FAQs: Volleyball and the national lockdown
8th January 2021
A new national lockdown in England was announced by the Prime Minister on Tuesday, 5th January, with the public instructed to minimise time spent outside their home.
As a result, strict guidance has been introduced into law, meaning that people may only leave their home for a limited number of reasons, as permitted in law. Exercise is one of those reasons, but the vast majority of volleyball activity must not go ahead for the duration of lockdown.
In his briefing to the nation, the Prime Minister indicated that the lockdown would go on until at least the middle of February, with restrictions being reviewed on 15th February.
We know this announcement has prompted many questions. Below we have compiled a list of answers to commonly asked questions. The [NEW] and [UPDATED] tags highlight our latest information.
If your club is based outside of England, please heed the advice from your devolved administration. For example, clubs based in Wales should read the latest advice from Volleyball Wales and the Welsh Government.
Please note this page was last updated on 15/01/2021.
GAMEPLAY AND TRAINING
[NEW] What are the rules around exercising outside of your home?
An individual can exercise in public outdoor spaces on their own, with members of their household or support bubble or, when on their own, with one person from another household. This should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.
When around other people, stay two metres apart from anyone not in your household - meaning the people you live with - or your support bubble. Where this is not possible, stay one metre apart with extra precautions (such as wearing a face covering)
[UPDATED] What volleyball activity can take place during the lockdown?
Significantly, the rules for this lockdown differ to the one at the end of 2020, meaning that equipment – such as volleyballs – must not be shared between different households or support bubbles.
That means that volleyball can only be practised between those in the same household or support bubble, or individually.
[NEW] Are any groups exempt from the restrictions on sport?
- Elite athletes (as defined here), and their coaches if necessary, or parents/guardians if they are under 18, are allowed to meet in larger groups to compete and train.
- Organised outdoor sport for disabled people can also continue.
[NEW] Is it possible to pepper with someone from a different household?
Unfortunately, no, as equipment must not be shared between different households or support bubbles.
[NEW] What do the new restrictions mean for under-18s?
Exemptions for U18s activities have changed within the new restrictions, and are now limited to only include education settings, registered childcare and supervised activities for children. See the bottom of this Sport England guidance page for more information.
[NEW] What is the advice for sports venues?
Indoor and outdoor sports facilities must close.
What is classed as ‘organised volleyball activity’?
Activity that is organised by a national governing body, club, registered coach, business or charity. In all cases, the organiser must conduct a risk assessment and take all reasonable steps to limit transmission of Covid-19 by reference to that risk assessment and adhere to Volleyball England’s return to volleyball guidance.
What is the definition of a support bubble?
It is the Government’s definition of a support bubble, as defined here.
What is the best way to clean volleyballs?
Please seek instructions from the manufacturer on how equipment should be cleaned. Here is some guidance from three of the most common makes of volleyball:
- Mikasa: mikasasports.co.jp/e/support/maintenance
- Molten (please click on the relevant product to find ball care instructions): www.molten.co.jp/sports/en/volleyball/product/volleyball/index.html
- Wilson: Wet wipes, regular disinfectant spray or cloth will not harm Wilson volleyballs, according to the manufacturer, because they are made of composite leather. Make sure volleyballs are completely dry before storing them.
Remember, balls should be cleaned between sessions and wiped down and dried during timeouts and after every set. It should be stressed that regularly sanitising your hands and not touching your face is essential to reduce the risk of transmitting Covid-19.
[NEW] Will I be breaking any anti-doping rules if I have any of the Covid-19 vaccines that are approved for use in the UK?
WADA (the World Anti-Doping Agency) has released a statement clarifying that, in the highly unlikely event that a vaccine may cause a possible anti-doping rule violation under the World Anti-Doping Code, WADA’s oversight of any subsequent results management will ensure that vaccines and the principles of anti-doping do not come into conflict. UKAD (the UK Anti-Doping Agency) has also released a statement in support of this. UKAs has also confirmed that all three of the approved UK vaccines have been added to Global DRO with a ‘not prohibited’ status.
What must affiliate clubs do to ensure they are covered by their Volleyball England member insurance?
Clubs must follow government and Volleyball England guidance to remain covered. For more information on the insurance cover, click here.
Is Covid-19 covered under the Volleyball England’s membership insurance?
There is no cover for contracting Covid-19 due to the challenges in pinpointing when and where it was transmitted. Affiliated clubs following Volleyball England’s guidance will receive assistance from Sports Insure should a claim be raised against a club.
Our club is affiliated to Volleyball England, but it is based outside of England, what advice should we follow?
Please heed the advice from your devolved administration. For example, clubs based in Wales should read the latest advice from Volleyball Wales and the Welsh Government.
[NEW] What is the latest on the #SaveOurSports campaign?
So far, Government support has been provided to spectator sports and leisure centres but we are continuing to lobby the Government, to ensure sport and physical activity plays a central role in the country’s recovery from Covid-19.
The #SaveOurSports petition also prompted a written response from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, which you can read here.
What is happening to Volleyball England competitions for the 2020/21 season?
The Board of Volleyball England has made the difficult decision to cancel the National Volleyball League as well as Junior Age-Group competitions for the 2020/21 season. For more information, click here.
[UPDATED] What is the best way to contact the Hub team?
Staffing levels in Volleyball England’s Hub will be reduced throughout January and February. With the period of volleyball downtime continuing, we have taken the decision to revisit the furlough scheme. This will bring our service level down to meet a lower demand while protecting the sport’s future by saving money.
We are still here to provide support and answer your queries, but please be aware our response times are likely to be slower than usual.
To ensure your query is answered as soon as possible, please use the email address firstname.lastname@example.org. Staff are continuing to work from home and therefore do not have access to the main office phoneline. Thank you for your understanding.
Can I still buy items from Volleyball England's online shop?
Yes, but we are unable to put a time frame on when those items will be shipped. Members of staff are working from home and do not currently have access to our storeroom.
If you have made an order, rest assured it will be fulfilled once we return to the office. If you have made an order and now wish to cancel it, please contact our finance team (email@example.com) who will be able to arrange a refund for you.