Hello Coaches and Parents,
There has been some concern about if we should be practicing outside with the recent smoke from the Pit 36 Forest Fire in Estacada. I have talked with experts in that area--Jonathon Modie from the Oregon Health Authority and Gregg Dahmen from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. Currently, as of 2pm, the local “Air Quality Index” (AQI) rating is Green. The nearest AQI measuring station is just south of Oregon City off Spangler Rd. Although 24 hours ago…the rating was Red. With changing weather conditions, the Green rating is somewhat subjective. The latest weather forecast has winds going to the South. This is bad for Salem-- although Good for us!
Using the current AQI rating, Oregon City Soccer will be holding practices today. J I will update this daily about the same time for the next week or so until fire crews or mother nature get a handle on the fire outside Estacada. So go play Soccer!!
**Please note the warning below for children with Asthma or any respiratory illness.
Casey Phelps-President OCSC
Watch for Symptoms
Wildfire smoke can make asthma symptoms worse and trigger asthma attacks. Symptoms of asthma include coughing, shortness of breath, wheezing, and chest tightness. Even students without known asthma could experience these symptoms when exposed to unhealthy levels of wildfire smoke pollution.
Students with asthma should follow their Asthma Action Plan when determining whether to take special precautions while engaging in outdoor activities. Athletes with asthma should have rescue inhalers readily available and use them as directed by their healthcare provider. Anyone experiencing symptoms should contact a health care provider for further advice or call 911 in an emergency.
Air Quality Index
The Air Quality Index (AQI) tells you how clean or polluted the air isand the associated level of health concern. The AQI categorizes air quality based on air measures that are collected from Department ofEnvironmental Quality air monitors. For more information on AQI in Oregon and how the AQI is calculated, visit Oregon Department of Environmental Quality website:www.deq.state.or.us/aqi/index.aspx.
In addition to the AQI, you can use personal observations to determine the air conditions in your area. To do a visual inspection:
- Go outside
- Face away from the sun
- Determine the limit of your visible range by looking at objects at known distances (miles). Visible range is the point at which even high contrast objects totally disappear.
School closures are the decision of the individual school district, usually in consultation with the local health department. Consult your local health department if you have questions about air pollution and health.
For more information on how wildfire can affect your health, see: http://public.health.oregon.gov/Preparedness/Prepare/Pages/PrepareForWildfire.aspx.
Consult with your local health department if you have questions about air pollution and health.
Schedules for U9-HS : Schedules
Immediate Rule Change U11 and below teams with goal keeper. The OPL League has adopted a rule of no punting by the goalie for age groups U11 and below. The Soccer 5 Group has decided to adopt this rule as well. Please see the explanation below:
Good Afternoon -
Earlier this year, a law took effect placing widespread safety protocols on all youth sports regarding concussions in their participants, which include education for both the coaches and the players/parents. What we now know about concussions and their lasting impact in kids has changed immensely in the last 20 years. I do not believe there has been a greater force for widespread change on "how things are done" across every level of youth sports than the knowledge brought about by the increased awareness and education regarding concussions and traumatic brain injury (TBI) in youth sports participants.
To that end, the OPL is taking a proactive approach to minimize the opportunities presented in game play for kids to be in a situation where they might get a concussion/TBI by removing one of the most common situations kids will get one: punts from the goalkeeper. This is one of the greatest instances in game where a player can be blindsided by another players as both compete for the ball coming out of the air or chasing on the bounce, causing a collision between both players; similarly, trying to head a punted ball that is dropping from anywhere from 20-40 feet in the air can be extremely damaging to a child who has not regularly practiced proper heading technique, and does not have well-developed neck and core muscles to absorb the impact of a ball falling from such a height. Thus, the OPL is enacting a rule for all U11 and under games:
U11 Goalkeeping - in order to minimize opportunities in games for
traumatic brain injury/concussions to occur, the following rules while apply:
i. Goalkeepers, upon making a save or collecting the ball in their hands
during the run of play, may not punt (volley) or dropkick (half-volley)
the ball to put it back into play. They can only distribute via a kick from
the ground, or rolling or throwing the ball. They must still abide by the
"six-second rule" governing the timely distribution of the ball from the
ii. Outfield players are not permitted to challenge the goalkeeper in any
manner while he or she is in the confines of their penalty area
attempting to distribute the ball to a teammate, either via a kick from
the ground or distributing via a roll and throw.
That is the text of the rule as it appears in our rule book. It was discussed at a meeting in early August of the directors of coaching, and agreed that it was necessary and appropriate for U11s to enact. Please understand, we are not banning U11s heading outright, nor are we eliminating it from the U11 game. We are only encouraging age-appropriate game play for the safety and long-term health of the players. I have looked at the policies from countries around the world regarding their youth leagues, and they have enacted similar restrictions for players this age for similar reasons. They have seen only positive developmental gains from their players by eliminating punts from the goalkeeper at this age, because now they are dealing with playing out of the back, which makes kids more comfortable on the ball and making decisions under pressure.
We will ask the refs to remind you, and you can remind the refs of this rule, because it is not something that it widespread throughout our state and region.
Okay, with that out of the way, a few notes and requests for a successful fall season:
- This is the first year the OPL has moved the U11s to a small-sided, 9v9 game. We have given the clubs the minimum and maxium size fields for this age group. We have also asked clubs who have them to use the smaller 7' x 21' goals, if they have them. We are giving the clubs a year to ensure they have these size goals, so for this year, unfortunately there will be some games you may be using the full-size goals. Is this ideal? No, it isn't. We get that. But goals are also expensive and clubs need time to plan and budget for purchasing a set. I understand it's frustrating to not have a level of consistency regarding this, but it would be unreasonable of us to demand it right away because many clubs just don't have that kind of money in their budget.
- The field size will be a work in progress for many clubs as they work to get it right over the course of the season. They will share the field with their U12-U14 teams, who will use the full dimensions usually. A couple of things that may happen: your field may have cones for a sideline/endline because they club does not have permission to paint the turf field, the dimensions might get screwed up because the field had to be quickly converted after a morning of U12-U14 games, or a referee forgets where to take a penalty kick from (10 yards). None of these examples are the end of the world or anything a game should be protested over. Kids don't usually care about cones for sidelines, they just want to play. These are not intentional mistakes or intended to throw off your team. If there is an issue, one coach can bring it to the attention of the other coach and/or match officials, and they can work together to resolve whatever the issue may be. I recommend figuring out as soon as you get to your field, if it is not U11 specific, what the boundary lines are and review them with your team, and confirm with the match officials and other team. Please be amiable, be friendly, be open to compromise in these situations.
The bottom line is we all want the best for our players and want to be sure they have a good experience. In the past it's been easy for this age group, playing your games at one venue in the fall/spring PDP leagues, so this is going to be a new adventure for all of us as we work to get it right on a weekly basis, from club to club. It's not going to be perfect the first season, but everyone involved wants to do their best to get it right. Please be patient, kind, and forgiving, and keep in mind it's the long-term experience that is the most important for these players in this stage of their development.
If there are drastic concerns over a venue, of course contact me and let me know. I will be keeping in regular contact with the clubs regarding the U11 divisions to help manage and assist them with any problems that might come up throughout the fall.
Thanks in advance for your help and cooperation with each other, and all the best for a great, and relatively bump-free fall season...
Director of Operations
Oregon Premier League
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