- Please can everyone entering Herts & Essex Sports Centre wear a face covering. You may take them off when in your designated area for training, if you want, but while walking around the reception, corridor, and toilets – face coverings will be necessary.
- WHEN WE ARE NOT PLAYING we need remain SOCIAL DISTANCED or be in groups of NO MORE THAN 6.
- TEAMS which are waiting to get onto the pitch STAY OUTSIDE THE CAGE both at Hockerill and Herts & Essex until the previous game/session has finished AND the previous team has left the cage. This applies to both the senior friendly matches on Saturday and the junior training on Sunday. Whether playing or spectating, please use common sense and, when necessary, allow others to move through spaces first so that congestion does not occur.
We have some matches starting tomorrow so here is some additional, hopefully practical, guidance for those matches and for the following weekends when all senior teams will have matches. THIS IS AIMED AT MEMBERS PLAYING FOR SENIOR RATHER THAN JUNIOR TEAMS BUT THE PRINCIPLES WILL NONETHELESS APPLY IN DUE COURSE TO JUNIOR MATCHES.
Needless to say, it is really important that we comply with the EH guidelines: leaving aside the most important matter of people’s health, the impact on hockey can be exhibited by the consequences of having a team member with symptoms: only those in close contact with that person need to self-isolate (and miss two weeks matches) – that would only be if that person had travelled to the match in the same car if the rules are complied with.
BEFORE MATCH TIME
- PARTICIPATION AGREEMENT: as you know, before we can take part in hockey whether training or matches we must have “signed a Participation Agreement” – this effectively means having registered with England Hockey our fitness and willingness to return to playing hockey. The Agreement can be found on the England Hockey website on the Covid Support page. That must have been registered on the England Hockey site before we play so must be done well in advance of the session.
- It is each players’ responsibility to PROVIDE AND BRING THEIR OWN PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT including FACE MASKS FOR CORNERS. This has been the position for a couple of seasons now but some bags still have communal masks. Given the risk of spreading the virus, it is a breach of government rules and EH guidance to share those so we cannot use those. PLAYERS SHOULD THEREFORE BUY AND BRING THEIR OWN.
- Players should read the participant guidance on the EH website on the Covid Support materials page (if they have not done so already).
- One common sense point in the new normal worth pulling out separately is: don’t turn up to a match if you are feeling unwell – this would risk your Club colleagues having to self-isolate (leaving aside the impact on our hockey teams and matches).
- If you are unwell with Covid symptoms (whether or not you have tested positive), YOU SHOULD REPORT THIS TO ME IMMEDIATELY AS COVID OFFICER.
ARRIVAL AT MATCHES/BEFORE THE MATCH
- Until further notice it is like training: players should turn up ready to play and go home after to shower.
- EH states that clubs should strictly limit the time spent congregating at a venue before activity begins. Meet-up times should reflect this. This includes arriving changed and ready to begin the warmup, if possible, to minimise time spent waiting or in changing rooms and may be aided by staggering of arrival. There is nothing preventing warm up away from the pitch – except perhaps the rule of six in government guidance. Try not to run in a big group in public areas.
- A quick reminder of your responsibilities aligned to the England Hockey participant guidance: hockey can essentially take place as normal but having regard to the “new normal” such as: 2m distancing when queueing or gathering to listen to briefings/ coaching; NO spitting, chewing gum or clearing the nose (EH recommend a disciplinary measure in club rules for these activities – umpires have been guided to issue a green card), kit not to be shared but if it can’t be avoided to be sanitised or left for 72 hours before further use (we will still use team shirts for those who do not have their own – these should be thrown into the bag after which should be closed and then the shirts put straight into the washing machine by the person doing that job); bring hand sanitiser; distancing from the opposition bench and any spectators.
- For the above reason THERE SHOULD BE NO PRE-MATCH HUDDLES. Teams can discuss who is playing where, tactics etc around the dug-out with more distance between them.
DURING THE MATCH
- This takes place as normal whilst avoiding unnecessary contact eg when celebrating goals.
- Spectators are allowed subject to government rules on social distancing – with groups of no more than six.
AFTER THE MATCH
As noted above,
- Team shirts should be thrown into the bag after which it should be closed and then the shirts put straight into the washing machine by the person doing that job
- Changing rooms will not be open (for the time being) and players should go home after the game to shower.
I am writing to update you on the status of hockey and the Club in relation to Covid-19 and to ask you to read certain information and to take certain steps before and when attending hockey training sessions and matches. The Club is required to appoint a Covid Officer to be able to get playing again and I am the Covid Officer. I am the point of contact for England Hockey and NHS Track and Trace.
The key points are:
- England Hockey has been allowed by the Government to proceed to Step 4 on its Return to Hockey plan: this means training as normal and playing local matches (we need to be at Step 5 before Leagues can restart but hopefully this is a smaller Step).
- Participation Agreement: before you can take part in hockey whether training or matches you must have “signed a Participation Agreement” – this effectively means having registered with England Hockey your fitness and willingness to return to playing hockey found here – and that must have been registered on the England Hockey site before you play so must be done at least 24 hours in advance of the session.
- You will then receive an email from England Hockey confirming that you have signed a Participation Agreement: please bring this mail on your phone to each session you attend (NB some of us who have registered have not received a mail – but we also have access to the EH list and are using that for now – our registrations are nonetheless appearing on that list).
- The Club is required to compile a register of all participants in each session (whether match or training) and to send that register to England Hockey within 24 hours of the session (and to retain it for 21 days)
- Hockey can essentially take place as normal but having regard to the “new normal” such as: 2m distancing when queueing or gathering to listen to briefings/ coaching; one way systems as far as possible in buildings and onto and off pitches, come changed and shower at home, NO spitting or chewing gum (you’ll see that EH recommend a disciplinary measure in club rules for these activities), kit not to be shared but if it can’t be avoided to be sanitised or left for 72 hours before further use; bring hand sanitiser.
- One common sense point in the new normal worth pulling out separately is: don’t turn up to training if you are feeling unwell – this would risk your Club colleagues having to self-isolate (leaving aside the impact on our hockey teams and matches).
- Each section (Mens, Ladies and Juniors) will take responsibility for messaging and compliance in its own section – but in effect we are all responsible and behaviour by a small number of us could result in the whole club being denied hockey. BSHC junior sessions do not start until September though I know some have been registering for the EVO summer holiday sessions.
- Please therefore read the England Hockey participant guide (available here) and I would also encourage you to browse more widely on the England Hockey “Covid Support” page where there is a lot of helpful material.
- If you are coach, there is also a guide for coaches on the EH site which you should please read.
- There are also a lot of unanswered questions (as ever in the context of Covid-19). These include: the status of League matches and what happens when a club has had a player with a positive test re League matches, etc. EH are updating Q&A all the time and the Leagues will be working on their own plans
It is worth reminding members that the Club does not buy personal accident cover for our members: you should each take out your own cover if you would like it.
The Committee will update you as more/ better/ other information becomes available. For the time being, let’s comply with the above and be thankful that we can get back to playing hockey!