Following on from last week’s announcement from the Northern Ireland Executive of a provisional return to sport on a restricted basis by 12 April, and following further clarification from the Department for Communities, Ulster Hockey are pleased to advise the following:
The Executive have announced a provisional date for a return to training on 12th April, subject to final confirmation after Easter. This will allow for training to commence in groups of 15 people; this includes coaches and is limited to essential participants only, meaning no spectators present. Contact training is allowed however provision should be made to training plans to minimise contact where possible.
Where possible children should be dropped off and picked up or parents/guardians should remain in cars. Car sharing is not allowed and larger congregations or gatherings in areas such as car parks are not permitted.
Please note competitive and friendly matches are not permitted at this point.
The maximum number of groups permitted on a pitch is as follows:
- Aged 18 and over – one group of 15 inclusive of coaches
- Aged 13-18 – two separate groups of 15 inclusive of coaches
- Aged 12 and under – three separate groups of 15 inclusive of coaches
The groups must be distinct, with no transfer between groups.
Please note these numbers cannot be exceeded regardless of the size of the pitch being used. It is still necessary for clubs to adhere to the protocols published by Hockey Ireland in relation to a return to hockey including implementing a track and trace system, social distancing and good hand hygiene.
We would hope that this is a small step in the direction of a return to full hockey in the coming weeks and months and Ulster Hockey will continue to engage with Sport NI and the Department for Communities and provide updates when possible.
Further guidelines on the current restrictions and the pathway out of lock down can be found at the Sport NI website.