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 9th October 2021.

General

Do players / officials need to be fully vaccinated to play this summer?

The Victorian State Government has not confirmed whether people will need to be vaccinated to participate in Community Sport. As soon as this position is announced by the Government, it will be shared widely by Cricket Victoria.

 

Can a player/coach travelling from an orange or red zone train or play in Victoria? 

The State Government has implemented the travel categories of ‘Extreme, Red, Orange and Green’ with different requirements in place for each zone category as well restrictions for those living in border communities along the Vic/NSW and Vic/SA borders. The restrictions and locations are subject to change regularly, so checking the latest information via https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/victorian-travel-permit-system is important. The website spells out who needs to quarantine or self-isolate and how long they need to do this as well as how many COVID-19 tests are required (if any). 

 

How does the cross-border restrictions apply with NSW / SA for border towns?

This information is updated regularly by the State Government – with up to date information contained here – https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/information-cross-border-communities#local-government-areas-in-the-cross-border-community.

Unless restrictions change, players / teams in Victoria can train now & also:

  • play games in Border Communities based in NSW / SA when NSW / SA reaches 80% double dose vaccination levels; &
  • play games in Victoria when Victoria reaches 80% double dose vaccination levels.

 

Where can I find details of any currently designated COVID-19 exposure site (“hot spot”) locations? 

It is important that all players, officials, members and supporters are aware of the need to follow any directions if they have been to any of the currently listed Tier 1, Tier 2 or Tier 3 exposure sites as regularly updated via –  https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/exposure-sites  

 

Do we need a COVID-Safe Officer / Marshall? 

Yes. Each Club must nominate at least one COVID Safety Officer / Marshall who can be the lead for ensuring that the club is seeking to provide a COVID-19 safe environment (e.g. visible signage in place, compliance with QR code check-ins is happening, compliance with training & match day requirements, ensuring the club is promoting its policies widely etc.) Clubs are encouraged to have multiple people take ownership of this role and share the responsibility (e.g. at least one per team). 

 

What are the current general restrictions in place for sport / exercise? 

This link provides the most up-to-date information from the State Government in respect to current COVID-19 protocols for Sport – https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/sport-and-exercise  

 

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 the Department of Health on 1800 675 398 and Worksafe Victoria 132360. Ask the Department of Health Victoria / 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 the Department of Health to each organisation. This will include advice from the Department of Health for what people who may have attended any recent cricket events need to do.  
  • Cricket Victoria will be responsible for developing 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 the Department of Health, Worksafe Victoria or the local council with the Department of Health / 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 Department of Health advice) and when training / matches can re-commence. Only return after approval from the Department of Health 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.  

 

Where can our Club / Association find an editable COVID-19 safe plan for endorsement, promotion and for showing our local council 

Along with a range of other resources, the latest Cricket Victoria editable plan can be found on the CV website via this link – https://www.cricketvictoria.com.au/clubs-support/covid-19/   

Clubs / Associations should read the information carefully, commit as an organisation to adhering to the requirements, edit & endorse the plan and promote it widely (including website, social media, email) to current players, members and also external stakeholders such as your local council / sponsors etc. This will help to promote the pro-active steps that your oranisation is taking to be COVID-19 safe. 

 

Can we still use the Microsoft QR code system from last season? 

No. The State Government has announced a change to the requirements for QR codes that all organisations need to use the standard QR code system through Services Victoria.  

The State Government Coronavirus website linked below has a simple step by step guide where the club registers for a new QR code and after completing details about the organisation / locations, you can print out a poster containing the new QR code. Once complete, you don’t need to worry about storing / deleting any data captured as it goes directly to the Department for Health. 

Please visit https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/register-to-use-vic-gov-qr-code-service  to register, complete the application process and print out your new posters containing your QR codes. These posters should be on display at your next cricket event / meeting and for all activities moving forward. 

 

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. 

  

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 WorkSafe Australia website which should help as a reference point to what cleaning guidelines are recommended: https://www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/managing-coronavirus-covid-19-risks-sport-and-recreation-industries  

 

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 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 still apply? 

Yes. 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. 

 

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/  

  • Editable COVID-19 plan, 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, posters etc. 

https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/signs-posters-and-templates  

https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/doc/signage-and-posters-covid-19  

 

Optional 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 

https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/doc/signage-and-posters-covid-19  

PLUS 

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

Training Protocols

Can sweat & saliva be used to shine the ball this season?

Saliva – No

Sweat – Yes, so long as it NOT taken from the neck / head area. Updated advice from Cricket Australia for this season is that sweat from the neck / head area is not allowed as it may contain aerosols from the mouth/nose area. Otherwise sweat is relatively safe to use.

What can metropolitan based players do until we reach the 70% double dose rules when training can start?

Whilst Metro based clubs can’t start training sessions until we reach 70% double dose levels, players can travel to an oval / outdoor cricket nets with others within 15km from their home to practise cricket. Group size details are:

  • Five people (so long as all people over 18 are fully vaccinated);
  • If one of more adults in the group are not fully vaccinated – the group size is limited to having a hit of cricket with dependants & 1 other person;
  • A coach can meet with players within the group limits above; &
  • All attendees are strongly encouraged to check in via any QR Code available at the oval / nets and strictly adhere to mask & 1.5m distance requirements plus sanitise hands & equipment.

 

Metro Melbourne – Can turf wickets (practice & centre wicket) be worked on during ‘lockdown’?

Yes. Based on the current wording of ‘authorised providers’ on the Coronavirus website, maintenance can be undertaken due to the need to maintain / repair the turf wickets to ensure that they are prepared for safe commencement of cricket training / matches. Please note the following:

Turf wicket maintenance / repairs is currently deemed a permitted activity in accordance with the following description on the Coronavirus website

The following businesses can open under restrictions. If their employees are unable to work from home they can leave home to attend work.

    • Services that operate solely outdoors where physical distancing can be maintained at all times. Solo work only unless additional workers are required for safety reasons:
      • Outdoor maintenance, repairs, and cleaning, including at occupied premises.
  • Where the maintenance / repairs are to be conducted by the council or a third party contractor:
  • If they chose to conduct the work, the council or third party contractor would obviously strictly follow COVID-19 safe practices (social distancing, masks use, sanitiser, worker permit form etc.)
  • Where the maintenance is to be conducted by club volunteers on behalf of the council / land manager, the club shall provide the worker permit form &:
  • The club may only conduct any maintenance / repairs after receipt of written endorsement from the council (or land manger as the case may be) to do so. Failure to receive written endorsement will result in the club needing to wait to conduct maintenance / repair work until written permission is received. If written permission is received, the club volunteer(s) must adhere to strict COVID-19 safe practices at all times (social distancing, mask use, sanitiser use, QR code check-in, curfew, worker permit form etc.)

 

Will change rooms / social rooms be accessible during training days? 

Metro Melbourne & any regional Victorian lockdown areas – N/A.

Regional Victoria – TBC – Likely yes, this is subject to council approval & applicable density limits. Cricket Victoria currently recommends a density limit of 1:4 sqm and only for those who need to be at training.

Until overall COVID-19 case numbers are at very low levels, clubs 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.”

 

How many people can train together at one time?

Metro Melbourne (& any regional Vic lockdown areas) – N/A

Regional Victoria (ex any localised lockdowns) – All players can train outdoors with the no group size limit or number of groups limit (up to venue density levels 1:4sqm). On those who need to attend are allowed to attend – e.g. Players and Coaches. All participants are to always maintain a 1.5m distance from others within their group & from other groups.

Where possible / practical, Cricket Victoria continue to recommend that clubs consider teams training in small groups of 5-8 and to not mix before, during or after training. This will reduce the impact if someone who is infectious whilst at training – i.e. the Department of Health may only require those in the small group to isolate / quarantine and not the entire training group.

It is important to remember all key COVID-19 protocols (COVID-19 Safety Plan adhered to, everyone checks-in, adequate signage & sanitiser available). If you are training in small groups, keep a record of the small training groups.

It is important to remember all key COVID-19 protocols (COVID-19 Safety Plan adhered to, everyone checks-in, adequate signage & sanitiser available). If you are training in small groups, keep a record of the small training groups.

 

Will people need to check in for training?

Yes. Clubs are required by the Victorian State Government to utilise the Services Victoria QR code check-in system for everyone who is involved in training sessions. Please visit HTTPS://WWW.CORONAVIRUS.VIC.GOV.AU/REGISTER-TO-USE-VIC-GOV-QR-CODE-SERVICE  to register, complete the application process and print out your posters containing your QR codes. These posters should be on display at training and all participants should scan upon arrival. Clubs who created QR code registration from last season (e.g. Microsoft Office) should be removed to avoid confusion.

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 / guardian “check-in” for their son/daughter? 

Yes. Ideally it is the player themselves – but if this is not possible, a parent can do this for a player with that players permission and providing the information about the player. The Victorian QR code service allows for additional registrations once the QR code has been scanned which parents/guardians or coaches may choose to do on behalf of others.  

 

Will participants need to wear masks at training? 

At this stage, masks are compulsory when outdoors and indoors except while completing exercise. Players should arrive and depart training with their masks on as well as when they are in the clubrooms. 

 

Can indoor training sessions take place? 

Not yet.

 

Match Day

 

Can sweat & saliva be used to shine the ball this season?

Saliva – No

Sweat – Yes, so long as it NOT taken from the neck / head area. Updated advice from Cricket Australia for this season is that sweat from the neck / head area is not allowed as it may contain aerosols from the mouth/nose area. Otherwise sweat is relatively safe to use.

Are change rooms accessible on match days? 

Yes – but only when State Government restrictions allow matches to proceed.

Change rooms can be opened on match days, however clubs are required to follow the density quotient rules (1 person for every 4m2 ) as per State Government requirements. This 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 5-10 second process will enable all attendees to be contacted directly by the Department of Health should a COVID-19 positive case be detected from the training session / match.

 

Are spectators allowed to attend cricket training & matches?  

No. Under current restrictions, spectators are not allowed to attend cricket training or matches. In regional Victoria, only those necessary for training & matches can attend i.e. players and coaches. Parents / guardians can attend to support under-age players however this should be kept to a minimum.

 

When allowed to attend do spectators  need to “check-in”? 

Yes. When spectators are allowed to attend they will need to check-in as 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 have 12th or 13th man in case of a player needing to pull out of a match because of COVID? 

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

 

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

Yes – but only when lockdown restrictions allow matches to proceed. When matches are allowed, sporting clubs can operate a café, canteen or bar within its facility, but must strictly adhere to the current restrictions in place for 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: HTTPS://BUSINESS.VIC.GOV.AU/BUSINESS-INFORMATION/COVID-19-BUSINESS-INFORMATION

 

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. To help reduce the likelihood of transition, where possible: 

  • 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. 

 

Are Hotel Quarantine workers allowed to play cricket? 

Yes. At this stage, the Department of Health is not preventing hotel workers from engaging in the community as they normally would – including playing community sport. There are strict protocols at their worksite in place and regular testing / checks etc. If clubs do have Hotel Quarantine workers involved at their club, Cricket Victoria strongly recommend the following: 

  • The club maintains a high vigilance with its COVID-19 protocols – including QR code use by all, masks use where required, sanitiser available and encouraged, COVID-19 posters on display etc 
  • The club encourages the player to adhere to guidance & requirements set out by their employer at all times and 
  • The player(s) ideally minimise their time at the club whilst working in Hotel Quarantine facilities to minimise the chance of spreading the virus before they become symptomatic. This may include the player(s) not training or attending functions – only playing matches. Whilst training and attending functions is not banned, it presents an additional risk to the balance of club members, their families and the wider community. 

 

Will players need to wear masks at matches? 

Yes. Masks are currently mandatory both inside and outside at all times for all cricket events (training, meetings, functions, matches) unless actively completing physical activity (actively batting, bowling & fielding) or an exemption applies.  

 

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). 

 

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’ via the club’s QR code system.  

 

Do teams get penalised for breaching a COVID rule? 

Possibly. 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 Department of Health 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. 

 

With sanitizing breaks adding extra time, how can we make the day quicker? 

Associations are encouraged to help teams make up time lost through a range of options including:

– Bowling five overs at a time from 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, the relevant club shall immediately notify the Association of this ruling. The club and Association shall abide by any directions from the Department of Health 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 the Department of Health, 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 the Department of Health, shall be postponed to a date / time post the isolation / quarantine period; or
3) Any matches affected by the isolation / ruling by Department of Health, shall be deemed a draw and the points evenly split by the affected teams. 

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. 

 

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://WWW.CRICKETVICTORIA.COM.AU/CLUBS-SUPPORT 

HTTPS://COMMUNITY.CRICKET.COM.AU/CLUBS/COVID-19/ADDITIONAL-RESOURCES 

HTTPS://WWW.CORONAVIRUS.VIC.GOV.AU/SIGNS-POSTERS-AND-TEMPLATES  

https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/doc/signage-and-posters-covid-19  

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