COVID-19

Hockey Ireland Coronavirus (COVID-19) UPDATE regarding Changes to COVID-19 Restrictions.

4th June 2021 

The Irish government have issued further updates to the Covid-19 guidelines for Returning to Sport.

The following applies from 07th June 2021: 

  • Outdoor matches may recommence.
  • A maximum of 100 may attend organised outdoor events. This includes players, match officials and spectators.
  • Individual indoor training and one to one (player and coach) training is permitted. Please see detailed guidelines below for indoor training.

The following applies from 05th July 2021 (subject to public health guidance): 

  • A maximum of 200 may attend organised outdoor events.
  • Indoor hockey can recommence in pods of up to 6.

Indoor Training Guidance 

The Sport Ireland Return to Sport Expert Group have issued detailed guidelines for the return of indoor training. These guidelines are expected to remain in place until at least July 05th 2021 when restrictions may be eased further.

Please note: The following guidelines apply to Republic of Ireland only. For Northern Ireland, please find further details here: Return To Sport | Sport NI

Individual training is defined as: ‘Individual, physically distanced, non-contact activity, completed in a pre-defined area, within a controlled environment and without the sharing of equipment.

The following applies to indoor training:

  1. Staggered start and finish times combined with appropriate entry, exit and traffic management protocols to limit the interaction of participants at any one time.
  2. Prebooking of activity is essential. This includes the health screening of all participants (including coaches & support personnel). All personnel on-site should be recorded.
  3. Reduction in the overall duration of the activity.
  4. Participants arrive ready to train and leave immediately (no changing room or shower use).
  5. Additional signage, hand sanitisation stations and deep cleaning implemented.
  6. No equipment sharing in any circumstances.
  7. Activity should take place in a predefined area which is visually marked out and directionally signed.
  8. The space required in this area should reflect the nature and intensity of the activity.
  9. There should be in excess of 2m social distancing between each of the predefined areas.
  10. The Cleaning & Ventilation of facilities should be conducted in accordance with the Government’s most recent Work Safely Protocol. Additional information can also be found in the appendixes of this documents.

One to one (coach and player training – in line with safeguarding requirements – may proceed as follows:

  1. Any demonstration of equipment or technique should ensure that a minimum of 2m social distancing is maintained.
  2. Individual equipment should not be shared.
  3. In the case of fixed equipment, cleaning of such equipment must be completed immediately after demonstration and before the individual participant uses it.
  4. There should be no hands-on adjustments or physical contact during training sessions.
  5. Coaches and trainers are asked to refer to the HSE guidance on wearing of face coverings, which is available here: When to wear a face covering – HSE.ie

Additional Points:

  1. For clubs who wish to undertake one to one or individual training indoors, the above guidelines should incorporate the guidance outlined in this document into their existing Covid 19 Return to Training Policies and Procedures.
  2. The guidelines assume an ongoing allowance of indoor activity as dictated by the Public Health Situation and whether sporting facilities are open.
  3. The training must be supervised by a branch-registered Club Covid-19 Compliance Officer.

Clubs undertaking indoor activity must:

  1. Implement thorough and regular cleaning of frequently touched surfaces. If disinfection of an area is required, it must be performed in addition to cleaning, never as a substitute for cleaning.
  2. Ensure contact/touch surfaces such as table tops, door handles and handrails are visibly clean at all times. Additionally, sports equipment should be cleaned before and after use.
  3. Provide coaches/ participants with essential cleaning materials to keep their own areas clean (for example wipes/disinfection products, paper towels and waste bins/bags).
  4. Records should be maintained for all cleaning.

  5. Hockey Ireland Coronavirus (COVID-19) UPDATE regarding changes to COVID-19 Restrictions.

06 May 2021

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.

Please see the following link for more information: gov.ie – Level 5 (www.gov.ie)

Updated Guidelines:

Please note: These guidelines are applicable from 10th May 2021.

  1. Outdoor training for adults in pods of 15 (including a coach) may resume. This includes contact training.
  2. Contact training for underage players may also resume in pods of 15 (including a coach).

From 07th June 2021:

  1. Outdoor (non-elite and club) matches and competitions may recommence.
  2. These should be played behind closed doors, with only essential personnel in attendance.

Please be advised that the ‘Return to Training’ guidelines continue to apply.

For Northern Ireland (NI), there following guidelines continue to apply:

From 23rd April:

The following relates to non-elite level outdoor sport:

  1. Outdoor sport organised by a club, individual or individuals affiliated will be extended to include squad training.
  2. Competitive outdoor sport can be organised by a club, individual or individuals affiliated, with numbers (including participants, officials, management and essential support personnel) not exceeding 100 and no spectators permitted.

The ‘Return to Training’ guidelines should continue to apply.


Hockey Ireland Coronavirus (COVID-19) UPDATE regarding changes to COVID-19 Restrictions.

23rd April 2021

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. These changes are applicable from 26th April 2021.

Please see the following link for more information: gov.ie – Level 5 (www.gov.ie)

Updated Guidelines:

  1. Underage (U18) non-contact outdoor training in pods of 15 (including a coach) may resume.
  2. All clubs must ensure that a branch registered Covid-19 Officer (CVO) attends all training sessions and undertakes the duties of the CVO only. Please see CVO job description document:
  3. It is advised that clubs should update their Covid-19 risk assessment of club procedures and facilities before returning to training/playing. All returning members should be reminded of the club’s Covid-19 protocols.
  4. The ‘Return to Training’ guidelines continue to apply.

The Northern Ireland (NI) Executive have issued the following guidance for NI from the 23rd of April 2021.

Please see the following link for more information: http://www.sportni.net/pathway-out-of-restrictions-for-sport-update-16-april-2021/

The following relates to non-elite level outdoor sport:

  1. Outdoor sport organised by a club, individual or individuals affiliated will be extended to include squad training.
  2. Competitive outdoor sport can be organised by a club, individual or individuals affiliated, with numbers (including participants, officials, management and essential support personnel) not exceeding 100 and no spectators permitted.

The ‘Return to Training’ guidelines should continue to apply.

April 23rd 2021 Covid Update

Hockey Ireland Coronavirus (COVID-19) UPDATE regarding Government Announcement on Changes to COVID-19 Restrictions.

30th December 2020

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.

Under Level 5, individual training only is permitted, within a 5km radius of an individual’s home. No matches or group training sessions are to take place.

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.

Competition/matches may not be played at any level.

December 30th 2020 Covid Update


Hockey Ireland Coronavirus (COVID-19) UPDATE regarding Government Announcement regarding changes to restrictions.

23rd December 2020

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.

Please note: These restrictions do not apply to Irish Senior International squads under Sport Ireland’s elite exemption.

As per Level 5 guidelines with the current adjustments announced on the 22nd of December, adults and children in ROI continue to be allowed train outdoors where training is contained to non-contact pods of maximum 15 (including coaches/managers) and socially distanced at all time.

Competition/matches may not be played at any level.

December 23rd 2020 Covid Update


Hockey Ireland Coronavirus (COVID-19) UPDATE regarding Government Announcement on reduced restrictions and return to training.

1st December 2020

Hockey Ireland’s Covid-19 Group met today to discuss the recent announcements regarding Covid-19 restrictions made by the Irish (ROI) Government and the Northern Irish (NI) Executive.

The following changes have been made to Hockey Ireland Covid-19 guidelines:

(Please note: These restrictions do not apply to Irish Senior International squads under Sport Ireland’s elite exemption)

  1. As per Level 3 guidelines, adults in ROI will be allowed to return to non-contact training with immediate effect. Training must be in pods of maximum 15 (including coaches/managers) and socially distanced at all time.
  2. Competition/matches may not be played at any level.For All Ireland Competitions:
  1. Hockey Ireland’s principle of all clubs competing on a level basis in relation to Covid-19 restrictions remains in place.
  2. No All-Ireland hockey competition (EYHL1, EYHL2 or Cups) will start until a 4-week lead-in period has passed that would start from the point in time that training is allowed on the entire island of Ireland.
  3. Training for EYHL clubs will be allowed if permitted under the Government rules but this will be reviewed once the current period of lockdown for Northern Ireland has passed on December 11th.

1st December. Covid Update. Return to training


Hockey Ireland Coronavirus (COVID-19) UPDATE regarding Government Announcement on reduced restrictions

27th November 2020

As you may be aware, the Irish Government is meeting today to make the final decisions on how the country will exit Level 5.

A public announcement to communicate these plans is also due to follow.

We have been informed by Sport Ireland that the Sport Expert Group met today. However, they are not in a position to provide additional direction or individual confirmation to sports in advance of Government decisions.

Hockey Ireland is looking forward to further information from Sport Ireland before reviewing our guidance and protocols to enable a safe return to hockey activities, including training and competitions. We will be examining how the governments’ announcement may influence our existing protocols and will issue all our members with guidance as soon as possible.

Hockey Ireland would again like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding during this time.

Please keep safe. For further information on Covid-19: https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/coronavirus.html

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

If you have any further queries, please email info@hockey.ie

November Statement on Reduced restrictions


COVID-19 Statement from Ulster Hockey in relation to Return to Junior Hockey.

13 November 2020

Please see the latest statement from Ulster Hockey in relation to Hockey in Northern Ireland, which states that “Subject to any change in restrictions announced by the Executive over the coming days which may override this decision, the Management Board has decided that with immediate effect, 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 Executive announcements and discussions with Hockey Ireland.”

You can read the full update at https://ulsterhockey.com/covid-19-update-return-to-junior-hockey/

Hockey Ireland Coronavirus (COVID-19) UPDATE No. 10 regarding Level 5 COVID-19 Restrictions
21 October 2020

As of midnight, on Wednesday 21st October, the Republic of Ireland is moving to Level 5 COVID-19 restrictions. These restrictions will remain in place for a period of 6 weeks. The effect of these restrictions on Hockey activity have been highlighted below.

These restrictions will apply to all Clubs in the Republic of Ireland.

Under Level 5, individual training only is permitted, and no matches are to take place. The exemptions to this are:

  1. Non-contact training can continue for school-aged children, outdoors in pods of 15. This means that at no point during the session should a player come within 2m of another player. Exercises involving tackling (such as 1v1s), marking or match play should not be undertaken.
  1. 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.

Facilities & Travel:

It is permitted to open outdoor sports facilities for training sessions and scheduled matches for the exempted categories of sport, i.e. high performance.  It will also be permitted to open outdoor sports facilities for structured training sessions by school aged children, i.e. those aged 18 years and younger, in pods of no more than 15, under the supervision of designated coaches and in compliance with approved COVID-19 protocols and all relevant public health guidance.

During these training sessions, it will only be permitted for participants and relevant coaching and support personnel to be present. In the case of children’s sport, parents will be permitted to attend for child safeguarding purposes, however they will be required to comply with social distancing and other public health advice.

Under Level 5, while domestic travel restrictions do not allow movement outside of a 5-kilometre radius of home, it is permitted to take school-aged children to club training sessions. Club coaches may also travel to training sessions.

Northern Ireland

Ulster Hockey has advised that all hockey club training is suspended until 14 November 2020.  This coincides with the timing of the NI Executive’s current restrictions. Please check the Ulster Hockey website for the latest guidance.

Hockey Ireland will continue to follow the developments and will respond as soon as possible to any changes in the situation. Hockey Ireland would like to thank all branches and clubs that worked hard to get hockey competition back under the strict protocols.  We hope we will be back again as soon as possible.

The Hockey Ireland Return to Play and Competition Protocol will be updated shortly and available at https://hockey.ie/covid-19/

Please see below for current clarification on Level 5.


Update 15th October 2020:

HOCKEY COMPETITION ON HOLD

On Wednesday 14 October, the Irish government announced the removal of the exemption for senior club championship to be played in Level 3 of the Living with Covid-19 plan.

Following this change, the Board of Hockey Ireland has decided to postpone all hockey competition on an all-Ireland basis until further notice.  Training can proceed subject to Hockey Ireland protocols and restrictions and any restrictions that may apply locally.

This also means that the Interprovincial Competitions scheduled for the end of October are postponed. Hockey Ireland recognises the time and energy the Interprovincial Working Group and the provincial teams have put into the preparations for these games. Suitable dates for the running of the competitions will be considered.

Elite hockey activity can proceed, and this applies to the Irish Senior Men and Irish Senior Women’s teams only.

Hockey Ireland would like to acknowledge the work of the clubs that has gone into hosting games over the last few weeks.  The support of volunteers to follow the protocols and keep our players safe has been phenomenal.  We must endeavour to keep club hockey activity going whilst we continue to observe Covid-19 guidelines and hopefully, we can resume competition soon.


Previous COVID-19 Updates

From the morning of Wednesday, October 7th, hockey clubs under the jurisdiction of the Government of Ireland will be subject to Level 3 restrictions as per their Plan For Living With COVID-19. These restrictions will be in place for a period of 3 weeks.

The guidelines are available to view below.

The document is based on the Plan For Living With COVID-19 as well as guidance Hockey Ireland has received from Sport Ireland and the government’s Return To Sport Expert Group.

Resources outlined to help clubs adhere to Level 3 restrictions continue to be available at: https://hockey.ie/covid-19/

Hockey Ireland and Ulster Hockey are closely following the situation for clubs under the jurisdiction of the Northern Ireland Executive and will update where appropriate.

Hockey Ireland released its updated COVID protocols on the 25th of September. These protocols can be accessed here: Hockey Ireland Return to Play and Competition Protocols 22 September 2020.pdf

Hockey Ireland have outlined guidance for training and matches at each Level of ROI Government restrictions. Under Level 3,

  • non-contact training may take place, however only in pods of up to 15*.
  • no matches are to take place, including friendlies*.
  • No spectators are permitted.

Under ROI Government guidelines, exemptions for these protocols are as follows: *Professional/elite/inter-county sports.  For Hockey Ireland this means elite hockey activity can proceed, and this applies to the Irish Senior Men and Irish Senior Women’s teams only.

We hope to update you as soon as possible in the coming days.

Please see below for current clarification on Level 3.


COVID-19 Update 25 September 2020

As per last week’s statement (which can be accessed here: Statement on Covid Response 18th Sept 2020.pdf), Hockey Ireland have released their updated Return to Play and Competition documents.

You can access the updated COVID Protocols: Hockey Ireland Return to Play and Competition Protocols 22 September 2020.pdf

Please note we have combined the protocols into a single document going forwards. We have also guidance for training and matches at each Level of government restrictions:

Level Training Matches
Level 1 Normal training sessions and games can take place indoors and outdoors with protective measures. A maximum of 200 spectators can attend outdoor matches or games.
Level 2 Outdoor training can take place in pods of up to 15.* Up to 100 spectators outdoors.
Level 3 Non-contact training only in pods of up to 15.* No matches (including friendlies) to take place.*
Level 4 Non-contact training can take place but only in pods of up to 15. No matches (including friendlies) to take place.**
Level 5 Individual training only. No matches to take place.

*Professional/elite/inter-county sports/senior club championship are exempt. For Hockey Ireland, this includes EYHL Divisions 1 and 2, national cup competitions, and the highest levels of provincial branch competition only.

**Professional/elite/inter-county can take place behind closed doors. For Hockey Ireland, this includes senior international squads only. No club or interprovincial competition should take place in Level 4.   

The EYHL and EYHL2, Irish Senior Cup and top provincial leagues come under the “Senior Club Championship” banner.    Training for the national teams comes under the “Elite” banner.