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SFA updates guidelines for grass-roots football's phased return


By David Porter

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In line with Scottish Government and sportscotland guidance, the Scottish Football Association (SFA)has now set out Guidance for All for the period from April 5–25 as well as age-related guidance for Under-12s, 12-17 year-olds and 18 years and older.

A spokesman explained: "We have released a Return To Football route-map from 5 April – 17 May, however please be advised that this content is subject to Scottish Government guidance updates and may be subject to change.

"Only Under-12s and 12-17 year-olds are permitted to engage in contact training from April 5.

The SFA has released a routemap for younger players as sport starts a phased reintroduction.
The SFA has released a routemap for younger players as sport starts a phased reintroduction.

Guidance for All -

All activity for all age groups must take place outdoors.

All activity must take place in an appropriately risk assessed venue.

All activity must only be arranged by Scottish FA registered clubs (ie clubs registered with an appropriate Affiliated National Association).

All activity should avoid inter-club training, competition or events.

At this point no spectators are permitted at any sporting activities, we are seeking further guidance from the Scottish Government on when spectators may be permitted.

The exception is that one parent or guardian is permitted to observe (remaining physically distant) their child if necessary; please engage with your clubs if this is deemed essential and/or necessary

At no stage should groups mix and appropriate one way systems should be in place.

Please ensure that hygiene measures are implemented at all times.

We ask everyone to continue to work together to ensure all activities are safe and follow all Covid protocols and Scottish Government FACTS campaign.

On the issue of Holiday Camps he continued : "Holiday Camps are permitted, and we would ask all organisations to ensure all the following recommendations are followed."

All general guidance for the relevant age groups must be followed at all times.

Multiple bubbles are permitted ensuring that there is adequate safe spaces between groups.

Individual bubbles are not permitted to mix.

All organisations should check that they have the adequate insurance and health and safety provision in place

All organisation must ensure all relevant child wellbeing a protection process are in place

All organisation must follow all Covid protocols; for example-

Ensure one way systems are in place

Physical Distancing Measure are maintained

Track and Trace processes are followed

Hygiene measures are followed at all times

All players, participants over the age of 13 and parents and carers are advised to undertake a Covid-19 eLearning course if they or their children are to participate in sports training, competitions and other events.

Training for younger players is set to resume.
Training for younger players is set to resume.

For Under-12s

Scottish Government and sportscotland guidance for children under the age of 12 permits participation in outdoor contact group activity.

Contact activity for this age group is permitted, however we recommend that physical distancing should be in place before and after activity.

Parents/carers can take a young person under the age of 18 out of their Local Authority area for their organised activity.

Physical distancing is necessary for coaches at all times.

All group activity can consist of a maximum of 26 players and four officials per 1/3 of a pitch (the officials must be PVG certified and contain a COVID Officer, First Aider and an appropriately qualified coach).

No inter club, competition, matches or events are permitted.

12-17 years

Scottish Government and sportscotland guidance for children aged 12-17 permits participation in outdoor contact group activity.

Contact activity for this age group is permitted, however physical distancing should be in place before and after activity.

Parents/carers can take a young person under the age of 18 out of their Local Authority area for their organised activity.

Physical distancing is necessary for coaches.

All group activity must consist of a maximum of 13 players and two officials per 1/4 of a pitch (the two officials must be PVG certified and contain a COVID Officer, First Aider, and an appropriately qualified coach).

No inter club, competition, matches or events are permitted.

18 years and above

Scottish Government and sportscotland guidance for 18 + permits participation in outdoor, non-contact group activity.

All activity must be non-contact, ensuring physical distancing is in place at all times before, during and after activity takes place.

All activity must be organised within your own Local Authority area and players are not permitted to travel to neighbouring authorities to participate, as per Scottish Government travel restrictions.

All group activity must consist of a maximum of 15 players and officials (two appropriate PVG officials for SYFA) and all activity must contain a COVID Officer and First Aider per 1/4 of a pitch.


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