COVID Return to Play Frequently Asked Questions
Everyone in the community wants life to return to normal and that includes the return of community sport. The FTGDCA and every other cricket association in Victoria is working with Cricket Victoria, State Government and Local Government to plan out how we can return to train and play for the coming season. We have a much clearer view of our pathway out of this now.
The Questions and answers below have been updated with what we know currently and no doubt there will be further clarifications in the coming weeks.
When will we return to Play?
Subject to targets being met and the Government easing restrictions this is what we have planned:
Nov 11 - sees the start of the midweek Super 7 & Fast 9
Nov 13 - Friday night competitions
Nov 14 - Saturday morning competitions
All junior grades will be one day games
The senior season will commence on sat 14th November for all grades
All grades will be one day games
The top 4 grades will play a 15 week competition followed by finals
The remaining grades will play a 14 week competition returning from Xmas 1 week later than the top 4 grades
Div 1 and Div 2 Finals format remain unchanged and that includes Qualifying/elimination Finals, Preliminary and Grand Finals
Sundays on Finals weekends will be reserve days should bad weather interrupt finals matches
All other grades will be played as the 35 over split innings 1 day format. The B1 format will not be played this season, that grade will become split innings 35 over one day games. This enables us to manage finals qualifications, draws and gradings far more easily this season.
The top 2 grades (Norm Reeves and DeCoite) will be coloured clothing and white ball cricket including finals.
All other grades are red ball cricket including finals.
When will we return to Training?
We are hopeful that restrictions will be lifted on 19th October and therefore training can resume on or around that date. Individual clubs will be designing a return to play schedule that takes into account the restrictions around numbers at training and they will communicate with you. Whilst the restrictions may be frustrating, they are necessary so please work with your club and COVID Safety Officer to ensure that you make their job easier. They will have spent a lot of time formulating these plans
What restrictions will exist for training and playing
The restrictions at the moment involve training in groups of 10 plus a coach
Net training can occur but only in a group of up to 13 in the nets plus a coach at any one time.
Groups of up to 13 can train on the ovals but must be separated (only 2 groups per oval)
Players cannot interchange between groups on any one night
When can we use our clubrooms?
It is highly unlikely that you can use your rooms except for basic access to toilets, change rooms and storage of equipment until the end of November. We are in constant communication with council on this subject
What are the restrictions and changes we know about
What we know so far is as follows:
Sharing of personal equipment rules have been relaxed, however personal equipment must be cleaned with the appropriate cleaners prior to use.
Cricket balls must be cleaned with an alcohol swab after training and a match
Saliva cannot be used on a cricket ball. We know this is a long held second nature in cricket so we ask everyone to be very thoughtful on this. If an umpire detects a player using saliva, a member of the bowling team will need to use an alcohol wipe to sanitise the ball.
Umpires will not be permitted to hold the bowlers or any other players cap and jumper - again you would have seen this in recent test matches. Jumpers and caps can be placed behind the keeper or the at the end of the bowlers run up. If a ball hits the clothing it will be declared a "dead ball" with no penalty runs.
There cannot be any shared food - so this means the afternoon teas we all know and love will become a thing of the past. As has been implemented in English county cricket players are expected to bring their own food.
There cannot be shared drink bottles. Each player will need to have their own bottle or drink container to be run out to them during a game. How we get this working on hot days is something we need to work out as typically when a wicket falls a couple of bottles get run out to the fielding team and umpires. We will work thought his with the clubs and on hot days increased drinks breaks may become more imperative.
There is no need for players to wear masks, however umpires may be required to wear them. The batting team will be expected to adhere to distancing rules and wear masks whilst waiting to bat
Spectators will need to be aware of distancing rules as well
We are required to have sanitisation breaks every 10 overs - this has been applied to Country Cricket where every 10 over the players break, apply hand sanitiser, the ball is wiped down and play continues. The umpire cannot clean the ball, a player from the bowling side will be required to get an alcohol wipe and give the ball a quick clean.
What if a player contracts COVID during a match
So what this means is if during a 2 day game a player is diagnosed with COVID-19 in between the playing days. Cricket Victoria is developing a set of protocols that all associations are expected to follow regarding how this is handled. This will cover the obvious that the player goes into isolation but more importantly what happens to the 2 teams that were involved when they player most likely had contracted COVID. A seriously trick set of what if scenarios to cover off which is why all associations have requested a single set of protocols for everyone to follow.
What if you don't agree with the restrictions or conditions
I am sure we have all seen the conspiracy theories swirling around social media as well as people claiming that the restrictions are simply not required. They are your personal opinions and we wont be entertaining them. The bottom line is that the governing bodies are defining the rules and conditions for which we can return to play and whether you like it or not they will be the rules we are expected to apply and comply with in order to be allowed to play. If you disagree with the rules and conditions or do not wish to comply with them then you will most likely find yourself not playing cricket this season.