The Covid-19 pandemic has changed sport as we know it. Until only recently UK residents were required to stay home other than for essential exercise, with team sports off limits and gyms temporarily closed. Some activities including top-flight football have since returned – but with new rules and safety measures in place and no fans in stadiums.
It’s natural to be craving a return to action if sport played a focal part in your weekly routines. You may have even kept up your training in the meantime. So, as restrictions continue to be gradually eased in other areas of life, what are the current plans for grassroots team sports in the UK?
Unfortunately, grassroots and recreational football still has no set return date. For now, you can practice in groups of up to six while observing social distancing guidelines. It’s hoped that matches will restart later in the year, with non-league clubs told to get ready for September or October.
It may be that smaller sided games and larger training sessions could return first. Once leagues come back, teams could play fewer fixtures due to the shrunken calendar.
Cricket matches have been allowed to resume from July 11th. If you haven’t already, it might be time to sharpen up your bowling technique or pick up a new bat from Talent Cricket.
There was initial confusion after the Prime Minister had stated that the ball itself could become a transmitter of the disease. As a result, it’s advised that no sweat or saliva touches the ball and that the ball is cleaned regularly. Sharing equipment is also advised against.
Community rugby is another sport without a definite return date, though socially distanced training in small groups is permitted. Possible season start dates range from September through to January 2021, though the latter option has been labelled as pessimistic.
Like football, it could be that contact training returns in the form of smaller sized games first. Other temporary options include non-contact tag rugby.
Swimming and water sports
Are you desperate to get back in the water? Outdoor pools have been allowed to reopen from Saturday the 11th of July, followed by indoor pools from Saturday the 25th of July. It’s then up to the venue itself to decide if they’re ready to reopen or not.
Possible rules at your local swim centre could include limiting numbers in the pool at one time, arriving in swimwear, and implementing double-width lanes.