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COVID-19 Resources

On this page .... referee or high school athletics specific information concerning COVID-19 and return to play

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  • 23 Oct 2020 5:16 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Dear Fellow Referees:

    The board is aware that we are ALL in a very difficult position this season with the Covid-19 situation.  I know we would all like to have clear answers to many of our concerns, but with so many conflicting directives and many governing bodies just not willing to provide us with concrete directives, we will just have to manage as best we can.

    Having said this, here again is the Boards official position.

     “We can’t make up our own rules or enforce rules which are outside of the scope of being a soccer referee (those rules and powers given to us).  We have to follow the guidelines/rules established by the various entities, including NYS, NYSCOS, BOCES, School Sections and individual school mandates.”  

    THE ONLY CHOICE YOU HAVE IS NOT TO REFEREE A GAME IF YOU ARE UNCOMFORTABE WITH ANY OF THE REQUIREMENTS/LACK OF REQUIREMENTS.”  Again, you can NOT make up our own rules or enforce something for which you have no mandate.  

    Having said this, we are continuing to run into situations and I will try to provide some  guidance to our membership.

    1.  We can NOT issue yellow cards to players for not wearing masks or not wearing them properly.  Our suggestion is to talk to the player, then the coach IF you feel uncomfortable.  If you don’t get satisfaction and feel unsafe, tell the coach you are terminating the game because YOUR safety is in jeopardy.   If that doesn’t get their attention, stop the game and leave.  Again, you should call the schools a couple days in advance to see if you are in agreement with their policy.  If not, email Chris Ray and turn your game back to avoid this situation on the field.

    2.  We can NOT dictate what type of mask players/bench personnel should wear.  You can ONLY determine if they are safe with respect to the equipment itself.  We are not a mask experts and at this time a “mask” is defined as anything that covers the mouth and nose.

    3.  Please watch your statements you make to ANYONE at your venue.  Many things that you might consider harmless might be offensive, sexist, racist, etc. to someone else.  I don’t want to go into too much detail (because you all know what I am talking about)  but we did have a complaint about a referee saying in a boy’s game that “it wasn’t a foul, what do you think, this is a girls game?”  This was overheard by a parent and you can imagine the emails/complaints we received.  Be professional, keep your opinions to yourself!!!

    The following two statements are from NYSCOS, received today:

    HYDRATION BREAKS ... The referee must blow the whistle and stop the game for a hydration break, but; if both coaches and the referee do not need to adjust masks and all three parties agree the game may be restarted. All three must be in agreement. This procedure was put into place as a result of the requirement to wear face coverings, allowing time to readjust the masks. Hydration is not the primary concern.

    EXPOSURE to COVID19 ... Should any referee suspect that they have been exposed to an individual (coaching staff/player/staff assistants/etc.) that tests positive to COVID19, it has been advised that any referee with this concern contact their county DOH (Department of Health) for specifics as to the direction they should pursue.

    Collectively as your board we are working hard to get more clarification and push the various organization to come up with a comprehensive strategy.  We are not sitting idle.   We will continue to keep you informed as more information becomes available.

    Use your best judgments and stay safe…

    Klaus Whitney

    WPSAOA Secretary

  • 17 Oct 2020 9:50 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    1) Players MAY leave the field during the 2 minute hydration / mask break to get their water bottles.  (NYSPHSAA does not want teammates touching each other's equipment)

    2) If both coaches agree not to have the 2 minute hydration / mask break,  the break may be eliminated.

    Thanks & stay healthy,

    Scott Reynolds, NYSCOS Rules Interpreter

  • 9 Oct 2020 1:41 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Boys Soccer Conferences

    Girls Soccer Conferences

    Please let all your officials know that Section One Conference III schools (all are cc’ed) are requiring all people including officials to wear masks while at our facilities. Of course mask breaks will be allowed as long as the 12 feet of social distancing is followed. We will also be screening all guests who come onto our facilities.  We look forward to the start of games beginning Saturday and throughout the months of October and November.  Be Safe and Be Well!!!!

    Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there.” John Wooden

                                                           John Bauerlein

                                                        Director of Athletics

                                                      COVID 19 Coordinator

                                                       Pleasantville Schools


                                           Section One Conference III President

                                            Section One Boys Golf Chairperson



  • 9 Sep 2020 12:40 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    HS only schedules will be rebuilt in their entirety. By Sept 14, officials need to provide new availability for Oct 10 - Nov 29. Be sure to block out dates if no longer available and/or interested in officiating this fall.  Read the full letter.

  • 4 Sep 2020 12:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    (49 page pdf)  "Officials are responsible for game management, which does not include monitoring activities on the sidelines, such as social distancing, face coverings, hand washing, symptoms of illnesses and other such issues. This monitoring obligation remains with the responsible parties." (p. 6).  Considerations for Officials are on p. 16; Soccer Rules Modifications are on p 29, as well as on the general Rules Changes and NY Modifications page. 

  • 3 Sep 2020 11:30 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    (Press release September 3, 2020). Individual districts may delay further, based on their particular needs. "The Section One Executive Committee will reconvene prior to September 29, and in conjunction with the Athletic Council and Section One Covid task force, will continue to examine the data and guidance available while planning the best path forward or the Section One student-athletes."

  • 28 Aug 2020 12:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    (Document Released August 28, 2020) - Key points: 

    • WPASOA needs to agree that the procedures and safeguards put in place by the State, the Sectional Athletic Councils, and/or the competing schools adequately protect the safety of officials assigned to the game
    • Officials need to make their own judgments about personal safety and may not be disciplined for refusing or turning back an assignment when the official has an honest and reasonable belief that he or she cannot ensure his or her personal safety while protecting the safety of the players

  • 20 Aug 2020 12:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    From the September 2020 Referee Magazine Law section, see this article about leagues or assignors asking referees to sign a waiver of liability for COVID-19. We have not yet heard from BOCES or Section 1 one way or the other.

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