Following the release of updated guidance from the Government, we are pleased to confirm the return to play measures that will allow community volleyball to restart outdoors from Monday, 29th March.
Organised volleyball, beach volleyball or sitting volleyball activity in an outdoor setting must follow the updated sport-specific safety plans for the relevant discipline.
These documents detail measures that must be followed before – such as checking for symptoms, travel best practice, appointment of Covid-19 officers and creating risk assessments – as well as during – maintaining social distancing, regular hand washing and cleaning of equipment, etc – and after any organised volleyball activity.
Use the links below to read the safety plans in full:
It is vital for social distancing to be maintained between people who do not live together when not actively participating and, at this point, no spectators are allowed at any activity. This does not apply to carers for disabled people, or adults needed to supervise U18s in a safeguarding role.
Although, generally, travel should still be minimised, travel for sport and exercise is permitted.
Limits on participation
Any volleyball activity that is formally organised by Volleyball England, a constituted volleyball club that is affiliated to Volleyball England or a registered level 2 volleyball coach and which follows the sport-specific safety plans.
Organised outdoor activity can be arranged between up to 16 people per court, with a maximum of 32 people participating in the volleyball session where mixing takes place. For organised indoors activity, there can be a maximum of 15 players under the age of 18 per field of play. These ‘volleybubbles’ must not mix. [NB This Paragraph has changed since first published]
The same also applies to organisations and charities that follow the sport-specific safety plans and complete the event registration process on Volleyball England’s website.
Activity that is not classed as being formally organised will need to follow the guidance on outdoor legal gathering limits. At the time of publication that limit is six people or two different households.
Anyone acting in a workforce capacity (for example volunteers, match officials, coaches, and instructors) are exempt from the rules on gathering and are not counted in the social gathering limits. However, they must remain socially distanced from players where possible during play.
- Organised sport for educational purposes and organised sport as part of wraparound childcare.
- Disabled athletes can take part in organised outdoor (from 8th March) and indoor (from 29th March) sport without being subject to social contact limits. As disabled people face more barriers to taking part in sport and physical activity, it is vital we do as much as possible to keep these opportunities accessible. Where organised sitting volleyball in an indoor setting is being organised for disabled athletes, the sport’s specific safety plan must be followed. Crucially, this exemption only applies to disabled people (as determined by the individual in line with the Equality Act 2010) and any other people necessary to enable the sport to take place (carer, coach, etc), no non-disabled person can play.
- Elite athletes (as defined here).
As previously announced, from 29th March certain outdoor facilities can re-open.
Indoor facilities should remain closed unless they are providing organised sport for educational purposes; organised sport as part of wraparound childcare; organised sport for disabled people; or elite sport.
Sue Storey, Chief Executive of Volleyball England, said: “I would like to thank you, the Volleyball Family, for your patience while we worked to confirm the return to play guidance for volleyball.
“After a long winter, we have been counting down the days until group volleyball activity can return outdoors and now look forward to seeing many of you return to playing the sport we love from next week.
“However, we’re not out of the woods just yet and must continue to abide by the rules and Covid-19 guidance around the return to sport. We all still have a role to play in keeping each other safe.
“Our updated guidance will answer many of the questions around return to play but if you need help or support, please don’t hesitate to contact the Volleyball England Hub team. Working together, we can ensure volleyball returns with a bang.”
If your club has affiliated to Volleyball England, do not forget to make the most of your membership benefits. This includes:
- Support to write funding applications.
- Free DBS checks.
- Access to VOLLEYFIT, our 10-week volleyball fitness plan.
Affiliated clubs also receive £5 million public liability insurance covering club activities.
Furthermore, in January, Sport England extended its Return to Play: Small Grant programme, giving all volleyball clubs up until 30th June 2021 to apply for funding. Read more here.
We will also be organising return to play webinars to ensure the community can return with confidence.
Volleyball activity that takes place outdoors can return as part of Step 1B of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown restrictions. Volleyball in schools was able to resume from 8th March in Step 1A. Indoor and sitting volleyball activity for juniors could resume as early as 12th April. Indoor and sitting volleyball activity for adults will return no earlier than 17th May.
We are awaiting further guidance from Sport England and DCMS to allow us to fully understand the guidance around the return of volleyball in Step 2 and beyond. This is not expected until nearer the time.
Our Covid-guidance page, www.volleyballengland.org/coronavirus, has been updated with the latest information, as has our page on frequently asked questions. If you still have a question that has gone unanswered, please email email@example.com.
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