Covid-19 response from the RFA

Like many sports, the global pandemic has dealt a heavy blow to Rugby Fives. However, following an enforced lay-off, players are now returning to courts across the country after the government approved the RFA’s proposals for a safe return to play.

You can download the association’s proposals by clicking on this link, but we are also reproducing the details below:

Control Measures during the Coronavirus Pandemic
1. Participants must accept that Control Measures are being put into place to minimise the risk of transmission and not to eliminate it.
2. Participants (or the guardians of players under the age of 18) must make an informed decision about their own risk – particularly if they have underlying health conditions.
3. This check-list must be promulgated to coaches, assistant coaches, players, guardians (i.e. teachers/coaches or parents) and welfare officers.
4. All players must undergo a self-assessment for COVID-19 symptoms.
◦ Do not attend if you have a high temperature, or a new continuous cough, or a loss of (or a change to) their sense of smell or taste. If you have such symptoms then follow government agency guidance. For players under the age of 18, the parent or guardian must complete the self assessment.
5. No inter Club/School matches or Competitions unless the Club/School has put in place measures to control the spread of COVID-19 that are in line with government advice.
6. Avoid using changing rooms, showers and toilets.
7. Fives courts with enclosures should, if possible, be used with ventilation fans on maximum andwindows and doors open.
8. The Club will set up a method for recording the date and attendance at each session to allow Test and Trace to be completed should any member of the Club contract COVID-19. This record must be kept for 21 days.
◦ It is expected that schools will already have this in place
9. Players should sanitize their hands on arrival and whenever gloves are removed
10. Clubs/schools should ensure that hand-sanitizer is available for this purpose.
11. Turn up for the Club session already changed ready to play.
12. Gloves must be worn and removal minimised during a session.
13. Do not touch other participants with bare hands
◦ Keep to at least 2 metres apart when off court and when warming up
◦ Keep abreast of government requirements, including differences within the UK
14. When playing competitive games, keep at least 1 metre away from other players, however, moving closer than one metre fleetingly (less than 3 seconds) is allowed so long as you are not face-to-face.
The relevant distance is from the face of one player to another
Keeping to this rule is, in fact, the natural way in which Fives is played
15. If it appears that two players are likely to clash then a ‘let’ must be called to stop the rally
◦ Gloved hands can be used to check the motion of another player and prevent close contact
16. The hand-shake at the end of each game is NOT allowed – an elbow bump is OK.
17. Balls should not be handled with bare hands – select a ball after putting on gloves and return the ball to the storage box before removing gloves.
18. Surfaces commonly touched by the players’ bare hands should be disinfected, using a technique effective against viruses, before and after play.
19. If possible, gloves should not be shared and any players without their own gloves should be allocated gloves for the duration of the pandemic.
20. If shortages of gloves means that they must be shared then each person handling the gloves must wash or sanitise their hands immediately before and afterwards
◦ In addition, cotton inner-gloves should be worn, taken home and washed after every use
21. After use, gloves should be exposed to the air to allow them to dry out (as normal) and anypossible COVID-19 infection to subside.
22. Spectators are allowed but are limited to 6 and, together with the players, must be socially distanced in-line with Government guidance – school Control Measures may supercede this.
23. All Clubs, Schools and Players should review these measures and be responsible for including them in their local plan together with any additional measures thought necessary

Note: discussion and correlation of these Control Measures with government advice is available on request from Stuart Kirby.

The Rugby Fives Association – 28th August 2020