Provided below are some of the most common questions regarding the COVID-19 protocols required from every member. These FAQ are in accordance and found on the Cricket Victoria website.

Equipment

Are we able to share equipment between players?

Equipment sharing between players is discouraged to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and not allowed before training can re-commence (i.e. not allowed in the Victorian State Government roadmap “Second Step”). It is allowed however from the “Third Step” in the Victorian State Government “Roadmap to re-opening”. If equipment must be shared, the following should be noted:

Tips to reduce the potential virus spread:
– Wear ‘inners’ inside batting or keeping gloves.
– Wear leg and thigh pads over clothing (not directly on skin).
– Do not share groin protectors.
– The longer the equipment is left to dry in the sun after being cleaned the better (e.g. 30 minutes).
– Avoid shared team kits – consider a season long loan for players in need of club equipment.

Equipment sharing cleaning requirements:
– After use, remove your gloves, sanitise your hands and wipe or spray the item with a minimum 70%-alcohol (ethanol or isopropyl alcohol (IPA) based antibacterial wipe or spray.
– The person then borrowing the equipment, shall sanitise their hands before use and clean after use.

N.B.: These protocols may be further eased when Victoria reaches ‘COVID normal’ rules, but more information will be provided in due course.

Will shared equipment such as stumps and cones need to be sanitised when used?

Yes. As COVID-19 can be spread through touching a surface that the virus lives on, minimising the number of training items to be used will reduce the likelihood of the virus spreading and reduce cleaning time.

Training Protocols

How many people can train together at one time?

Cricket Victoria strongly recommend that clubs hold off starting training until they have the following in place:

– A COVID Safety Plan- including the training of at least one COVID-19 Safety Officer;
– Have discussed the plan with the playing group and committee;
– Have adequate signage, sanitiser, etc. available and accessible;
– Gained approval from their local council to commence training; and
– Plans in place for recording attendance and ensuring ‘group’ sizes are within the set parameters and are separated appropriately.

N.B.: ‘Groups’ don’t mix before or after training and if multiple teams use the same facility at different times on the same day, establish a minimum 15 to 20-minute break to avoid excess congregation.

If groups are separated and not mixing, this will help to reduce the chances of someone who has the virus spreading throughout the club. In addition, if the club can prove to DHHS that a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 positive person has only interacted with a small group, potentially DHHS may direct that only the small group need to isolate for 14 days – not everyone they may have come in to contact with.

Be aware that very large fines from the State Government are in force for people exceeding group size limits and members of the public are likely to report practices that breach current restrictions.

Based on State Government restrictions:

People using the nets should sanitise hands before and after use, avoid sharing any personal equipment and avoid touching the nets (or communal stumps / bins etc). Masks can be lowered or removed when actively bowling (especially pace bowling) and encouraged for use whilst batting (but lowered to under the nose if causing a dangerous visibility risk under a helmet).

Under “3rd Step” – Regional Victoria & Metropolitan Melbourne
Train in multiple groups of no more than 11 players per group or the equivalent you play with in a match. This may be 12 or 13 for example (excluding a coach per group)
– You can have 1 group on ½ an oval and another group of 1/2 an oval plus a group in the nets (so maximum of 30 plus 1 coach per group).
– Groups can swap areas during a training session, but do not mix players between groups.
– If you have two ovals at a facility you could therefore have 5 groups at any one time (2 on each oval and 1 in the nets) but avoid congregation of groups and between groups.

What space is required between each group?

A minimum of 10 metres is required between each group.

Under the “Final Step” – Regional Victoria & Metropolitan Melbourne
Train in groups of no more than 50 (excluding a coach per group).

Does this training number include coaches, parents etc. or just players?

No, the group of 10 does not include a coach. Parents / spectators at training should observe training from a distance and 1.5m away from other parents, observe current group limits and other requirements (including wearing a face mask).

Do the groups of players change for each training session?

Under “Step 3” restrictions, we recommend that players remain in their training groups for a period of at least 2 weeks to reduce the chances of spread should a player test positive to COVID.

Can all practice nets be open for training?

Under “Step 3” for Regional Victoria and Metropolitan Melbourne, group size limits mean no more than 11 players can use the nets at once. To help bowlers maintain a 1.5m distance at all times, clubs are encouraged to spread out and utilise multiple nets – e.g. batter & 3 bowlers in net 1, batter & 3 bowlers in net 3 and 1 on 1 throwdowns in net 2.

Will change rooms be accessible during training days?

Change rooms are allowed to be opened (subject to density limits). Clubs however are strongly encouraged not to open facilities at training, except for toilet access. Players should arrive ready training. Any areas of the facility that may be touched (toilets, door handles etc) must been cleaned before and after use. Remember “Get In. Train. Get Out.”

Won’t training in small groups make training too difficult under “Step 3” protocols?

The initial restrictions under Step 3 protocols are designed to comply with the staged return of cricket under the State Government roadmap. It will be difficult at first, but easier when we move to the “Final Step” then “COVID normal” stages.

Will participant details need to be recorded before training?

Yes, Clubs are required to have an attendance register for people attending training (simply first name and contact phone number).

A 30 second contactless check in via a mobile phone is recommended. A simple once only development of a poster with QR code reader will help clubs prove to DHHS who was at training to avoid all players & officials potentially being asked by DHHS to isolate at home for 14 days should a suspected or confirmed case arise.

If a player or official has symptoms they should immediately leave training and only return after receiving a doctor’s clearance &/or received a negative COVID-19 test result.

Can a parent or coach “check-in” for a player in?

Yes. Ideally it is the player themselves or their parent/guardian – but if this is not possible, a coach or another player can do this for a player with that players permission and that player providing relevant details (including contact details).

Will participants need to wear masks at training?

Everyone must wear a mask to and from training. During training, only players may remove the mask whilst actively batting, bowling, fielding.

This is to comply with the intention of the Victorian State Government’s advice for mask usage unless you are undertaking strenuous exercise.

Can indoor training sessions take place?

In Regional Victoria,  non-contact indoor physical recreation for those aged 18 years and under to a maximum of 20 people are now allowed this means those under 18 can train or play indoors. Adults are not permitted to train indoors in Regional Victoria or Metropolitan Melbourne. Outdoor sessions spread apart are still is the safest form of training.

 

Match Day

Are change rooms accessible on match days?

Change rooms can be opened on match days, however clubs are asked to follow the density quotient rules (1 person for every 4m2 ) as per State Government requirements, which might mean the changerooms are not big enough for the team to fit inside. Any areas of the facility that may be touched (toilets, door handles etc) need to have been cleaned before attendees arrive and cleaned again after use by each group.

Who needs to ‘check-in’ via the attendance register?

In addition to all ‘participants’, members of the public who spend any time near the scorer’s table, canteen or players & officials should also ‘check in’.

The 10 second process will enable all attendees to be contacted directly by DHHS should a COVID-19 positive case be detected from the training session / match.

Do spectators need to “check-in”?

Yes. This will help with contact tracing requirements should someone who has been at the club on the day be diagnosed with COVID-19. Someone who only observes at a distance from anyone else (e.g. other side of the ground by themselves / remains in the car) does not need to check-in, but anyone who is near the rooms, comes to the canteen, checks the scorebook etc. needs to check-in.

Does the scorebook or iPad need to be sanitised?

Yes. Any equipment used (iPad, scorebook, pens) shall be cleaned with an alcohol-based antibacterial wipe (with minimum 70% alcohol) before use and each time a new scorer is required.

Will we able to have afternoon tea and drinks?

Yes, Sporting clubs that operate a café, canteen or bar within its facility, must strictly adhere to the restrictions on hospitality venues.

Detailed guidelines of the requirements for cafes, restaurants and food and drink facilities are available on the Business Victoria website: https://www.business.vic.gov.au/coronavirus-covid-19/covid-safe-business/sector-guidance

Can players travel to matches together?

Where possible, carrying passengers in your car should be avoided, unless they live in your household or are part of your bubble. The enclosed space of a car presents a heightened risk of transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Will players need to wear masks at matches?

It is optional for players to wear a mask whilst actively batting, bowling or fielding. All players aged over 12 must wear a mask at all other times though – including on arrival, pre-match, post-match, lunch / tea breaks, while waiting to bat, scoring and spectating etc.

Will umpires need to wear masks at matches?

When on-field, Umpires (whether Association appointed or a player / parent volunteer) are currently required to wear a face mask (unless they have medical clearance to not wear a mask). The current difference here is that players may be required to run 20m+ at any stage and this meets the ‘strenuous physical exercise’ test.

Cricket Victoria is seeking support to change this requirement for umpires to be optional (compared to mandatory) and will confirm asap if this position changes.

Will the umpire need to provide the coin for the coin toss?

Ideally the umpire supplies a coin for the purposes of the coin toss and the away team captain calls. If no umpire is appointed to a match, then a captain will be responsible for sourcing a coin, with the opposing captain to make the call. Whoever supplies the coin should be the only person to touch the coin.

Can the umpire hold the hats, glasses and clothing of bowlers when they are bowling?

No. Umpires are advised not to touch items of clothing to reduce the contact of equipment and exposed risk. This includes the items and clothing of bowlers.

Items are to be placed by the bowler themselves at the nearest of the following three locations:
– Over the boundary at any point; or
– At a point at least 3m behind the keeper in line with the stumps; or
– At a point at least 3m behind the umpire at the bowlers end in line with the stumps (e.g. at the top of run-up).

N.B.: When an item is left on the field behind the stumps, they should be placed so they are no wider than the width of the stumps and if struck the ball is declared a ‘dead ball’ and re-bowled (except for helmets and fielding equipment).

When a wicket is taken or there is a break in play, does the umpire hold the ball?

No. Similarly to the previous question, umpires are advised to not touch equipment and avoid contact.

The umpire shall not touch the ball at any stage. Where it is necessary to touch the ball to inspect it, the umpire shall immediately sanitise their hands before & after inspection (or wear disposable gloves and dispose of them immediately after use).

After a wicket has fallen, the ball shall be left next to the stumps at the bowling end for the next delivery and be collected by the bowler when getting ready to bowl the next ball.

During each scheduled break, the ball shall not be touched by anyone. It may be placed in a zip lock bag or put in a box and held to ensure security.

Can clubs still pay umpires with cash?

This is up to each individual association, but CV recommend umpires are paid directly by the association and clubs are invoiced for the umpire payment.

On game day does the home club have to collect the details of the away team for contact tracing purposes?

Yes, all players, scorers, umpires, volunteers and spectators must ‘check-in’ and ‘check-out’ via the home club contact tracing QR code (or manual system) for contact tracing purposes.

Do teams get penalised for breaching a COVID rule?

This will be at the discretion of the umpire on duty (if this occurs on a match day) as to whether the breach was intentional or unintentional (e.g. application of sweat or saliva on the ball).

To view the ‘workflow’ for an on-field breach please click here.

Clubs who breach the off-field requirements can be punished by their association or DHHS if the breach is of a significant level.

Will Wicket Keepers be able to keep up to the stumps?

Yes. Wicket Keepers can keep up to the stumps but should still sanitise, remain 1.5 metres apart when possible and maintain good hygiene.

Will fielding positions be changed to allow for social distancing?

No. Traditional fielding positions may remain however, players should try to remain 1.5 metres apart where possible and avoid contact with each other. This includes unnecessary touching of the ball and equipment.

When will sanitising take place during matches and who will need to partake?

All attendees shall sanitise their hands upon arrival at the ground.

All players, umpires and officials (including scorers, coaches etc.) shall also sanitise their hands every 10 overs.

How can time be made up from sanitising breaks?

Associations are encouraged to help teams make up time lost from sanitising in order to finish matches. Examples include:
– Bowling five overs at a time at one end;
– Have designated spots for sanitiser storage and where bowlers’ items can be placed when bowling which is safe and consistent;
– Be aware of COVID safe rules prior to play and have contingencies in place; and
– Communicate with players and coaches the COVID guidelines before play to save time when stops are needed to sanitise or follow other protocols.

What happens to match results if one or more players need to isolate / quarantine as a result of COVID-19?

This is for each Association to confirm their ruling, however Cricket Victoria recommend the following. Where one or more player(s) from a club has been directed to isolate / quarantine by the Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS), the relevant club shall immediately notify the Association of this ruling. The club and Association shall abide by any directions from the DHHS in respect to access to facilities and potential suspension of any further cricket matches. In addition, the Association shall decide on one of the following actions:

1) If permitted by DHHS, matches can proceed involving the affected club/team and relevant opposition teams (excluding any players required to isolate / quarantine); or
2) Any matches affected by the isolation / quarantine ruling by DHHS, shall be postponed to a date / time post the isolation / quarantine period; or
3) Any matches affected by the isolation / ruling by DHHS, shall be deemed a draw and the points evenly split by the affected teams.

How may players can play in a practice match under “Step 3” restrictions?

For regular season matches, the ‘normal’ number of players and officials are allowed e.g. 11v11 plus umpires, coaches, scorers etc. For training sessions, the ‘group’ size is up to 11 people per group for “Step 3” and up to 50 people per group for “Final Step”. The guidelines from DHHS are not clear on practice matches however and Step 3 Metropolitan travel restrictions are also not confirmed as yet. For Step 3 restrictions, Cricket Victoria support practice match team numbers that replicate ‘normal’ team numbers for regular seasons (e.g. 11v11 – for both regional & metropolitan), however you should obtain this approval in writing from the local council where the match is being played to have on hand should officials at the match be approached by local law enforcement. This written approval from the council will help reduce the likelihood of the club and players being issued a fine for having more than 10 people in a group.

If the council does not approve the normal team numbers for a “Step 3” practice match, you should stick with no more than 11 people on the field at any one time (including umpires) and off-field groups restricted to no more than 11 per group . e.g. this could be 2 batters, 1 umpire (no square leg), bowler, keeper and 6 fielders on field at any one time. Fielding team could rotate players on/off the field. Teams could play 10-12 players each but so long as no more than 11 people were on the field at the same time and off-field groups were limited to 11.

 

General

What is used to sanitise the ball, hands or equipment?

The ball shall be cleaned with “minimum 70%-alcohol (ethanol or isopropyl alcohol (IPA) based antibacterial wipe or spray” every 10 overs.

Are clubs able to have 12th or 13th man in case of a player needing to pull out of a match because of COVID?

Yes from a COVID-19 perspective, but this will be based on the playing conditions adopted by each individual association.

What type of cleaning needs to take place in change rooms and facilities before and after use?

Cleaning procedures may differ depending on the local government authority (e.g. Council), school or other management body that run the facilities and cleaning procedures. Clubs will still have a major responsibility in making sure facilities are clean and safe. On match day, cleaning can include:

– Taking all reasonable steps to ensure that frequently touched surfaces accessible to members of the public, including tables, bars, toilets and handrails, are cleaned regularly (including when visibly soiled) and post events or between groups by wiping the surface with a disinfectant that has anti-viral properties.
– Cleaning principles can be found via the SafeWork Australia website which should help as a reference point to what cleaning guidelines are recommended: https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-09/cleaning-table-covid19-2september2020.pdf

Do children need to wear masks?

Children under 12 years old do not need to wear masks as allowed under advice from the Victorian State Government and DHHS.

Why does elite cricket get special allowances to playing and training compared to community Cricket?

Elite Cricket has been given special allowance by State and Federal Government such as to train, travel interstate and have less strict in-play restrictions. This is because of the stringent quarantine process these individuals have followed as well as other measures such as regular COVID-19 testing. Unfortunately, this cannot be carried out on a mass scale to all of Community Cricket.

Does our insurance under the National Risk Protection Program through Marsh (formally JLT Sport) still apply?

Yes, it does. Participants will be covered under the Personal Accident policy and Clubs & Associations under the Public Liability and Club Management Liability policies that make up the National Club Risk Protection Program noting that there is no “infectious Diseases” (including COVID-19) exclusion on the policies. Cover under these policies remains under their current terms, conditions and exclusions. For more details click here.

Do we need a COVID-Safe Officer?

Each Club must nominate at least one COVID Safety Officer who must undertake the free Australian Government online COVID-19 Infection Control Training prior to recommencement of Club activity. Certificate of completion shall be emailed to your Association(s) asap after the completion of the on-line (e.g. within 48 hours). Clubs are encouraged to have multiple people take ownership of this role and share the responsibility (e.g. at least one per team).

Are members of the public allowed in a public park when training and matches are on?

Current State Government advice for “Step 3” restrictions are as follows:

  • Everyone attending cricket activities needs to adhere to the latest advice on group size, mask use, density limits, social distance, hygiene etc.
    • All participants involved in training sessions / matches are required to attend. This includes players, umpires, coaches, team managers, scorers, canteen / bar reps and COVID-19 Officers
    • Those supervising children and those supervising players or officials with special needs and encouraged to attend
    • Members of the public are allowed to be in a public park when training and matches are taking place, however SRV request that clubs do not actively encourage club ‘spectators’ from attending

N.B.: This current State Government position is only for “Step 3” restrictions and is subject to change.