Following a meeting between England Hockey and clubs on Monday, 21st December to clarify the Prime Minister’s recent announcement that, with effect from Sunday, 20th December, Chelmsford will be one of many areas moving to COVID-19 Tier 4, we are pleased to inform you that the detailed government guidance indicates that some hockey activity may take place, but subject to strict restrictions. As a result of this clarification we shall be changing our Tier 4 guidance at Chelmsford Hockey Club, including third-party use of our facilities. These changes will come into effect from Saturday, 26th December.
Before covering the permitted activities there is some guidance that applies to all activities:
- Most importantly, we wish to make it clear to all participants that everybody is free to decide for themselves if they wish to participate in permitted hockey activities, and that the club will support individual decisions during this period. This includes players, coaches, umpires and all other volunteers. Nobody should feel pressured to participate nor asked for their reasons if they choose not to. Please respect others’ decisions.
- Activity is restricted to participants who live within the Chelmsford City Council local authority area Please check if you are unsure if you live within this area. Paid coaches are the only exception to this rule. For the avoidance of doubt, unpaid coaches and other volunteers may not participate if they live outside the Chelmsford City Council local authority area.
- All participants should follow Safer Travel guidance.
- With the exception of the usual weekly scheduled junior training sessions, all other activity must be booked by emailing James Stock on firstname.lastname@example.org, and accepted bookings will be recorded on the club pitch bookings sheet visible to all members here. Such bookings will be covered by the club’s Pitch Use Policy, which includes hire charges.
Note – The government’s detailed guidance is ambiguous in parts. It is possible that the travel restriction above will change if clarification is received. However, for the time being, we are adopting a conservative approach and are following the government travel advice that states “if you need to travel you should stay local – meaning avoiding travelling outside of your village, town or the part of a city where you live – and look to reduce the number of journeys you make overall”. England Hockey are seeking government clarification on this point and also on whether unpaid coaches/volunteers are exempt from this restriction.
Subject to the general restrictions above, the permitted hockey activities are:
- Adults – must follow guidance for Step 1 of England Hockey’s Return to Play Roadmap.
- Hockey played by two players (each from different households) under social distancing guidelines.
- One-to-one sessions involving a coach and a player from different households under social distancing guidelines. Where this involves a young person their parent/guardian must be present and observing social distancing guidelines.
- Hockey played between a household group (where social distancing is not required).
- No spectators from outside household (or support bubble) are permitted.
- Junior activity must follow Step 4 of England Hockey’s Return to Play Roadmap.
- Organised Junior training in line with how we were operating prior to Tier 4 i.e. health self-assessments prior to attendance, attendance registers, social distancing during breaks in play, etc.
- Intra club matches only.
- Spectators are not permitted under Tier 4 restrictions but one parent / guardian per child is permitted to watch from pitch-side while observing legal gathering limits and following social distancing guidelines. That is, they may only “meet up” with either their household bubble or one other person who must be socially distanced. They must not “meet up” with anyone else, so have to be fully distanced from everyone else. We believe this is a key restriction and request that all parents please respect this and recognise the importance of being seen to be respecting it. Please remember that Chelmer Park is a public space and it would be a great shame if our hockey activities were curtailed as a result of a complaint from a member of the public passing through the park. Coaches will not be policing this so please feel free to intervene if you see groups of more than two adults chatting at the side of the pitch. You have the club’s full support in doing so.
If you require further information please read England Hockey’s latest FAQs for Tier 4 here.
Please check the website regularly for updates to this guidance. The only thing that is certain is that it will change.
Finally, please follow the guidance, stay safe, stay healthy… and have a very Merry Christmas!