The National Women’s Soccer League announced new steps on Monday toward holding a 2020 season that has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the first part of the plan excludes OL Reign.
Beginning Wednesday, players in markets not under stay-at-home orders are allowed to begin training as a household at team practice facilities with certain restrictions. But, due to Gov. Jay Inslee’s stay-at-home order that extends through May 31 for Washington state, Reign players and staff won’t be allowed to train at team facilities.
While facilities will be open to teams not under stay-at-home orders, the league won’t allow use of locker rooms, weight rooms and indoor team training rooms unless needed for medical treatments that cannot be done at home.
Teams able to participate in what is being called “Return to Play Phased Protocol” are to make any sessions voluntary and must be approved by the team’s medical staff in addition to following league protocols. Clubs are also permitted to have a staff member oversee the sessions, but that person must maintain social distance and only be on site to view the individualized practices.
Those requirements are as follows:
• All activity must follow government, state and local mandates
• Each team must have approval from its medical staff to advance to the next phase
• Teams should limit staff to essential personnel necessary to conduct each phase of training and competition
• Players will undergo a daily symptom screening before entering team facilities
• Players who are fulfilling self-quarantine for any reason are not permitted to train with other individuals or at team facilities
• Players, coaches and staff who are sick or have close contact with individuals who are sick must inform the team’s Certified Athletic Trainer, stay home and not participate in training
• All individuals should practice good hand hygiene and avoid touching their face, nose and eyes with their hands as much as possible
• Clubs will thoroughly clean and disinfect all commonly touched surfaces daily
Many OL Reign players were in Tacoma when the league announced in March the indefinite suspension of its 2020 season. The Reign season opener was slated for April 18 against the Washington Spirit.
Inslee announced a four-phased re-opening of Washington businesses last week. Small group sessions outdoors fall under the second phase, which is expected to begin June 1. There’s an expected three-week time frame between the phases.