Training in groups of 6 and 3m distance between athletes: COVID-19 sports guidelines issued

SportsMalta issues guidelines for restarting of outdoor, non-contact sports as some coronavirus restrictions are lifted

Outdoor, non-contact sporting activities will restart in the coming days
Outdoor, non-contact sporting activities will restart in the coming days

Some sport activities will be restarting in the coming days, as Malta relaxes its COVID-19 measures and gears itself up to face a "new normal".

Only outdoor, non-contact sports will be allowed for the time being, however, with SportsMalta having on Thursday night issued its guidelines in this regard.

General guidelines for all sports:

  • Training will have to be limited to groups of six, or five and a coach.
  • Atheletes must maintain a minimum three-metre distance for most sports, with a few exceptions where the stipulated minimum is of two metres.
  • Atheletes must keep to their original group and not switch to other groups
  • No sharing of equipment is allowed
  • No more than one person for every 20 sq.m. should be present in any sports venue

In addition to the general guidelines, there are also specific rules for different sports. Below are some of the main ones.

Football

  • Ball to be disinfected prior to use and every 15min
  • Ideally disinfected between plays
  • Strictly non‐contact

Tennis

  • If possible done in the same pairs rather than allowing alternating partners
  • Singles tennis is preferable to doubles
  • Social distancing of 3m is still applicable.
  • Balls may be marked with an X or a O indicating which individual is allowed to handle them

Horse Racing

  • No sharing of saddles
  • 3m distance to be kept, avoid riding in slipstream if possible.
  • No competition allowed

Swimming (in chlorinated water or at sea)

  • Maximum of 3 swimmers per lane for 25m pool, 4 for 33m pool, 6 for 50m pool.
  • Swimmers must start from opposite ends every alternate lane.
  • Maintain general rule of 5 athletes + coach, across
  • Chlorinated water is to be kept above 0.5mg/l Free Chlorine
  • Starting times staggered to avoid congregation of athletes at end of pool

Shooting

  • Use of alternate lanes
  • No sharing of equipment. Equipment is to be thoroughly disinfected prior to and after use,
  • Use of facemask or visor is encouraged when possible

Athletics

  • Distance of at least 3m to be maintained
  • Avoiding running in other athletes’ slipstreams is strongly recommended
  • Drink stations should be avoided if possible
  • No relays
  • Disinfection necessary for high jump & pole and all apparatus in track and field events
  • Alternate lanes. This must be strictly adhered to

Sport parliamentary secretary Clifton Grima appealed to athletes to abide by the limits and guidelines imposed.

He noted that, while major strides had been made in the past weeks, the country had not yet surpassed the coronavirus challenge.

A full list of guidelines can be accessed here:

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