MBYLL NEW COVID-19 RULES FOR 2021 (a/o March 2021)
Communication, cooperation, understanding and flexibility will be the keys to a successful Spring season. The goal is not to win games this season, but have all games be played due to safe protocols and standards being met prior to the start of the season and in-season.
1) Mandatory Facial Masks: Facial masks to be worn by all participants during active play except for individuals with a documented medical condition or disability that makes them unable to wear a face covering.
a) For purposes of this guidance, a facial mask means a cloth facial covering that completely covers the nose and mouth. Masks with exhalation valves or vents (including mesh masks) are not allowed. Participants must always wear facial coverings on the bench or sidelines and in any huddles or time-outs from active play.
i. Cloth masks covering the mouth and nose that attach to the helmet are approved. Players using these are required to have another mask with them for anytime they take their helmet off in proximity of others.
ii. Gators are approved if they are made of a cloth material.
iii. While helmet shields are allowed if they meet the helmet manufacturers safety requirements, they do not meet the state standard for masks and a cloth mask would still be required.
b) Participants should take frequent facial covering breaks when they are out of proximity to other players, using caution to avoid touching the front or inside of the face covering by using the ties or ear loops to remove and replace.
c) Facial mask requirement also applies to all spectators and chaperones, coaches, staff, referees, and other officials.
2) Face-Offs: Face Offs will be allowed to start the season provided in weeks 1-3 of Classic Play both coaches in every game agree to have them part of that game. Coaches must communicate prior to Sundays to determine if they will be playing with face-offs. If one coach does not want to due to lack of practice or health/safety concerns, there will be no face offs for that game. Coaches from both teams MUST communicate and discuss the face-off PRIOR to arriving at the fields on Sundays.
a) If face-offs are not being done
i. A coin toss will determine the team that starts the game with possession at midfield. Possession will alternate for remaining quarters/halves.
ii. Following a goal, the team scored upon will be granted possession.
1. For L1/2 and L3/4 possession will be given at midfield in their offensive end of the field no more than 5 yards from midfield.
2. For L5/6 and L7/8, possession will be given at Goal Line Extended to any member of the team. The opposing team must start outside the box until the whistle is blown. We are urging coaches to use common sense. If one team is struggling to clear the ball and routinely leads to turnovers before gaining an offensive possession, coaches should consider allowing a free clear to midfield.
iii. Per normal MBYLL rules, if any team is trailing by 6+ goals at anytime in the game, they automatically get possession at midfield.
3) Cooperation, Understanding & Flexibility: In the event either or both teams are down players due to players in quarantine, AND it is still safe via CDC and MA State Board of Health Guidelines, for the remainder of the team to play for the teams to work together to make a game happen. While we do not want to inter-mingle teams, games can be played with fewer numbers of players on the field. Games can look to be rescheduled only if both teams are in agreement that the scheduled game cannot be played safely.
4) Body Checks/Player Contact/Loose Ball Scrums
a) L1/2 & L3/4 already have a no body check rule. Referees will emphasize this rule for 2021.
b) Referees will be given complete discretion to blow the whistle, stopping play, at any time they feel players are in close contact for an extended period of time. Examples, but not limited to, are:
i. Loose Balls – when two or more players are in close contact attempting to pick up a ground ball. Alternate possession will be awarded
ii. On Ball Play – when an offensive player with the ball and defender are in close contact during play for an extended period of time.
iii. Off Ball Play – When two or more opponents are working for position and are in close contact for extended period of time.
c) Referees will give verbal warnings whenever possible before stopping play.
d) If a referee warns and/or stops play for close contact from the same player multiple times, at the referees discretion they may flag a player (delay of game/unsportsmanlike conduct).
5) Contact Tracing
a) From State Guidelines: Activity Organizers must keep rosters of all participants with
appropriate contact information and make that information available upon request by state officials, local boards of health or their authorized agents. Should an Activity Organizers fail to completely and promptly cooperate with health officials, operators and organizers risk closure or suspension of a league’s practices and/or games.
6) Each team must keep an attendance sheet for every practice and game.
7) Close Contact and Quarantine Guidelines: MBYLL is following CDC and Mass Department of Health Guidelines as it relates to defining being a close contact and minimum quarantine periods for anyone who was a close contact or tested positive for covid-19. As always, you should follow the guidance of your healthcare provider and contact your local board of health with any questions.
a) Close contact is defined by the CDC as someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.
b) If a player or coach is considered exposed to someone with covid-19 due to close contact, or they have tested positive for covid-19, they must follow the MA State Board of Health.
Guidelines for quarantine before returning to practice or games. See the guidance here –https://www.mass.gov/guidance/information-and-guidance-for-persons-in-quarantine-due-to-covid-19