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Sport Match Protocols

Professionals & Health Workers

Environment, prevention, social distancing

General guidelines for sports facilities

  • Hand sanitizers must be distributed (60-80% alcohol and in accordance with the requirements of the general Authority of Food and Drug), placed at visible places and installed on the wall such as at entrances to the facility as well as at the inspection points, changing rooms, meeting rooms, corridors, and outside the toilets.
  • Make sure hand soap is available in toilets, and hand sanitizer is available at the sinks and at the entrances to the toilets.
  • Any dirt must be removed with soap and water before disinfection
  • Employees and athletes must pay attention to personal hygiene, and maintain hand washing with soap and water for 40 seconds, or if soap and water is not available, use alcoholic gel (60-80% alcohol) for 20 seconds.
  • Surfaces must be disinfected daily or every two hours if possible, with disinfectants approved by the Food and Drug Authority (sodium hypochlorite or Clorex disinfectant), used as stated in the package (please see the instruction manual for cleaning and disinfection).
  • When cleaning surfaces in the sport facility, focus must be placed on places where there is a lot of contact, such as door handles, goal posts, player benches, running tracks, fitness equipment, seat cushions, elevator buttons, etc.
  • Toilets should be cleaned and disinfected regularly every two hours throughout the working hours. It is preferable to provide self-running taps in the toilets, and to assign a cleaning worker to disinfect the toilets, especially taps, sinks and door handles after each use.
  • Ensure that new towels are used for every disinfection process, especially when disinfecting equipment, tools, and devices that are frequently touched, or use new tissues if this is not available.
  • Keep a schedule of surfaces and toilet disinfection times
  • A schedule of times of disinfection must be kept for surfaces and toilets, and a special schedule for disinfection periods.
  • Ensure good air ventilation in all places, especially in places where there might be a lot of gathering and toilets.
  • Regularly change or clean the air filters for ventilation devices, especially air conditioners.
  • Disposable tools must be placed in the sports facility, such as spoons and saucers, other tools such as drinking cups or towels should also be assigned for every employee and athlete.
  • Deactivate and disable any touching screens.
  • Provide no-touch trash and waste bins, and the waste must be disposed of regularly.
  • Tools that might be shared by athletes, such as water dispensers, coffee makers, food vending machines, and others, should be removed.
  • All those inside the facility must wear face masks whilst being in the facility, with the exception of players and referees during the match.
  • Buses for athletes should be disinfected on a daily basis before and after their transportation to the sports facility, and it is preferable to transport them in their own cars if possible, to prevent overcrowding.
  • Capacity of buses must be reduced so that some seats are empty, to ensure social distancing between athletes (please refer to the protocols for health requirements regarding buses).
  • Social distancing stickers should be placed on the floors, indicating where to stand in the following places:
    1. Before the main entrance of the facility when waiting for inspection at the inspection point.
    2. At places of prayers
    3. At players’ benches
    4. At Press conference rooms
    5. At toilets entrances.
    6. In dining rooms.
    7. Elevators
    8. Places where television interviews are held.
    9. Rooms for video assistant referees.
    10. When sitting in conference rooms.
    11. When Training in fitness classes.
  • Limit the number of people using elevators, if any, to ensure social distancing within the elevator.
  • Stop the press and media conferences. Limit meetings with players and coaches through online means, or apply the principle of social distancing during the press meetings.
  • Apply the principle of social distancing in sitting on the bench during matches or exercises while reducing technical, health and sports crews to reduce contact with other people.
  • Reduce the transporting of athletes between more than one room in the sports facility, and confine them to specific rooms.
  • Athletes must reduce their contact with their colleagues in the group, avoid gatherings in the facility, and commit to social distancing practices as much as possible.
  • Allow the practice of sports activities for those who are under the age of 15, if the sports facility or the competition is exclusive for this age group (such as the Junior League, or the Junior Martial arts Clubs), but those under the age of 7 must be prohibited from entering the sports facility.
  • It is preferable to close the prayer areas, or follow the protocols for the application of health requirements regarding mosques.
  • Crowds must be banned from attending.
  • Celebrations, honors, and coronations should be prevented.
  • It is preferable to prevent elderly employees, athletes, or those with chronic disease from attending the stadium if possible.
  • All matches for those under the age of fifteen must be canceled.
  • Gathering must be prohibited at car parks or at entrances to sports facilities.

Warm-up before matches:

  • Prohibit non-essential members from attending at the facility.
  • The referee tools (such as the flag, whistle, cards, etc.) must be disinfected after each use, and prevented from being shared as much as possible
  • Disinfect non-grass playground surfaces such as running track and billboards
  • The goalposts and balls used must be disinfected regularly between the two halves and after each match.
  • Coaches, administrative, and medical staff must wear a mask at all times.

Gymnasium in the sport facility

  • Disinfects all facility’s sports tools and equipment before and after each use.
  • Prohibit alternating the use of sports equipment between athletes (rounds).
  • Prohibit helping each other in training (such as helping with weight bearing) and prevent athletes from gathering whilst weightlifting.
  • Distance between sport equipment must be at least one and a half meters to ensure social distancing .
  • Prevent crowding in the swimming pool area by reducing the capacity of the pool to ensure a safe distance of not less than one and a half to two meters between the athletes.
  • Only one person is allowed to use the sauna, steam, or jacuzzi bath at a time. The facility must be disinfected after each use before being used by another person.
  • Athletes should use clean napkins or towels while sitting on equipment.
  • Emphasize on the application of the preventive instruction and guidelines within the facility (number of athletes in the training hall, distance between sports equipment, and distance between others).
  • Emphasize to players not to use devices at the same time.

During matches:

  • Every team must have their own entrance.
  • Prohibit crowding in corridors leading to the stadium, dressing rooms and toilets.
  • Reduce the number of non-essential members from the teams such as administrators, journalists, and photographers.
  • Allocate an area of ​​nine meters for each photographer to ensure social distancing amongst photographers.
  • Video assistant referees must wear face masks at all times.
  • Cleaners should be assigned to disinfect and continuously clean frequently touched places, such as goal posts, benches, and video assistant referee’s equipment, and he must clean them continuously
  • Ball collectors must wear face masks at all times, and disinfect their hands when touching the ball. It is preferable to disinfect the ball before returning it to the field.
  • Prohibit hand shaking and hugging when celebrating scoring goals.
  • Health protocols and guidelines for press conferences issued by the National Center for Disease Prevention and Control and the Ministry of Health. must be applied,
  • Prohibit players from exchanging shirts after the end of matches.
  • It is allowed not to wear face mask and not to cover the nose and mouth when practicing sport activities of all kinds, including jogging in public places such as parks, walkways, beaches and waterfronts.

Reporting and monitoring symptoms

  • With the continuous screening and isolation procedures that occur according to the approved protocols, (Tawakkalna) application is used to ensure the employee’s health status concerning COVID-19 disease. If the employee’s status is positive or in contact with a positive case, all this will appear at the application, will not be allowed to enter the workplace.
  • The employee can return to work after he completely recovers and checking that by updating his status in Tawakkalna application.
  • An inspection point must be made at entrances to the sports facility and before pursuing training for all employees and athletes including taking the temperature with a device approved by the Food and Drug General Authority and enquiring them regarding respiratory symptoms (coughing or shortness of breath).
  • Athletes must disclose any symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath, fill out a disclosure form, and apply the means of protection and safety inside and outside the sports facility.
  • Follow-up the health status of employees and athletes, keep a record of (temperature, respiratory symptoms), and prevent those who appear to have respiratory symptoms or who have a high temperature (38 degrees Celsius or more) from entering the sports facility.
  • Report any case that has a high temperature or respiratory symptoms and is suspected of being infected with Covid-19, register the details and contact number for the case, and call 937 immediately to know the requirements of transferring the case to the hospital.
  • Prohibit anyone who appears to have flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat) from working in or entering the facility until the symptoms have passed, according to the attending physician’s report.
  • If there is housing unit for workers, it is preferable to prepare an isolation room in the residential area designated for suspected cases to be isolated until the authorities contact them (Please review the guideline and protocols for employees to combat Covid-19).
  • In the event that a confirmed infection amongst employees, protocols approved by the National Center for Disease Prevention and Control and the Ministry of Health must be applied.
  • Cooperate with the Ministry of Health in the process of monitoring cases that were in contact with the confirmed case, in order to apply epidemiological investigation and quarantine procedures followed by the public health team.
  • Prepare an isolation room for employees in the residential complex to isolate suspected cases until authorities are notified. (Handbook of Health Conditions for Workers’ Homes to Combat COVID-19 Disease).

Awareness and communication

  • Post awareness posters at prominent places in the sport facilities, transportation buses, employees residential complexes that includes the following:
    • Methods of virus transmission and prevention.
    • Raising awareness regarding hand washing and avoiding touching the eyes, nose and mouth before washing hands, and urging attention to personal and health care.
    • Following the etiquette of sneezing and coughing (use of tissue paper and dispose of it immediately, using the elbow by bending the arm).
  • Educating athletes, journalists and all employees about Covid-19 through official sources, text messages and all possible means of communication in regard to prevention, hand washing, hand disinfection, face masks and other means of protection, as well as the etiquette of sneezing.
  • Educating them about the symptoms of the disease and urging them to disclose if they have any symptoms.

Implementation

  • Assign supervisors to ensure the implementation of sports facility protocols. Ensure all requirements are met in the sports facility.
  • Sports facilities official or representatives must educate employees and athletes about symptoms, means of transmission, severity, and must regularly alert them on the importance of applying safety guidelines and maintain social distancing as much as possible.
  • Train administrators at the inspection point on the method of examination and the use of a temperature measuring devices.
  • Security guards or supervisors must be present to prevent gatherings or the entry of unauthorized persons.
  • It is preferable to provide the athletes team’s medical team with specialists in infection and epidemiology control, to ensure that health requirements are applied, if possible.
Appendix (1): Groups at higher risk of infection