Team sports are gradually being permitted to return to play, in phases and with degrees of adaptation. The situation is fluid and there may be local restrictions. This is the Government advice for England only. Similarly, COVID-19 advice will differ in other countries.
As a result, clubs should follow Government guidance as well as adhering to the specific support from their national governing body. Here, we'll lay out the key points and flag up resources that may be useful.
Latest Government advice
The Return to Recreational Team Sport Framework is a detailed guide to the latest advice. A club should use and reference this on their website and in their communication.
It explains transmission and ways that sports clubs can reduce risk, including many practical steps from social distancing to not sharing equipment.
Recreational clubs have to write a COVID-19 plan and risk assessment before re-starting their activity.
It should be thorough and step out what preparation has been done, plus who manages training and match-day preparations. Club officials, including Coaches and Welfare Officers, must be briefed on these safety measures.
Test and Trace
Sports clubs must collect written information on all those who participate in training sessions and matches. The purpose is to allow the NHS to get in touch with those who have been in contact with anyone who tests positive for COVID-19. The records have to be kept for 21 days.
Here's what needs to be collected and your club can use Pitchero for track and tracing participants. The club website and apps can log all the relevant information for training or fixtures, in case it's required at a later date.
One of the most important pieces of advice that clubs can share and reinforce is around individuals staying away and self-isolating, if they (or anyone they live with) show any signs of coronavirus.
The recommendation for travel to training and matches is to avoid car sharing or public transport, where possible. Those from the same household or in the same support bubble can travel together.
If that's not possible, here are specific measures you can take for safer travel including:
Arrival and departure
The flow of people at sports clubs will need some careful thought and organisation as supporters, players, coaches and club officials come and go. The aim is to avoid the build-up of groups and everyone needs to keep to social distancing guidelines at all times.
That means arriving changed (shower at home) and only at the time of the training session or match. For your club, how can you organise parking and a system at your venue to prevent congestion?
This is a key message before, during and after sport. Your national governing body will also implement specific advice to transition back to competitive action - such as hygiene breaks in cricket to clean the ball and participants' hands.
If possible, don't share equipment, particularly anything covering the head and face such as a helmet.
If equipment has to be shared, it should be cleaned before the next person uses it. Wash hands or use hand sanitiser afterwards to reduce risk.
Venue advice for sports clubs
There is plenty to think about for venues in terms of cleaning, access, customers and staff. This Government guidance on re-opening outdoor sports facilities includes all of those considerations and signposts what to do. There is also advice from Sport England including resources for clubs.
For team sports, spectators are allowed to attend in groups of up to six, on the basis that they socially distance between themselves and other groups.
For host clubs, consider signage, volunteers to help on the day with questions like access to food and drink and toilets. Here is our blog post on getting your club ready for when team sports begins.