Looking Into the New FC Regina Restrictions
Some hoping there will improvements along the way
With the change of the seasons comes the start of a new soccer season for many. This season isn’t going to look like any that these players have ever seen before. As health concerns and the spread of COVID-19 are still in the forefront of everyone’s minds, FC Regina has implemented an assortment of new protocols for players to follow.
For those who are unfamiliar with these new regulations, let’s shed some light on some of the decisions that were made. Restrictions start as soon as you enter the facility with player identification cards needing to be checked by facility staff and the signing of waiver forms before anyone can enter the field area. Equipment will also be regulated as teams will need to ensure that they have two different coloured uniforms since they can no longer borrow pinnies, water bottles must be close-mouthed, and goalkeepers must use gloves. Gameplay is also changing as your head is no longer allowed to make contact with the ball, throw-ins are changing to kick-ins and slide tackling is not permitted. In the event that someone’s head or arm touches the ball, it will be removed from play to be sanitized and a new sanitized one will be provided. These are a few among many other added regulations that we have all started getting used to, such as wearing a mask and social distancing whenever possible.
Those who are choosing to register for this upcoming season have decided that these restrictions are something that we need to get used to. Of course, with that in mind, there are some that believe said restrictions will be phased out as things improve or will hopefully become second nature to the game. One player who shares these views and is excited to get back into the swing of things is Samantha Knight. She reported that these restrictions are just a new challenge to the game and that they don’t make it any better or any worse, just different. Even with things being different the ability to go out and socialize with teammates and fans will help reduce the feeling of isolation, especially as we enter the long upcoming winter months.
Another player who is eagerly anticipating the return to the field is Cayla Filewich. Out of all of the new regulations she is looking forward to some of them sticking around. As she wears a wrist brace, doing kick-ins as an alternative to throw-ins is extremely beneficial for her. Filewich, along with many others, is also excited that the season will not have to come to a pause part way through to make way for Agribition. With large group gatherings being cancelled the season doesn’t have to stop and the players have an opportunity at getting a couple extra games in before the Christmas break as a result.
Even though there are people that are ready and prepared to get back onto the turf this upcoming season, there are just as many that are choosing to sit this one out. Miles Geres, one such player, stated that these regulations are completely changing how the game should be played. He has concerns that players are going to be too concerned with remembering not to do certain things that it will ruin their enjoyment of playing. Geres intends to save his money and ride out the winter months as safely as he can and if these restrictions continue into the summer season he will most likely opt out of that season as well, choosing to just kick a ball in a park with some friends.
Whether or not players are choosing to participate in this season or not, there are concerns about the inability to social distance in games accompanied with no requirement to wear masks when playing. As health officials have stated time and time again if individuals are unable to maintain a social distance of at least six feet then they are strongly encouraged to wear masks. FC Regina has stated in their restrictions that spectators are expected to wear masks, but has stated nothing about the players. This means that players are going to be side by side without masks for an hour at a time. This fact is making those playing and those choosing to sit out nervous because they feel as though we may be playing with fire as the season will run at the same time as flu season. No matter which side of the fence you sit on, this lack of a restriction makes everyone uneasy.
FC Regina has put in place every restriction that they have deemed necessary to ensure the safety of those choosing to play and their fans. We are all hopeful that these will be enough to protect everyone who will be entering the facility. To all those who are playing, good luck and wear a mask.