Updated 16 March 2020
COVID-19 Updates and Recommendations
On March 16, 2020, the WFTDA Board of Directors advised member leagues to suspend training and competition to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Leagues should follow the advice of your local public health officials and National Governing Bodies when deciding to resume activities.
There is currently no reason you should stop physical activities altogether. Remember that staying fit and active can reduce the risk of infection in the first place. See our Tips on Staying Healthy and Connected during the shutdown.
WFTDA Risk Management and the WFTDA Coronavirus task force have the following recommendations to help your league implement good practices that help prevent the spread of illness when you resume activities.
For your practices and general day-to-day league management, we recommend that you:
- Educate your members on best practices for washing hands and using hand sanitizers if soap and water are not available. This should be done before and after practice, and gear should be sanitized regularly.
- Please remind everyone that masks don’t protect you from getting sick and that stockpiling masks or sanitizers can hurt those that need it.
- Suspend your attendance policy for the time being if you don’t have a medical leave of absence policy (LOA), and don’t enforce a culture where your league mates come to practice feeling unwell because of attendance pressure.
- Inform your league members about staying home, even if they just have a minor cold.
- Stop enforcing a culture of needing to commit and be there by any means necessary. You are not letting anyone down by not being there.
- Create a policy around recovery days for people to stay home a few days after recovery due to low immunity.
- Have your members arrive early enough to wipe down surfaces if need be. Following practice, any equipment used during the session, and venue facilities should be thoroughly wiped down.
- Keep your gear cleaned regularly, and remember to keep those mouth-guards as free from germs as possible!
- Inform your members of these practices by using our template.
In case you are running or participating in events in this time of uncertainty, we recommend that you:
- Review your venue contracts prior to signing, and negotiate the best possible cancellation terms they are able to provide you.
- Consider how you would deal with canceled training, events, season tickets, etc.
- Suspend the end-of-game high-five circle for the time being
- Offer hand sanitizer (if available) and enough soap for participants
- Take the time and clean your venue frequently to wipe down surfaces, especially frequently touched areas like chairs and doorknobs and to mop and disinfect the floor. Bleach solution is an affordable and effective solution for cleaning.
- The EPA has put out a list of disinfectants that work on COVID-19. Find them here.
- Please make sure to check with your local authority on products and recommendations.
In the case of traveling to events, we recommend that:
- Anyone traveling obtains refundable tickets and/or travel insurance that includes cancellation terms in the policy. (Be sure to review the fine print and exclusions to ensure you know what you’re buying, as well as how to make a claim, should you need to cancel your trip.)
- For those traveling to sporting events overseas, follow governmental travel advice and take note of travel bans, for example by the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) or other local and global organizations: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices.
PLEASE NOTE this virus is no reason or excuse to be racist or xenophobic. The WFTDA Code of Conduct is still very much in effect, and we recommend you remind league members about your own Code of Conduct as well.
For more information:
- WHO training course: Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) for Novel Coronavirus
- Recommendations by the CDC (Center for Disease Control): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
- Recommendations by the PHE (Public Health England):
- When Xenophobia spreads like a virus, by NPR.