Designate youth soccer as lower risk
Designate youth soccer as lower risk
Why this petition matters
To Governor Pritzker,
I am writing to request that youth soccer be categorized as lower risk rather than medium risk.
The location of the sport and the level of contact as inputs to the risk of COVID-19 transmission must be included as criteria to determine the risk level. Based on evidence and expert analysis, soccer should be deemed lower risk.
First, soccer has the very large benefit of being an outdoor sport. It has been shown and a scientific consensus has been reached that COVID-19 transmission is greatly reduced outdoors as opposed to indoor or enclosed environments by at least a factor of 10. In a Chinese study (https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.04.20053058v1.full.pdf) of 318 outbreaks involving 1,245 cases, only one single outbreak involving two individuals occurred outdoors. The remaining 317 outbreaks and 1,242 cases occurred indoors. A second study done in Japan (https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.02.28.20029272v2.full.pdf) concluded the risk of transmission outdoors is 18.7 times lower than the risk of transmission indoors. This is because in order to become infected, a sufficient number of aerosol particles to cause an infection must stay in place for long enough for someone to inhale them. As the average wind speed in Illinois can range from 13.5 to 26 miles per hour (http://www.usa.com/rank/illinois-state--average-wind-speed--city-rank.htm) a sufficient number of aerosol particles to cause an infection existing in any one location in the three-dimensional space above an outdoor soccer field almost never occurs.
Second, soccer is perceived as a high contact sport, which it is not. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines close contact as being within 6 feet of an individual having COVID-19 for 15 minutes or greater (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/public-health-recommendations.html) A recent study, done in light of the pandemic, analyzed nearly 500 Dutch matches and found that in only 0.2 percent of them were two players in close contact of within a single meter for more than 30 seconds (https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevemccaskill/2020/05/29/player-tracking-data-suggests-soccer-matches-are-safe-from-coronavirus/#534b2e1ff4b3 Fifty to eighty percent of these extremely limited events were players convening during referee reviews, celebrating a goal or other game interruptions. The vast majority of the game provided a socially distanced arrangement of the players on the field. The report also concluded that in 98.2 percent of the matches, there was minimal to no risk for players to transmit the virus to one another.
Even more convincing is research conducted by experts at Aarhus University and the University of Southern Denmark (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/football/2020/05/11/la-liga-study-shows-risk-players-spreading-coronavirus-football/). Their study determined that youth and adolescent soccer is even safer than elite soccer. Specifically, researchers found that amateur and youth soccer players are within 1.5 meters of another player for a total of only 60 seconds per hour of soccer played. Additionally, 60 percent of cases where players are in close contact last less than one second.
For these reasons, we would ask that you move soccer to lower risk.
Credit to The Soccer Community of the State of Ohio for the evidence in this petition: https://www.change.org/p/ohio-governor-concerning-the-safety-of-soccer-in-a-covid-19-world-a-letter-to-governor-dewine?recruiter=false&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=psf_combo_share_initial&utm_term=petition_dashboard&recruited_by_id=90705f40-d16f-11ea-bd66-b9d4476951be