Returning to sport guidelines and softball

Returning to sport guidelines and softball

The Australian Federal Government recently met to discuss the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic and establish guidelines for National Sporting Organisations to assist in the return of their respective sports.

Following the announcement today from the Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon Scot Morrison MP, in which three steps to returning to a COVID-19 Safe Australia were outlined, Softball Australia would like to outline information relevant to our sport.

National Principles for the resumption of Sport and Recreation activities (National Principles) have been adopted by the National Cabinet on the advice of the Australian Protection Principle Committee.

The National Principles are underpinned by the Australian Institute of Sport Framework for rebooting sport in a COVID-19 environment.

The AIS Framework is available for download by clicking here. The National Principles are also available for download by clicking here.

How the guidelines relate to softball

As per the AIS Framework, three levels of activity has been outlined, the AIS will determine when to move to level A, B or C.

Specifically outlined is softball with the AIS recommending the following:

Level A

Running/aerobic training (solo), resistance training (solo), skills training (solo).

Level B

Small group (not more than 10 athletes/staff in total) skills training.

Level C

Full training and competition.

Level A outlines individual training, while Level B allows for groups of 10 (including coaching staff) to interact under the criteria. Level C would see a return to regular competition and training while still following guidelines.

Softball Australia recommends following the guidelines under Level B for group training of no more than 10 participants.

Level B allows for ‘softball-centric’ training as under this level, equipment can be shared to an extent (eg. bats & balls, Softball Australia recommends not sharing gloves under this Level).

Under Level B, there is no socialising or group meals to precede or follow the physical activity.

Softball Australia will alert the community once the AIS have recommended Level B is actioned, however, participants should seek the information from their relevant State Government as restrictions can vary state-to-state.

The decision to return to regular competition remains with the relevant state body, the above are Softball Australia’s recommendations.

Softball Australia recommends Clubs and Associations make themselves familiar with the AIS Framework and National Principles prior to resuming any competition/training.