Return to play guidance

Following the Government’s updated guidance going live late last night, we are delighted to confirm that community netball is able to return this December nationwide, with the relevant safety protocols in place.

Across all tiers, training and competition may resume from Wednesday 2 December outdoors. In tier 3 however there are some additional restrictions required within a training environment.

Return to play guidance

For netball organisations in tier 3, close contact time in training is now reduced from a maximum upper limit of 60 minutes to 40 minutes. This means small sided games and match play should not exceed 40 minutes in any given training session. Socially distanced warm ups and practices where players do not come within 1m of each other are not included in the 40 minutes. Close contact time in competition is not reduced, however any close contact activity prior to a match including half court needs to be factored into the 60 minute upper limit. COVID-19 Officers, please ensure coaches understand this so they can plan sessions accordingly.

As part of the latest Government guidance, increased emphasis has been placed on the importance of social distancing and social interaction must be extremely limited and should only take place in line with the legal limits and other relevant restrictions. In addition, there is an increased importance placed on compliance with this guidance and whilst to date, breaches within the netball family have been limited, we would urge all netball organisations to continue to be diligent and ensure the guidance is understood and managed with all members, including spectators.

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We know many leagues are due to restart in January, senior leagues should all now plan to run activity outdoors for the remainder of the season. England Netball are here to support all registered leagues every step of the way and to kick off our support, an invite to join our upcoming league forums on 8 December will be circulated via the COVID-19 Officer communications email. We look forward to seeing many of you there and to answering all of your questions.

Whilst it’s been an extremely tough year for the Netball Family, we are in a fortunate position. A number of other team sports haven’t been able to return yet or worse, their seasons just aren’t happening at all. Whilst our sport is moving outdoors in the winter season primarily, we know the Netball Family will be pleased to get back out there with their teammates, even if that does mean digging out the thermals and booking your local outdoor courts so you can play the game you love.

We will continue to keep you updated on any changes to the game ongoing and would like to thank you all for your continued patience and support, as well as thank the 1,900 COVID-19 Officers who have enabled such fantastic progress to be made to date. We hope you’re ready and raring to play again soon!

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