Playing Tennis in Northern Ireland during the COVID-19 Restrictions
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to extraordinary demands on everyone of us as individuals, as parents, as families, as workers, as business owners, as players and as clubs.
There is no real precedent on how to deal with a global pandemic of this nature and scale. Governments and consequently National Governing Bodies of Sport here and all over the world are making decisions based on the best information available at a given point in time. It is changing constantly.
While, at the beginning, it was arguably “easier” to focus on the disease suppression and containment, life is more complicated than that. The longer this disease is with us, the more complex the issues and the higher the impact of the ongoing restrictions on every aspect of our lives.
Booking and Arrival
– Booking a court time in advance is required, via a court booking system (Fastcourt),
This will assist should contact tracing be required subsequently.
– All players should ensure their club has their up-to-date contact details (phone and email).
– Singles and Doubles play is allowed but subject to social distancing.
– All players, and not just the player making the booking, should be included in the booking.
If there is a change to who is playing, make sure the booking is updated.
Players should arrive at the court entrance no more than 5 minutes prior to the reserved
playing time. It is important that players maintain social distancing.
– Players should observe social distancing at all times and resist the temptation to mingle
– Players should sanitise their hands using dispensers provided at the entrance to the courts
– Players should head straight to their designated court.
Getting to the Court
– Singles and Doubles Play is allowed; however, competitive play is not allowed. O Courts that are side by side can be utilised. O Players should enter the court one at a time. Entrances / Gates to courts should remain open, if safe to do so,
– Rubbish bins should be removed, and all items brought on court should be taken home afterwards.
– Nobody but the players should be allowed on the court. There should be no spectators
present during this period. O Parents supervising children should be limited to one
On the Court – Playing
– Physical distancing should be observed throughout the period of play, particularly on change of ends and entering and exiting the court. Players should change ends at opposite sides of the net.
– Players must refrain from handshakes and high fives
– Equipment such as towels, food, and drink must not be exchanged between players.
Players should be encouraged to bring their own drinks and towels.
– Players should avoid touching their face after handling a ball, racquet, or other equipment.
– Players should ideally bring a small bottle of hand sanitizer with them and keep it in their pocket or bag for use.
– Players should remain apart from other players when taking a break.
– Caution is advised for those who intend to engage in high intensity training following a
recovery from COVID-19. Individuals should seek medical advice prior to a return to playing / training.
Getting Home Safely
– Once play has finished players should leave the premises promptly, sanitising their hands
on the way out using a courtside dispenser.
– If a player becomes unwell after playing, they should first contact their GP/NHS and then
inform their club.