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COVID-19 Risk Assessment

We have put together a COVID-19 Risk Assessment. This documents the precautions we are taking to ensure that grassroots football can take place as safely as possible when it resumes again in our league for the 2020/21 season.

Last Updated: 12th September 2020

COVID-19 Guidance

We have put this risk assessment together in conjunction with West Lancashire Borough Council and advice from the FA and the County FA.

FA Guidelines
Travelling to and from venues for matches
  • To reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, the Council have asked us to limit the number of spectators at our venues. Therefore, there should only be 1 parent/carer in attendance for each player. We realise this isn't ideal, but it will make it safer for everyone. 🆕
  • Where possible, all persons should travel by themselves or with those in their 'bubble'.
  • Car sharing with people outside your 'bubble' should be advised against.
Car parking/Walking to and from pitch
  • Social distancing (2 metres) should be adhered to in the car park and at all access points to the playing areas.
  • There should be no physical contact at these times.
  • Persons should not congregate in the car park before or after play. After parking, all players/managers etc are to make their way directly to the playing fields, following the one way system in, and following the one way system out.
  • Once the games have concluded, all teams and spectators must leave the facilities immediately and not congregate around the pitches.
  • There is to be no smoking or vaping on the sidelines. 🆕
Playing Activities
  • Any person with symptoms of COVID-19 must not attend our venues.
  • If anyone becomes ill during a match, this should be reported to the referee and play should be stopped so the player/parent/carer can remove themselves immediately. They should go home and seek medical help, and the matter should be reported to the committee so that track and trace rules can be followed. 🆕
  • All coaches and off-field staff to practice social distancing of 2 metres wherever possible.
  • All teams should provide hand sanitisers for their players and staff to use.
  • Goal celebrations should not include personal contact.
  • To reduce aerosol generation, there should be no spitting, and an avoidance of shouting when facing another person.
  • All teams should have personal contact details of players and staff available for track and trace purposes if required, which must be handed to the Secretary on arrival.
Referees
  • Must not shake hands with managers or players, before, during or after the game.
  • Must not touch a player, such as tying their shoe laces or picking them up when they fall. If injured, if laces need tying, call on their manager.
  • Should not give the coin to the home captain to toss. Instead, toss the coin yourself and get the home team captain to call.
  • When talking to a player or cautioning/sending him/her off, make sure you are at least 2 metres apart.
  • Before you blow your whistle, make sure there is no one in close proximity to you.
  • Clean your whistle prior to and after each game.
Personal & Playing Equipment
  • An area close to the pitch being used shall be designated for the storing of boots, trainers and personal equipment.
  • Teams to provide their own water.
  • Individual players should not share equipment, and water bottles, boot bags and similar should be marked with individual identification.
  • All waste material must be placed in a bin bag and put in the bins available on site.
  • Only coaches shall handle the playing equipment, with the exception of footballs.
  • Hand sanitisers should be used before and after handling equipment.
  • Hand sanitisers shall be provided by each team.
  • Before storing and after use, all equipment shall be sanitised.
  • The football shall be sanitised when it goes out of play.
  • Only managers and adult assistants to collect goals and corner flags etc from the equipment container, and they MUST wear gloves and face coverings when doing so. 🆕
  • Only two at a time to visit the container to receive/return equipment. The rest wait in the designated area to be called forward.
  • No children are allowed around the container.
  • The team's Match Day COVID-19 Officer shall be responsible for making sure the ball is thoroughly cleaned and sanitised before each kick off, and each time the ball goes out of play for a throw-in before it is handed to the player.
  • The player who receives the ball must be the one to throw the ball in, he/she must not hand it to another player until it has been thoroughly cleaned and that all on their particular sideline observes the 2 meter ruling.
Protection from injury/illness during match
  • Coaches to wear hand protection at all times and must wear a face covering in the event of having to treat an injured or ill player at the pitch side, or to tie the boot laces of players. 🆕
  • Teams should provide hand sanitisation for all players and staff before and after play.
Changing Rooms & Toilets
  • Changing rooms and showers will not be available for use.
  • Players and officials should arrive changed and shower at home.
  • Toilets will be available for use by one person at a time and will be cleaned frequently by one of the league's designated COVID-19 Officers.
  • Sanitiser will be provided and everyone must follow hand washing guidelines.
  • Paper towels and bins for disposal will be provided.
  • Site attendant to clean toilets regularly throughout the day.
  • Face coverings MUST be worn at all times when in foyer.
  • A one-way system is in place to restrict numbers in the foyer.
  • A maximum of 5 managers are allowed in the foyer at any one time, and they must use social distancing rules when queuing - this will be controlled by the league's COVID-19 Officers.
  • Only managers are allowed in the foyer, and this is only to pay subs/fees.
  • All surfaces will be wiped clean when managers have been to the counter.
  • There will be no Ice Cream Van on site until further notice (at the Council's request). 🆕
Location of opposition teams
  • If an opposition team is located within an area currently under COVID-19 Special Measures, all home and away fixtures with that team shall be postponed.
Number of games played
  • No game to be scheduled within 30 minutes of the previous game, to allow time for teams to leave site before the next teams arrive.
  • No more than 3 games per pitch per day to be scheduled.
Non compliance with guidelines
  • Each club/team must appoint a COVID-19 Officer to produce a COVID-19 plan/risk assessment for their team/club, and be responsible for the continual compliance of their team/club.
  • Before play, each team/club should ensure that the Referee is made aware of who the COVID-19 Officer is.