COVID-19 and Return to Play

COVID-19 & Return to Play

Here you will find information, guidance and documents relating to COVID-19 and Welsh Netball’s ‘Return to Play’ roadmap. 

Welsh Netball has published its ‘Return to Play’ roadmap, which provides Welsh Netball members with an overview of what the return to netball could look like as COVID-19 restrictions begin to be eased.

Please note: All netball activity in Wales is currently paused in line with the Welsh Government’s Level 4 Coronavirus alert.

The roadmaps allow for the safe return of netball activity based on progressive stages of increased activity depending on the extent of government restrictions and Welsh Netball’s understanding of the medical, scientific and risk factors involved in netball activity.

Please see below for Welsh Netball’s current advice regarding the ‘Return to Play’ roadmaps.

On Monday 9 November, Wales will be lifted out of its 17-day ‘firebreak’ lockdown and therefore, Welsh Netball’s ‘Return to Play’ roadmap will be un-paused. A week later, on Monday 16 November, the roadmap will be able to advance to Stage 4A. Stage 4A of the ‘Return to Play’ roadmap will be differentiated for various age groups, allowing for as much netball activity as possible under Welsh Government regulations.

Prior to the all-Wales lockdown, netball had been at Stage 3B of the roadmap, which applied to all netballers. Rules around social distancing in different age groups mean that now is the time for us to introduce different roadmaps, based on participant age. This will allow our members to engage in as much netball activity as possible at this point in our return to netball journey. This will include the introduction of ‘Modified Netball’ which has some different rules to the traditional format of the game. More information about ‘Modified Netball’ can be found under the resources tab.

Therefore, there will be three roadmaps introduced for netball in Wales. One will apply to participants aged 10 and under, another will apply to all participants aged 11-17, and a third one will apply to participants aged 18 and over.

In order to participate in this aforementioned netball activity under Stage 4A of the ‘Return to Play’ roadmap, clubs must have completed the #NetsGetReady checklist and have their certificate. More information about completing #NetsGetReady can be found under the #NetsGetReady tab. Sports facilities in Wales will be checking clubs’ #NetsGetReady status when taking bookings.

Organised netball fitness activity (i.e. activity that was permitted in Stage 3B of the roadmap) can occur without #NetsGetReady certification. This type of activity (groups of up to 15, excluding coaches, with minimum equipment sharing) can take place indoors, however, we highly recommend that it take place in an outdoor setting (where you can have group of 30). This applies to all age groups.

As part of our move to Stage 4 of the roadmap, Welsh Netball will be hosting a special training webinar with England Netball’s Head of Officiating, Gary Burgess. Gary, along with Welsh Netball’s Community Lead, Vicki Sutton, will be talking you through the move to Stage 4 and the rules around Modified Netball. This session took place on Thursday 12 November at 6:30pm. A recording of the online webinar can be found here.

We have updated our Frequently Asked Questions document, which can be found under the resources tab.

If you have any questions regarding the Return to Play roadmap, then please get in contact with Welsh Netball via e-mail: WelshNetball@welshnetball.com

Please click below for download links to a range of Welsh Netball resources relating to COVID-19, Return to Play and Modified Netball. Scroll further down for information and a link to the Welsh Sports Association’s COVID-19 Online Awareness Course

Welsh Sports Association Online COVID-19 Awareness Course

Welsh Netball members can access the WSA’s Online COVID-19 Awareness Course for a reduced rate of £4. Information about the course and a link to book on to it can be found below. Please note, this course is voluntary and is not part of the #NetsGetReady checklist.

Booking link:
Click here to book

#NetsGetReady is Welsh Netball’s five-stage process, designed to help ensure a safe return to netball training and activity in line with the ‘Return to Play’ roadmap.

All netball clubs in Wales will be required to complete the following #NetsGetReady checklist in order to safely return to play in line with Welsh Netball’s ‘Return to Play’ roadmap. We strongly recommend that clubs undertake the steps below as soon as possible, to help ensure the health and safety of all participants.

Please note: #NetsGetReady will be compulsory for clubs at Stage 4A of the ‘Return to Play’ roadmap.

The 5 elements of #NetsGetReady are:

1. Appoint a COVID-19 Co-ordinator
2. Complete Welsh Netball’s COVID-19 Co-ordinator Training (online webinar)
3. Undertake a robust COVID-19 Risk Assessment
4. Complete the #NetsGetReady online registration form
5. Re-affiliate your club and members to Welsh Netball for 2020/21 season

1. COVID-19 Co-ordinator

Welsh Netball require each club to nominate an individual to become the ‘Covid-19 Co-ordinator’ for your Club. Details of the individual will need to be shared with Welsh Netball through the #NetsGetReady registration form (see point 4 below).

To assist clubs in appointing the right and most appropriately skilled person for the role, please click here for a role description.

2. COVID-19 Co-ordinator Training

All club and league COVID-19 Co-ordinators will be required to attend Welsh Netball’s bespoke training for this role, which will be provided free of charge and accessible via a recorded online webinar.

To access the online webinar, please get in contact with Welsh Netball via email with your request: welshnetball@welshnetball.com

Please note that COVID-19 Co-ordinator Training is different from the WSA’s online COVID-19 Awareness Training Course. For further information regarding this training and for booking details please click here.

3. COVID-19 Risk Assessment

The current COVID-19 outbreak poses a serious risk to individuals. As we progress from a state of lockdown into a stage of adapted activity, we require all clubs and leagues to carry out regular risk assessments.

Our Risk Assessment Template is designed to support clubs to protect themselves, keep their participants safe and manage the risk of COVID-19 spread and infection. Advice and guidance from Welsh Government and Welsh Netball is constantly being reviewed and updated – risk assessments will need to be constantly monitored and updated in line with the latest information.

Our risk assessment template and guidance can be accessed here.

4. #NetsGetReady registration

All netball clubs will be required to complete our online #NetsGetReady registration form to ensure Welsh Netball has up to date details for its affiliated organisations.

A club officer must complete this registration form before any netball activity sessions can take place from Stage 4A onwards.

Please click here to complete the #NetsGetReady registration form

5. Welsh Netball Membership 2020/21

Ensure your club and its members renew their membership of Welsh Netball.

As all netball clubs are responsible for ensuring their members can return safely it is important that relevant insurance is in place. Our comprehensive programme of insurance can provide protection for members. As a minimum your Coaches, Officials and COVID-19 Co-ordinator should become members as well as all your players.

To renew your membership please visit: www.ourwelshnetball.co.uk.

Netball Activity Session Guidelines

Once your club has completed all 5 #NetsGetReady requirements set out above then you are ready to start organised netball activities. To support the safe running of your sessions we have developed a set of COVID-19 Netball Activity Session Guidelines. This includes the requirement for all attendees to undertake a ‘COVID Self Declaration’ prior to each session.

2020/21 Membership is now open for those seeking to re-affiliate to, or join Welsh Netball for the coming year.

You can learn all about Welsh Netball’s membership benefits, how to join and costs here

Welsh Netball membership will help ensure that you and your club are able to be supported as we return to netball following the COVID-19 lockdown. Affiliated clubs will receive bespoke support to allow a safe and compliant return to training and netball activity.

Sport Wales have recently launched their Be Active Wales fund, which is now open for applications. Netball clubs in Wales are now able to make applications to the fund to help them ‘protect’ themselves and ‘prepare’ for a return to play, in line with Welsh Netball’s ‘Return to Play’ roadmap.

To find out more about the Be Active Wales fund, click here to be taken to the Sport Wales website.

We have also compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions relating to the Be Active Wales fund.

– Can you apply to Be Active Wales if you were turned down for Sport Wales’ Emergency Relief Fund?

Yes, if the application meets the criteria for ‘protect.’

– Would the ‘protect’ element of the fund include the purchase of netball equipment?

The protect element is in place to support sports clubs with fixed essential costs that have been committed to e.g. utility bills. Equipment costs should be applied for under the ‘prepare’ segment of the fund.

– Are they two separate application forms for ‘protect’ and ‘prepare’?

It’s the same form but dependent on the timelines related to return to netball activity, you should apply for protect and then prepare separately.

– If a COVID-19 business support grant has been received by the club, are we still eligible to apply for Be Active Wales?

Those who have accessed other support i.e. Business rates relief will not be able to apply for ‘protect’ support but will be able to apply for ‘prepare’ support.

– If we have immediate costs and also costs associated with setting things up for the future, which fund do we apply for?

If you require immediate support with fixed essential costs e.g. utility bills you should apply for ‘protect’ now, applications for ‘prepare’ should only be considered when they involve activity directly related to Welsh Netball’s ‘Return to Play’ roadmap.

– Would aspects of a club facility be covered such as building work, should money now not be available due to lack of funding and the inability to raise sponsor etc?

The Be Active Wales Fund will only support clubs with fixed essential costs and preparing to ;Return to Play’ under Welsh Netball’s guidelines. Facility developments that are aspirational and not related to the guidelines produced on ‘Return to Play’ will not be considered by Sport Wales.

– Can clubs apply more than once for the fund? I.e. apply for protect funding in July and then go in again for prepare once guidelines allow a return to netball in the future?

Yes