STJFL Recommended Guidelines for COVID-19

STJFL Recommended Guidelines for COVID-19.pdf

STJFL Recommended Guidelines for COVID-19 and the 2021 Season

As the 2021 season is fast approaching, the STJFL would like to recommend some best practices for leagues to use in preparing athletes, parents and coaches for the upcoming season in these challenging times. First, we would like to start by saying that safety is and should always remain our top priority. The following recommendations have been developed with information obtained from USA Football, University Interscholastic League, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local, state and national legislative measures. As always please seek guidance and adhere to all local, state and national guidelines, best practices and laws. All local and state laws should be followed.


  • Parents should not allow their athlete to attend any STJFL event, practice or game if their athlete has tested positive for COVID-19 until obtaining a full medical release from their primary physician.
  • Parents should not allow their athlete to attend any STJFL event, practice or game if their athlete has come in close contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19, suspected of having COVID-19 or has exhibited symptoms of COVID-19 for at least 14 days after last suspected exposure. Close contact is defined by being less than 6 feet for an accumulative period of 15 minutes, having direct physical contact or being directly sneezed or coughed on.
  • Parents should monitor their athlete and guest prior to any STJFL event, practice or game for symptoms of COVID-19. If any are observed, the parents should not allow their athlete or guest to attend any such STJFL event.
    • Do not go if you say "yes" to any of the following: fever over 100.3 deg F, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, congestion, headache, chills, muscle/joint pain, nausea/vomiting, loss of sense of smell, and taste, diarrhea.
  • Parents should send their athlete to all practices and games with a personal water bottle already full and clearly labeled with the athletes' name. No team water should be provided.
  • Parents should send athletes with individual towels that are clearly labeled with athletes' name.
  • Leagues should provide signage in high traffic areas reminding all to practice social distancing, wear face covering as appropriate/required and to practice good hygiene.
  • Leagues should avoid and discourage any team snacks/drinks prior to, during or after any practice or game.
  • Leagues should require all non- athletes over the age of 10 attending STJFL events, practices or games to wear a face covering if social distancing is not possible or impractical.
  • Leagues should require all coaches, officials and volunteers to wear facial coverings while preforming their duties when social distancing is impossible or impractical.
  • Leagues should provide a means for the game balls to be periodically wiped down/sanitized as feasible and practical as possible. Leagues should provide and alcohol-based hand sanitizer for athletes, coaches, volunteers and officials use.
  • Leagues should discourage sharing equipment to include: flags, tackling dummies, donuts, sleds and any personal protective equipment.
  • Football workouts and drills should be kept to groups of 10 or less with athletes only having close contact with those in their group utilizing station-based drills. Contact drills and practices should be kept within the small groups established.
  • It is encouraged that all league boards notify everyone across your league and the STJFL of all positive COVID-19 exposures, illness or test. (without identifying the affected individual) as well as contacting your local health authorities so that they may begin contact tracing.

Spectators, Audiences, Fans and Media

STJFL may allow spectators to attend games, contests, or events within a maximum 50% capacity limitation, provided that appropriate spacing between spectators is maintained according to the protocol, and according to the following:

  • Schools and/or host sites should post visible signs and/or messaging stating any individuals who are confirmed to have, suspected of having, are experiencing symptoms of, or have been in close contact with an individual who has been confirmed to have COVID-19 should not enter the facility.
  • Spectators, audiences, fans and media are required to wear face coverings as described in Executive Order GA-29.
  • Groups should maintain at least six feet of distance from other groups at all times. A group is defined as no more than 10 people including the members of the household and those persons who traveled together to the facility.
  • STJFL Leagues should not allow seating in consecutive rows and should block off seating to maintain a minimum six feet of distance between groups.
  • Pathways for spectator ingress and egress should be clearly marked and unobstructed.
  • STJFL Leagues should provide hand sanitizing stations and/or hand washing stations at entrances and inside the facility.

Concession Stands and Food Service

  • For games, contests, and events that will include concession stands or other food service, the following guidelines apply:
  • Staff, contractors, and volunteers involved in food service are required to wear face coverings as described in Executive Order GA-29.
  • STJFL Leagues should avoid leaving condiments, silverware, flatware, glassware, or other traditional table top items on unoccupied tables or at the counter. Sites should only provide condiments or flatware upon request, and in single use, individually wrapped items.
  • Regularly clean and disinfect the food service counters and areas. Clean and disinfect dining areas (tables, etc.) after each patron departs.
  • Limit contact between the individuals involved in food service and patrons as much as possible. Have employees, contractors, and volunteers follow proper food-handling protocols.
  • Before each game, schools should follow the screening protocols described above to screen staff, contractors, and volunteers who will be involved in food service prior to events. These individuals should also self-screen as described in these screening protocols.

These recommendations are not meant to replace, subtract from or add to any guidelines, best practices or laws already in place or implemented in the future.

Please remember to be flexible as things change, new information becomes available and new orders are put into place. We are here to provide a safe, fun and instructive football program for our athletes. Let us bring positive attitudes with us as we face these unique obstacles together to provide our athletes a much needed 2020 season.