ECNL announces “Return to Play” recommendations. Free webinar at 4pm Pacific on Tuesday

ECNL announces “Return to Play” recommendations. Free webinar at 4pm Pacific on Tuesday

San Diego County is still waiting to hear back from California Governor Newsom regarding the Game On San Diego initiative.

As San Diego County waits, Elite Clubs National League has released “Return to Play” recommendations for their member clubs nation-wide. These recommendations will help any club in a region that is allowed to return to the soccer field.

Christian Lavers on Fox News Channel

ECNL President, Christian Lavers, appeared on Fox News Channel earlier today. Chief Medical Advisor for ECNL, Drew Watson MD, also appeared.

The ECNL Recommendations can be found here.

“Returning to sport is a critical step for the physical and mental wellbeing of our children, but it must be done in the right way, which means factoring in each particular pool of players and the current situation in each community,” said ECNL Chief Medical Advisor Drew Watson, MD. “Our eagerness to give our children the joy of sport should not overshadow the importance of minimizing the risk of injury after the massive drop in physical activity or the potential and not-fully-understood risk of COVID-19.”

The ECNL Recommendations begin with a practical overview of club and team preparation, and lead into a step-by-step approach to re-introducing players to a training environment.  Data shows that athletic injuries are most common in pre-season, or when players are returning to play after extended breaks, making a careful progression important for injury prevention, while at the same time helping to minimize the risk of potential COVID-19 exposure. 

“Just getting players back on the field with their teammates and coaches is a really important step as we begin to progress back to sport as we know it,” said ECNL President Christian Lavers.  “It is critical that we all do this in the right way. The ECNL Return To Play Recommendations were created to provide clubs with resources to help them create their own specific protocol, for their own specific environment, and to support these clubs and coaches as they welcome players back to the environment they love.”

The ECNL Return To Play Recommendations include:

  • Developing a club-based plan
  • Step-by-step guide to a five-phased initiation of training:
    • Phase 1: Training at Home
    • Phase 2: Small Group  Training  at Club Facilities
    • Phase 3: Limited Team Training
    • Phase 4: Full Team Training
    • Phase 5: Local Competition
  • General COVID-19 risk reduction guidelines
  • Protocols for return-to-play following COVID-19 infection

The ECNL Return To Play Recommendations were developed by sports medicine pediatrician Dr. Drew Watson based on the evaluation of more than a dozen published protocols. The ECNL Return to Play Recommendations do not supersede or replace any local or state requirements or laws, and the Recommendations are not mandatory, enforced or policed by the ECNL.  These Recommendations should be used as a supplement to any local guidance issued by the relevant state or municipality where each club is located.

The ECNL Recommendations will be discussed in a free public webinar tonight, at 7 PM Eastern.

Registration, with limited spots available,  is available here: REGISTRATION LINK HERE

Stay safe, stay healthy, and we’ll see you out there soon!