Updated guidelines on recreational and elite cricket in England under new COVID-19 restrictions

Updated guidelines on recreational and elite cricket in England under new COVID-19 restrictions

DCMS and Sport England have released guidance on outdoor exercise in England during the period of enhanced national restrictions, which started on 5 November.

11 November 2020

Please note the following update only relates to cricket activity in England. We are currently working with Cricket Wales to understand the position on post firebreak cricket activity in Wales.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and Sport England have released the clarification here on outdoor exercise in England during the lockdown period between 5 November and 2 December.

You may be aware that DCMS and Sport England have now confirmed that 1:1 coaching is only permissible during lockdown in England in a public outdoor space as long as social distancing is maintained.

In reality from a cricket perspective, we understand that playing on good quality surfaces is imperative to safeguarding our players. Therefore, we do not believe 1:1 coaching activities in public spaces is appropriate for the welfare and safety of our players.

You can still travel to spend time for exercise outdoors, for example to access an open space, but should look to reduce the number of journeys you make and wherever possible, exercise should be done locally.

There’s no limit on the amount of time spent exercising outdoors, or the amount of times per day you exercise outdoors.

Schools are able to work with external coaches, clubs and organisations for curricular activities where they’re satisfied that it’s safe to do so during school hours.

Where schools are offering extra-curricular activities (that is, before- and after-school clubs) they should only do so where it’s reasonably necessary to support parents to work, search for work, or undertake training or education, or where the provision is being used for the purposes of respite care. Schools should consider carefully how such arrangements can operate within their wider protective measures.

Competition between different schools shouldn’t take place, in line with the wider restrictions on grassroots sport.

Sport and physical education as part of education and training can continue. Outdoor sports should be prioritised where possible, and large indoor spaces used where it’s not.

Colleges should maximise distancing between consistent student groups and pay scrupulous attention to cleaning and hygiene and use maximum fresh air ventilation through either opening doors and windows or ventilation systems.

Competition between different colleges shouldn’t take place, in line with the wider restrictions on grassroots sport.

Professional cricket that is classified as elite by the UK Government can continue as an exemption during this period.

Hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs must close; with the exception of providing food and drink for takeaway (before 10pm; including alcohol), click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery, if purchased and distributed via the following methods: making deliveries in response to orders received, through a website, or otherwise by on-line communication, by telephone, including orders by text message, or by post.

While school sport can continue as an exemption during this period, university sport must be suspended. Coach education programmes can continue where this cannot be undertaken online.

The health and wellbeing of everyone in the cricket community has been and remains our number one priority and we are in dialogue with DCMS about how recreational cricket activity can return safely once the national lockdown ends.

Frequently asked questions
What’s the ECB doing to make the case for cricket activity to continue post lockdown?
Like many sports, we were disappointed by the UK Government’s decision to suspend all organised cricket activity indoors and outdoors during this current lockdown.

As a safe socially distanced sport, we continue to press Government so that cricket activity can return as much as possible under areas of tier 2 and tier 3 restrictions when lockdown ends.

Thank you to everyone who contacted their local MP to raise their concerns.

We would encourage you to write to your MP to make the case for the benefits of cricket and sport to return for the health and mental wellbeing of the nation.

Find and contact your MP here.

We are working closely with other sports and have raised a petition in Parliament to highlight the plight our local community clubs and facilities. We need to get to 100,000 signatures to be granted a debate in Parliament that the Government will have to respond to.

You can sign the petition here.

Is a cricket ground classed as a public open space?
No, privately owned cricket clubs are private outdoor spaces (in the same way as golf courses) and therefore not open to the public. Each club will need to understand their own situation and apply measures accordingly to avoid any potential liability.

Can a club use its nets for 1:1 coaching?
No. Clubs should not be organising any activity using their facilities including the nets for the reasons outlined above.

Can a self-employed coach use a cricket club for coaching?
No. Cricket clubs are considered to be ‘private clubs’ and therefore should not be used for this kind of activity.

If my club is in a public park, can we use the ground for 1:1 coaching?
No. Cricket clubs should not be allowing or encouraging anyone to use the cricket club facilities for cricket activity.

So can a cricket coach undertake any 1:1 coaching during this period of lockdown?
Only 1:1 coaching in public outdoor spaces is legally permitted, but not in a cricket club and subject to the below guidance and local authority permission where required.

In reality from a cricket perspective, we understand that playing on good quality surfaces is imperative to safeguarding our players. Therefore, we do not believe 1:1 coaching activities in public spaces is appropriate for the welfare and safety of our players.

While Government legislation means that cricket clubs, like all indoor and outdoor sports facilities, should be closed (including those in parks), the Government has confirmed that in England you can exercise outdoors in a public place alone, with the people you live with (or your support bubble or childcare bubble) or with one person from another household as long as social distancing is maintained. Outdoor public places include parks, beaches, the countryside and public gardens.

Can a player under the age of 18 be coached 1:1 in a public space?
No. Coaches should always avoid being 1:1 with a player under the age of 18.

Can extra-curricular sessions be run in school?
Yes. Oliver Dowden has updated the original guidance and after-school clubs are allowed to support enhanced physical activity for children and to provide enhanced childcare to support working parents. This does not mean cricket club or community-based activities are eligible under this guidance.

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