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

Please see below for current clarification on Level 5.

Update 15th October 2020:


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:

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.