Hockey Ireland notes confirmation from ROI Government that underage hockey can return to non-contact training from April 26th, the first step on a phased return for hockey at all levels of the game.
The following changes have been made to the Hockey Ireland Covid-19 guidelines given the latest announcement on Covid-19 restrictions made by the Irish (ROI) Government:
- From April 26th, socially distant non-contact training in pods of 15 (inclusive of the coach) is permitted at all players/teams under 18 in both clubs and schools. The return of senior hockey training remains under review pending future Government announcements. The exemptions to this are Elite sports*.
- Elite sports are permitted to continue behind closed doors. For Hockey this has been defined as the National Senior Men’s and Women’s Programmes. They are permitted to train and play behind closed doors.
*Please note: This category has been defined by the ‘Return to Sport Expert Group’ which has been established by the ROI government to provide guidance to Ireland’s sporting bodies to prepare for the phased return to sporting activity.
The following is to be noted in relation to Hockey in Northern Ireland:
From 1st April 2021 the regulations will change to permit 10 people from two households to undertake outdoor sporting activities as defined in the regulations. This allows sports such as golf and tennis to resume from this date in small groups of individuals from two households, however club houses and sport facilities including changing rooms, showers, kitchens, meeting rooms must remain closed apart from essential toilet facilities. Therefore, hockey training and competition at all levels (with the exemption of elite level training) will not be permitted.
The Executive also agreed an indicative date of 12th April 2021 for “Allowing for sports training to resume by sports clubs affiliated with recognised Governing Bodies, in small groups of up to 15 people but with all indoor spaces closed except for essential toilet facilities.” These relaxations planned for April 12 will be subject to Executive ratification in the week after the Easter weekend.
Ulster Hockey awaits the publication of the regulations and will advise clubs of the requirements for a return to hockey – if permitted on the 12th of April – as soon as it is in a position to do so.