FAQs related to the Return of Recreational Cricket

What if my club is not ready to progress to Step 4 (outdoor 11-a-side cricket matches and outdoor cricket activity of up to 30 people)?  

The getting your clubhouse and grounds ready for step 4 guidance is designed to help you prepare your club, your clubhouse and your grounds for use at Step 4 of the ECB Roadmap for the Return of Recreational Cricket following the recent UK Government announcement. As a club it’s important that you understand your duty of care – i.e. a duty to take all measures that are reasonable in the circumstances to ensure the health, safety, wellbeing and welfare of all participants involved in cricket or physical activity at your club. You will need to manage people, buildings and grounds to provide an enjoyable, safe environment. We have provided a checklist and template to help you carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment to ensure you can safely operate your club. If you are not confident that you can meet all UK Government guidance, then you should not proceed until you can do so. 

What happens if a participant shows COVID-19 symptoms before, during or after a match?  

All participants (including players, officials, coaches, volunteers and spectators) must undergo a self-assessment for any COVID-19 symptoms prior to leaving their house to participate in cricket activity. Should an individual have demonstrated any such symptoms, they must follow NHS and PHE guidance on self-isolation here. In addition, any participants who have been asked to isolate by NHS Test and Trace because they are a contact of a known COVID-19 case, must not exercise outside their own home or garden and must not exercise with others. 

Clubs must ensure that each cricket activity does not involve more than 30 participants including players, coaches and officials. Clubs must support NHS Test and Trace efforts by keeping a temporary record (name and contact information) of all participants at both training and matches. This should be stored for 21 days and you must assist NHS Test and Trace with requests for that data, if needed. Clubs should also keep a temporary record of their staff shift patterns for 21 days and assist NHS Test and Trace with requests for that data, if needed. Please follow current UK Government guidance here and comply with data protection legislation.  

Clubs must have a plan in place to deal with a situation where someone starts to show symptoms of COVID-19 whilst they are at the Club and this should be covered in the COVID-19 risk assessment and check list outlined in the “getting your clubhouse and grounds ready for step 4” guidance: 

  1. Maintain social distancing.
  2. If the person is able to travel home safely they should travel home and manage their symptoms in accordance with NHS and PHE guidance available here.
  3. If the person is too unwell to travel home safely, they should be isolated from everyone else and someone from their household contacted to make safe arrangements – if that is not possible then phone 111 and follow instructions.
  4. Make sure that the isolation area is well ventilated and then cleaned carefully using suitable cleaning products and PPE in accordance with COVID-19: cleaning in non-healthcare settings guidance

Clubs should encourage all participants to report any infection of their household to the NHS Test and Trace system following use of the facility to limit the spread of the virus https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-test-and-trace-how-it-works

What is the difference between cricket that is now deemed permissible by the UK Government (Step 4) and ‘normal cricket’ (Step 5)?  

Cricket is a non-contact sport, played in large outdoors spaces and with natural social distancing built into the game, meaning that minimal adaptations to the game are needed to ensure matches are run safely. The key adaptations that form part of Step 4 include:

What measures should be taken to safely share equipment? E.g. helmets, umpire counter, scorebooks etc.  

The sharing of equipment must be avoided where possible, particularly equipment used around the head and face e.g. helmets. Where equipment is shared, all participants must practise strict hand hygiene before and after use and the equipment must be cleaned before use by another person. To support this, strict and regular hand hygiene is required and clubs should be prepared with the appropriate cleaning products at all times.   

How can my club ensure that safe practice (e.g. first-aid etc.) is maintained with restricted use of facilities including changing rooms?  

As part of a club’s duty of care (and under Health and Safety law if you have employees), clubs should make first aid provision available. St John Ambulance have provided an online guide for carrying out first aid during the COVID period, including on how to modify CPR – let your first aiders know about it – it’s available here. Make sure that even if parts of the building are restricted that the following are available to all users: 

What safeguarding plans should we have in place to avoid children, vulnerable people and adults getting changed in public?  

Normal safeguarding procedures apply and should be observed during all activities.  For the purpose of match play we strongly encourage all players to arrive at the ground prepared in a way whereby no clothing needs to be removed.  Under current UK Government guidance, changing rooms must remain closed but, if required, clubs should consider providing a safe, individual, private space for a player to use to put on protective equipment that cannot be worn outside of their kit (e.g. a box) or that cannot be put on in advance of arriving at the ground.   

What does this guidance mean if our players or our club are located within a lockdown area?  

Clubs must always consider whether there are local restrictions in place in their area. If so, Clubs should first read the guidance relevant to their area as this may supersede UK Government guidance and therefore also Step 4 guidance. Cricket activity may need to be adapted or curtailed if the overall threat level or community prevalence of COVID-19 dictates. Local lockdowns are still a relatively new concept and as we learn more about them we will share relevant information and guidance. 

Are there different rules for elite cricket?  

Yes - the UK Government has published guidance for the first four stages of the proposed five stage framework for returning to full, unrestricted elite sporting competition to assist elite sport organisations to deliver a safe return to training and elite sporting competition for their athletes and staff. 

Why do we need ‘batting lines’?  

In Step 5 or “normal cricket” a batter would consistently run, within close proximity, past a bowler completing their follow through. This has been a factor of the game which we need to adapt in order to comply with social distancing to help mitigate the risk of transmission of COVID-19. 

How should we use the batting lines?  

Groundskeepers should prepare small white lines at least 2m either side of the return crease, as per the diagram below. 
The non-striking batter should run outside of the lines at all times in order to maintain social distancing from the batter on strike and the bowler. 

What if the bowler needs to field the ball from within the batting line?    

We appreciate that there might be limited moments within a match in which it is not easy to follow social distancing. However, for all activity (except in the limited circumstances set out below), the relevant UK Government social distancing guidance should be adhered to at all times. 

Currently, in England only, during competitive play social distancing of 1m+ is permitted in the following circumstances: 1) wicket keepers standing up to the stumps and 2) distance between slip fielders. 

What does this guidance mean for players involved within the player pathway?  

Boys and girls in the player pathway can now train at a recreational site provided they comply with the Step 4 recreational guidance. Further details will be shared independently of these FAQs.  

What does this mean for All Stars Cricket?

Clubs who have previously run All Stars Cricket can now do so again provided they comply with the Step 4 guidance. We will release specific guidance for All Stars Cricket shortly. For clubs looking to run All Stars Cricket for the first time, please contact your local County Cricket Board for further information. 

What does this guidance mean for people living in Wales?  

People living in Wales will need to comply with the Welsh Government’s guidance as it currently stands. Should players choose to travel to play in England they need to ensure they have read and fully understood the UK Government guidance and subsequent details within the Step 4 guidance.  

Can wicket keepers stand up to the stumps?  

In England only, during competitive play, social distancing of 1m+ is permissible where the wicketkeeper stands up to the stumps.  

Can we host multiple games at the same time?  i.e. we have two pitches on the same site, can both pitches be utilised for two independent games?  

The UK Government guidance permits cricket activity in groups of up to 30, therefore in order to host multiple fixtures at the same time you will need to ensure you have considered this as part of your COVID-19 risk assessment and are comfortable that the groups can maintain social distancing and that the groups will not merge at any time. You must ensure that you do not overload your facilities – your COVID-19 risk assessment should cover maximum occupancy levels to ensure that social distancing can be maintained in line with UK Government guidance.  

What does groups of 30 mean for adult training?  Can we all train in one group?  

UK Government guidance permits cricket activity in groups of up to 30, however, we need to ensure that we limit the amount of sharing of equipment, including balls, at all times. All participants and coaches must ensure that they maintain social distancing and we encourage you to limit the use of shared balls, wherever possible. Shared-ball fielding drills should be avoided, wherever possible. Where the sharing of cricket balls is essential, the cricket balls must be cleaned every 20 minutes and players should practice hand hygiene every 20 minutes during the training session. Maintaining social distancing during training sessions may be more challenging, so clubs should consider conducting fielding drills in smaller sub-groups.