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Apr, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE FROM LSA - 04-28-20

 

All:

 

As you are all aware, yesterday Governor Edwards extended the State’s Stay at Home Order until May 15th. This extends our comprehensive ban on ALL activities and events (e.g. practices of any kind, scrimmages, friendlies, games and tournaments) at all levels of play (e.g. recreational, Academy and Classic).

 

Governor Edwards has repeatedly made it clear in his daily briefings that the State of Louisiana is adhering to the advice of the federal government and the CDC. The Governor will tailor his return to work policy to the Opening Up America Again Guidelines published by the Task Force (copy attached).

 

These Guidelines set forth establish a measured, science-based game plan to return to normalcy. As has been said countless times, the return to normalcy in our culture and those across the world is not going to be a simple throw of a switch. It will be a gradual observance of phases.  It is important to note that the Guidelines contain stringent Gating Criteria that must be achieved for a period of 14 days before a State, a Region or, in this case, a state-wide sport association can enter a particular phase.

 

In his briefing yesterday, Governor Edwards made it clear that Louisiana has not met the initial Gating Criteria and, hence, must wait to enter Phase One until at least May 15th.

 

PHASE ONE

Phase One calls for maximizing social distancing when in public and calls for avoiding groups of 10 or more in circumstances that do not readily allow for appropriate physical distancing.  Strict adherence to these criteria is impossible in any soccer environment.  Phase One also continues the prohibition on non-essential travel and isolation following travel. Finally, Phase One specifically states that “Organized Youth Activities that are currently closed should remain closed”. Therefore, our comprehensive ban on ALL activities and events at all levels of play will continue through Phase One.

 

Hypothetically, the best we can hope in Louisiana is that we attain the Gating Criteria in the next 14 days and enter Phase One on May 15th.  Once we enter Phase One, we must once again meet the Gating Criteria before entering Phase Two. This means Phase One will last a minimum of 14 days. Hence, at best, we could enter Phase Two on or about June 1st.

 

You may recall LSA feels it is critical in any return to play scenario to give our players 2 weeks to regain their fitness level and to acclimate to the summer heat. Adding these 2 weeks on to the June 1st return date would bring us to June 13th or June 20th. Clearly this is too late to begin any semblance of a state tournament season. Further, if we were to conduct state tournaments, our tryout process would be delayed unreasonably and that would delay the start of the 2020-21 season. As we have said repeatedly, LSA’s goal is to start the 2020-21 seasonal year as normally as possible.

 

Therefore, all LSA state tournaments and all sanctioned club tournaments must be cancelled for 2020.

 

PHASE TWO and PHASE THREE

Given the above timeline, Phase Two could not start until at least June 1st and Phase Three could not start until June 15th. Again, this assumes all of the Gating Criteria are met between each Phase.  We have attached LSA’s COVID-19 Return to Play Protocol. Again, this Protocol adheres to the Opening Up America Again Guidelines. US Youth Soccer is developing a return to play protocol of their own and we will share that with our membership when it becomes available. The goal obviously is to return to play enough to allow clubs to conduct Tryouts for next season while maintaining a science-based level of health and safety for our players and their families.

 

We hope this email and the attachments help provide some guidance to our clubs and our soccer families. Thank you all. Stay well!

 


lsa return to play protocol - draft 1 - abridged-docx.pdf


https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Guidelines-for-Opening-Up-America-Again.pdf



Tucker

Tucker Reynolds, Executive Director

Louisiana Soccer Association

475 Gardere Lane

Baton Rouge, LA 70820

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