Rackets

RACKETS RETURN TO PLAY GUIDANCE

Updated: 31 Dec 2020 Tier 4 update
Published: 02 Sep 2020

Rackets in Tiers


RACKETS RETURN TO PLAY GUIDANCE

T&RA Update 31st December 2020

Tier 4 has been extended to counter the evolving coranavirus, affecting a large proportion of the UK. The following areas will be under these very highest restrictions: Restrictions by Tier

The new rules for tier 4 which are effectively a return to the November lockdown restrictions and indoor courts must close.  

Those areas remaining in Tier 3, play is restricted to solo practice, same household or support bubbles, but travel is very restricted. Players should not travel into or out of a Tier 3 very risk alert areas to play Rackets, although under 18s are excepted from these travel restrictions.

Full Guidance Documents

The Government's full, detailed guidance and legislation has nor been now published so we can now review and update our full guidance documents for Tennis Clubs and Schools, professional and players, detailing all procedures and information needed to for Real Tennis activity to take place safely and in line with Government guidelines.

The T&RA have published an updated summary grid for Rackets by tier that can take place. The updated guidance documents for players, venues and professionals will follow. For clubs, use the supervised Rackets guidelines below for Under 18s for Tiers 2 and 3.

  • ‘Zones’ must be used to maintain social distancing throughout the warm-up.
  • Each player serves at all times with their designated and separate ball, with both balls being changed at the half way point in the match, or if the opponent asks for a new ball (e.g. in the case of breakage/damage).
  • When a player reaches 8 points both players must wipe away any sweat, sanitise their hands and sanitise or change the balls.
  • Players must not wipe their hands on the walls.
  • Players are not allowed to shout or raise their voice.

Play at schools is largely unaffected and may continue subject to the guidelines below. 

T&RA Guidance for Schools

Recognising the current unique position of schools the T&RA has produced the following guidelines for Rackets in schools to be used in as far as they adhere to each school’s policies and risk assessments.

  • Rackets can be played (including competitive singles or doubles) within, but not between, the school’s ‘bubbles’ or ‘households’.
  • Socially distanced ‘Zones’ can be played between players not in the same ‘bubble’ or ‘household’; in which case, players should handle different balls or wear a glove on their non-playing hand.
  • Social distancing should be maintained as far as possible during the warm-up.
  • Balls should be changed regularly, at least between play by different bubbles.
  • Hands should be sanitised before going on court, after play, and is recommended between games.
  • Unnecessary contact between players is to be avoided.
  • Players are to be discouraged from touching the walls, raising their voices or touching their faces while on court.
  • The court, gallery, office and entrance to the building should be ventilated as much as is reasonably possible.
  • Play should be scheduled to avoid congestion around the court, gallery, office and building.
  • Pupils are to use their own racquet where possible; communal racquets should be sanitised after use.
  • Professionals are advised to coach from the balcony as much as possible; where it is necessary for the professional to be on court, they should maintain social distance from the pupils and not play singles or doubles with the pupils.

The full guidelines can be downloaded here.

National Lockdown

T&RA continued to lobby the Government to address the inconsistencies and unnecessary restrictions in their current rules. We share our members’ frustrations, and remind members that the T&RA Guidelines are our interpretation of the Government rules, to try and assist clubs to enable as much compliant Rackets as they can.

Sport England have produced a useful FAQ page

Reference Material

Tier 1 - PHASE 2 - What this means for you… 

From the 1st September all Rackets playing venues are able to move into Phase 2 of our ‘Phased Return to Play’. What this means for players is that they can form ‘Rackets Bubbles’ and play full-court singles matches although additional hygiene and club specific measurements will be in place.

‘RACKETS BUBBLES’

Clubs will gradually start using this term as they implement safety measures to keep players safe. Please bear in mind that some clubs may take longer to put all of the measures in place to adhere to the safety guidelines that are required.

WHAT IS A ‘RACKETS BUBBLE’?

A ‘Rackets Bubble’ consists of up to SIX players from the same club. Where schools have existing bubbles, e.g. a year group or a house, it is expected that players within that year group or house will form larger Rackets bubbles in line with the school’s overarching risk assessments.

Bubbles are able to play a full-court singles Rackets match (doubles is not currently permitted unless all players are in the same household bubble) with the following conditions:

  • ‘Zones’ must be used to maintain social distancing throughout the warm-up.
  • Each player serves at all times with their designated and separate ball, with both balls being changed at the half way point in the match, or if the opponent asks for a new ball (e.g. in the case of breakage/damage).
  • When a player reaches 8 points both players must wipe away any sweat, sanitise their hands and sanitise or change the balls.
  • Players must not wipe their hands on the walls.
  • Players are not allowed to shout or raise their voice.

With restricted court time, we recommend the following conditions on matches to help cap the time taken by each match:

  • Play the best of three games.
  • Play first to 15 points and then sudden-death at 14-all. (Sets to 3 or 5 are not played at this time).

We also recommend the use of protective eye-wear or visors at all times. 

HOW TO FORM A ‘RACKETS BUBBLE’

  • Agree what other five members are going to be in your ‘Rackets Bubble’.
  • Inform your club’s COVID Compliance Officer (CCO) of the name and contact details of your ‘Rackets Bubble’.
  • Confirm with your CCO that you have read the guidelines within this page and that you are allowed to play.
  • You can only belong to one ‘Rackets Bubble’ unless you have a 7-day break between joining another bubble and as long as your CCO agrees.

WHAT IF A MEMBER OR YOUR ‘RACKETS BUBBLE’ DISPLAYS SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19?

  • Follow the T&RA Guidance and follow your club’s or school’s protocol for those with COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Players within a club's ‘Rackets Bubble’ that have been in contact with the symptomatic player, within seven days prior, must self-isolate and adhere to the Government Guidelines.
  • Even if other players in the bubble show no symptoms they must self-isolate and take a test, whether or not the symptomatic player has tested positive or negative.
  • Players in the ‘Rackets Bubble’ can resume play if the COVID-19 test is negative.

WHAT IF YOU CAN’T FORM A “RACKETS BUBBLE’?

If you are not able to form a bubble or if your club has not got the measures in place to allow ‘Rackets Bubbles’ we recommend playing ‘Zones’ which is a modified version of the game which allows players to adhere to social distancing measures. Find the guidelines for playing with ‘Zones’ below.

Tier 2 - ZONES - what it means for you....

‘Zones’ is a modified version of Rackets that allows two players from different households (outside a common support bubble) to play on court at the same time:

  • Only two players permitted.
  • The aim is to hit a winner or force an error from your opponent as in regular Rackets.
  • Only one player serves / touches the ball with their hand during the match.
  • Both players must keep to their side of the court throughout each rally, using the full length of the court whilst maintaining safe social distancing throughout.
  • If a player crosses into the other side of the court, they immediately forfeit the rally.
  • If there is a danger of players breaching a safe social distance, they must call a let and replay the rally.
  • Once a rally is complete, players switch sides of the court (maintaining a safe social distance) and the server restarts play.

QUESTIONS

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch by emailing office@tennsiandrackets.com

Please remember that we have developed this Phased Return in accordance with Government Guidelines and it is always evolving and may change at any point.

Download Guidance for BUBBLES Guidance on Tiers Guidance for schools HMG Tier Advice


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