FOOTY clubs can start training outdoors from Monday, May 25, but clubs have an “obligation to strictly adhere” to AFL Victoria’s guidelines, the sports body said this week.

Community football clubs will be permitted to train in maximum groups of 10 – with two groups permitted on one oval.

AFL Victoria says clubs must adhere to the relevant Victorian government guidelines and AFL Victoria’s Return to Small Outdoor Group Training guidelines (listed below).

The guide has been established to support teams’ ‘Returning to Small Outdoor Group Training’ phase under the current Victorian government COVID-19 restrictions, AFL Victoria said.

“Community clubs and teams have an obligation to strictly adhere to these protocols at every training session,” AFL Victoria said.

“The key principle for training must be ‘Get in, Train, Get out’.”

AFL Head of Community Football Victoria Stephen O’Donohue said AFL Victoria is looking forward to community clubs being able to return to small outdoor group training in a safe environment and in a well-prepared and educated manner.

“This is a significant step for community football in Victoria and we are pleased clubs can return to small outdoor group training next week,” Mr O’Donohue said.

“Returning to train in a safe, hygienic and controlled manner is paramount to AFL Victoria and the safety and wellbeing of all participants remains our number one priority.

“We encourage all Victorian leagues, clubs and volunteers to familiarise themselves with the training guide and to formulate an education and implementation plan to prepare their respective clubs to return to train safely.”

A return to small outdoor group training is optional and will be at the discretion of each respective community club, AFL Victoria said.

AFL Victoria will continue to consult closely with the Victorian state government and its respective Chief Health Officer to ensure alignment with their advice, and in the event of a further easing of restrictions, AFL Victoria will continue to explore the potential for a full return to train or a return to play plan for community, talent and second-tier football in the state, AFL Victoria said, while adding that they will also continue to align with the AIS Framework for Rebooting Sport in Australia.

 

Guidelines

 

Small outdoor group training of up to 10 people

Clubs can undertake training in groups no larger than 10 people. The group of 10 does not include a coach/support staff who are reasonably required to manage the activity. Two groups of 10 can utilise the same oval provided they do not operate closely together, and the oval is split into two zones. No more than two small training groups per oval at any one time with groups not permitted to interact.

 

1.5m social distancing and strictly no contact

All training must strictly observe social distancing requirements of 1.5m and must be non-contact (i.e. no tackling, no bumping, no marking contests, etc.).

 

Footballs allowed but no other equipment

Footballs can be used for small outdoor group training, however, only limited additional equipment is permitted (i.e. field marking cones are permitted).

 

No access to changerooms

All club rooms, changerooms and wet areas are not to be used as part of the return to small outdoor group training.

 

Hygiene protocols

Clubs to implement hygiene protocols as per the Victorian government guidelines (i.e. washing hands, avoiding facial touching, staying at home if sick, covering mouth and elbow to cough or sneeze, etc.).

 

At least one ‘COVID Safe’ officer

Clubs to nominate an official(s) to undertake the Australian government online COVID-19 Infection Control Training prior to recommencement of club activity.

 

A register of participants

Club to implement a log, or register, to keep track of which participants are in attendance at all training sessions.

 

COVIDSafe App

Club to encourage all players, volunteers and families to download the COVIDSafe App to help in tracing the spread of COVID-19.

 

Local government approval

The club has received approval from the local government to access the oval for small outdoor group training.

 

Follow directions

The club and training groups understand that they must follow the direction and advice of local and state authorities at all times.