COVID-19 Return to Play Policy

UPDATED June 1st, 2020

1. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to outline the requirements for players, members, and parents of players attending the Waverley Hockey Club (WHC) during the COVID-19 pandemic after 11 May 2020.

2. Scope

This policy applies to all players, members, and their families at WHC.

3. Policy

3.1 Overview

At the forefront of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic is our commitment to keeping our WHC community safe. We continue to comply with government guidelines and develop our response in the context of WHC’s risk management framework.

With community transmission declining and the recent announcements from the Victorian Government to lift some restrictions and subsequent briefing from Hockey Victoria (HV) on the initiation of hockey activities, WHC considers that it is now safe to begin our on-site activities whilst complying with current lockdown regulations. This will require cooperation and compliance of all WHC with respect to measures – both COVID-19 specific and general. WHC has developed this policy to support the staged reactivation of activities from 11 May 2020.

Risk management

The following risk mitigations are in place and must be followed by all players, members, and parents of players:

  • Players and members must stay home if they are unwell.
  • During training times, the number of players on site will be limited to players specifically expected to train with that team/squad.
  • For Junior training, parents will be required to drop off their children at WHC and preferably wait in their cars until training has finished.
    Should parents enter the WHC facilities, they must remain at a distance longer than 5 meters from the hockey ground, whilst maintaining 1.5m social distancing with other parents present at the club.
  • Until further restrictions are lifted, only change rooms will be open to the purpose of exclusively using the toilet. No other facilities at the club will be accessible to members.
  • Compliance with social distancing rules will be required, and this includes the maximum number of people on the hockey ground and its surrounding areas.
  • Supporting good hygiene practices:
    • availability of sanitiser at entrances, exits, club-room, and change rooms. Adequate soap and disposal towels in bathrooms.
    • availability of appropriate cleaning products with players, coaches, or team managers required to clean shared equipment after use.
    • signage to promote good hygiene across the club and increased cleaning schedule focussing on high use areas
  • No sharing of protective equipment including, masks, shin pads, gloves, goal-keeping gear, masks, bibs, etc.
  • No sharing of drink bottles.
  • No visitors on-site will be allowed until further restrictions are lifted.
  • Where possible driving, riding, or walking to WHC is encouraged to all players and members to reduce the risk associated with the use of public transport.
  • All players, members, and parents should sign in to allow tracking members in the event of a Covid-19 case being reported.
  • Until further restrictions are lifted, committee meetings will continue on an online format.
  • Until further restrictions are lifted, selection meetings will be conducted online.

Restrictions under this procedure may change and will be updated if:

  • there is a change in government policy
  • WHC has a confirmed case of COVID-19

3.2 Principles

The following principles apply to this policy:

  • Players and members must stay home if they are unwell.
  • Players and members should attend WHC for as short a period as possible to complete training that can only be performed on-site and should leave promptly after its completion.
  • Where there exists welfare or wellbeing concerns the return to hockey activities of these players and members will be handled confidentially with the player, the parent/guardian if the player is a minor, and a member of the COVID-19 Subcommittee.
  • To avoid putting fellow WHC members at risk of COVID-19, players and members are encouraged to comply with government guidelines at WHC as well as outside the club premises.

3.3 General

General hygiene measurements

  • Players should shower at home prior to training and should attend WHC wearing clean clothing.
  • On entrance to WHC premises, players, members and parents should sanitise their hands.
  • Players should shower at home soon after training to minimize transmission risks.
    Showers will not be available at WHC.

Equipment

  • The sharing of equipment is not allowed. This includes hockey sticks, shin pads, goalkeeping gear, masks, mouthguards, gloves, etc.
  • Bibs must not be used and players should bring their own dark top and light top to training.
  • No sharing of drinking bottles is allowed. Players should bring their own bottles, labeled with their names.
  • No sharing of hockey balls/cones between different teams/training squads is allowed.
  • Hockey balls and cones must be disinfected following use and prior to be being used again.
    Guidelines on cleaning procedures can be found in Appendix B.

Training

  • Following the guidelines announced by Hockey Victoria, outdoor hockey training is allowed but in groups of no more than 20 players in the space equivalent to one half of a hockey ground, plus a coach or the minimum number of support staff required to manage the activity.
  • Social distancing must be observed at all times. Only non-contact drills are allowed until further restrictions are lifted.
  • Two groups of 20 players sharing the hockey ground must not mix with each other and must remain in their original area for the entire session.
  • Once the training session concludes, players should leave WHC premises immediately.

Parents and guardians

  • Parents are guardians taking junior players to WHC are encouraged to remain in their cars while waiting for their children to complete training.
  • Parents and guardians that attend WHC during their children’s participation in hockey training must remain at least 5 meters away from the hockey ground fence. Failure to comply with this rule, will result in the parent being considered as part of the group of 20 people in the training party.
  • Parents and guardians must maintain the required 1.5-meter social distancing from other parents and guardians at WHC.

Movement into the venue 

  • All players and members should avoid the unnecessary risk of people congregating between training sessions.
  • Players must wait in their cars. Players must not enter the facility until the prior group has fully exited the facility. Players should not wait at the entry gate as this will breach separation requirements. Players must not warm up or socialise in the car park.
  • Players will get out of their car and then walk over to the entry gate, near the entry gate will be a sign with a quick response (QR) code which each player must scan with their mobile phone. This will mean the player has “signed in”. If a player does not have their own phone this may be completed by a parent on their behalf and that parents should then return to their car. Whilst scanning the QR code players/parents are to remain 1.5m apart from other players and parents.
  • Once the player has “signed in” they enter WHC through the left-hand side of the gates (there is a double gate and a single pedestrian gate – entry is via the double gate, exit is via the pedestrian gate to ensure segregation)
  • At the gate there will be a small table, on this table will be hand sanitiser which each player must use upon entry.
  • Once entering the gate, players split into two groups; training group 1 and training group 2
    • Those players allocated to training group 1 move to the left. Group 1 will enter the ground via the gates at the car park end of the field.
    • Training group 2 move straight ahead past the dugout. Group 2 will enter the ground through the mid-pitch gates.
  • Preparation for hockey activities and warm-up should not take place until players have entered the side of the hockey pitch their training group is allocated to.
  • Bags (if bought into the facility – it is encouraged to leave stick bags in your car if possible and for those with car keys etc these could be carried in a small bag) should be left 1.5m apart along the fence line on the same side of the pitch as the training group the player is allocated to.  Dugouts must not be used to store bags.

Movement out of the venue 

  • At the end of training the two groups exit the pitch through the same gate they entered;
    • Group 1 exit the ground via the gates at the car park end of the field and immediately move to the facility exit gates
    • Group 2 exit the pitch first through the mid-pitch gates and proceed to the facility exit gate.
  • There will be a small table at the exit gate with hand sanitiser, players must sanitise their hands as they pass this point.
  • Players must remain 1.5m from other players as they move through this exit procedure.
  • Players exit via the pedestrian gate and must move immediately to their car.

Club Facilities

  • Until further restrictions are lifted, all communal areas including clubrooms, office, and canteen will remain closed. Change rooms will be open strictly for the use of toilets.
  • The use of dugouts is discouraged. Players should leave their bags on the designated areas and enter the hockey ground carrying only their hockey sticks, protective gear and drink bottle.

Cleaning

  • A full clean of the facilities in use at the venue should be carried out every second day.
  • After each session spot cleaning should be undertaken. This should include: sign-in table and cleaning door handles in the toilet and changing room area.
  • Paper towels, soap, and hand sanitiser levels will be monitored regularly.

Meetings

  • Until further restrictions are lifted, all meetings, including committee, subcommittee, and selection meetings should take place either by Zoom, Teams, or other online platforms.

Transport

  • Players and members are encouraged to walk, cycle, or drive to WHC when attending site under this policy. If players do need to catch public transport, social distancing and hygiene measurements should be followed.
  • If catching a taxi or car share, players and members should sit in the back seat and ensure that you carry and use hand sanitiser.

Use of surgical face masks by players and members on-site

  • Consistent with government guidelines, players and members are discouraged from wearing face masks on site.
  • WHC protective equipment is only to be used for approved WHC activities, such as cleaning of hockey equipment (Appendix A).

Management of injuries

  • Should a player become injured during hockey training at WHC, no more than two people will be allowed to assist the injured player only after they put on the required protective equipment including, disposable gown, face mask, safety glasses, and disposable gloves.

Federal Government COVID-19 tracing app

  • Consistent with Waverley Hockey Clubs’ commitment to supporting the safety of its players and members and supporting the management of COVID-19 among our hockey community and in Australia, players and members are encouraged to download and use the Australian Government’s COVIDSafe tracing app.

Supervisors/Managers

  • Each Team/training squad will have a supervisor to oversee activities when players are on-site.
  • The supervisor will ensure that COVID-19 policies are followed and adhered to.

Management of COVID-19 cases

  • Players and members should contact a member of the WHC COVID-19 subcommittee and/or Diana Hansen if they have concerns that they may have contracted COVID-19.
  • The WHC COVID-19 subcommittee will follow the protocol in Appendix B if they become aware of a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19.
  • Our COVID-19 case protocol is developed with reference to advice from our WHC internal specialist, HV, Work Safe Victoria and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Players and members involved in clinical work

  • If players/members are involved in clinical care and have a high risk of being exposed to COVID-19 cases, included suspected cases, they should not attend WHC, at a minimum, on the days that caring for patients is taking place. High-risk activities extend to situations where physical distancing is not practical and prolonged contact is required for patient care.
  • If players/members are involved in clinical care with a low risk of being exposed to COVID-19 cases, access to WHC is in line with other players and members as per this policy. Low-risk activities include caring for patients that have a low risk of COVID-19, short periods of patient contact and an ability to exercise physical distancing.

3.4 Requirements to comply with this policy

All players and members are required to comply with this policy. WHC is committed to the welfare and safety of its community.

3.5 Record Keeping

The Head of the COVID-19 Subcommittee at WHC is responsible for maintaining records of approvals relating to this policy.

Appendix A

Cleaning and disinfection of hockey equipment

General

  • Avoid touching face, especially mouth, nose, and eyes when cleaning.
  • Wear impermeable disposable gloves and a surgical mask while cleaning.
  • Use alcohol-based hand rub before putting on and after removing gloves.
  • Alcohol-based hand rub should also be used before and after removing the surgical mask and eye protection.

Use of disinfection 

  • Use freshly made bleach solution and follow manufacturer’s instructions for appropriate dilution and use (usually 200ml bleach/10l water).
  • Soak equipment in a bucket containing the bleach solution for 10 min. Rinse equipment.
  • Dispose of glove and mask in a leak-proof plastic bag.
  • Wash hands well, using soap and water and dry with disposable paper or single-use cloth towel. If water is unavailable, clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub.

Appendix B

  • In the event of a member/player being at high-risk of exposure to COVID-19 (feeling unwell and had to contact with a confirmed case or feeling well but had contact with a confirmed case) attending WHC, the manager in charge will proceed to shut down the facility immediately and contact the COVID-19 Committee.
  • The manager in charge will instruct the member/player to go home and seek medical advice and to keep WHC informed on the outcome.
  • The WHC COVID-19 Committee will track all contacts of the high-risk member/player and instruct them so self-isolate and be vigilant for symptoms.
  • The WHC COVID-19 Committee will inform all contacts of the high-risk player/member on the outcome of the medical treatment/investigation.

Reporting for confirmed COVID-19 cases

  • In the event of a confirmed case of COVID-19 attending WHC, the manager in charge will proceed to shut down the facility immediately and contact the COVID-19 Committee.
  • The manager in charge will instruct the member/player to go home and seek medical advice and to keep WHC informed.
  • The WHC COVID-19 Committee will track all contacts of the confirmed case and instruct them so self-isolate, get tested for COVID-19, and be vigilant for symptoms.
  • The WHC COVID-19 Committee will immediately report the confirmed case to the Department of Health & Human Services (1300 651 160) and Hockey Victoria.
  • WHC will organise extensive cleaning following Government guidelines.
  • All facilities will remain closed for at least 48 hours and until the full clean has been completed and the club has been given clearance to re-open.