CA COVID-19 Guidance Reviewed
The CA's Task Force has reviewed the guidance it published on 24th February in the light of representations from clubs to relax it, but also continued requests from the government not to anticipate the steps set out in its roadmap for ending the lockdown.
It has retained the restriction that there should be no more than six players (the gathering limit) on a full-sized court for informal play and added that there should be no more than four players on a half-size or short croquet court, with the provision that players on adjacent courts should not interact. The most significant change from last year is that formally organised Federation and Club tournaments/coaching are now treated the same as those in the CA Calendar, but that does not extend to club roll-up sessions.
The Croquet Association's task force has reviewed the COVID-19 response for England published by HM Government on 22nd February and has kept in touch with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and the Sport & Recreation Alliance. It appears that national governing bodies of sports are being allowed greater latitude to set guidelines appropriate for their individual sports, within the overall framework of the national restrictions.
In broad outline, our guidance is that, subject to the four tests mentioned in that document and confirmation of the actual dates:
Step 1a, before 29th March:
- Clubs must not open for play, but maintenance can continue.
Step 1b, from 29th March:
- Clubs may open for outdoor play.
- Clubhouses or pavilions may only be used for access to toilets and equipment.
- Social distancing requirements must be met.
- Except for organised events as described below, no more than six people (or people from no more than two households, if greater) may occupy a full-sized court. Half-size or Short lawns are permitted, with up to four people on them. The players on one court should not interact with those on adjacent ones.
- The limit on the number of people does not apply to formally organised tournaments or coaching. Such an event is regarded as organised activity if it has been publicised in advance and is run under the direction of a manager/organiser who is present and responsible for ensuring that it is conducted in a COVID-19 secure manner.
- Overnight stays are not permitted and travel will still be limited. Any tournaments or other organised events will therefore have to be for local players only. No catering or bar facilities are permitted.
- Within these guidelines, outdoor (and Zoom), but not indoor, coaching, and local tournaments can take place.
Guidance for later steps will be added in due course. Changes that are expected to come into place at these times include:
Step 2, from no earlier than 12th April. As Step 1b, except that:
- Self-contained accommodation will be available, but only for single households.
- Travel restrictions are eased, but travel should still be minimised.
- Outdoor catering and drinks are permitted, but only with table service.
Step 3, from no earlier than 17th May:
- Most restrictions affecting playing, coaching and tournaments are expected to be lifted.
Please address any queries to the Hon. Secretary, Ian Vincent.