COVID-19 FAQs

We’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions in relation to managing COVID-19 protocols at your club.

Last updated 25 November 2020.

General

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).

What do we do if someone who is a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case has been at our club?

After hearing details, the following (as a minimum) should be actioned by the lead COVID-19 Officer (or authorised club representative):

  • Notify DHHS 1800 675 398 and Worksafe Victoria 132360 – who will require the contact details for those who have attended the facility  for a certain period – up to 28 days (so have these contact details ready from the person collecting the information from the QR codes). Ask DHHS / Worksafe for detailed instructions that can be passed on to the wider cricket network – including if any facilities will need to be closed (& for how long) – and follow the instructions immediately.
  • Inform all key stakeholders – including the club network, local council, local school (if using a school facility), local Association, opposition clubs that have either recently played against the player(s) in question or played at the ground and also Cricket Victoria that a suspected (or confirmed) COVID-19 case has been connected to the club and provide any specific advice from DHHS to each organisation. This will include advice from DHHS for what people who may have attended any recent cricket events need to do.
  • Cricket Victoria will be responsible for develop a media release to inform the public. This should be shared widely via various traditional & social media means & be conscience of communicating with people who do not read English and therefore may not have read any promotion in English.
  • The club may be instructed to conduct a “deep clean” of the facility by DHHS, Worksafe Victoria or the local council with DHHS / Worksafe Victoria able to assist with providing contact details of companies who can assist with this.
  • The club should keep in regular phone contact with any people who are isolating to check on their health and isolation compliance.
  • The club should keep all key stakeholders updated in relation to when the facility is safe to return to (based on DHHS advice) and when training / matches can re-commence. Only return after approval from DHHS and your local council.
  • The Association will consider a range of options for current and future matches where one of more players need to isolate and/or the club facility is not available for use. More details are outlined under the separate FAQ for Associations

Do we need a paid Microsoft Licence to set up our QR code through the Microsoft option?

Option 1

– The best option for clubs is to have someone at the club who already has a Microsoft Office 365 account (likely through their business). The access to “Microsoft Forms” is included and up to 50,000 entries can be obtained. This person would be responsible for setting up the QR code (QR Code Setup), securely storing the data and providing the information to DHHS should it be required.

Option 2

– The next best option is for clubs to apply via Microsoft for the free access to the Microsoft 365 Apps for business. Not for profit organisations such as cricket clubs can apply for this via this link. https://nonprofit.microsoft.com/en-us/getting-started  The application will likely take a few days to be processed.

Option 3

– Clubs who don’t have someone on the Committee who already has a business account and are not prepared to apply and wait for free access, can purchase a 12-month licence to Microsoft 365 – options are included here –

Microsoft 365 Business Basic ($6.90/user per month)

Microsoft 365 Business Standard ($17.20/user per month)

Microsoft 365 Business Premium ($27.50/user per month)

Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise -E1, E3, E5 ($13.90/user per month)

Option 4

– The final option is for accessing Microsoft Forms via an existing Hotmail or outlook email address. This free option would only suit smaller clubs as the number of QR code entries is limited to 200. This therefore will require more regular downloading of data to ensure the number of entries never exceeds 200 – e.g. download data every 2-3 days to refresh.

How long do records obtained via the QR code need to be retained?

Records obtained on the QR code should be downloaded regularly and securely stored for a period of 28 days. These may be required to be shared with DHHS for contact tracing. After 28 days they should be destroyed. Clubs may seek to download and refresh data weekly or fortnightly (and may need to do this more regularly if using the free access version with a maximum of 200 entries that can be obtained at any one time.

We have reached our 200 entry limit on the QR Code via the free Microsoft forms platform – how do we free up space?

To free up space takes around 2 minutes. The person who set up the account in Microsoft Forms (who therefore has access to the details collected via the QR code) will need to:
1) Open up the Microsoft Forms account and click on the form to open it.
2) Click on the ‘Open in Excel’ option (this will download the responses in a spreadsheet) and save these to a secure location with the date saved in the name. (N.B.: The records collected need to be retained for 28 days from the date collected and deleted after this point in line with DHHS directions).
3) Click on the “triple dots” (…) and select ‘Delete all responses’.

This will free up the space for more data to be collected. Clubs with large numbers of sign in / sign outs may need to do this quick 1 minute process weekly (or as often as needed) to ensure space is available for the next training / match. Alternatively clubs may consider a paid Microsoft account which has capacity for 50,000 entries plus a range of other benefits under the subscription model. See here for more information.

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” at least once every 20 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.

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

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

  • Everyone attending cricket activities needs to adhere to the latest advice on group size, mask requirements, 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

How many volunteers can we have supporting a Cricket Blast program?

There is no limit on the amount of support you can have from parents/volunteers when running your Cricket Blast program as long as they are actively involved. Coordinators & volunteers must maintain social distancing requirements of 1.5 metres. If you are not actively involved in the running of the program/activities you are encouraged to stand clear of the group..

How many Cricket Blast participants can we have in a group?

As per the ruling on an increase in groups, up to 50 participants are allowed outdoors for Cricket Blast.

How many groups of participants can you have on an oval at any one time?

Up to 50 people are allowed in a group at one time. This includes all areas of the oval/ground.

Where can we find more information about COVID-19?

There are a number of great resources for Clubs and Associations. Below is a list of resources & websites which may assist the Association and Affiliated clubs to obtain more information and guidance to deliver quality practices:

Cricket Victoria

– https://www.cricketvictoria.com.au/clubs-support/
COVID-19 resources, posters, useful links, Grant information etc.

Cricket Australia

– https://www.community.cricket.com.au/clubs/covid-19/
COVID-19 resources, posters, useful links

COVID-19 equipment & signage

– https://www.returntocricket.com.au/catalogue

Example of a facility set-up with COVID-19 signage (outside the clubrooms): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRwa1uupfow
N.B.: Free facility posters / signage can also be downloaded from the DHHS website and via Cricket Victoria or Cricket Australia and clubs can purchase signage and other COVID-19 products from various local outlets – Woolworths, Bunnings, Chemist Warehouse, Officeworks etc.

Department of Health and Human Services

– https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus

Sport Australia

– https://www.sportaus.gov.au/return-to-sport

Vic Sport

– https://www.vicsport.com.au

Sport and Recreation Victoria

– https://www.sport.vic.gov.au

Federal Health Department

– https://www.health.gov.au/resources

Online e-training module for COVID-19 Safety Officers

– https://www.covid-19training.gov.au/login

Safe Work Australia

– https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/collection/covid-19-resource-kit

PLUS

Reach out to your local council / facility manager to discuss facility access, cleaning, signage etc.

 

Further general sport specific FAQs are also listed on the State Government Coronavirus website:

Metro & Regional

– Sport and exercise – Victoria – Last Step | Coronavirus Victoria

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.

Are clubs able to operate a canteen or bar at the clubrooms?

Yes, Sporting clubs can operate a café, canteen or bar within its facility, but must strictly adhere to the current restrictions in place on hospitality venues (e.g. take away service to enable to be consumed outdoors).

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

Can we have communal afternoon teas/drinks that are shared by players/officials?

Shared afternoon teas and/or drinks are currently not recommended due to the potential transmission risk of COVID. Players, umpires and officials are being asked to bring their own food and drink bottles with them to matches to reduce this potential transmission risk. If a club chooses to operate a canteen/kiosk then the players may be able to purchase food and drinks and consume at the ground, providing that social distancing is still maintained.

Can players travel to matches together?

Yes. Where possible:

  • your passenger should sit in the back seat in order to maintain physical distancing
  • all passengers should wear a fitted face mask in the car unless you have a lawful exemption
  • increase ventilation in the vehicle by opening windows wherever possible. Avoid having air-conditioning on recirculate
  • high touch surfaces in the vehicle should be cleaned and disinfected regularly.

Will players need to wear masks at matches?

Masks are no longer compulsory when outdoors including outdoor training, umpiring and coaching. When indoors such as club rooms or indoor nets, masks must be worn unless you are completing exercise.

Masks should always be on hand when outside. Players and coaches are recommended to have masks in their mask in their pockets and wear these when they enter indoor rooms/facilitiespocket should they need to wear them for a specific circumstance.

Will umpires need to wear masks at matches?

Umpires are no longer required to wear masks when outdoors including when umpiring. Masks are still to be worn when inside such as in the umpire change rooms.

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). (This is our recommendation as it will reduce lost time during a match)

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 at least once every 20 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.


Training Protocols

How many people can train together at one time?

Up to 50 people can train in the same area at the same time. Clubs may chose to have smaller group sizes and keep groups separated at all times to reduce the number of people who may need to isolate with a positive COVID-19 case.

It is important that clubs still 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;
– Plans in place for recording attendance and ensuring ‘group’ sizes are within the set parameters and are separated appropriately.

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.

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 are to be worn when inside but are no longer a requirement when outside.

Can all practice nets be open for training?

Clubs can train in groups of 50 which allows for most outdoor facilities to use all their nets. Please seek guidance from your council if you’re unsure if your club can fit this number in your ground arrangement.As a risk management strategy, we recommend that groups remain smaller than the 50 person limit to avoid risks should a positive case be detected and players need to isolate.

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.”

The Current density quotient is at 1 person per 4m2.

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?

Masks are no longer compulsory when outdoors including outdoor training, umpiring and coaching. When indoors such as club rooms or indoor nets, masks must be worn unless you are completing exercise.

Masks must also be on hand at all times even when outside. Players and coaches are recommended to have their mask in their pocket for when they enter rooms/facilities

Can indoor training sessions take place?

Indoor Centres/Training are open to all ages.

  • Patrons are capped at 150 people.
  • Group/class size up to 20 people.
  • Density quotient of 1 person per 4m²

Masks must be worn indoors when not completing exercise.

Contact your local Indoor Centre for specific information.

Equipment

Are we able to share equipment between players?

Equipment sharing between players is discouraged to help reduce the spread of COVID-19
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.

What COVID-19 signage and messaging are available to clubs?

Signage and messaging will be important in communicating COVID-19 protocols to participants and the public at training and during matches. Local councils may be able to provide appropriate signage relevant to clubs and associations. Cricket Australia and Cricket Victoria also has many templates and information which can be found at:

https://returntocricket.com.au

https://www.cricketvictoria.com.au/clubs-support

https://community.cricket.com.au/clubs/covid-19/additional-resources

https://sportaus.gov.au/return-to-sport#covid-19_hygiene_guidance

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