physician. Follow the recommendations listed for medical
clearance outlined in this document. Maintain all recommended hygiene habits
outlined by the CDC.
C. Preparing to Host a Scrimmage/Game
1. All scrimmages/games should be between teams WITHIN a member TSSA club ONLY
through August 16
th, 2020. Following August 16th, 2020, we would allow clubs to play
other clubs or teams from other states provided they are still observing the criteria
outlined in this document and the TN Pledge.
2. Limit the number of coaches, referees, administrators, instructors, and staff in
attendance at the scrimmage/game to allow for social distancing.
a. Limit movements around the facility/environment to minimize unnecessary
exposure and risk.
b. Maintain the same groupings/team for activities to limit unnecessary exposure
and record (list on paper) the players present at the game.
c. Ensure the same coach leads the same team consistently.
3. Ensure your facility and fields have extensive signage and information available
regarding safety precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
4. Clean and disinfect restrooms according to CDC hygiene standards. If you are unable
to do this, then the restrooms should be closed.
a. Maintain a queuing system that ensures all participants waiting for the
restroom can maintain social distancing.
5. Clean and disinfect all locker rooms and changing rooms.
a. The use of locker rooms can be considered if necessary, but as possible, should
be avoided.
b. Consider providing signage encouraging participants to maintain “social
distancing” of at least six feet.
6. Clean and disinfect all equipment according to CDC hygiene standards.
a. Determine what equipment may need to be “off limits” to ensure:
i. Effective cleaning
ii. Safety and social distancing
7. Communicate your UPDATED health & safety guidelines to all participants.
a. Share your UPDATED plan or playbook to coordinate actions on site.

page 4

TSSA Return to Play Guide
Updated August 5th, 2020
*Many items are taken from USSF PLAY ON but have been tweaked for TSSA*
8. Adhere to all state/local regulations.
9. For contact tracing purposes, maintain a list of all facility users, participants at
trainings, and attendees, etc.
a. For privacy purposes, the list should be securely stored and not shared
b. If someone participating in your activities becomes ill, refer to this list for
“tracking or tracing” to determine who at your Club may have been directly
exposed to illness, and advise them accordingly.
c. It is recommended that lists should be available for a
minimum of 21 days
to account for the period of COVID-19 presentation of symptoms and illness.
d. Include the items below in your contact tracing list. For minors, use a parent’s
contact information.
i. Date
ii. Venue
iii. Name
iv. Phone
v. Email Address of participants
vi. Specific scrimmage/game i.e. time/field/coach etc.
D. Getting Ready for Scrimmage/Game
1. Prepare and pack your water bottles for scrimmage/game.
a. Each player is recommended to bring at least two bottles of water to
scrimmage/game, to limit the need for refills. You should not share water
bottles and are not recommended to use public water fountains.
b. Clearly mark your name on your water bottle.
2. Get dressed at home in your training gear so that you can arrive to the training site
ready to play, without needing to use locker rooms or changing areas.
3. Participants are recommended to pack and bring to training personal sanitizing
supplies, including hand sanitizers. Sanitizing materials should be clearly marked and
not shared.
4. Follow PPE (face mask) procedures outlined below.
5. Wash your hands before departing for training.
6. Conduct a daily temperature check for low grade fever (>100.4.) at home before
training. If you have a fever, do not go to training. Consult your physician.
E. Travel to Scrimmage/Game
1.Travel with as few people as possible to training. It is recommended to only travel with
members of your immediate family or household.
2. Should carpooling or ride sharing be necessary, consider the following:

page 5

TSSA Return to Play Guide
Updated August 5th, 2020
*Many items are taken from USSF PLAY ON but have been tweaked for TSSA*
a. Only rideshare with a family or individual who has practiced appropriate
distancing and sheltering requirements established by their local government
or public health officials.
b. Rideshare with the same individuals each training.
c. Ensure that all passengers have passed both the preliminary and daily
clearance requirements outlined in this section.
d. Maintain safe distancing within the vehicle during loading, transport and
e. Limit the number of stops between departure site and training destination.
f. Wear your PPE in the vehicle.
3. In accordance with the Safe Soccer Framework and the U.S. Center for SafeSport
policies and guidance, minor and an adult who is not the minor player's parent/legal
guardian should not be alone in the vehicle together.
F. Arrival & Check In
1. Assign staggered arrival times for participants to arrive to scrimmage/game to limit
congestion during check in and accessing the field unless you have an online method
to conduct this process.
2. Participants should wait in their cars until their specific time to enter the facility or
a. It is recommended that only the participant departs the vehicle.
b. It is recommended that the driver either leaves the training facility or stays in
the parking lot, remaining in the vehicle and observing all social distancing
3. Create a Check-In Station adhering to social distancing guidelines.
a. Participants should move through check in one-at-a-time, maintaining social
b. Upon arrival, the participant should be asked a series of health screening
questions, aligned with the CDC’s “Coronavirus Self-Checker”, to affirm
medical clearance to participate. The coach, a staff member or a designated
“Safety Officer” can be responsible for asking health screening questions.
c. The station should provide appropriate products to sanitize your hands, which
the participants should use upon arrival.
d. As an alternative to Check-In Stations, consider creating a virtual check-in
process, including a daily symptoms questionnaire. Ensure the Club follows
privacy laws if gathering and storing this information electronically.
4. Confirm that players have brought adequate hydration from home to manage higher
intensity of play.
a. Players may consider providing their own individualized snacks or post
training nutrition.
G. Competition Considerations
1. Participation in Competition and Tournaments

page 6

TSSA Return to Play Guide
Updated August 5th, 2020
*Many items are taken from USSF PLAY ON but have been tweaked for TSSA*
a. Teams are recommended to only participate in local or regional single-day,
outdoor events to avoid travel and especially overnight stays.
b. If travel is required to non-local competition or tournament, the state
association or governing body should approve it provide that state or area is
allowing competitive play. At a minimum our Competitive Considerations
should still be observed even if not within Tennessee.
2. Warm-Ups
a. Warm-ups should not begin until previous teams have left the field and
equipment and benches have been cleaned and sanitized. Allow for extra time
between matches to accommodate, as necessary.
b. Competition warm-up recommendations follow training recommendations
outlined below.
i. Coaches should not be within six feet of any player
ii. Progressions between warm-up drills should be set up prior to players
arriving to field. The players should not touch any equipment.
iii. In general, maintain as much social distance as possible during warmup activities.
c. Participants should avoid intentionally touching each other before or after
competitions. This includes hugs, high-fives, or huddles. 4. If match balls are
used during warm-up, they should be re-sanitized before the match.
3. Referee Considerations
a. Fields should still be walked.
b. Physical items (nets, goals, corner flags etc.) should be inspected visually.
c. If issues are identified –for example a goal net needs to be repaired or an object
needs to be removed from the field of play –the referees should sanitize his or
hands after managing.
d. Referees should maintain at least six feed distance when communicating with
their referee crew, players and coaches.
e. If a fourth official is present, they should maintain six feet distance when
communicating with coaches, players or their fellow referees.
i. If a fourth official’s table is provided, the referee should check that it is
six feet away from either bench or coaching area.
ii. The fourth official should wear a mask for the duration of the match.
4. Pre-Game Activities
a. The coin toss should be socially distanced.
i. Only one referee and one representative per team should take part in
the coin toss.
ii. Only the owner of the coin should touch the coin.
iii. All participants involved in the coin toss should wear a mask, following
recommendations that masks should be worn at all times excepting
moments of physical exertion.
b. No pre-game handshakes shall take place.
c. Uniform or jewelry checks should be visible checks only, maintaining 6-ft
between the referee and player.

page 7

TSSA Return to Play Guide
Updated August 5th, 2020
*Many items are taken from USSF PLAY ON but have been tweaked for TSSA*
d. Team pre-game meetings should be kept brief.
i. All participants should wear proper PPE and endeavor to maintain
space between themselves and others. Prolonged proximity, even with
masks should be avoided.
ii. Huddles should be avoided.
e. Formalize a plan to communicate rosters in a way to minimalize direct
handoff to referees.
i. Discuss with your league if match reports can be provided to referees
ahead of time.
ii. If rosters cannot be provided in advance, the coach may place the roster
at the end of the bench to minimize close contact
5. Game Time
a. Players and coaches at the bench, as well as referees at the fourth official’s
table, are reminded to wear PPE for the duration of the match.
b. No handshakes, high fives, fist bumps, chest bumps, huddles, group
celebrations, etc., should take place, including when goals are scored, or when
substitutions are leaving or entering the field.
c. The following modifications to substitutions protocols are suggested:
i. When subbing into the game, players should maintain distance from the
referees and other players who are also subbing into the game.
ii. If a player is subbed out of the game, the player should stand at least 6-
feet away from other individuals while recovering before, putting on
d. For throw ins, active players are recommended to collect the balls. a. Clean and
sanitized balls may be readily available for use, in the case of the ball not being
easily retrievable. It is the responsibility of the home team or competition
organizer to supply all sanitized balls.
e. When possible during breaks in play, consider making sanitized balls available
to replace used balls.
f. Avoid delays in start of play, so that players do not have pro-longed periods of
standing in proximity. For example, encourage all participants to conduct free
kicks and set plays with efficiency so players do not have prolonged periods in
shoulder-to-shoulder defense walls.
g. Parents and fans are encouraged to sit on the same sideline across from
opposing fans and team.
6. Hydration / Cool-Down / Sanitation Breaks
a. Competition organizers are strongly encouraged to consider and follow the
necessary steps for approval to incorporate hydration / cool-down / or
“sanitation” breaks during matches.
b. Consideration should be taken to incorporating these at the mid-way point of
any half lasting thirty minutes or longer.
c. During this break:
i. Players should hydrate while socially distanced. This will also provide
the brief opportunity for cooling down, which may not happen
throughout the match while efficiency is enforced in game activities.

page 8

TSSA Return to Play Guide
Updated August 5th, 2020
*Many items are taken from USSF PLAY ON but have been tweaked for TSSA*
ii. Players should sanitize their hands.
iii. The hosting competition can sanitize game balls for use during the
7. Halftime
a. During halftime, referees, players, and coaches should maintain at least six feet
distance between each other.
b. All players and coaches should be wearing proper PPE.
i. If a player needs to recover before participating in halftime activities,
player should stand 12 ft away from other individuals while recovering
before putting on their face covering or mask.
c. Players should sanitize their hands.
d. Coaches should limit the amount of time the entire team is near the bench area
at one time.
e. Referees should sanitize their own equipment (whistle, flags, etc.).
Considerations in The Case Of Injuries
a. As able, the Referee should keep a six-foot distance from the injured player while
determining if medical attention is necessary
If needed, allow a coach or medical professional from the injured
player’s team to enter the field and attend to the player. The coach or
medical professional should wear PPE and gloves while attending the
c. The Referee should remind other players to keep their distance from each other, and
the injured player, during the break in play. Players should not congregate.
9. Post-Game
a. No post-game handshakes should take place. Consider other forms of
sportsmanship or instituting new acknowledgement traditions, such as
clapping, etc.
b. If a referee needs the coach’s signature for a roster, place the paper down on
the end of the bench and step away to have them sign it.
c. Teams should pack-up and immediately leave the field following the game,
exiting at the designated exit point.
i. Post-game meetings should be kept brief, if any meeting is held at all.
ii. All participants should wear proper PPE and endeavor to maintain
space between themselves and others. Prolonged proximity, even with
masks should be avoided.
ii. Huddles should be avoided.
d. Do not have a team snack that is shared among the team members.
e. Players should not take off any equipment until they have left the facility.
f. Teams should clean up bench area so that it is clean of ALL trash.
g. Competition hosts should ensure all equipment, including benches, balls, flags,
etc. are sanitized.
h. Spectators are encouraged to maintain social distancing following the game
while waiting for their child.
i. Dependent on field layout, spectators may need to wait further away
from the field.

page 9

TSSA Return to Play Guide
Updated August 5th, 2020
*Many items are taken from USSF PLAY ON but have been tweaked for TSSA*
j. Referees should leave field immediately following the game and referee duties
have been completed assuming they have no other games to officiate.
i. Referee debrief sessions should be a conducted in a space where the
referees can social distance but still in view of the game field.
ii. If referees are working later in the day, the referee should stay away
from other individuals, may consider departing the facility or using
their personal vehicle as a place to take a break in between games.
10. Inclement Weather
a. Facilities should have a plan in place in the event of inclement weather.
i. As this plan may be different from pre-COVID-19 protocols, it should be
adjusted and then communicated with all teams in advance of
ii. If inclement weather is forecasted, consider posting protocols at all
entrances and arrival/check-in locations.
b. Social distancing must be observed during any shelter-in-place or evacuation
i. PPE should be worn throughout the delay.
ii. Participants should not take off their equipment during the delay.
c. Encourage all participants and spectators to return to their vehicles in the event
of inclement weather.
i. When possible, individuals in the car should be limited to members of
the immediate family. If non-family members must be present in the
vehicle, everyone in the vehicle should wear PPE.
ii. If possible, have a back-up option for those who were dropped off or do
not have a vehicle on-site. This location should only be used as a last
iii. The number of people in these locations should be pre-determined and
posted on the wall. In accordance with the Safe Soccer Framework and
the U.S. Center for SafeSport policies and guidance, a minor and an
adult who is not the minor player's parent/legal guardian may not be
alone in a room together.
d. If inclement weather is forecasted, depending on the size of the field complex,
the competition hosts may consider taking a conservative approach by
communicating game delays or cancellations well in advance of match time.
H. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE, Masks, Face Covers) Recommendations
1. All participants (coaches, players, referees, instructors, administrators) are
recommended to wear new or clean PPE upon arrival, departure and when not
physically active during activities.
2. PPE should cover the nose and mouth, be breathable, consist of cotton or wick type
material and follow CDC guidelines.
3. PPE should be new or clean for each training session; and disposed or thoroughly
cleaned after each training session.

page 10

TSSA Return to Play Guide
Updated August 5th, 2020
*Many items are taken from USSF PLAY ON but have been tweaked for TSSA*
4. Provided all screening, hygiene and social distancing measures are followed, masks
are not mandatory for players/coaches/referees/instructors/participants during
exertional moments of training (i.e. when physically active). PPE may obscure vision,
increase respiratory challenges, or increase other injury risk while being physically
5. For players and team/club staff that choose to wear PPE while physically exerting
themselves, the following should be considered:
a. Discuss with your primary care physician if any medical conditions predispose
you to avoid the use of a face cover while participating in physical activity.
b. PPE should be breathable and not prevent or disrupt ventilation.
c. PPE should not obscure the individual’s vision.
d. PPE should not pose a risk to another participant.
e. PPE should be in good maintenance, at the responsibility of the individual.
6. As we head into summer, heat and humidity may lead to increased discomfort or
respiratory challenges for coaches wearing masks. Coaches are recommended to take
“PPE breaks” throughout training.
a. To take a PPE break, simply ensure you are more than 10 feet away from
another participant and remove your mask.
i. Should a player move within 10 feet, return your mask to covering your
nose and mouth.
7. Guidelines may change based on evolving medical and health information, as well as
local, state, or federal guidelines.
I. For Parents and Guardians
1. Parents and guardians should be thoroughly aware of all safety recommendations,
and ensure their family follows them.
2. Parents and guardians should support the coach and organization in adhering to all
safety recommendations.
3. Accompanying parents and guardians are encouraged to stay in their cars or depart
the area while their child is training. Note that anytime there is one coach alone with
players, there should be one adult (designated parent or club staff) observing from a
distance, in accordance with the Safe Soccer Framework and the U.S. Center for
SafeSport policies and guidance.
4. If necessary, the hosting organization may consider arranging a designated “Family
a. Each family zone should be clearly marked and spaced at least six feet from the
next family’s zone.
b. If the zone includes chairs or other items, those items should be carefully
sanitized between trainings and use by different families.
c. Allow the club to maintain accurate contact tracing lists by minimizing family
presence close to the field.

page 11

TSSA Return to Play Guide
Updated August 5th, 2020
*Many items are taken from USSF PLAY ON but have been tweaked for TSSA*
4. Parents and guardians should not congregate together and should follow social
distancing guidelines.
5. Parents or guardians should have the contact information of relevant staff.
5. Clubs should check with city or county recreational departments to see if they need a
specific waiver that holds harmless and indemnifies them.
6. Parents and fans are encouraged to sit on the same sideline across from opposing fans
and team.
J. Shared Equipment
1. With increased equipment usage anticipated, be mindful of sterilization procedures.
All field equipment (e.g. flags, balls, and cones) should be disinfected prior to the
start of the session with anti-bacterial of at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol.
2. Participants should not pick-up field equipment, move goals or handle other training
3. Soccer Balls
a. Where able, clubs are recommended to provide soccer balls for
b. Players are encouraged to bring their own ball to use for training.
c. Players are not required to have an individual designated ball for training.
d. The use of shared balls between players is allowed in foot drills with avoidance
of the use of hands.
e. Field players should not handle soccer balls with their hands unless wearing
gloves. During this period players will do kick ins to replace throw ins during
the scrimmage/game.
i. During the month of July all scrimmages and games utilize kick ins to
replace throw ins.
ii. During the month of August all scrimmages and games will be
allowed to reincorporate throw ins.
4. Where possible, general team bibs should not be used.
a. The coach/instructor is recommended to plan in advance of training and as
necessary suggest a specific training gear color for players to arrive in.
b. Alternatively, clubs/organizers could temporarily issue team bibs to players
through the duration of this stage or phase. Participants would be responsible
for bringing these bibs to training and washing them after training. Issued bibs
should be clearly labeled and not shared or rotated amongst participants
during training.
c. If team bibs are used, they should only be used by one participant and not
shared or rotated amongst participants.
d. If team bibs are used, they should be placed at personal station ahead of
participant arrivals, instead of handed out by coaches/staff.
e. Any team bibs used should be washed by the club/organizers afterwards to
decrease the transmission of COVID-19.

page 12 

TSSA Return to Play Guide
Updated August 5th, 2020
*Many items are taken from USSF PLAY ON but have been tweaked for TSSA*
K. Individual Equipment
1. All individual training gear should be cleaned and disinfected after every session.
2. All participants should arrive in their training gear. a. All personal apparel should be
cleaned, disinfected, and properly stored after every session. This includes cleats, shin
guards and headbands (if re-usable).
3. For players who use mouthguards, once the mouthguard is placed in mouth, it should
never be taken out during practice to limit the transmission of virus.
a. If for some reason the mouth guard has been in contact with hands or the
floor/ground, the mouthguard should not be re-used until it has been washed
thoroughly. Wash your hands thoroughly after washing the mouthguard.
4. Upon arrival home, players should immediately wash hands, bathe including washing
hair, and launder/clean items used.

TSSA Return to Play Guide
Updated August 5th, 2020
*Many items are taken from USSF PLAY ON but have been tweaked for TSSA*

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