The youth football players in Scotland had no option but to stay home and not play their favorite sport for several months due to the global pandemic. Parents and coaches of football players also felt helpless at their inability to do something about the situation. Since the players’ lives were at risk, the regulations set forth by the authorities had to be strictly followed and keeping the children home was the only option to keep them safe.

 These few months were spent by carrying out most activities online such as learning through video conferences, playing at an online casino, and even meeting friends and clients through video calls. This was not a good time for anyone, but the world has slowly started to return to its previous levels of normalcy while being accompanied by the right safety precautions. Now that youth football matches are back on, here are a few things you must ensure as a player, a coach, or as a parent to keep the talented youth of Scotland safe.

Traveling safe

The Scotland authorities have defined five area categories with different levels of restrictions to be followed for each activity. While Levels 0-4 can be utilized by players under 18 for various sports, moving in and out of the last two levels is not allowed. When it comes to travel, players are advised to travel between levels 0 and 3 as per their needs, but they must stay away from level 4 areas.

Traveling using public transport is highly discouraged, and the youth players must remember to travel by car, bike or on foot as much as possible. Rather than finding a carpool facility, players must try to travel only with their family members to reduce transmission risk. Only in extreme cases such as the child being exposed to much higher risk in their current environment, traveling with non-related individuals must be considered.

Transport Scotland has set forth several guidelines to be followed in such a case. Every individual must try to sit as far as possible from the others in the vehicle. They must also take care to enter and exit one at a time. The car windows must be kept open to ensure proper ventilation and the passengers must thoroughly clean their hands before and after they get into the car. Keeping their face covered is a must unless there is a valid reason not to do so. If a child has to travel with non-related individuals regularly, try to make sure that they travel with the same people every time.   

For youth football clubs with their own transport facilities such as minibusses, there are several guidelines to follow, including ensuring that everyone wears a mask and maintains a suitable distance.

Safety practices to follow

Apart from travel guidelines, several safe practices must be followed by players, coaches and others at the field.

Ensure that someone well-informed regarding the safety protocols, preferably a trained officer, is present at the match.

Players must promptly wash or sanitize their hands right before a match and immediately after one. It is only natural to feel tempted to shake hands with other players or hi-fi teammates, but players must stop themselves from taking part in any unnecessary physical contact.

All players must bring their own water bottle or snack and should refrain from sharing these objects with other players. Most places do not permit the use of showers and changing rooms so they must be prepared accordingly.

Since it will be challenging to engage in a game of football while wearing a mask, players should put their face coverings back on as soon as the match is over. Spectators should not be allowed at the field or stadium since it could increase the risks of transmission.

Coaches and those standing around the field must remember to maintain a minimum of two meters while wearing masks. The adults in the field must wear suitable protective gear such as masks and gloves while administering first aid to an injured child.

Since preventing the formation of crowds is crucial, authorities must ensure that players only reach right before the match and can leave as soon as it gets over.

The fields have been sectioned off into different zones to restrict the number of people in each area. The red zone, which is the pitch, must only contain the players and match officials. The amber zone extends 2 meters away from the red zone and can be utilized by the coaches and others involved in the match. The final zone, called the green zone, consists of areas beyond the previous zone and usually contains the parking lot.

In Conclusion

Being safe while playing during a global pandemic might seem a bit hard. But if everyone follows the necessary protocols, the youth football players can continue to engage in the activities they enjoy while staying healthy. Since children are involved in these matches, adults must take special care to ensure everyone’s safety.