The Zionsville Youth Soccer Association was forced to end its spring season last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But this year, the association believes it can offer a safe spring season, thanks to new safety protocols.
Dan Kapsalis, the ZYSA’s director of coaching, said the association was able to coordinate with the Boone County Health Dept. and other county officials to safely offer a fall season for children in 2020.
“The good thing about going into this particular season is we have a season under our belts,” Kapsalis said. “We’ve got great experience from what we did last fall, and we’re pretty much going to piggyback off that this spring for the kids.”
The organization’s spring season practices begin March 29. Games start April 17. Registration is open to boys and girls of all skill levels, ages 5 to 18. The deadline to register at zysa.org for an early discount is March 1. The season will end by Memorial Day weekend.
The association expects to have between 700 and 800 recreational players participate during the spring season. When accounting for parents, grandparents and other spectators, the association expects more than 1,000 people to attend or participate in games each weekend.
Kapsalis said ZYSA administrators communicate weekly with county health officials to adhere to the BCHD’s latest recommendations and guidance. This spring, the association will require all spectators to wear face masks, and players will be required to wear masks onto the field and will only be allowed to remove them when they are playing.
“We have lines on the sidelines that are set up so that the families are staying 6 feet apart,” Kapsalis said. “They have certain areas they can sit in on every field. So, they can sit as a family, but the next family is 6 to 8 feet away. We are putting sideline markers to make sure people are socially distant. When the kids bring their water bottles and their bags, we make sure the coaches put those bags and water bottles 6 feet apart on the sideline.”
The ZYSA also uses a cleaning solution to spray common areas, such as bathrooms and concession areas on an almost an hourly basis, Kapsalis said.
During the fall season, Kapsalis said the ZYSA reported just one COVID-19 case, which was an adult, showing the effectiveness of the association’s safety measures.
“When this first came out last spring, we were very nervous, and we shut down,” Kapsalis said. “We canceled the spring season. We’re 42 years old. That’s never happened before. As we’ve gone through this, and there’s more information, and there’s more protocols and more testing going on, we’ve found the parents have loved the fact we are offering some type of normalcy and some type of activities for these kids. We have found as long as we are taking the proper steps and proper measures, that offering these programs to these kids has been beneficial. It gives them an outlet to get out of the house, to get to playing and just try to be a kid again.”