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  • Writer's pictureRob Stanworth

Covid-19: Return to Cricket Guidance

Updated: Jul 17, 2020

The Club Board is working hard to ensure the safe return of cricket for all our members, after the UK government confirmed that recreational cricket can be played from July 11th - in reality our local leagues will start from July 18th or 25th.

We are still waiting to hear what format that will be.

In order to get cricket played safely again it will be a real team effort - players, members and volunteers will need to come together to help prepare the ground and support the captain on matchday to ensure that the following guidance is adhered to, for the safety of yourself and others. PLEASE READ...

The following has been put together by Harrogate Cricket, adhering to ECB Guidance, to support the safe return to cricket.

Last updated on July 9th 2020

Harrogate CC – Return to Cricket

1. Anyone showing symptoms of covid-19, or if any member of that person’s household is showing symptoms, then they should follow the Government guidance and stay at home. Each player should perform a symptom check for Covid 19 at home prior to matches. Any individual who has been asked to isolate by the NHS Test and Trace service should do so and should not exercise with others.

2. Players should wash their hands before they leave home. Players should wash their hands once they return home after a game.

3. It is advisable for players to being their own hand sanitizer to games. Players should start putting some hand sanitizer in their kit bags. Hand sanitizing stations will also be available at various places throughout the club grounds. All team captains and junior managers will have access to HCC hand sanitizer bottles for each match in the event that team members do not have their own.

4. Social distancing must still be maintained at all times throughout match day. This includes: during the warm up and arrival at the ground, during the game, and as players exit the ground. Players should, save for limited exceptions, remain two metres apart from each other. Social distancing should also be maintained during wicket celebrations and drinks breaks.

5. Players should continue to use their own kit and not share kit. Players should bring their kit to games in their own bag.

6. Players should bring their own refreshments. As a minimum each player should ensure they have their own water bottle.

7. Players will need to give careful consideration to travel arrangements. Players ought to travel, where possible, on their own or in their own household. If this is not possible and some lift sharing has to take place then the government guidance on car sharing should be follows (share with the same people each time, keep to small groups sharing lifts, open windows for ventilation, travel side by side or behind each other rather than facing each other, consider seating arrangements prior to the journey, wear face coverings). The number of people in one vehicle should be restricted. The length of the journey should be considered. The wearing of a mask should take place. It is preferable for each player to travel to the game on their own or with members of their own household. Public transport should be avoided unless necessary. Where public transport is used, the Government guidance should be followed and face masks should be used.

8. The car park areas, the pathways, and the grounds are big enough to ensure that those entering and leaving the premises can do so in a way that maintains social distancing. There are multiple parking points within the ground and multiple entrances to the ground. All of these can be used and anyone using them has space to be two metres from anyone else. People taking sensible precautions will be able to approach and leave the ground without coming within two metres of anyone else.

9. On major match days, specifically those days where there are fixtures on the front and back pitch, the club will deploy an attendant at the front gates to direct people arriving. Those playing on the front pitch will be directed to park in one area and those on the back pitch will be directed to park in another area.

10. An electronic register of all players participating in each game will be kept. A register of all opposition players will also be kept. Opposition clubs will be asked to file an electronic list of players via email in advance of the game commencing.

11. The changing rooms will be closed (save for the toilets and save for providing an area for individual players to put on protective equipment in private (eg boxes and thigh pads). Players should shower at home after the game. The club showers will be closed.

12. Players should turn up changed and ready to warm up and play.

13. The umpires rooms area akin to small changing rooms and so these will be closed. Umpires will also be required to attend changed and ready to umpire.

14. Players, coaches and officials should avoid congregating before activity actually begins. Captains will set appropriate meet up times and players should arrive ready to start warming up immediately.

15. For senior games, eleven plastic chairs will be set out. These will be spaced at a suitable social distance in an appropriate place along the boundary edge. If the weather is fine, players should treat their chair as their spot in the changing room. They should keep their kit underneath the chair. They should use their chair throughout the day. At the end of the day the chairs will be sanitized and cleaned before the next fixture. Players should keep their kit tidy and zipped away in their bags. For junior games, the same system will be adopted with chairs or cones. Each chair/cone will be an individual player’s station for the whole match. The chairs/cones will be spaced two metres apart.

16. Stumps and bails will be sanitized before and after games.

17. Players should not apply sweat or saliva to the ball.

18. Players should avoid touching their face, nose, mouth and eyes.

19. Each fixture is limited to a group of 30 participants (players, scorers and officials).

20. Hand sanitizer is to be used at all breaks in activity.

21. Wicket keepers and the slip cordon can maintain social distancing at one metre plus. All others should maintain social distancing at two metres or more.

22. Umpires are not to handle the ball at any point in the game. The ball will be left at the stumps during breaks.

23. A hygiene break will take place every six over or every 20 minutes. The ball will be cleaned. Players will sanitise their hands during these breaks.

24. Batters will clean their bats once they have been dismissed and left the field.

25. Bowlers will not hand jumpers or caps, or any other items, to the umpires. These can be kept at the third man/fine leg boundary edge.

26. The ball is to be returned from the wicket keeper (or the player who fields the ball) directly to the bowler.

27. Batters are to run in distinct running lines to ensure they are not within two metres of the bowler or the other batter or umpire. Lanes for running will be marked on the squares.

28. No teas will be served. Players should bring their own food and drink. No sharing of drinks bottles or refreshments should take place.

29. Scorers will score outside where possible. Scorers can do this for senior games at Harrogate CC by sitting outside on the balconies. Each scorer will have a separate table and those tables will be spaced two metres apart. One scorer will enter the score room to update the scoreboard at the end of each over. Alternatively, one scorer can be seated outside on the Balcony and the other scorer can be seated inside the score room.

30. For junior matches scorers can score on the boundary edge and remain two metres apart. The junior scoreboards can be placed at the pitch edge and be updated at the end of each over by one of the scorers. Only one scorer will touch the scoreboard throughout the match to avoid multiple people touching the scoreboard.

31. For junior games, one parent of each child should be present in the event that first aid has to be administered.

32. During rain breaks, players will be encouraged to return to their vehicles (where applicable).

33. When the covers are pushed on at the end of the days play, or during a rain break, no more than two people will push each individual cover on. The two people pushing the cover on must do so from each end of the cover and this should ensure they maintain a safe social distance.

34. In the event of rain, kit should be stored in player’s vehicles or could be stored in the changing rooms – however, the rooms would only be used for storage and not for people to congregate.

35. The Balcony Bar will be the responsibility of the tenant. They will manage the number of people allowed into the bar and the function room. They are responsible for making their own arrangements that are suitable to deal with Covid 19. They will be responsible for the downstairs toilet and upstrairs toilets within the pavilion. We know the new tenant is exploring various possible measures for when the Balcony re-opens.

36. Whilst the changing rooms will be closed (save for the storage of bags in the event of wet weather), the cricket club will still use the toilets within the changing rooms in order to ensure there is a toilet facility for players available. The windows of the changing room will be kept open to aid ventilation. The main changing room door will be kept open to aid ventilation. The toilets and cubicles will be regularly cleaned.

37. Spectators and parents should maintain social distancing at all times.

38. Spectators should, where possible, bring their own chairs.

39. The picnic tables and benches outside the front and back of the pavilion will be cleaned at regular intervals.

40. Spectators should not return any cricket ball that goes over the boundary edge. This should be left for players to retrieve.

41. Match fees (where applicable) will be collected, where possible, through contactless card machines. All senior players should bring a debit card. If a player does not have a bank account or a debit card then they should bring the correct change.

42. Regular cleaning of facilities and equipment will take place throughout match days.

43. A specific individual will be appointed to sanitise stumps, bails, balls, and any other shared equipment after matches. For senior games, the captain will appoint someone. The person cleaning the equipment will be provided with the appropriate PPE. For junior games, the junior coaches or managers will appoint someone. Again, that person will be provided with the relevant PPE.

44. In relation to senior matches on the back pitch, the same two people should put up and take down each sight screen to avoid multiple individuals touching the sight screen. The same applies to the putting up and taking down of the nets on the back pitch.

45. After matches, players should immediately sanitise their hands. When they arrive home, they should thoroughly wash their hands.

46. Anyone who tests positive for the virus following a game of cricket should report any infection to the NHS Test and Trace Service. This is important to control and limit the spread of Covid 19.


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