Return of community sport gains momentum

By Brayden May

THE possible return of community sport has been gaining momentum in recent days.

Several sporting organisations have released their Return to Play protocols as they aim to get competitions across the country up and running in 2020.

In a message to its members, Sport Focus said: “Community sport clubs, leagues and associations in Loddon Campaspe are encouraged to prepare ‘return to play’ plans.

“Clubs will receive templates to use from your State Sporting Association once your sport’s, overarching ‘return to play’ plan is completed.

“Local Governments and/or recreation reserve committees may require clubs to demonstrate how they are going to comply with the current restrictions before allowing access to community facilities.

“It is the responsibility of every club to ensure the safety of its participants, members, volunteers and staff, and ensure that it operates within the current restrictions.”

On Friday, Netball Australia released their version of the plan as they bid to get local netballers back on the court.

The principles of the Return to Netball Guidelines are in four key areas:

  1. Education to all participants (players, parents/guardians, coaches, officials, volunteers, administrators, spectators and netball organisations) about COVID-19 risk mitigation strategies;
  2. Assessment and preparation of the netball environment;
  3. Assessment of participants prior to the resumption of netball training and competition;
  4. Delivery and ongoing management of netball training and competition – applying a ‘get in, train/play and get out’ philosophy.

“It’s exciting to be preparing for the return of community netball across the country. Netball plays such a key role in the lives of more than one million Australians and we’re delighted that training, and eventually matches, will be beginning to take place around Australia in the coming weeks,” Netball Australia chief executive Marne Fechner said.

Meanwhile, AFL Victoria has told its clubs not to host training sessions until their own plan has been developed.

That’s despite the Victorian Government announcing specific guidelines for individual sports.


  • Outdoor - non-contact skills;
  • Controlled kicking, marking and handball drills and practice physical distancing;
  • No more than groups of 10.


  • Outdoor activity only;
  • Non-contact skills using basketball — passing, shooting, defending, screens and team structure (offence and defence) and practice physical distancing;
  • No more than groups of 10.


  • Outdoor only;
  • No more than groups of 10;
  • Non-contact skill training drills — passing, shooting;
  • No contact with face or head.

Lawn Bowls

  • Outdoor only;
  • A maximum of 10 persons is allowed per green at any one time;
  • Maintain at least 1.5 metres between players on green;
  • Bowling Clubs may need to have a booking system in place to facilitate;
  • Bowling Clubs with more than one green need to ensure that compliance is achieved in respect to social gathering restrictions;
  • Minimal use of shared equipment (encouraged to BYO) including bowls equipment and have hygiene practices in place.


  • Outdoor activity only.
  • Full training on court, singles or doubles and no more than 10 people.

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