Latest RFU Community Game Update

07 Oct 2020 18:41 | Devon RFU

Running half-term rugby camps and activities

Clubs wishing to run half term camps (or similar events) may do so, providing all appropriate guidance, safeguarding and approval requirements of Regulation 15 are followed. The Age Grade Codes of Practice (section 6) provides information on standard good practice for running camps. Due to Covid-19, additional social distancing and hygiene measures must be in place and all activities must remain within the Stage D guidelines of the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap.

Please note, the specific Stage D guidance overrides that of the ‘usual operating practice’ in the Codes of Practice & Regulation 15, e.g. maximum playing/training time is limited to 75 minutes, as per Stage D guidelines.

Organisers of half-term camps (or similar events) should complete a specific risk assessment to consider any potential risk mitigations and additional requirements for the event to run safely.

The following should be included in the event/camp planning:

• Permitted contact activity (as per Stage D guidelines) should be limited to a maximum of 15 minutes per day.
• All group* rugby activity (including 15 minutes permitted contact) should be limited to a maximum of 75 minutes per day. *Group activity includes groups of two or more players.
• Individual skills and non-rugby/multi-sport activity is permitted (in addition to rugby activity) providing it meets with government/sport specific guidance and is risk assessed.
• Social distancing between sessions, measures should be taken to minimise players congregating/standing together.
• Regular equipment cleaning and personal hygiene breaks.
• Use of the facilities, changing rooms, food arrangements etc.
• Safe travel guidance (e.g. no car sharing).
Approval from the relevant body as per Regulation 15.9.

Test and trace and handling of Covid-19 positive tests

Clubs are reminded of the need to have a Test & Trace system in place. You can find out more about NHS Test & Trace below, or read about Howdens Test and Trace here.

In the event of positive tests occuring within a club, including retrospective cases, each case should be registered via the Positive Test Notification Form, which can be accessed HERE. This information is requested to allow us to monitor the number of confirmed positive Covid-19 tests occurring in clubs and ensure clubs have the appropriate support.

All Schools Update

Last year we hit our target of 750 All Schools, along with 300 linked clubs supporting them. We are delighted to be able to continue to provide support to these clubs and schools during the current challenging climate to enable them to develop the pipeline of players into clubs, as well as ensuring the sustainability of rugby within these All Schools. We have also delivered a number of webinars for clubs and schools to detail this support.

Local lockdown guidelines

Clubs are reminded that the powers around local restrictions lie with their local authorities.

We are advised that unless local restrictions specifically mention restrictions on team sports and/or rugby, clubs should follow the NGB guidelines. In all cases, clubs must conduct a risk assessment and ensure compliance with Covid-19 secure guidance.

This currently includes the following areas, however, clubs in each of the areas below need to be aware of the impact of any local restrictions applicable to their individual area.

Clubs may need to limit their activities in line with any local restrictions and all are advised to consult with the local authority in which their facilities are located should they be in any doubt. Information regarding any new local lockdown restrictions will be posted on the government's website.

Community rugby - current status

With the exception of clubs impacted by local lockdown restrictions, we continue at Stage D on the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap, which you can see below. RFU guidance as well as Government Coronavirus (Covid-19) Guidelines must be followed.

We have today announced that the Allianz Premier 15s season is starting under the Government’s Elite Sport Return to Play Guidance. Law variations have been approved, however, it is important to note that these law adaptations are applicable to the women’s elite game only.

We continue to work with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport regarding a return to full contact community rugby.

World Mental Health Day – Saturday 10 October

The World Health Organisation recognises World Mental Health Day on Saturday 10 October every year.

It is estimated that one in four people suffer from mental health issues each year. However, this year the numbers are believed to have increased substantially due to Covid-19.

The links between good physical health and mental health are well recognised. Physical activity such as playing rugby following Stage D on the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap can be very beneficial for mental health and wellbeing, as well as bringing physical benefits.

When someone is experiencing a mental health problem, supportive and reliable information can change his or her life. Mind, one of the leading mental health charities in England and Wales, provides information and guidance for anyone involved in rugby who may be dealing with mental health problems and those supporting them.

Guidance for clubs and the rugby community on how they can support anyone suffering from mental health issues, and/or information for those who may be suffering themselves, is available on the Simplyhealth Rugby Safe webpages or on the World Metal Health Day campaign page.