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Recreational cricket 10m

Return of recreational cricket in England: your questions answered

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Return of recreational cricket in England: your questions answered

Adaptations are needed to ensure cricket matches are run safely

Below are a set of FAQs in response to ECB’s guidelines on returning to play in England, and ECB’s guidelines on preparing your clubhouse for the return of cricket.

Who is included within the bubble of 30 participants?

The bubble of 30 includes those players, coaches and officials involved in a match or training. It does not include spectators, clubhouse staff, or other volunteers not involved in the match/training.

To support social distancing children’s (16 and under) training sessions should be split into groups of up to 15 children. Each group must have sufficient adults to meet cricket safeguarding ratios as above.

The Guidance documents refer to Risk Assessment templates, Checklists and Signage to help my club implement all necessary protocols – how can I get access to these?

The Risk Assessment and Checklists can be found here. (Please scroll down to find the two forms.) Signage can also be downloaded here. Where possible these have been produced in printer friendly formats.

What is the current position on social distancing?

Current UK Government Guidance can be found here. It is important we all follow this guidance to minimise the risk of cricket activity.

We should remain 2m apart while training and while playing (except for the specific 1m+ relaxation for wicket keeper and slips) and we will all need to be vigilant to ensure this happens.

Off the field we should also remain 2m apart unless it is impractical to do so and additional mitigating measures are in place.

Which parts of my clubhouse can I open?

Our guidance on clubhouses can be found here.

In summary, you can open your bar or restaurant area providing you comply with this guidance. You may also open your toilets.

All other areas should remain closed including changing rooms except where there is a reason for safety and/or safeguarding for them to be open.

If required, clubs should consider designating a changing room as an individual or private space for a player to use to put on protective equipment that cannot be worn outside of their kit (e.g. a box) or that cannot be put on in advance of arriving at the ground.

As a club we hire our ground out to other teams to play on. Who is responsible for ensuring all the guidance is being implemented?

It is your responsibility to ensure your facilities comply with ECB's guidance. You will need to liaise with both teams to ensure they understand how to comply with the guidance at a ground they may be unfamiliar with.

All parties involved have a responsibility to ensure any training or match is undertaken in accordance with the guidance.

Who do we need to collect contact details from for NHS Test and Trace purposes?

You should collect contact details from all players, officials and coaches involved in the training or match. You should also collect details of anyone who enters your clubhouse or uses your bar or restaurant facility.

You do not need to collect details from anyone who is not included in these groups e.g. the casual spectator who remains external to your clubhouse.

The guidance states that coaching can take place in a group of 30 with only one coach needed. Information from ECB Coach Education gives different ratios for different activities; can you please clarify the position?

All training, coaching and match play should comply with ECB guidance on coaching and safeguarding ratios.

The bubble of 30 includes those players, coaches and officials involved in a match or training. It does not include spectators, clubhouse staff, or other volunteers not involved in the match/training.

To support social distancing children’s (16 and under) training sessions should be split into groups of up to 15 children. Each group must have sufficient adults to meet cricket safeguarding ratios as above.

What should we do as a club or a league if we see that the guidance may not be being interpreted correctly?

The purpose of the guidance is to keep everyone involved in cricket safe and healthy. We will all see examples of good practice that we can share with clubs who need support to implement the guidance effectively.

We need to work together to ensure we can all train and play as safely as possible and in line with all guidance provided.

Can we use adjacent nets for training?

It is permitted to open up adjacent nets for training provided all current social distancing guidance is maintained, e.g. using individual balls, socially distancing whilst waiting to bowl.

What advice is there on how to mark running lanes?

We have included examples of how to do this in the guidance. The important criteria is that everyone should remain 2m apart.

It is not necessary to mark with a continuous line providing it is clear to batters where they should run.

Some of these changes – particularly the hygiene breaks – slow the game down and affect its flow. How can we make these less disruptive?

Our number one priority is protecting public safety, some adaptations will affect the natural flow of the game, but they are a small price to pay for having the opportunity to play cricket.

We should not be looking to speed past important health and safety measures.

As we become more familiar with the adaptations, they will have a less noticeable impact, and clubs can share best practice for safe adherence such as players carrying individual containers of hand sanitiser for hygiene breaks.

What if my club is not ready to progress to Step 4 (outdoor 11-a-side cricket matches and outdoor cricket activity of up to 30 people)?

The guidance is designed to help you prepare your club, your clubhouse and your grounds for use at Step 4 of the ECB Roadmap for the Return of Recreational Cricket, following the recent UK Government announcement

As a club it’s important that you understand your duty of care – i.e. a duty to take all measures that are reasonable in the circumstances to ensure the health, safety, wellbeing and welfare of all participants involved in cricket or physical activity at your club.

You will need to manage people, buildings and grounds to provide an enjoyable, safe environment.

We have provided a checklist and template to help you carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment to ensure you can safely operate your club. If you are not confident that you can meet all UK Government guidance, then you should not proceed until you can do so.

What happens if a participant shows COVID-19 symptoms before, during or after a match?

All participants (including players, officials, coaches, volunteers and spectators) must undergo a self-assessment for any COVID-19 symptoms prior to leaving their house to participate in cricket activity. Should an individual have demonstrated any such symptoms, they must follow NHS and PHE guidance on self-isolation here.

In addition, any participants who have been asked to isolate by NHS Test and Trace because they are a contact of a known COVID-19 case, must not exercise outside their own home or garden and must not exercise with others.

Clubs must ensure that each cricket activity does not involve more than 30 participants including players, coaches and officials.

Clubs must support NHS Test and Trace efforts by keeping a temporary record (name and contact information) of all participants at both training and matches. This should be stored for 21 days and you must assist NHS Test and Trace with requests for that data, if needed.

Clubs should also keep a temporary record of their staff shift patterns for 21 days and assist NHS Test and Trace with requests for that data, if needed. Please follow current UK Government guidance here and comply with data protection legislation.

Clubs must have a plan in place to deal with a situation where someone starts to show symptoms of COVID-19 whilst they are at the Club and this should be covered in the COVID-19 risk assessment and checklist outlined in the “Getting your clubhouse and grounds ready for Step 4” guidance:

  1. Maintain social distancing.
  2. If the person is able to travel home safely they should travel home and manage their symptoms in accordance with NHS and PHE guidance available here.
  3. If the person is too unwell to travel home safely, they should be isolated from everyone else and someone from their household contacted to make safe arrangements – if that is not possible then phone 111 and follow instructions.
  4. Make sure that the isolation area is well ventilated and then cleaned carefully using suitable cleaning products and PPE in accordance with COVID-19: cleaning in non-healthcare settings guidance.

Clubs should encourage all participants to report any infection of their household to the NHS Test and Trace system following use of the facility to limit the spread of the virus

What is the difference between cricket that is now deemed permissible by the UK Government (Step 4) and ‘normal cricket’ (Step 5)?

Cricket is a non-contact sport, played in large outdoor spaces and with natural social distancing built into the game, meaning that minimal adaptations to the game are needed to ensure matches are run safely.

The key adaptations that form part of Step 4 include:

  • Running lines for batters to ensure players remain 2m apart.
  • Social distancing to remain in place during breaks in play (e.g. wicket celebrations, innings breaks, tactical discussions etc.).
  • Regular cleaning of the ball by the fielding captain and applying hand sanitiser to participants’ hands (every 6 overs or 20 minutes).
  • Players to turn up ready to play.
  • Teas are not permitted within current UK Government guidelines, mainly as they are usually served as a buffet. All participants should bring their own food.

What measures should be taken to safely share equipment? E.g. helmets, umpire counter, scorebooks etc.

The sharing of equipment must be avoided where possible, particularly equipment used around the head and face e.g. helmets.

Where equipment is shared, all participants must practise strict hand hygiene before and after use and the equipment must be cleaned before use by another person.

To support this, strict and regular hand hygiene is required and clubs should be prepared with the appropriate cleaning products at all times.

How can my club ensure that safe practice (e.g. first aid, etc.) is maintained with restricted use of facilities including changing rooms?

As part of a club’s duty of care (and under Health and Safety law if you have employees), clubs should make first aid provision available.

St John Ambulance have provided an online guide for carrying out first aid during the COVID period, including on how to modify CPR – let your first aiders know about it – it’s available here.

Make sure that even if parts of the building are restricted that the following are available to all users:

  • Your first aid kit(s) – including suitable PPE (gloves, suitable face coverings/masks, disposable apron, hand sanitiser) and that you have somewhere safe to dispose of this PPE once used.
  • Your Automated External Defibrillator (AED) if you have one – check that it is functioning properly (e.g. warning light status) and has been serviced as per the manufacturer’s instructions.

What safeguarding plans should we have in place to avoid children, vulnerable people and adults getting changed in public?

Normal safeguarding procedures apply and should be observed during all activities. For the purpose of match play we strongly encourage all players to arrive at the ground prepared in a way whereby no clothing needs to be removed.

Under current UK Government guidance, changing rooms must remain closed but, if required, clubs should consider providing a safe, individual, private space for a player to use to put on protective equipment that cannot be worn outside of their kit (e.g. a box) or that cannot be put on in advance of arriving at the ground.

What does this guidance mean if our players or our club are located within a lockdown area?

Clubs must always consider whether there are local restrictions in place in their area. If so, clubs should first read the guidance relevant to their area as this may supersede UK Government guidance and therefore also Step 4 guidance.

Cricket activity may need to be adapted or curtailed if the overall threat level or community prevalence of COVID-19 dictates.

Local lockdowns are still a relatively new concept and as we learn more about them we will share relevant information and guidance.

Are there different rules for elite cricket?

Yes – the UK Government has published guidance for the first four stages of the proposed five stage framework for returning to full, unrestricted elite sporting competition to assist elite sport organisations to deliver a safe return to training and elite sporting competition for their athletes and staff.

Why do we need ‘batting lines’?

In Step 5 or “normal cricket” a batter would consistently run, within close proximity, past a bowler completing their follow through.

This has been a factor of the game which we need to adapt in order to comply with social distancing to help mitigate the risk of transmission of COVID-19.

How should we use the batting lines?

Groundskeepers should prepare small white lines at least 2m either side of the return crease, as per this diagram here.

The non-striking batter should run outside of the lines at all times in order to maintain social distancing from the batter on strike and the bowler.

What if the bowler needs to field the ball from within the batting line?

We appreciate that there might be limited moments within a match in which it is not easy to follow social distancing.

However, for all activity (except in the limited circumstances set out below), the relevant UK Government social distancing guidance should be adhered to at all times.

Currently, in England only, during competitive play social distancing of 1m+ is permitted in the following circumstances: 1) wicketkeepers standing up to the stumps and 2) distance between slip fielders.

What does this guidance mean for players involved within the player pathway?

Boys and girls in the player pathway can now train at a recreational site provided they comply with the Step 4 recreational guidance. Further details will be shared independently of these FAQs.

What does this mean for All Stars Cricket?

Clubs who have previously run All Stars Cricket can now do so again provided they comply with the Step 4 guidance. We will release specific guidance for All Stars Cricket shortly.

For clubs looking to run All Stars Cricket for the first time, please contact your local County Cricket Board for further information.

What does this guidance mean for people living in Wales?

People living in Wales will need to comply with the Welsh Government’s guidance as it currently stands. Should players choose to travel to play in England they need to ensure they have read and fully understood the UK Government guidance and subsequent details within the Step 4 guidance.

Can wicketkeepers stand up to the stumps?

In England only, during competitive play, social distancing of 1m+ is permissible where the wicketkeeper stands up to the stumps.

Can we host multiple games at the same time? i.e. we have two pitches on the same site, can both pitches be utilised for two independent games?

The UK Government guidance permits cricket activity in groups of up to 30, therefore in order to host multiple fixtures at the same time you will need to ensure you have considered this as part of your COVID-19 risk assessment and are comfortable that the groups can maintain social distancing and that the groups will not merge at any time.

You must ensure that you do not overload your facilities – your COVID-19 risk assessment should cover maximum occupancy levels to ensure that social distancing can be maintained in line with UK Government guidance.

What does groups of 30 mean for adult training? Can we all train in one group?

UK Government guidance permits cricket activity in groups of up to 30, however, we need to ensure that we limit the amount of sharing of equipment, including balls, at all times.

All participants and coaches must ensure that they maintain social distancing and we encourage you to limit the use of shared balls, wherever possible. Shared-ball fielding drills should be avoided, wherever possible.

Where the sharing of cricket balls is essential, the cricket balls must be cleaned every 20 minutes and players should practise hand hygiene every 20 minutes during the training session.

Maintaining social distancing during training sessions may be more challenging, so clubs should consider conducting fielding drills in smaller sub-groups.

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