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WTAA FLAG FOOTBALL SPRING 2021 COVID COMPLIANCE



WTAA FLAG FOOTBALL SPRING 2021 COVID COMPLIANCE

The guidelines presented might be more comprehensive and stricter than what is accepted locally in Wareham MA. THE WTAA GUIDELINES WILL BE ENFORCED, PER THE NFL, REGARDLESS OF LOCAL GUIDELINES DURING THE TIME OF THE EVENT AND ARE NON-NEGOTIABLE. 

The following COVID-19 Guidelines are the result of careful consideration and planning by RC Experiences, NFL YHSFB staff & NFL Medical Advisory Committee’s health officials, who have experience outlining and implementing COVID-19 protocols, in order to ensure the safety of staff, participants and spectators.

These guidelines include protocols for participants and spectators who plan to attend the event and will need access to the facility. In addition, there is detail regarding changes made to the structure and format of the event, and expectations regarding equipment usage & sanitization to maintain compliance with the standards. 

All guidelines outlined below are non-negotiable and will be enforced at all WTAA Flag Football events.

GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR ALL PARTICIPANTS AND SPECTATORS 

  • All attendees must sign our event waiver prior to attending the event. 

  • Do not enter the event if you, or anyone you live with, are exhibiting any signs of illness including sneezing, coughing, sniffles, fever, loss of taste or smell, or generally don’t feel well. 

  • If  WTAA staff believes that a spectator or participant should not be admitted due to symptoms or results of a health screening, they will be asked to leave, and the team may be asked to exit the event at the WTAA's discretion. 

  • WTAA staff reserves the right to remove any participants or spectators who do not comply with COVID Guidelines. 

  • Masks are to be worn by all staff, spectators and coaches at all times. Players must always wear masks.  Players must wear masks when on the sideline and not competing. 

  • All athletes, coaches and spectators will have their temperatures taken before entering the facility on each day of the event. 

  • A wellness survey will be administered to all spectators, participants, coaches and staff prior to entry each day of the event. We will share information and instructions on how this will be administered prior to the event. 

  • There will be clear entries and exits at the facility and everyone must enter and exit from those designated areas. 

  • Concession areas are required to have 6ft between people waiting in line and all tables must be 6ft apart. 

  • Bathrooms also should abide by social distancing rules, which will require space between people waiting in lines. 

  • There will be a morning session and an afternoon session. Teams and spectators will only be allowed entry during their designated session and will be asked to leave immediately following. The facility will be cleared in-between sessions to allow for proper capacity limitations. 

 

SPECTATOR SEATING AND ADMISSION 

  • Only ten (10) players, two (2) coaches per team and referees can view the game from the field.  

  • The number of spectators per athlete allowed entry will be limited to 2 per athlete

  • Spectators, athletes and coaches will only be able to enter the facility during their designated session.

  • Spectators may not congregate behind player benches, and must abide by social distancing guidelines, maintaining 6 feet of distance from other spectators. 

  • Spectators must be 30 feet (10 yards) from the field of play.  

  • All spectators are required to wear face masks.  

  • If possible, spectators should bring their own seating to the event to better maintain proper distance from other spectators.  

  • Bleacher seating will be removed. Spectators must maintain social distancing guidelines and remain 6 feet away from other attendees. 

  • The sidelines of the fields must be clear of spectators so that athletes and coaches can maintain social distancing guidelines.  

 

GAME PROTOCOL 

  • On one full soccer/football field, there will be a maximum of two games at a time  

  • Games will be scheduled with 15-minute breaks in between to allow those to leave and others to arrive with minimal interactions.  

  • Schedules will be distributed in advance of all games with buffer times clearly marked. 

  • On turf fields, coaches and teams are not permitted to cross the 50-yard line to keep coaches and players sharing two fields from close interaction.  

  • Athletes and coaches from each team must be on opposite sides of the field.  

  • It is recommended that players/coaches bring their own chair to be spaced appropriately or stand on the sidelines. 

  • Teams will be prompted to enter and exit fields by WTAA staff. Teams are asked not to congregate around the fields or in public areas when not participating in game play. 

  • Every time a coach, player or referee gets to the field to start a game they must sanitize their hands at designated hand sanitizing stations at each field 

  • At the pregame meeting and throughout the game, coaches and referees will not be allowed to shake hands or have any physical contact with each other.  

  • Players and coaches are asked to refrain from high fives or any other physical gestures of celebration.  

  • Eliminate huddles when possible.  

  • If the coach must meet with a player or the team, each member of the huddle must be 6 feet apart. 

  • We suggest each player should have QB wristbands containing plays/formations. Coaches should call the play number from the sideline.  

  • Players should refrain from picking up other players' flags off the ground. 

  • At the conclusion of the game, players will be asked to forego the sportsmanship line at the end of the game. Instead we are asking for each team to line up across from each other on their sideline and give a round of applause as a salute to the other team to promote sportsmanship.  

  • The coaches should confirm the score verbally with the official at the end of the game. 

EQUIPMENT 

  • All teams will be provided footballs and should use their own footballs when their team is on offense. 

  • You are to use  hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes to be used before, during and after the games, and whenever appropriate, such as if/when coming into contact with the ball or any other players, coaches or shared equipment.  

  • Refrain from sharing equipment in general.  

  • Each team is responsible for disinfecting their flags with disinfectant wipes, before, at halftime, and after a game. 

  • Players should be discouraged from removing and re-inserting mouthguards while on the field. If a mouthguard falls out, players should be instructed not to re-insert it until it can be sanitized with clean hands.  

  • All players should bring a personal water bottle with their name on it to use during the game. There will be no communal coolers with Gatorade or water at the fields 

WTAA Corona Virus FAQs



WTAA Coronavirus Pandemic FAQs

Why did WTAA cancel the Spring 2020 Recreation Seasons for Flag Football? The state of Massachusetts mandated that all schools remain closed for the remainder of the school year as part of the Non-Pharmaceutical Intervention of Social Distancing to combat the spread of the global pandemic known as Coronavirus Covid-19. Because Massachusetts has extended the social distancing and stay-at-home directive currently until May 18th.
As of May 11th, 2020 Gov. Baker has yet to release the details of a 4 Phase reopening plan.

Why doesn’t the WTAA extend their Spring seasons indefinitely into the summer? The primary reason is that we cannot predict how indefinite the extension would be. With every passing day, more families will withdraw from the league – removing both players and volunteers – and it would be too difficult to sustain the planned seasons.

Does the WTAA intend to offer Summer 2020 sports in lieu of Spring sports? We will be prepared to offer Summer 2020 recreational sports if permitted by the government and health authorities. Keep in mind that this is all predicated on the details of the 4-phase reopening plan from the state.

Why didn’t the WTAA initially offer full refunds when the Spring 2020 sports were cancelled? As with many youth sports organizations, a significant amount of funds have been spent or contractually committed well prior to “Opening Day.” As such, the WTAA stands to lose in excess of $9,000 if full refunds are given to all families.

What expenses did WTAA incur by offering Spring Sports and having over 150 kids register to play? If the season is cancelled, what costs were there? Doesn't the town of Wareham pay for the fields and field maintenance?
 By offering a 2020 Spring Sports season and subsequently having over 150 kids register to play, the WTAA incurred the following costs: Credit card processing and bank fees, accounting fees, insurance fee per player, coach resources, volunteer background checks, coaches training seminars, facility usage fees, and field maintenance. Though teams did not yet start to practice, WTAA Spring Flag Football, for example, held indoor player evaluations which required us to use school property and janitors for a fee. Regarding fields, the WTAA is currently in negotiations with the School Dept. with hopes to mitigate their initial field usage bill of over $10,000. This bill was brought to the school committee and contested. Being a small organization that relies heavily on registration fees, which are the lowest in the region, the WTAA has never had to pay such a large amount to utilize the fields. We are optimistic that the WTAA and the School Committee will come to an agreement for the benefit of our town's youth. Yet the bill still remains the same.

Why would it be difficult for WTAA to absorb the spent or contractually committed funds? the WTAA is an all-volunteer, local community, non-profit organization. The WTAA is not designed to make money. Our programs all submit deficit-free budgets with the primary source of income from registration fees. We use the income to pay for all of the expenses involved with running a youth sports organization, including unexpected expenses such as equipment failure or loss, and field damage. Any profits that may result after a given season are returned to the program for future equipment purchases and capital improvements.

Further – our volunteers are committed to ensuring that the WTAA is available for our community when we move beyond the Corona virus Covid-19 global pandemic. We anticipate that families will be looking for “Symbols of Normal” and we will work tirelessly to be one of those symbols. In addition, we anticipate an increase in families requesting financial assistance with their league registration which we plan to provide. Absorbing a significant loss of funds will create difficulty in executing these plans when "Normal" returns.

What are my registration fee recovery options now that the season is canceled? We are offering 4 options:

1.       100% registration fee credit to a future WTAA sports season, good through Dec 31st, 2021. This option will allow the league to minimize the effect of sunk costs on future 2020 seasons. The credit will be distributed in the form of a “Coupon Code” which would be applied at “Checkout” during registration for a subsequent WTAA sports  program season.

2.       100% registration fee donation to the WTAA which we will use to help sustain the WTAA organization and fund future scholarships for children of low-income and military families. We provide needs-based financial scholarships for approximately 5-15 children each season.

3.       75% registration fee refund. The 25% of your registration fee that is retained will help to offset sunk costs such as operations and field maintenance.

4.       100% registration fee refund via check or refund using the card used during your registration. (If you paid your registration fees with cash, you will be issued a check for your refund). No portion of your registration fee will be retained however, the credit card transaction fee along with the service fee will not be refunded.

What will be the timing of the refund, whether 75% or 100%? We will begin processing requested refunds as early as May 20,2020. You’ll have until June 15th to request a credit or refund, and if no choice is designated, your fee will be considered a donation.

How do I submit my choice for my registration fee option? Please follow the instructions below. Log into the WarehamTigers.com  account that you had used to register your child(ren) for the WTAA Spring 2020 Sports season. Verify your full name and address in your account settings .For each registered participant in your account, select the Edit (pencil icon) option and answer Question #1 which presents the four registration fee choices. Scroll down and click SAVE at the bottom when you are done. Repeat this process for each registered child. We will begin processing requested refunds on May 20. You’ll have until June 15th to request a credit or refund, and if no choice is designated, your fee will be considered a donation. If you chose the 100% credit option, Coupon Codes will be distributed via email beginning June 15.
Click here for step-by-step instructions.

What if I don't remember my Username and Password for WarehamTigers.com? If you need to lookup your Username or reset your password - and the "Forgot your Username or Password" option is not working for you (for example, if you had changed your email address or the reset email message was filtered as SPAM), please call the website support line at 866-258-3303.

May I request a 100% refund, but then use those funds to submit a matching donation through my employer?
 Yes, some families have elected to double the impact of their donation by utilizing matching donations through their employer.

Will I receive a donation letter for tax purposes if I choose to donate my registration fee? Yes, the WTAA will send a donation acknowledgement letter to all families who donate their registration fee. **Please note** - The CARES Act adds a new above-the-line deduction that allows an individual who does not itemize to deduct up to $300 of cash contributions to a qualified charity. This is in addition to the standard deduction.

Does the WTAA intend to offer Fall 2020 sports? We will be prepared to offer Fall 2020 recreational sports if permitted by the government and health authorities.

Will the WTAA still create and hold practices for elite flag football teams to compete at NFL Flag tournaments scheduled in the Fall?
Currently the WTAA has not yet created any travel elite flag football teams. If the CDC, state, and local guidelines state that we can conduct small practices and parents are willing to let their participant play, then we will build the elite teams off of player evaluations and coaches selection. Keep in mind that elite players will be traveling to other states to participate in Official NFL Flag sanctioned tournaments.

What if I don't see my FAQ? We will periodically update this page with any necessary FAQs. If your FAQ is missing, please email us:  warehamtigerswebm[email protected]

Wareham Tigers Athletic Association

P.O. Box 538 
W. Wareham, Massachusetts 02576

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