Stoolball England COVID-19 statement - Thursday 9 July 2020

Thursday 9 July 2020

Over the last few weeks, the government has approved the restarting of outdoor sports which includes stoolball, as long they are practiced within social distancing guidelines but indoor facilities, such as clubhouses, remain closed.As we're expecting government guidance to emerge soon on reopening indoor facilities safely, it's important we prepare for those changes now as much as possible.

Measures to control the virus are likely to be in place for some time, so we’ve collated advice and guidance to help clubs and players both now and as restrictions ease.

With advice likely to evolve as restrictions change, we will be monitoring and updating our guidance to ensure it's in line with government advice.

Essentially recent change have allowed people who play team sports to meet and train together and do things like conditioning or fitness sessions,but they must be in wholly separate groups of no more than 6 and follow social distancing guidelines. While groups could practice ball skills like passing and kicking, equipment sharing should be kept to a minimum and strong hand hygiene practices should be in place before and after. Physical contact with anyone outside of your household is not permitted, therefore playing of any games (small sided or full) is also not permitted at this time unless it is with members of your own family. Avoid meeting in groups of 6 in busy or overcrowded areas, if it is so busy that it is not possible to maintain social distancing at all times.

As of 11th July 2020 guidance is changing. In line with some other bat and ball sports (but not all) Stoolball England are in agreement that if clubs follow the rules set out recreational stoolball can recommence including throughout warm-up and warm-down.

With the changes taking place at present Stoolball England is clear that outdoor facilities should only re-open if those responsible for them are ready to do so and they can do so safely, following public health guidance: no club should reopen their outdoor facilities if they feel unable to meet the requirements.

For games and stoolball activity to commence, participants will have to adhere to the following:

  • Stoolball can only be played outdoors.
  • Games and practice can recommence as long as groups are limited to 30 people or less. This number includes officials, coaches and others who would be deemed a participant to ensure the activity can go ahead.
  • Participants must practice social distancing measures at all times whether on the field of play or not. This means the game of stoolball will have to be adapted.
  • Equipment sharing should be limited. If equipment is shared the equipment must be cleaned prior to use before another person.
  • No bodily fluids may be applied to communal equipment.
  • Regular breaks should be factored into any activity and participants encouraged to sanitise their hands.
  • Participants must not spit or rinse mouths.
  • All consumption of food and drinks should be the participants own. Clubs cannot offer food or drinks to participants.
  • All running lines, wicket keeping lines and other relevant areas should be marked out clearly by a club representative prior to the game commencing to encourage social distancing measures remain in place during all activity.
  • Scorers must adhere to social distancing measures.
  • Communal scorebooks are not to be used.
  • Celebrations are to adhere to social distancing measures as are team talks and any other form of play communication.
  • Spectators should be reminded to remain social distanced whilst at any stoolball event.

For clubs, you will need to have the following in place:

  1. Properly maintained facilities, including facilities you share with others.
  2. A booking system for outdoor space or other means to manage access and demand
  3. The capability to advise individuals when booking/using the facility to check for symptoms of COVID-19 and in turn to advise individuals when booking that - in line with current Government guidance - if they are symptomatic, and/or living in a household with a possible COVID-19 infection, they should remain at home and follow Government guidance and if they are classified as extremely vulnerable then they should follow the Government guidance.
  4. A sanitation procedure between use/bookings. An essential requirement is to clean potential points of transmission, so contact points (stumps, access points etc), or spillages of body fluid eg sweat.
  5. A representative of the club on site during the hours that the outdoor facilities are open for use/being used.
  6. Closed signs should be displayed when facilities are not open (including where a club does not wish to or is not ready to reopen) to deter use by general public particularly where there is open access.
  7. Updated signage and access points.
  8. Check with private landlords, local council landlords and all other venue stakeholders adhering to their requirements of use.
  9. Club representatives must make all participants aware of requirements prior to sessions taking place. All changes must be communicated to all participants prior to the change becoming effective.
  10. Increase in transmission must be communicated to participants via the club representatives.
  11. One club representative should be identified to collect in and sanitise all shared equipment.
  12. All facilities must be cleaned down and sanitised after each use.
  13. Clubs must make sure hand sanitiser and washing stations are available.
  14. Clubs must have in place entry and exit strategies that are adhered to by all site users regardless of whether they are stoolball participants or not.
  15. Car parking arrangements must be in place including socially distanced spaces and traffic flow systems in place.
  16. Clubs must highlight and define socially distanced areas for teams, officials and spectators.
  17. Clubs are required to keep a register of all participants for a period of four (4) weeks after their participation.

For individuals, you will need to:

  1. Seek confirmation from the club that it has reopened and make a booking.
  2. Check for symptoms of COVID-19. In line with current Government guidance, if you are symptomatic, and/or living in a household with a possible COVID-19 infection, you should remain at home and follow Government guidance.
  3. Follow strict personal hygiene measures and sanitise your hands and equipment at regular intervals during the activity.
  4. Sanitise your equipment after each use.
  5. Follow UK Government guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19 if it applies to you.
  6. Avoid public transport if at all possible and follow appropriate UK Government guidance re best practice and travel.
  7. All participants must have their own sanitiser which they must not share with others.
  8. Use of public facilities must only be used in line with UK Government advice.
  9. Participants agree to the club or venue keeping a register of their attendance and participation for a period of four weeks.

For coaches and Club officials, you will need to:

  1. Make themselves aware of up to date COVID-19 guidance.
  2. Consider standard duty of care measures and normal safety standards combining them effectively with stoolball participation.
  3. It is the coaches' responsibility, along with other club officials, to ensure players are coached in a safe environment and all relevant guidelines are adhered to irrespective of age group.
  4. Coaches and club officials must explain all relevant COVID-19 guidelines, highlight changes in pre and post session talks.
  5. Coaches and club officials should make clear the expectations of participants to adhere to current guidelines relating to COVID-19 and all other health and safety guidance.

Further advice is available at the GOV.UK and Sport England websites. Please regularly check these sites and the updated Stoolball England guidance as this policy update position is likely to change over time and could also become more regionalised and localised as time progresses.

All Clubs and participants are to consider accessible provision of these guidelines. If you have any further questions, please contact us.

Stoolball England guidance on returning to play during COVID-19
Stoolball England guidance on returning to play during COVID-19
Adaptations to the field of play during COVID-19
Adaptations to the field of play during COVID-19