Key Update: Tier measures in England

Following the Government announcement in England introducing a tier system we have implemented some changes to our return to play guidance in line with the tier system. Organised disability and youth (under 18’s) sport has again been given an exemption across all three tiers, which while positive we need to continue to ensure balance with the restrictions on activity that are in place for all sports in order to keep all our Goalball Family safe.

  • In tier 1 (medium) & 2 (high) areas, affiliated club goalball can continue to be delivered following the Goalball UK Return to Play guidance (attached)
  • In tier 3 (very high) areas affiliated club goalball must not take place. Players, coaches, and volunteers living or residing in tier 3 areas should not travel to affiliated club sessions in tier 1 or 2 areas.
  • Youth (U18’s) only sessions are exempt in all tiers and areas but must be delivered following the Goalball UK Return to Play guidance.
  • Education institutions should continue to follow their internal guidelines regarding activity in their indoor sports facilities linked to participant bubbles already in place.

These changes have been reflected in section 11. Future Lockdowns.

Measures across Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales will likely differ so please consult your relevant Government restrictions and apply the Goalball UK Return to Play guidance if indoor disability team sport is permitted.

Question: Rule of Six

Answer: Goalball is exempt from the rule of six guidelines as a disability sport for people who are blind or partially sighted. However, as the national governing body, we have created population guidelines based on the ‘rule of six’ set out by the Government. The latest population guidance for training sessions issued 29.09.20 can be downloaded here.

All NGB and club affiliated training sessions must follow the restrictions on numbers regardless of age or disability. Goalball can be played in a formal educational setting in existing educational bubbles as set by the individual institution in line with Government policy.

Question: From a player. When can my club start training?

Answer: The Goalball UK guidance outlines the process for clubs to return. There is minimal disruption to the actual game play from a players point of view. As soon as your club implements the guidance they can return. Individual players are welcome to attend Goalball UK events before their club returns to training.

Question: Should we be taking the temperature of players before allowing them to join a session?

Answer: This isn’t a current requirement from Goalball UK. If your club wish to add this measure you can but consider the logistics of undertaking the check face to face and potentially less than 2m from someone. The Government  in England have also issued advice here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/dont-rely-on-temperature-screening-products-for-detection-of-coronavirus-covid-19-says-mhra

Question: Do you expect all players to read the guidance before they turn up and play?

Answer: It must be available for people to read before ‘opting in’ to sessions. We recommend clubs create a pre-session email or document with the key actions required from people when they return to training.

Question: Are guide dogs allowed in the hall?

Answer: Yes, we recommend only the owner and their support personnel interact with the dog.

Question: The court string is normally retained is this still the case?

Answer: Yes, people should sanitise hands before and setting up and breaking down. Disposing of string is not practical and is costly. We recommend only laying the essential lines for training e.g. not the full court.

Question: When it comes to the venue check list – what happens if you are not happy with responses – what is the next step?

Answer: Discuss with the venue if they can make adaptions, and or consider further adaptions you can take to reduce the risk in the area of concern. Ultimately if you are not satisfied you shouldn’t use the venue. Please seek Goalball UK support and advice if this situation arises.

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