The FA Confirms the Restart of Grassroots Football
Update on the return of Grassroots football from 29th March 2021
As part of the next stage of the Government’s roadmap out of national lockdown, outdoor sports facilities can open, and organised outdoor sport can take place. This means that from Monday 29th March, organised outdoor football, following all FA and government protocols, can take place. Organised outdoor disability football can currently take place, including under national lockdown.
The aim of this note is to share with you what we currently know about what the return to football at the end of March will look like to help your planning. This is based on our conversations with the Government to date and information published on Gov.uk. Please note that our full guidance will be published as soon as we receive the DCMS guidance. We expect that this will be early in the week commencing Monday 22nd March. Please note that we will need to regularly update our FA guidance as we move through the different steps of the Government’s roadmap. Tiers The tiered system has now been removed and the Government’s approach moving forward, will be a national approach.
Travel The Government guidance on travel is that the ‘stay at home’ rule will end on Monday 29 March, but many restrictions will remain in place. As organised sport can resume, all participants may travel to games but should avoid travel at the busiest times and routes, as well as minimising any unnecessary journeys where possible. All participants must follow the Government’s guidance on safer travel, which we expect will be updated shortly.
Changing rooms Changing rooms cannot be used as part of step one in the roadmap out of lockdown and must remain shut. Changing facilities can only be used in emergency situations, or by disabled people who are taking part in organised sport and physical activity. We are working with the Government on what this will look like through each step of restrictions being lifted. We will update our guidance as soon as we have any further information. Toilets will be allowed to open, 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after training and/or matches.
League Restart - April 4th !
I am pleased to announce that following the email I sent
out last week, it has been agreed by an overwhelming majority of clubs that the
season will restart on Sunday April 4th. Thank you to everyone who has replied.
The voting was as follows: -
There were 37 clubs in membership and therefore eligible
30 Clubs voted in favour (81%) 1 club voted against. 6 clubs did not send in a reply. The Government announcement has given March 29th as a
start date, but they have stated that this could slip back if the COVID-19 data
moves in the wrong direction. We really hope that the good news on this data
continues and that cases continue to fall so please stick to the National
Guidelines as the lockdown begins to ease.
There are a few things that you will need to be aware of
the following: -
football activity remains suspended until March 29th including training or any
sort. Please do not meet in groups to start training or be tempted to hold warm
up friendlies as this is not allowed.
FA are currently in talks with the DCMS regarding guidelines to be followed
when we restart. They have not yet been issued but are likely to be along the
exact same lines as those issued in August and September 2020. When we receive them,
we will contact you again, however you may receive a copy directly from the FA
or BCFA so please keep an eye on your emails.
will now send out the fixtures to you in the next few days. Please read them
carefully and talk to your players to make sure they know when they are
playing. If any issues arise, please speak to Paul directly.
We have spent a great amount of time, Paul, and Steve
Masters especially with fixtures and referees, to get us this far. It was
always our intention to get the season restarted as safely and as fairly as we could.
It would have been easy for them to say that it couldn't be done but they have
proved that it can be done. It is now up to us all to make sure we support
their efforts and complete the season which I know from the comments I have
had, that you are looking forward to. 'Best news in a year', 'the lads can't
wait to start' and 'we are chomping at the bit to play' are just a small sample
of those comments.
Please keep an eye on your emails over the coming weeks
as given that we cannot meet yet all information will be communicated this way.
We are pleased to announce the appointment of Glyn Watkins as General Secretaryto replace John Clark who recently retired. Glyn brings a wealth of experience having held a similar position with the Hinckley Sunday Football League.