Update: 2.30pm 11/5/2020
The key points in this update are:
- Outdoor activities in groups of up to 10 people will be allowed from 11:59pm on Tuesday 12 May in Victoria.
- There are still many questions that will need to be clarified and confirmed with the relevant authorities before we can safely return to hockey activities.
- Hockey Victoria strongly recommends to its affiliates to hold off on resuming hockey activities until next week. This will allow us to work with the authorities to finalise the Return to Hockey Guidelines.
- Further information will be communicated to all affiliates when it becomes available.
On Monday, 11 May, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced that some coronavirus restrictions will be lifted from 11:59pm on Tuesday 12 May. Allowing outdoor activities to be held with groups of us to 10 people while still maintaining social distancing rules is the most relevant announcement relating to hockey. Clearly, this is a very positive move towards resumption of hockey activities.
However, while some of the restrictions will be eased from 11:59pm on Tuesday 12 May, there is still a lot of work to be done to ensure that we can get back on the pitch safely. Our experiences from dealing with other Member Associations around the country tell us that it takes up to a week or more to clarify and confirm how new, eased restrictions apply to hockey. For example, can a hockey pitch be divided into 4 zones, with 10 people training in each zone while still maintaining the social distancing rules; does a coach count as one of the 10 people; can players access toilets, etc.
There are numerous details yet to be confirmed and finalised. We will now work with the relevant authorities to finalise these details and communicate the first draft of HV’s Return to Hockey Guidelines. Until then, Hockey Victoria strongly recommends that clubs hold off on organising any formal training sessions under the eased restrictions. We anticipate to be in a position to issue the Guidelines within the next week. Please note the HV guidelines will cover hockey activities (based around people movement, activities, equipment and communication). We will provide examples of facility related guidelines, however, the clubs should get in contact with their facility owner (i.e. local councils/schools/universities) for all facility usage related guidance in the first instance.
We acknowledge that everyone will be buoyed and excited about the prospect of return to hockey, but to ensure that we get to the point of competitive hockey in the near future, we need everyone to be patient and allow Hockey Victoria to get the relevant information and provide guidance on conducting hockey activities safely for all participants and without breaking any applicable laws.
In the meantime, we would encourage you to review the FIH guidelines on returning to pitch and start the discussion with your facility owner (i.e. local council, school, university) about the steps needed to get the pitch ready for hockey activities. The FIH guide can be found on this link.
Chief Executive Officer