Covid-19: Latest Lockdown Clarifications

Guildford HC 2020 EH Champs

After the recent announcements around lockdown here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions from the past few days. We are providing these to help keep our hockey family up to date with the best available information.

Q: What does the national lockdown mean for hockey in England? 

A: All club and community hockey in England will be suspended from November 5, until after December 2. Read our full announcement here.

Q: How does the national lockdown impact competitions, like leagues and EH Championships? 

A: As part of the club and community hockey suspension, all competitive hockey will stop. This includes all league and EH Championships fixtures.

Q: Will we be able to play matches on December 5? 

A: It is hoped that a return to hockey will be possible from December 3, following the end of the latest lockdown restrictions. As the picture becomes clearer with regards to the development of the lockdown and the path out of it, we will update on our planned return. A return to competitive hockey, like leagues and cups, may be based on slightly different timescales depending on the level of play and the amount of preparation desired before leagues resume.

Q: Is there an exemption for under 18s to participate in grass roots sport during the national lockdown? 

A: Under 18s cannot participate in club or community hockey activity. Sport may still be played in school settings as part of the school sport curriculum.

Q: What is the latest guidance for school sport and in particular hockey being played in school settings? 

A: The Department for Education have published their latest guidance here. We recommend any deliverers of school hockey read this latest guidance. Hockey in school settings can continue following our approved Return to Play Step 5 Guidance, noting that competition between different schools should not take place. External coaches and providers will still be able to visit schools to deliver sport sessions for children within school hours.

Q: Is extra-curricular activity allowed as part of sport in school settings? 

A: Where schools are offering extra-curricular activities (that is, before and after school clubs) they should only do so where it is reasonably necessary to support parents to work, search for work, or undertake training or education, or where the provision is being used for the purposes of respite care.

Q: Can club venues remain open to support the provision of school sport? 

A: There is a clear reference in the Department for Education guidance that facilities that provide for school sport (including extra-curricular activity) can open ONLY for school activity. Therefore, if a club hires its venue to a local school to support the provision of school sport it can open for these bookings. Venues should consider any financial, staffing and insurance implications this may have.

Q: Since the Government is allowing exercise with one other person outside would 1:1 coaching be allowable using a hockey facility? 

A: The Government has ordered sports facilities to close and this means no 1:1 coaching is permitted at any facility that has been ordered to close.

Personal trainers are allowed to meet clients outdoors in public places (e.g. parks) but as only one person from each household is allowed to meet the one-to-one coaching of junior players is not possible for safeguarding reasons.

To see all the guidance surrounding our Return to Play guidelines, please click here.