RBJSL reminds all participating Clubs and Teams that, as members of Eastern PA Youth Soccer Association (EPYSA), we are expected to follow PA Department of Health COVID-19 mitigations, as clarified by EPYSA.
These mitigations fall under a PA Department of Health policy that applies to all youth/recreational sports – they are not simply an EPYSA directive or an RBJSL league rule.
Specifically, with respect to masks/face coverings, here is the EPYSA clarification (which is current as of 09 Apr 2021):
What does this mean for me?
Masks must be worn by coaches, spectators, referees, and players. The only scenario a mask can be removed by a player or referee is if the individual meets the exception to the Face Mask Order. Section 3 of the Order provides an exception that allows an individual to remove their mask if wearing a face covering would either cause a medical condition, or exacerbate an existing one, including respiratory issues that impede breathing, a mental health condition or a disability. All alternatives should be exhausted before an individual is exempted. Proof of a condition or disability is not required. The Department of Health asks that everyone makes best efforts to wear face coverings during athletic activities.
Our Spring 2021 season is proving to be more of a challenge than our Fall 2020 season. Firstly, in November 2020, the PA DOH Face Covering Order was extended to include on-field players, and was clarified to include aerobic sports/activities such as soccer. Secondly, since the COVID-19 pandemic started a year ago, two opposing viewpoints have emerged on the concept of “player safety” with respect to sports participation:
Our challenge – to all of our participating Clubs and Teams – is to encourage folks in both camps to respect both sets of viewpoints. Mutual respect is necessary so that soccer games can be played in the current environment.
The PA DOH Face Covering Order is not 100% definitive, and so our participants cannot expect a 100% answer to every scenario.
For now, until the PA Department of Health and/or EPYSA make(s) changes, our spring season looks like this:
We expect our participating Clubs and Teams, along with their players and families, to make their best efforts at complying with the PA DOH Face Covering Order – so that our kids’ soccer games can continue to be played, and with the lowest possible risk of spreading COVID-19.