Phase One | FAQ’s
The Grassroots sub-group fully understand that this is a very frustrating period for everyone that is involved with grassroots, community and affiliated football. Grassroots, community and affiliated football plays an import role to not only keep people active but, as has been illustrated throughout this COVID-19 crisis, clubs have gone beyond the call of duty to help support people and local communities.
To enable clubs within Scotland to progress with training and matches, the Scottish Government have agreed to the resumption of professional sport only when the country moves into Phase Two of the Scottish Government roadmap. This means that our SPFL clubs will be required to meet strict protocols, which have been approved by the Scottish Government. These include twice weekly testing for all players and staff as well as exclusive access to training facilities which we appreciate is unlikely to be feasible both operationally and financially for majority of grassroots, community and affiliated clubs. The Grassroots Sub-Group is therefore working with the Scottish Government, sportscotland and other stakeholders towards the creation of a bespoke framework to help support the re-introduction of community, grassroots and affiliated football
The Scottish Government COVID-19 Framework for Decision Making, ‘Scotland’s route map through and out the crisis’, is the document that the Scottish FA grassroots sub-group will use to plan and create a framework to support clubs through this difficult period. The Scottish Government has identified four phases for easing the ‘lockdown’ measures and we are currently in phase one. It should be noted there are no formal dates on when we will move into any of the phase with the next review scheduled on Thursday, 18 June. The sub-group will work with the Scottish Government, sportscotland and key stakeholders to ensure clubs are accurately informed at each stage of what any changes mean for football through the delivery of information and documentation that will support clubs/leagues/teams to plan when the Scottish Government announces any updates as we progress through the phases.
What does the Scottish Government’s COVID-19 Framework for Decision Making ‘Scotland’s route map through and out the crisis’ mean for grassroots, community and affiliated football?
The Scottish Government’s route map provides examples of what activities people and organisations may be able to undertake as the government move carefully between the phases. The only way the government will enable further reduction of the restrictions is if the evidence suggests that we are continuing to suppress the virus with various mechanisms used to calculate this. Therefore, we would encourage everyone to continue to follow the guidelines, as it will help us to deliver the introduction of sport as soon as possible in Scotland.
Football is a contact sport with a workforce which includes coaches, players and volunteers. Football requires people to travel to facilities to participate which at present, under the government restrictions, presents some significant challenges to resuming formal football training and matches as we know it.
The sub-group are working to create template, frameworks and supporting documentation to support clubs/leagues and identify what can and can’t be done as the government announces further changes to restrictions.
Will clubs be able to participate or arrange league matches, internal club matches or festivals?
The current Scottish Government guidance states that physical distancing has to be maintained throughout the first three phases of the COVID-19 Framework for Decision Making ‘Scotland’s route map through and out the crisis’. While this policy is in place it will be difficult for a contact sport, like football, to be able to arrange any match activity.
We fully understand that this is very frustrating for everyone that is involved with grassroots, community and affiliated football. The grassroots sub-group will continue to work with the Scottish Government and sportscotland to look at the guidance in relation to social distancing to ascertain when formal match play activity can be re-introduced at an appropriate stage. However, the sub-group would reiterate that due to the social distancing restrictions, normal match play activity could still be a while away.
In the meantime the grassroots sub-group will continue to monitor best practice to look at innovating ways to support the re-introduction of match play activity when the guidance permits.
Will it be possible to conduct a training session with my club or conduct community football activity such as soccer centres, futsal, walking football and Para-Football?
In line with phase one of current government guidance, NO formal football training is currently possible, however the grassroots sub-group are working in partnership with the Scottish Government, Sportscotland and other stakeholders to create a framework that will enable clubs to start to plan for the re-introduction of training sessions within small groups
The Scottish Government has identified four phases for easing the ‘lockdown’ measures and we are currently in phase one; there are no formal dates on when we will move into any of the phase but the next review is scheduled for Thursday 18th June. The grassroots sub-group will create ‘toolkits’ to enable clubs to start planning for the re-introduction of training at a club level when the government guidelines permit and these will be circulated in the near future to support clubs.
Over the coming weeks the grassroots sub-group, Scottish FA Regional Staff and other stakeholders will start to engage with groups via video meetings, webinars and podcasts to start to explain the planning process which, will enable clubs to start their own individual planning for club training.
The grassroots sub-group would reiterate that as we re-turn to training, there will be a number of changes that will have to be undertaking, to enable clubs/leagues to follow Scottish Government guidance on health, physical distancing and hygiene.
What football activity will I be able to undertake in relation to ‘Scotland’s route map through and out the crisis’?
We are currently in phase one of the Scottish Government’s route map and no formal organised football should be undertaken at this present time. The grassroots sub-group and Scottish Government are keen that people and families should continue to stay as physically active as possible.
People who wish to informally practice outdoors with people from one other household (up to a maximum of 8 people) should follow Scottish Government’s guidance on health, physical distancing and hygiene. Information on Scottish Government’s approach to managing COVID-19 is available at www.gov.scot.
The grassroots sub-group would encourage that all activity within this phase one should remain informal and fun. As we continue to move between the phases, the sub-group will produce more guidance on what further activity can be undertaken and is permitted.
The following football activities are permitted at this moment in time within phase one:
- Playing football individually e.g. practice of individual skills or fitness activities.
- Playing football with your family or other people living in your household.
- Football activity with people who are from one other household (only one different household a day and to a maximum of 8 people); physical distancing and hygiene guidelines must be followed while undertaking all forms of physical activity.
- Coaching an adult (over the age of 18) player one to one; physical distancing and hygiene guidelines must be followed while undertaking all forms of physical activity.
All formal football activities with children must be planned to involve a minimum of two adults in line with Scottish Football’s Child Wellbeing and Protection Policy. Under the Scottish Government’s route map and in line with Scottish Football’s Child Wellbeing and Protection Policy, the following must be adhered to when any formal coaching session is undertaken with children:
- All coaches/staff/volunteers involved in any activity must have undertaken ‘safe’ recruitment procedure and have went through the PVG membership scheme via the relevant National Affiliated Association.
- Coaches/staff/volunteers involved in any football activity can only coach within their own club setting with players registered to that organisation.
- All coaches/staff/volunteers undertake relevant training and agree to a code of conduct.
- All activities must be fully risk assessed in advance with the relevant club insurance in place.
- The session must take place outdoors, for example in a large garden or public park.
- Physical distancing (of 2m) between the two households must be adhered to.
- The adult from the child’s household must have designated responsibility for any first aid the child requires.
- The coaching session would equate to the one meeting of another household per day recommended for both households involved in the session (coach and child).
- All equipment has to be sanitised before and after use.
- Wash hands (or with hand sanitiser) immediately before and after training.
For further information on permitted safe physical activity process visit www.gov.scot
What guidelines will be in place to ensure facilities meet government recommendations?
The grassroots sub-group fully understand the facilities and accessibility will be critical when clubs start to plan for a return to training. The sub-group will work in partnership with Scottish Government, sportscotland and other stakeholders to produce guidelines and advice that will enable clubs to follow the correct procedures when arranging football at facilities.
There will be a number of changes that will have to be undertaken to enable clubs to participate in formal training activity when we move between the government’s phases. Over the coming weeks the grassroots sub-group, Scottish FA regional staff and other stakeholders will engage with groups via video meetings, webinars and podcasts to support the planning process to enable clubs to start to plan for club training.
For further information on ‘getting your facilities fit for sport’ visit the sportscotland website.
Will I be able to administer first aid or arrange a course for my club/league?
We are looking into alternative first aid solutions for clubs/leagues to be able to arrange first aid courses and will update accordingly. The current recommendations for first aiders are from the Health & Safety Executive, June 2020.
Try to assist at a safe distance from the casualty as much as you can and minimise the time you share a breathing zone.
If they are capable, tell them to do things for you, but treating the casualty properly should be your first concern. Remember the 3P model – preserve life, prevent worsening, promote recovery.
Preserve life: CPR
- Call 999 immediately – tell the call handler if the patient has any COVID-19 symptoms
- Ask for help. If a portable defibrillator is available, ask for it
- Before starting CPR, to minimise transmission risk, use a cloth or towel to cover the patient’s mouth and nose, while still permitting breathing to restart following successful resuscitation
- If available, use:
- a fluid-repellent surgical mask
- disposable gloves
- eye protection
- apron or other suitable covering
- Only deliver CPR by chest compressions and use a defibrillator (if available) – don’t do rescue breaths
Prevent worsening, promote recovery: all other injuries or illnesses
- If you suspect a serious illness or injury, call 999 immediately – tell the call handler if the patient has any COVID-19 symptoms
- If giving first aid to someone, you should use the recommended equipment listed above if it is available
- You should minimise the time you share a breathing zone with the casualty and direct them to do things for you where possible
After delivering any first aid
- Ensure you safely discard disposable items and clean reusable ones thoroughly
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitiser as soon as possible
Will I be able to undertake Scottish FA Coach Education?
Yes. The Scottish FA have been developing online Scottish FA Coach Education Course to help support coaches with further information available here.