At Windham Soccer Association, our commitment to our members is to provide you with the safest playing environment possible.
** UPDATED 08/23/2021 (Reviewed 4/12/2022)
There are currently no specific mandates required by the State of New Hampshire, by the Town of Windham or by New Hampshire Soccer Association (NHSA)/New Hampshire Soccer League (NHSL) for outdoor sports/in general. As we mentioned, WSA follows the guidelines set forth by the State of NH, by the Town of Windham, and by the NHSA/NHSL. As THEIR policies and guidelines change, OUR policies and guidelines WILL change - this is NOT optional for us as a member of NHSA/NHSL and as an organization using the Town resources - it's as simple as that. There will be no debate - if their policies change, our policies will change.
Players, parents and spectators should also continue to follow and remain up to date on the latest official news and information. If you are exhibiting ANY symptoms, or have recently been diagnosed/tested positive for COVID-19, please stay home and keep your player home for the appropriate quarantine periods. We must all do our part to help keep moving forward. For additional information, please see the links below.
Following are the updates regarding the policies and guidelines that were in place for the Fall 2020 and/or the Spring 2021 seasons for reference:
** Updates 4/23/2021
** For All Coaches: Please be sure to familiarize yourselves with the WSA Coaching Guide for Spring 2021 found HERE: WSA Coaching Guide Spring 2021
** FOR ALL TRAVEL TEAMS: In addition to our policies, our opposing clubs have developed specific policies and rules for their facilities. It is important for everyone to be respectful of their policies and understand that some towns and clubs REQUIRE that players wear masks while playing. If this is true, our players must abide by these rules just as we expect that teams and spectators visting Windham will abide by ours.
These “Field Guides” can be found here: https://soccernh.com/club-covid-resource-fields/
The New Hapmshire Soccer Assocation (NHSA) issued the following statement today in response to the State of NH lifting the mask mandate as of Friday, April 16th, 2021.
"As of this Friday morning, children make up 25% of the COVID 19 cases in New Hampshire. For this reason the NHSA board is extending it's Covid 19 facial covering protocols through the spring season and all participants and spectators are expected to abide by these and other local requirements put in place. I plead with everyone to remember why we all dedicate our time and talents to the kids and the game. Please respect all town and organizational requirements, there are a lot of or organizations and clubs that use private, town or school facilities and that may require you to follow additional precautions. Communication is vital. Club administrators and coaches must communicate with each other and with the players and families to minimize confusion and misunderstandings.
We are one team, we are all responsible for the well being of our kids. Let's not focus so much on the winning and the losing, but the mental stability and well being of our children. These are uncharted waters and we are seeing early studies of the impact this pandemic is having on our youth. Keeping them physically and mentally healthy should be the top priority of every organization, coach and parent."
As a member organization of the NHSA, Windham Soccer Assocation is required to follow the policies put in place by NHSA and therefore WILL REQUIRE MASKS for ALL PARTICIPANTS and SPECTATORS as noted in our COVID-19 Protocols, available on www.windhamsoccer.org - please read the following for detailed information regarding when a mask is or is not required.
In preparing for the soccer for both travel and recreation, WSA continues to develop and implement policies that are based upon the guidelines published by the State of New Hampshire in its Safer At Home Amateur and Youth Sports COVID-19 Reopening Guidance, as well as the New Hampshire Soccer Association (NHSA) Return-to-Play Guidance. Information will continue to evolve and we will share and update our policies accordingly
The New Hampshire Soccer Association Return to Play Protocol may be found here: NHSA Protocol
The State of New Hampshire Safer at Home COVID-19 Reopening Guidance for Amateur and Youth Sports may be found here: Safer at Home
PLEASE NOTE: ALL PLAYERS and COACHES are required to have a fully executed COVID-19 waiver on file before they are allowed to participate in any WSA program and MUST have a new waiver at the start of EACH league year. Families with more than one player must have one on file for EACH player.
The Waiver must be filled out in full and returned via email to Chris Burke (Travel) or Kim DeVries (Rec) prior to the start of the FIRST practice. WSA COVID-19 Waiver
Players (as well as their parents) and Coaches must abide by the guidelines set forth in the waiver and will refrain from participating in any WSA program should their health, travel, or exposure status change and not be compliant to the State guidelines, at which time they must notify their coach and/or a member of the WSA board immediately that they are unable to participate.
IMPORTANT: A player, coach or parent should not disclose any confidential information or violate an HIPAA regulations, but should simply indicate that they are not able to attend.
As an FYI: If there is a positive case in the WSA community:
Discussing details of any specific case is a direct violation of HIPAA as well as the overall privacy of the family. We would ask that you use the same discretion with others that you would expect and want for yourself.
In light of recent information from the School Administration, if you or your player were considered a close contact to an infectious person, you would receive a call from either the school district or NH DHHS notifying you and informing you what your course of action should be. If you have not been contacted, you or your player were not considered to be a close contact by NH DHHS. NH DHHS follows strict guidelines on when individuals should be preventatively quarantined, and we will follow their recommendations.
NH DHHS will work directly with an individual to confirm a positive test result, and will manage the appropriate course of action, from appropriate home-isolation protocols, to extensive contact tracing, to appropriate communication of potential exposure to others and additional actions required. We do not inform our community at large of incomplete or confidential information.
For more information on COVID-19 in New Hampshire, please view additional information here: https://www.nh.gov/covid19/index.htm
. If you have any general questions about COVID-19, please call 2-1-1 for residents of NH or dial 1-866-444-4211.
Should you have any questions at any time, please do not hesitate to reach out to Jamie Manti, President of Windham Soccer Association by clicking
The following information is taken from the NHSA Return to Play Protocol and contains some additional information as it pertains to WSA
Return To Play: Phase One
Individual training sessions can be held in participant home/residence using his or her own equipment.
Coaching occurs virtually. No coaches or athletes outside of the residence should be present during training.
Limitations on Phase One Activities
- All return to play activities offered are voluntary. WSA is sensitive to the issues surrounding COVID-19 and will do what we can to accommodate parents and players who may be uncomfortable with returning to play at this time.
- WSA will provide hand sanitizer or washing stations and waste bags/receptacles near each team area or with each coach.
- WSA will have coaches organize a “station” or area for each player at or around the bench area observing social distance guidelines, where players can keep their belongings.
- Players must keep their water, snacks and equipment within their “station”
- Players must avoid sharing or touching someone else’s belongings.
- Before any and all activity (e.g. practice, tryout session, etc…) each individual and/or parent of individual should answer the questions outlined on the waiver, notably:
- Have you been in contact with a person with COVID 19?
- Have you had a cough, above normal temperature, or loss of taste or smell?
- If anyone answers YES to any of these questions, they shall not be permitted to participate.
- WSA will maintain participant confidentiality regarding health status.
- Activities should be limited in size (e.g. 3 v. 3 or 4 v. 4) so as to avoid large groups competing in a small space.
- It is highly recommended that activities last no more than one (1) hour. Fatigue brought on by physical activity renders an individual more vulnerable to the virus. Excessive activities, especially in the heat of the summer, should be avoided.
- Coaches alone shall be permitted to touch training equipment (discs, cones, etc.)
- If training bibs or pinnies are needed, players must bring their own colored shirts. For example, a coach should require each player to bring or wear a dark and a light t-shirt to play. If for any reason a training bib or pinnie is used by a player, it must be immediately isolated (put into a separate laundry bag) and not used again by any other individual unless and until it is laundered.
NOTE: WSA May choose to provide pinnies to players for the season at its discretion
- Physical contact outside the game must be strictly avoided.
- Players must use their own soccer ball. There will be no throw-ins and no activity will include picking up a ball with your hands. Players will be discouraged from handling any soccer ball other than their own.
- Players must wear masks prior to and immediately after training (in accordance with state/local guidelines and regulations)Players must observe social distancing when not in play
- Players are required to wash or sanitize their hands prior to and after training
NOTE: WSA asks that players not involved in active play wear their masks on the sideline/bench areas
- Players must wash their clothes immediately up returning home.
- Players must NOT share drinks, food, equipment or clothing at any time.
- Contact outside of play (e.g. high 5’s, handshakes, hugs, etc.) must be avoided at all times.
- Parents should have hand sanitizer available for their children before and after each session.
- Parents shall remain in their cars during all activities. They may not congregate at or around the field. If they leave their car for any reason (e.g. to use a restroom) they must wear a face mask and observe social distancing if suggested under local/state guidelines.
- Should parents feel the need to communicate with a coach, it must be done via telecommunications or email.
- Parents should check player’s temperature before every activity. If the temperature is above normal, keep player home.
- Ensure your child’s clothes/equipment are clean and/or sanitized before every activity.
Return To Play: Phase Two
Phase Two begins the gradual re-opening of many activities, but is, once again, limited by the ability to maintain control over the particular environment. We are all reminded that by returning to work or another activity, individuals could carry the virus back home to vulnerable individuals. Phase two calls for maximizing social distancing when in public and for avoiding groups of 10 or more in circumstances that do not readily allow for appropriate physical distancing. NHSA is interpreting Phase Two as permitting extremely limited activities so long as all possible measures are taken.
Activities permitted in Phase Two
- Practice/training sessions of single teams on each field
- No more than 25 players/coaches present on adjoining fields.
- Tryouts consisting of no more than 25 players/coaches present on adjoining fields.
Activities NOT permitted in Phase Two
These shall not be permitted because enforcing adherence to health safety protocols and guidelines is impossible:
- Games, scrimmages or friendlies.
- Tournaments or jamborees.
Return To Play: Phase Three (most recent active phase)
Only after the Gateway Criteria are met in Phase Two, Phase Three will commence. Again, entering Phase Three is not accomplished by throwing a switch. It must be done responsibly given the nature of the soccer environment. The protocols set forth in Phase Two and before such as social distancing must not simply be abandoned.
Activities permitted in Phase Three
- Practices of single teams on each field.
- Games, friendlies and scrimmages can be played.
- Tryouts can take place.
Activities NOT permitted in Phase Three
- Tournaments or Jamborees outside of New England
- Tournaments pose a high risk because there is virtually no way to maintain control over protocol such as social distancing by and between players and supporters or spectators, and in many cases teams travel from outside New Hampshire.
- The tournament environment is essentially a petri dish in which the virus can flourish.
Added 9/16/2020: Additional information regarding Phase III Recommendations from the NHSL may be found in their guide: NHSL Phase III Recommendations
WSA Updates - 09/01/2020
- A reminder that before ANY Players or Coach may take the field, they must have an executed COVID-19 waiver on file. If a waiver is not received, they will not be allowed on the field.
- WSA will provide hand sanitizer and waste bags/receptacles near each team area or with each coach. Parents should have sanitizer available for their player before and after any session
- Coaches will organize an area at or near the bench, observing social distance guidelines, where each player can keep their belongings, with all player’s items 6’ from one another.
- Players must keep their water, snacks and equipment within their “station” or “locker”
- Reminder that there is no sharing of water (water bottles, water stations) or snacks
- Players must avoid sharing or touching someone else’s belongings
- Cone spaced 6’ apart are an excellent way to indicate the proper locations
- Players may not share ANY equipment, to include jerseys, pinnies, goalkeeper gloves, etc.
- Coaches should wear a mask if social distancing is not possible. When speaking to a player or a group of players, a mask is required if proper social distancing of 6’ cannot be maintained. This requirement applies to all Players as well.
- Before each session (e.g. practice, game, etc.), Coaches should remind players that if they are not feeling well, they must notify them right away so that proper measures may be taken
- Coaches should identify an isolation area at the beginning of each game, session, or practice for anyone who develops symptoms during the event to move to
- Any player not feeling well or that develops symptoms during the session should be escorted to that area and asked to stay there until a parent can be reached to escort the child to the car and bring them home.
- Please notify the appropriate WSA Vice President (Travel/Recreation) or President that a player was sent home for appropriate follow up
- In the event that a coach develops symptoms during a game, session or practice, they should notify another coach, trainer of volunteer, and should leave the field. In the unlikely even that the coach is the only remaining adult at the session, the remainder of the session should be canceled, and parents should be notified that they must pick up their player early. Coaches should not leave until all players have been retrieved by a parent or guardian but should remain isolated at a proper social distance.
- WSA and coaches MUST maintain participant confidentiality regarding health status. Issues should be referred to the President or Vice Presidents, Travel and Recreation, of the WSA. Do not discuss any player’s health status or concerns with any other parents, players or spectators.
- Coaches alone shall be permitted to touch training equipment (discs, cones, etc.)
- If a pinnie is required by a player, it will be provided by the coach and must remain with that player and not used again by any other player until it is laundered and returned.
NOTE: WSA May provide pinnies to players to use for the season at its discretion. These pinnies would be given out to players at the FIRST practice and assigned to that player for the season. They will be required to wash it with their uniform and return it laundered at the end of the season should this occur
- Physical contact outside the game (field of play) must be strictly avoided.
- High 5’s, handshakes, fist bumps, hugs, etc. are unfortunately not allowed at any times
- Players must use their own soccer ball whenever possible. There will be no throw-ins and no activity should include picking up a ball with your hands during practices. Players will be discouraged from handling any soccer ball other than their own except during scrimmages.
- Players must wear masks prior to and immediately after training (in accordance with state, local, AND league guidelines and regulations) when social distancing is not possible.
- Players must observe social distancing when not in play and should not sit shoulder to shoulder on a bench or sideline area. Players should sit with their bags if not on the field of play or warming up
- Players are required to wash or sanitize their hands prior to and after training
*** UPDATED NOTE: For the players' safety, until further notice, WSA REQUIRES that players not involved in active play wear their masks on the sideline/bench areas unless warming up or taking a drink from a beverage
- UPDATED: During practices, parents/guardians for Teams U8 and Below are encouraged to remain in their cars in a designated parking area. Parents/guardians for Teams U9 and Above are required to remain in their cars in a designated parking area. For those that are allowed to watch from the sidelines, they should maintain a safe social distance AND wear a mask, even when proper social distancing is possible. Spectators other than parents/guardians are not permitted at the field for practice. If outside of their cars in the parking area, they should maintain a safe social distance and/or wear a mask when social distancing is not possible
- UPDATED: During competitive sporting events, parents/guardians and spectators shall remain outside of all “in play” areas and shall maintain physical distancing while watching events. They should be at least 6-feet from anyone from another household. Masks MUST be worn even if proper social distancing is not possible until further notice
- It is the parents responsibility to ensure that their player is compliant with the COVID-19 waiver health guidelines before attending any games, session or practice
- Any issues with any parent or spectator asked to abide by the WSA, NHSA, or State of NH guidelines and protocols regarding COVID-19 should be reported immediately to the President or appropriate Vice President, Travel or Recreation, of the WSA