By Nick Creely
Cricket Victoria has released its latest Covid-safe plan to clubs and associations in Regional Victoria and Metropolitan Melbourne, with many key changes set to impact on community cricket this summer.
The guide – which was released on Friday publicly – is based off the State Government roadmap to re-open Victoria, is in line with directions on Sport and Recreation Victoria’s website and is based upon Regional Victoria currently being in Step 3 of the roadmap and preparing to start playing within a month.
One of the major changes at local level in 2020/21 will be that the State Government has ruled a line through spectators attending senior games, while those supervising children or supporting players with additional needs are permitted to attend junior games.
The State Government has advised that only players, coaches, umpires, scorers, Covid officers and anyone operating the canteen will be permitted to attend senior cricket this season.
In terms of training, indoor has been banned while outdoor training will be permitted for group sizes of no more than 10, but there can be multiple groups of 10 split and socially distancing to train.
The document also states that toilets should be opened but cleaned regularly, communal change rooms may be opened but recommended to remain closed, while canteens, kiosks or dining facilities can open in line with hospitality guidelines.
At this stage, school ovals may be closed for use.
In terms of travel, Metropolitan Melbourne residents may not travel to Regional Victoria for cricket, while Victoria/NSW border residents will need a permit to travel across the border to play.
Community cricket clubs must also do the following in a Covid-19 environment:
• Each community club needs to commit to nominating at least one Covid safety officer who must undertake the free Australian Government online Covid-19 infection control training to commence club activity.
• An attendance register which identifies all participants, volunteers and officials in attendance must be used for training, matches and functions.
• Sporting clubs that operate a café, canteen or bar must adhere to restrictions on hospitality venues.
The document also issued hygiene protocols for a return to training, which includes the following:
• No sharing of personal items such as water bottles, food, towels or cricket equipment
• Nobody attending training shall spit or clear nasal passages
• No high fives, handshakes, or other physical contact
• Changerooms and wet areas are discouraged for training (i.e. players arrive at venue in training gear and must shower at home), although use of toilets is allowed
• Attendees shall put hand sanitiser on arrival to training and every 30-40 minutes during the session and those over 12 to wear a mask (except whilst batting, bowling, fielding)
• Club provided cricket balls and equipment must be wiped with alcohol based antibacterial wipes / sanitiser prior to and after each training session
• Entry and exit points and touch points should be cleaned between sessions
For a safe return to play, the CV document also issued a range of key guidelines for match day, which includes checking-in on arrival, using available hand sanitiser, keeping a social distance on and off field, keeping a mask on except when batting, bowling or fielding, keeping use of facilities to a minimum, and players and umpires sanitising hands every 10 overs and ensuring there is regular hand washing.
Cricket Victoria has advised that the current document and guidelines are subject to change based off Government advice.
For the full document head to www.cricketvictoria.com.au/cricket-victoria-releases-covid-safe-plan-for-clubs/