COVID-19

This page will serve as the space for official updates on the impacts of COVID-19 on Madison Ultimate Frisbee Association (MUFA) events. The MUFA board will post status updates as we receive updated information on the impacts of COVID-19 on events in the Madison area.

The last update to this guidance was on: 6/15/2020

Dear MUFA Community,
At this time, the MUFA Board is announcing the cancellation of Summer League 2020 adult and youth league offerings. While this is not the update that we hoped to provide, recent Return to Play guidance released by USA Ultimate and the Phase 2 guidelines from Madison and Dane County Public Health make it clear that there is not a way for us to safely return to play the game of Ultimate at this time. We as a Board have an obligation to not only keep our players safe, but also to think about our broader community when making this decision.

We encourage our players to continue to stay safe and find ways to support the social change needed in our communities, such as supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. The Board has been reflecting on what actions that we as a Board can take to support these causes. Expect a forthcoming release of a statement of action.

We cannot wait until the day when we all can be on the field with you again, playing the game we know and love.

Follow up questions:
Where do we go from here? What can you do to stay safe and also throw a disc around?
Phase 2 allows for fields to be open, but requires that all field users not from the same household maintain physical distancing of at least 6′ at all times and that shared equipment be disinfected frequently, with limits on group gatherings, with stricter limits for those who are under 18, and only allows for games within the same team with the requirement that social distancing is maintained at all times. This allows for you to throw around with others, play alternative disc games, or play a highly modified game within the same team. We want to emphasize the need to maintain social distancing at all times during any activities. In addition, Madison Parks specifically is not allowing Ultimate, or anything that resembles Ultimate, until at least Phase 3. Other field owners, such as the University of Wisconsin, are also enforcing strict limits on the number of people who can gather and social distancing requirements. We would urge you to keep a detailed log of each teammate’s attendance any time that you do spend time together, as this is a vital part of the contact tracing necessary should someone within your team contract COVID-19. From a contact tracing and risk perspective, a group that maintains the same membership from day to day is lower risk and easier to contact trace than a pickup activity where different people come and go each day.

Based on current guidance, we anticipate that some form of mini (3v3 or 4v4, likely with distancing modifications and within the same group) may be allowed in Phase 3. Even though summer league is cancelled, we will still release a statement when Phase 3 occurs in order to help our community make responsible choices and keep themselves and other members of our community safe.

Please read USAU’s return to play documents thoroughly to get an understanding of the risk levels and suggested modifications to the game. This document is linked in the comments section of this post, along with the Stage 2 public health order that is currently in place for Dane County. Please note that all guidance released from all sources at this point requires 6′ of social distancing at all times during play, which is a significant departure from the game that players are used to playing and will require players to go against instincts when chasing a disc, playing defense, making a cut, or otherwise moving on the field.

What alternatives did MUFA consider and what safety measures will have to be in place to hold a league?
The MUFA board considered smaller league sizes, temperature checks before games, attendance logs and regular roster checks to aid in required contact tracing, sideline social distancing rules, mask usage policies, COVID waivers, whether in-game social distancing was practically able to be implemented in a league format, and several other options around holding a league this summer before determining that even with several of these measures in place we did not have enough information about COVID transmission and the effectiveness of various safety measures to responsibly hold a league at this time.
Even once we are able to play MUFA will be required to implement several additional safety measures before we are able to reserve fields. These include COVID-specific waivers (similar to concussion waivers), a written and implemented hygiene policy, a written and implemented cleaning policy and procedure, a written and implemented protective measure policy and procedure, as well as required training on the policies. We will continue to work on these policies as they are likely to be necessary when we can safely return to play.

Will MUFA hold any activities this year?
The board does not have an answer on this at this time. We’ll continue to evaluate our Fall league plans as more knowledge is gained around COVID-19, treatments, and the trajectory of cases. We will also explore the possibility of socially distanced skills clinics. Specifically for our youth players, we are working with other organizations across the country to collaborate on some digital youth learning opportunities. We’ll post additional details and sign up for those opportunities as soon as they are available.

MUFA is canceling ALL activities until at least May 27th. This follows the Governor’s Safer at Home Orders (see https://evers.wi.gov/Documents/COVID19/EMO12-SaferAtHome.pdf for the contents of the first order and https://evers.wi.gov/Documents/COVID19/EMO28-SaferAtHome.pdf for the contents of the second order). We will reevaluate at that time and provide any additional information we have in the interim. This includes all MUFA activities, including indoor goalty, youth pickup, Spring League, and YCC Combines.
Spring League is officially cancelled for the 2020 season.
The MUFA board is currently evaluating all options and alternatives for holding Summer League in a safe manner. We will continue to follow all public health orders and directives, as well as explore all options for holding Summer League, including running a compressed summer league later in the summer, working to find additional field sites for an expanded Fall league, and discussing what safety precautions can be taken to make league games safer for participants and reduce the risk of transmission.
Please continue to stay safe, follow the Safer at Home orders, and do not play ultimate during this time.

When will we know about Summer League?
Due to the quickly changing situation, we don’t have an answer to this question right now. The MUFA board will continue to follow all public health directives and keep apprised of changes going forward. In short, as soon as we know, you will know.

Why is MUFA delaying Summer League registration?
Since Summer League does not start until the beginning of June, the board chose to delay Summer League registration in order to allow for more clarity around the impacts of COVID-19 on the Dane County area prior to opening registration. While we hope to hold Summer League and, like all of you, are excited to get back outdoors playing the sport we love on grass, the situation is rapidly changing and we want to watch how the situation unfolds locally before accepting payments and registrations for Summer League. The MUFA board is considering all options with regard to delaying, shortening, or cancelling Summer League and will decide based on guidance from the relevant public health agencies.

How will MUFA decide on the status of Summer League going forward?
The MUFA board will monitor continued guidance and updates from the CDC, the State of Wisconsin Department of Health Services, and the City of Madison/Dane County Public Health before deciding on the status of Summer League

What about YCC Combines for MUFAbots?
The newest Safer at Home order is in effect through all of our currently scheduled combine dates. Combines will not be happening as scheduled. USAU is currently considering all options for YCC, and we’ll reschedule combines as we know more.
Should YCC happen as scheduled, MUFA is excited to field four MUFAbots teams this year: U20 Mixed, U17 Girls, U17 Boys, and (new this year) U20 Boys. Along with Wisconsin Ultimate’s Marahute U20 Girls team every division of YCC will have representation from Madison-area teams.

How can I protect myself as a player?
Do not play ultimate during this time, as it is prohibited by the Safer at Home Executive Orders. The following guidance was provided prior to the Safer at Home orders, and we are leaving it here for reference:

  • If you, or a member of your household, are sick – please stay home.
  • If a player arrives sick, please ask the player who is ill and coughing to leave the practice or game.
  • Players should avoid handshakes, high fives, and other social contact as a regular part of games and spirit circles. 
  • Consider moving team meetings or discussions online to increase social distance.
  • Players should sanitize discs and surfaces (water bottles, gym bag handles and zippers, cones) before and after every game and practice.
  • Sanitize discs in use frequently with wipes.
  • Carry hand sanitizer and apply frequently at events.
  • Per the guidance of Public Health Madison/Dane County, consider self-quarantine for 14 days upon return from a Level-2 or Level-3 country or a state within the United States that has confirmed community transmission. See the “Travel” section of this page for more details on this guidance.

List of Information and Resources about COVID-19
Center for Disease Control COVID-19 page
Wisconsin Department of Health Services
Public Health Madison and Dane County COVID-19 page