National Cabinet has released the National Principles for the Resumption of Sport and Recreation Activities, which provides the pathway for a safe return to sport on Friday May 1st.
Minister for Youth and Sport Richard Colbeck spoke alongside Prime Minister Scott Morrison following National Cabinet on Friday. He said there were three stages to the return for sport. Australia is currently in the first stage, where there is no sport at all. The second, he says, is the commencement of outdoor sports that are predominantly non-contact and involve fewer than 10 people.The third is the resumption of activities including full contact training competition in sporting events of more than 10 people.
The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), in consultation with sport partners and bodies has developed a framework to inform the resumption of sport – ‘the AIS Framework for Rebooting Sport in a COVID-19 Environment’ (the AIS Framework). Based on current best evidence, and guidelines from the Australian Federal Government, extrapolated into the sporting context by specialists in sport and exercise medicine, infectious diseases and public health.
The principles outlined in this document apply equally to high performance/professional level, community competitive and individual passive (non-contact) sport.
The AIS Framework is a timely tool for ‘how’ reintroduction of sport activity will occur in a cautious and methodical manner, to optimise athlete and community safety. Decisions regarding the timing of resumption of sporting activity (the ‘when’) must be made in close consultation with Federal, State/Territory and Local Public Health Authorities. The priority at all times must be to preserve public health, minimising the risk of community transmission.
Read the full document here – THE AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE OF SPORT (AIS) FRAMEWORK FOR REBOOTING SPORT IN A COVID-19 ENVIRONMENT
Appendix A of the framework outlines recommended level A, B, C activities for community and individual sport. Stated Field hockey recommendations are:
Level A activities recommends:
Running/aerobic/agility training (solo), resistance training (solo), skills training (solo) if access to appropriate surface available
Level B activities recommends:
Non-contact skills training drills in small groups (not more than 10 athletes/staff in total).
Level C activities recommends:
Full training and competition.
As other Australian States commence the reduction of restrictions we have observed the following communications from state hockey bodies relating the resumption of hockey:
New South Wales
New south wales last week posted an updated expectation with respect to the 2020 season:
… it is the strong recommendation of Hockey NSW that the start of all hockey competitions in NSW are delayed until Saturday 18th July 2020.
In determining this date, Hockey NSW has taken into consideration the current Government restrictions, as well as the dates of the NSW July school holidays. This would allow a potential return to training on 1st July 2020 subject to the status of public health restrictions and advice.
Northern Territory Hockey posted the following statement this morning:
With the release by the Northern Territory Government of “The Territory’s Roadmap to our new normal” the Hockey NT board has made the decision that the 2020 Darwin Hockey League season will commence on or after 18 June 2020. The Marrara hockey centre will open to clubs to commence training from 18 May 2020 (subject to some necessary safety pre-conditions).
Our priority at Hockey NT has been, and always will be, the safety and welfare of our staff, volunteers, players and broader hockey community. There is a lot of work to be done prior to the season kicking off, and as such, Hockey NT will be using the weeks leading up the 18th of June to work closely with the clubs to determine around exactly what the 2020 season will look like.
We should all be aware that while we have a plan for getting back to “life as we knew it”, we are far from over the COVID-19 pandemic and therefore Hockey NT will issue a Covid-19 safety plan in the coming days to guide our return to hockey. Strict social distancing and hygiene protocols will be in force at the centre and throughout the season, and therefore our time at Marrara will naturally be different to how it has been in the past, however we are confident that by working together we will still be able to enjoy a great season of hockey and remain safe.
Prior to commencing training, clubs will need to have submitted and have had approved by the Hockey NT board, a comprehensive COVID-19 safety plan that is consistent with the plan issued by Hockey NT for the sport in general.