USL Return to Play Guidelines

Ultra Soccer League

These guidelines were previously drafted and approved by our winter team officials in the effort to allow players to move forward with a 2020-2021 season.  They have been updated to support the current Public Health Orders and Via-Sport guidelines.

Covid-19 & Contract Tracing Policy:

The USL will retain match rosters to support weekly league contact tracing. All teams are expected to retain a copy of their detailed Covid Game roster for 30 days. The USL expects that teams document their training attendance for the ability to further contact trace if necessary. All players must be registered with the league. Players, official, team staff must stay home if sick or exposed to Covid-19. Players must identify if they have left their travel region for any reason and they must stay away for 14 days.

Disciplines & Officiating Adjustments:

  • Physical distancing and mask are not required on the field or on or in the bench. 2 metres between people is still required outside the field of play.
  • On an Indirect free kick, no opponent may enter the wall and must “physical distance”.
  • There will be unlimited substitutes and no substitution slips will be required.
  • When a player is injured, Match Officials may only observe and refer assistance to the applicable team bench. There is to be no Match Official contact with the player. Only team management/staff, following proper health and safety protocols, may assist the injured player. Refer to the First Aid section.
  • Automatic cautions for any players who are involved in face-to-face (but non-mass confrontation) interactions. Shoving, jostling, and fighting will result in a straight Yellow Card for Unsportsmanlike Behavior. Match Officials should stay distant and allow the emotional situation to de-escalate before engaging from a safe distance.
  • Serious physical altercations will result in an automatic red card.
  • Mass confrontations will result in automatic dismissals for all involved.
  • There will be ZERO tolerance for spitting or clearing a nose on the field of play. Coaches are responsible for ensuring players are aware of the Spitting Zero Tolerance requirement, and the importance of following Covid-19 guidelines. If spitting is witnessed by one of the match officials, the following procedure will be followed:

If intentionally aimed/directed towards an individual it is an automatic red card and sent off as per Laws of the Game.

For all other types of spitting, if a player or technical staff is seen to be spitting on or around the field of play:

  • The first incident will result in a verbal warning.
  • Second incident by that same person, a Yellow Card for Unsporting Behavior will be issued.
  • Third incident by the same person will result in a second yellow card and therefore dismissal from the game.

Drop Balls:

The drop ball are reinstated and once again allowed in the game.


Coaches should take charge of set-up and collecting equipment.

Avoid sharing equipment such as gloves, pinnies, jerseys.

 First Aid:

In the event that a first aid is required to be administered during training or a game, all persons attending to the injured person must be wearing a mask and gloves.

Handling of the Ball:

Players once again are permitted to handle the ball if necessary.

Match Official Fees: It is still permitted to pay Match Officials by cash. Place money in an envelope or zip lock bag.

Officials, Rosters & ID Cards:

Match officials will collect each team’s completed Covid Roster sheet which must include all players and team staff. The match official is required to email a copy of it to league within 24 hours. The USL will retain the match rosters to support weekly league contact tracing and league governance. The referee will not give a copy to the other team but is expected to offer to let each opposition team the opportunity to take a photo of it with their phone. The referee will ask each player to produce an acceptable picture ID to be cross checked with the provided roster list. For player ID cards we will be accepting any current government passport, drivers license or a government ID that identifies the players legal name and date of birth.  Players who show up to field without Id or who are not on the roster will not be permitted to play. 

Match Officials will allow substitutes to wear non-clashing colours (to the players on the field of play). They are not required to wear team pinnies.

  • Match Officials have the right to abandon any game where the required COVID-19 protocols are not being followed. In these cases, it must be reported on a Special Incident Report to the appropriate authorities.
  • If a Match Official is experiencing any symptoms after officiating a game, they should self-isolate. A Match Official will NOT be permitted to return to activities for 14 days from the day they last experienced symptoms.

Outbreak Plan:

  1. If staff (including volunteers), participant (player) or an official reports they are suspected or confirmed to have Covid-19 and have been at a workplace/activity, implement your illness policy and advised the individuals to monitor their symptoms daily and use the BC COVID 19 Self-Assessment Tool to help determine if it is an emergency.
    • Individuals can contact 8-1-1 if further health advice is required. More information can also be found at:
  2. In the event of a suspected case or outbreak of influenza-like-illness, immediately report and discuss the suspected outbreak with a league official and your local health authority, call 811.
Physical Distancing Requirements:

Maximum “group” size of 50 people in the playing area/surface. This refers to the combination of both team’s players coaches, referees and others.   No Spectators s or non-rostered persons can be in the team area or on the sidelines. Effective June 15 there will be a maximum of 50 spectators. They must stand outside the playing area, off the playing surface. If there is a fence around the field than they should be standing on the opposite site of the players, outside the fenced area.

Player & Team Staff Responsibilities:

Players will be expected to complete the leagues player registration. This can be a paper version or online version once its up and running.

Team staff are required to clean all equipment regularly. Coaching staff must screen all staff and participants regularly for symptoms. Teams are required to notify the Ultra Soccer League immediately of any known players or staff that has contracted the Covid virus. Players are expected to have their own water bottles (clearly marked) and mask.

Players, staff and officials are expected to avoid any unnecessary physical contact. No face to face verbal discussions or arguments. Must keep 2M physical distance where possible.

Avoid contact with others, such as hand shaking, fist bumps and high fives. Leave the field as soon as reasonably possible after training or games. There will be no handshakes or high 5’s between players, officials, coaches before, during or after the game.

Any player or team staff who is exhibiting symptoms of illness should stay home. Self-isolation and absence from your team is required:

  • for individuals who have symptoms (or immediate family) of COVID-19 for a minimum of 14 days
  • for anyone returning to Canada from another country for a minimum of 14 days.

Post & Pre-game:

The Coin Toss will be performed as usual at social distance and with only the official touching their own coin.

There will be No handshakes or high 5’s between players, officials, coaches before, during or after the game.

Sideline Flagging:

Each team will provide a linesperson who will use the teams own flag, a pinnie, a towel etc. Please identify your designated linesperson to the referee. Do not share the “flag” with other staff or team players. If physical distancing is not possible than a mask should be worn.

Spitting and Nose Clearing:

Spitting and nose clearing is prohibited. Players are expected to cough or sneeze into their arm. Any tissue used must be discarded properly. In the case where a player/participant does spit or clears their nose than the coach is expected to substitute the player as soon as possible.


Throw-ins are once again allowed and have been reintroduced into the game.

 Warm Up:

No warming up while other user groups are on the field. Must warm up on own side of field.