COVID-19 Return to Play Recommendations

From CNRA

Return to Play Recommendations

Guidance for Referee Safety

February 2021

Covid-19 Protocol Development and Enforcement

CNRA does not have a formal role in establishing Covid-19 protocols for any competition. Ultimate responsibility for establishing and enforcing Covid-19 protocols rests with the competition organizers and the sanctioning bodies overseeing those competitions. The following are recommendations for referees to ensure their own safety when officiating soccer matches once play resumes.

Covid-19 Referee Safety Recommendations

To the degree possible, maintain a distance of more than six (6) feet from all match participants

  • Keep players and coaches at a distance during check in and coin toss
  • Use your voice and visual gestures to set walls instead of marching off ten yards
  • No handshakes

Wear a mask at all times during completion of pre-game and post-game duties

Wear a mask as much as possible during the match

  • If you are not able to physically complete your duties while wearing a mask (breathing, etc), lower your mask when necessary
  • Use of electronic whistle is optional; lower mask to blow whistle if needed (be aware that some participants in the game will struggle to hear the electronic whistle at times)

Do not share equipment with fellow referees

  • Bring your own water bottle and do not share it
  • Use your own flag if assigned as an Assistant Referee

Practical Recommendations

Your only responsibility when officiating a match is ensuring compliance with the Laws of the Game.

  • It’s not your responsibility to sanitize soccer balls – don’t do it
  • You’re not there to enforce mask wearing
    • If participants in the match are not complying with mask wearing protocols, as established by the appropriate competition authority, simply keep a safe distance unless the competition authority has outlined a specific sanction and process for reporting
    • If spectators are not wearing masks, simply keep your distance
    • If team personnel are not wearing masks, and you cannot keep a safe distance from them (Assistant Referees in particular), stop the match until the problem has been addressed using the same protocols as outlined in previous Referee Abuse presentations
  • Be sure to read all rules of competition and Covid-19 protocols provided by the competition organizing body (Cal North, NorCal, etc)

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