Youth soccer practice to begin in late July

The state’s third phase of reopening, which began on July 1, allows youth sports activities. The Louisa Area Soccer Association has opened registration for its fall season, but with some changes.

When practices begin at the end of July, they will primarily focus on conditioning and skills so that players and coaches can maintain a 10-foot distance between each other. Players will have to provide their own equipment and water bottles and limit sharing both as much as possible. Any equipment that is shared will be disinfected between uses. Players will not be required to wear masks during practices and games.

“We’re a local league, so it’s only Louisa kids who will be playing other Louisa kids within the county,” said Becki McHugh, who is organizing the season. “Soccer is an outdoor sport, so we don’t have to worry [about the masks] as much as indoor sports.”

Coaches and players will have their temperatures checked before each practice and game, as will parents and game officials. Total attendance will be limited to 250 people per field. 

Games are permitted during phase three, but they will be staggered to eliminate overlap between teams arriving and playing “so not everyone’s there at the same time,” McHugh said. 

Spectators and any players on the sidelines are asked to maintain a 10-foot distance. One step that’s being considered is to have coaches field fewer players than normal to encourage players to spread out as much as possible and to substitute more often. Concessions will not be offered at games this year.

“It will work,” McHugh said. “It’ll be different, but it’ll be fine.”

Registration for the season is open and parents can register their children online at http://lasasoccer.org. The coaches meeting is scheduled for July 18, with practices to begin soon after. The first games are tentatively scheduled for Aug. 15, provided no change has been made to Virginia’s reopening status before then.

“If everyone around us is playing [in August], we’re going to be playing,” McHugh said. 

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