On Thursday 9 July, the Government made announcements about the gradual return of community sports and detailed when the re-opening of leisure centres can take place, click here to read more.
Recreational team sports can begin to return, however, this can only happen once Government and Public Health England have approved an action plan submitted by each sport detailing how any COVID-19 risks will be mitigated and managed. This plan needs to outline a number of scientific factors such as risk of droplet transmission, risk of fomite transmission and population risks.
Netball is higher risk than some other team sports (such as cricket which can be played whilst socially distanced) due to the nature of the game, in particular the close contact, face to face marking and as it is often played indoors.
The Government has stated that every club will have to have key safety measures in place before they can return to normal training and competition.
From 25 July, leisure centres will be able to open with strict safety measures in place. We hope this will expedite the opening of outdoor courts also.
On our Roadmap for the return of community netball we’re currently in stage 2 of the fitness phase, with small groups of 6 netballers from different households allowed to meet in quiet areas for netball fitness-based activity, whilst staying 2m apart at all times.
To see our Roadmap, click here.
What does this mean for me?
In preparation for meeting your fellow teammates for netball fitness activity, here is an overview of relevant Government guidance and our current recommendations:
- If you are showing any signs of COVID-19 you must self-isolate and not meet up with people outside of your household, click here to read more about the symptoms and what to do if you have them
- Check the capacity levels of your venue and ensure that social distancing and hygiene measures are in place
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before leaving home and again when you return, see more guidance on this here
- Sanitize your equipment thoroughly including your ball, cones, spots, fitness mats and water bottles before and after use
- Avoid using public transport to meet up with others
- Avoid touching court gates, fences, benches and netball posts where possible
- Do not make physical contact with other players
- To ensure you follow social distancing measures, set up your fitness stations at least two metres away from people outside of your household
For further information, including guidance for coaches, check out our FAQs at the bottom of this page.
We are currently developing our plan to submit to Government for the next phases of our Roadmap. Once approved, we will finalise and confirm the timescales for the movement through the key stages of the Roadmap.
Over the next few weeks, we will launch the first phase of the Netball Care Package; our support to the Netball Family to prepare to return to training activity. We will clearly communicate with all member clubs and registered leagues what is required and provide everything you need to safely deliver netball when the green light is given by the Government.
To help you understand what this means for netball, we have also pulled together some handy FAQs. If you can’t find the answer you are looking for below please direct your query to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Groups of up to six netballers from different households can now meet and take part in netball fitness activity together, providing teammates from different households stay a minimum of 2m apart at all times. The Government has not yet deemed it appropriate for close contact activity to commence so any form of netball training, small sided games, match play and competition is not yet permitted.
Netball fitness activity is individual activities and practices that focus on building fitness and ball handling. It can include wall work and ball familiarisation skills although sharing of equipment and netballs should be minimised and players need to be able to keep a minimum of 2m apart at all times.
There are some great examples of this kind of activity on the Virtual Netball Club (VNC) and over the coming weeks you’ll start to see more ideas for individual ball activities. Check out your member email every Monday for ideas and inspiration.
No, unfortunately not. We have a Roadmap that we continue to work to. On 9 July, the Government made announcements about the gradual planned return for sports, this is a positive step forward and could mean that competition may be able to resume earlier than had been expected, but at the moment there is more work that needs to be done to return fully. We are currently in stage two of the Return of Community Netball Roadmap, which you can see here, and need the Government to approve our plans for progressing to the next stage.
We are currently in stage two of the Roadmap and the specific information for this is available here. Once Public Health England and the Government have approved our action plan for progressing to stage three, we will be able to share more specific timescales and updated guidance.
No, unfortunately not. We know many of the netball family have a competitive streak. For the time being competition can be introduced through trying to improve upon your time/count of some of the activities or even a team race to beat your PB in a specific exercise/activity. We’re sure the Netball Family has lots of creativity in terms of bringing this to life across teams within your club or maybe against another team or club.
Since the change in social distancing rules, we now suggest a maximum of 2 groups can use a single full size, netball court. We recommend that each group of no more than 6 use the goal thirds and the centre third is kept empty.
If you’re clinically extremely vulnerable and at high risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19, you’re strongly advised to stay at home as much as possible and keep visits outside to a minimum (for instance once per day). If you wish to spend time outdoors (though not in other buildings, households, or enclosed spaces) you should take extra care to minimise contact with others by keeping two metres apart. If you choose to spend time outdoors, this can be with members of your own household. If you live alone, you can spend time outdoors with one person from another household (ideally the same person each time). Take a look at the Government guidance on this area and see who is categorised as clinically extremely vulnerable here.
We will always ensure we are aligned to any Government guidance. This currently states that equipment sharing should be limited. England Netball is currently part of a cross sport medical working group investigating the risk of the virus spreading via the sharing of balls. This is not yet concluded so at this stage we recommended the sharing of a ball is kept to an absolute minimum and coaches and hosts should discourage activities that involve the passing of a netball between people who do not live in the same household. As the virus declines and more is known about the possible transmission via a netball, we may look to relax this. Sharing equipment such as a netball post or spots/cones is allowed, providing 2m social distancing is observed and all participants sanitise/wash their hands thoroughly before and after any activities.
The Government announced that leisure centres can re-open from 25 July. Clubs and teams should start to consider what their facility requirements may be for training sessions as we know that there could be high demand for some facilities, particularly if there are any venues that do not open immediately. Clubs should be careful to ensure that any training sessions are only delivered in line with the current stage of England Netball guidance, this may limit the numbers that can attend a session as we work through the stages. We strongly advise that clubs and teams check the cancellation policy of any booking, just in case things change and amendments are required. Competition is currently not permitted as part of the return of community netball Roadmap and we are unable to put a specific date on when this will be possible. We would therefore advise against competition organisers or clubs making any firm commitments for venues that cannot be changed.
All national and local Government guidance must be adhered to.
Any local restrictions introduced supersede England Netball guidance. This may mean local netball activity is required to temporarily be suspended in some areas or move back a stage in the Roadmap shown here. Please continue to review the latest Government guidance here to see how this affects your area and what you can/ can’t do ongoing.
In the areas where increased restrictions have been implemented, we recommend ensuring any stage 2 netball fitness activity is outdoors only and does not involve multiple groups of six in the same location at the same time. Please continue to follow Government guidance and remember that a COVID-19 risk assessment should be completed before any activity.
Netball fitness activity can now be led by qualified UKCC Level 2 (or above) netball coaches and official Walking Netball Hosts. If the netball fitness activity is being coached, a Level 2 qualified coach can oversee two socially distanced groups with an assistant. Both facilitators should be included within group size. For England Netball’s programme of insurance to be valid, those leading netball fitness coaching sessions must comply with the following requirements:
- A risk assessment of the space must be completed before activity commences
- The coach must have an in-date DBS
- There should be a first aid kit on hand at any Coach or Host led activity. Guidance on delivering first aid during the Coronavirus pandemic is available on the St John Ambulance website: https://www.sja.org.uk/get-advice/first-aid-advice/covid-19-advice-for-first-aiders/
- If running junior sessions, we recommend more than 1 adult is present. 1-to-1 coaching is not permitted.
We know for coaches, this is unlike any coaching you’ve done before. Over the coming weeks, coaches will be able to access hints and tips for running great netball fitness activities via the Virtual Netball Club.
Yes, any coaches and assistant coaches must be included in the overall group size i.e. one coach, five participants.
Yes, if you are a qualified UKCC Level 2 Netball Coach with membership to England Netball and an in date (no less than three years old) DBS certificate.
Coach to child ratios should be adhered to.
If parents wish to stay, they may remain in the vicinity but must maintain a reasonable distance to not be deemed part of the six.
Providing you are a qualified UKCC Level 2 (or above) Netball Coach or Walking Netball Host and a Personal Member of England Netball, you are covered to deliver netball fitness activity through England Netball’s programme of insurance (which includes public liability, products liability and professional indemnity) providing both the Government guidelines and England Netball recommendations are met.
Participants with an active Personal Membership are covered by England Netball’s programme of insurance for Personal Accident during their participation in netball fitness activities, as long as the activity is facilitated by a UKCC Level 2 (or above) Netball Coach or a Walking Netball Host. Government guidelines and England Netball recommendations must also be met.
Yes, providing you have the permission of the venue operator and can establish a one way entry and exit system to the courts. We would recommend considering if a staggered start and finish time would help maintain social distancing. If it is not possible to establish a one way entry and exit system, start and finish times must be staggered. If there are a large number of courts, consideration should be carefully taken as to the appropriateness of making use of all courts. Local venue operators will also have their own operational plans which should be adhered to.
Yes it is, from the youngest Bee Netballer to the oldest Walking Netballer; this roadmap and associated guidance is applicable. If there are any specific differences in the future, we will highlight them.
If you operate a venue that is open for netball bookings with measures in place to comply Government guidance, please tell us so we can share this info with the netball community. The link to the online form is here.
LINKS TO USEFUL GUIDANCE AND SUPPORT: