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The Steel City Showdown COVID-19 Tournament Guideline & Safety Plan

We all know the game of flag football is essential to our players' physical, mental, and emotional wellness. Our goal is to keep everyone involved in our tournament as safe as possible, so it is vitally important that everyone follows our agreed-upon standards and guidelines. These guidelines and best practices are intended for use prior, during, and after our tournament. This document does not replace the advice or direction of medical professionals. The risks of infection still exist.

general guidance

• Each person entering the tournament will be required to get their temperature checked.
• Wear a cloth face covering that covers your nose and mouth upon entry and during the tournament.
• Stay at least 6 feet away from non-household members.
• Limit guests to immediate family to reduce the number of people attending.
• Hand sanitation stations will be set up at various locations for the tournament
No spitting, and we encourage everyone to cover their coughs and sneezes with a tissue or use the inside of their elbow. Used tissues should be thrown in the trash.
• Stay home if you are sick.

Ensure any person planning to attend our tournament should show no signs or symptoms of COVID-19 in the past 14 days and have no known exposure to someone that has been ill in 14 days. Have no above normal temperature readings (100.4 degrees F+); families should conduct temperature checks before arriving at the tournament. Each person entering the tournament will have their temperature checked. Upon arrival at the tournament, 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 as soon as possible.

 

Appropriate infection prevention supplies will be present in multiple targeted areas (e.g., hand sanitizer, facial tissues, facial coverings, handwash stations, etc.) Teams should use their own equipment and properly sanitize the equipment after every game. Equipment cleaning must be done with the proper use of disinfectant before, during, and after games. While coaching on the sideline, coaches must maintain social distancing from all their players, and players should also keep social distancing from each other. 

  • Cloth face coverings

Face coverings are not intended to protect the wearer, but rather to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 from the person wearing the mask (who may not have any symptoms of disease). Face coverings may be challenging for players (especially younger players) to wear while playing sports. For the tournament, while players are actually on the field, they won't be required to use face coverings. However, face coverings should be worn by coaches, youth, players not on the field, staff, officials, parents, and spectators as much as possible. However, we understand how difficult it could be to wear a face-covering for several hours, so if you're around someone outside of your traveling party/team, please be mindful and wear your face covering.

Wearing cloth face coverings is most important when physical distancing is difficult.

Note: Cloth face coverings should not be placed on:

Babies and children younger than two years old;

Anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious;

Anyone who is otherwise unable to remove the cloth face-covering without assistance.

  • shared objects

  • Staggered Tournament Schedule

We discourage the sharing of items that are difficult to clean, sanitize, or disinfect. Do not let players share towels, flags, water bottles, clothing, or other things they use to wipe their faces or hands.

  • Keep each player's belongings separated from others' and in individually labeled containers, bags, or areas.

  •  Avoid sharing food and utensils. 

Players should be placed at least 6 feet apart on the field while participating (e.g., during warmup and while on the sidelines)

We discourage unnecessary physical contact, such as high fives, handshakes, fist bumps, or hugs.

  •  Keep players together in small groups with dedicated coaches and make sure that each group of players and coaches avoid mixing with other groups as much as possible. Teams might consider having the same group of players stay with the same coach or having the same group of players rotate among coaches.

Stagger arrival and drop-off times by team will be put in place to limit contact between groups as much as possible. 

coach responsibilities

Ensure the health and safety of the participants. Inquire how the athletes are feeling. Send home anyone you believe looks ill. Follow all the tournament protocols and guidelines. Ensure all athletes have their own individual equipment (flags, water, bag, etc.) Ensure the coach is the only person to handle equipment do not enlist parental or attendee assistance.  During half-time, a designated coach should sanitize each ball that is being used for the game. Have fun, stay positive –players and parents are looking to you for leadership. The coach should assist in making sure that athletes maintain proper social distancing.

parent responsibilities

Ensure your child is healthy and check your child's temperature before arriving at the tournament. Consider not carpooling or very limited carpooling. Adhere to social distance requirements, based on our tournament guidelines.  Wear a mask if outside your car. Ensure the child's clothing is washed after the tournament. Ensure all equipment (cleats, ball, flags, etc.) are sanitized before and after the tournament. Notify your coach immediately if your child becomes ill for any reason.  Do not assist your coach with the equipment before or after games. Be sure your child has the necessary sanitizing products with them during the tournament.

player responsibilities

Take your temperature daily and especially before activities with others. Wash hands thoroughly before and after games. Bring and use hand sanitizer with you after each game. Wear masks before and immediately each game. Do not touch or share anyone else's equipment, water, flags, etc. Practice social distancing, place bags, and equipment at least 6 feet apart. Wash and sanitize all equipment before and after the tournament.  There will be no physical group celebrations, high-5s, hugs, handshakes, fist-bumps, etc. Follow all the tournament guidelines as well as those of your local health authorities.

teams

Greet players/parents before registration and administer screening questions about player illnesses and those within their household members. Check temperatures. Make masks and gloves available to those who want to wear them.  Utilize hand sanitizer prior to, during, and after participation. Participants and attendees should use their own water bottle, towel, and personal hygiene products.

equipment

Before each session: All equipment that is touched during play should be disinfected with spray/wipes. Only coaches and staff should touch the equipment, if possible. All items should be washed after the tournament.

Upon leaving the tournament, a garbage can will be available to discard used masks and gloves.  Everyone is required to use hand sanitizer prior to leaving the field.

Resources
CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
https://www.governor.pa.gov/plan-for-pennsylvania/
https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/coronavirus/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx

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© The Steel City Showdown is sponsored by the Pittsburgh NFL League.